Defective by Design

When Ubisoft takes a break, your games break

Submitted by JohnSullivan on Mon, 2010-03-08 08:18

Many of you have written to us about Ubisoft's outrageous form of DRM, where players have to be constantly connected to the Internet in order to play the company's games -- not because the games are multiplayer, but for the sole purpose of the company being able to authenticate and keep an eye on you. Well, everyone who purchased the games using this system became painfully aware of this deliberate defect yesterday. Ubisoft's DRM authentication servers went down, and were reportedly down for at least ten hours.

Since the games are also proprietary software, there's no legal way for users to work around this problem, since they aren't allowed to modify the code themselves. When Ubisoft takes a break, the game breaks. What happens when Ubisoft goes out of business (as is likely to happen if they keep this up), or just decides to take these DRM servers down for good? That's just the way DRM proponents think things are supposed to work. As a lawyer for the RIAA and MPAA said last year, don't expect to still be able to use your DRMed media for long.

If you have an Amazon account, sounds like it's time to tag new Ubisoft games like Assassin's Creed II with "defectivebydesign" and "drm," to make sure everyone finds out about this.

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