Revulytics Blog

Holy Piracy Twist Batman!

September 9, 2009

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OK, so forgive the title of this post, but how often do I get to talk about anti-piracy approaches from the gaming world that have interesting implications for the larger ISV community?

I came across "Eidos Sets Sneaky Trap for Arkham Asylum Pirates" and was really impressed by one approach Eidos took to address piracy.

According to the article: "On the Eidos forums, a user by the name of Cheshirec_the_cat
announced a problem he was having with the game, which he apparently
downloaded for free. Let’s just say Eidos’s response is absolutely
hilarious."

Cheshirec_the_cat (The Pirater):

“Hi!
I’ve got a problem when it’s time to use Batman’s glide in the game.
When I hold , like it’s said to jump from one platform to another,
Batman tries to open his wings again and again instead of gliding. So
he fels down in a poisoning gas. If somebody could tel me, what should
I do there.”

Keir (Eidos Admin):

“The problem you have encountered is a hook in the copy
protection, to catch out people who try and download cracked versions
of the game for free.

It’s not a bug in the game’s code, it’s a bug in your moral code.”

Now, we all know that the gaming world is very different from business software and high value applications, but the approach taken here is very interesting and could be applied by a wider range of ISVs.

When your application detects that it has been tampered with to enable piracy, have it escalate through an appropriate series of responses to alert the user or company to the fact that the application is being used illegally. This could start with a simple notification and eventually lead to altering the behavior of the application.This approach gives ISVs more control and lends itself to a dialogue with the infringing organization.

What do you think of this approach?

As a side note, I enjoyed "MartinDude's" comment on the article and his (grudging?) respect for this approach:

"Although I can’t say I never pirated anything, I can really appreciate a thing like this against “us pirates” :D Keep it up! :)"

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Michael Goff

Post written by Michael Goff

Marketing Director at Revulytics
Michael is Marketing Director at Revulytics where he is responsible for corporate marketing, content, and social media. He has helped to educate the industry on the benefits of software usage analytics for compliance and product management through the company's blog and contributed articles in trade publications. Michael was previously a marketing programs manager at The MathWorks and principal at Goff Communications. Michael earned a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.A. from Colgate University.