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Using GOO to replace traditional DRM

By on September 2, 2009 5:16:46 PM from Gamers Bill of Rights Forums Gamers Bill of Rights Forums


Join Date 06/2007

Right #4 states:
Gamers shall have the right to have their games not require a third-party download manager installed in order for the game to function.

Right #6 states:
Gamers shall not have their games install hidden drivers onto their computers

Right #8 states:
Games have the right to use their games without being inconvenienced due to copy protection or digital rights management

A troubling trend in PC gaming over the past few years that has led to an increasing number of gamers to move to the console has been the rise of invasive DRM and copy protection integrated into download managers that must be always running to play the game.

Invasive DRM techniques such limiting users to some very finite number of installations, tying their game to a particular piece of hardware, or forcing users to run a third party download manager program in order to play a game has been met with frustration from users and left publishers looking for alternatives that still protect their intellectual property.

Shortly after the announcement of the Gamers Bill of Rights in 2008, Stardock began developing a technology called Game Object Obfuscation (GOO) that allows publishers to run Goo on their games that allows users to tie their game to a generic universal account rather than to a particular computer. As a result, gamers can install their game on their home PC, laptop, and even work computer without hassle. Or reinstall their game as many times as they need on their computers over all time with the only requirement being to enter their email address and their CD key.

While providing a similar type of protection to what is found in some popular download managers that integrate copy protection into the manager, Goo is a redistributable DLL that gets incorporated automatically into the game in question requiring no third-party programs to be installed and being vendor neutral.

As a result, a user can purchase their game at any retailer, any digital distributor, or elsewhere without their game being tied to a particular service and without worrying about arbitrary activation limits. The game gets tied to a person rather than a machine and the publisher is protected by knowing their game will not be illegally distributed easily.

Ubisoft, Activision, and Paradox have already begun distributing games that use Goo and its rapidly growing popularity with publishers may help spell the end of obnoxious DRM.

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