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Feature: 'The Copy Protection Racket'

Feature: 'The Copy Protection Racket'

August 30, 2006 | By Simon Carless

August 30, 2006 | By Simon Carless
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More: Console/PC

In today's main Gamasutra feature, German game developer Schadenfreude Interactive (Cthulhu Karts, Accordion Hero, Grand Theft Ottoman) discusses how to find appropriate copy protection for your game, from dongles through 'scratch 'n sniff' to startling modern Russian methods.

In this extract, CEO Karsden Morderhaschen discusses some of the alternatives the company has been considering:

"Another protection method is the dongle - a small piece of hardware that attaches to your computer. Some programs still use them. The 3D modeling program we use comes with a hardware dongle, and Lothar is constantly losing it. I have found his dongle in so many strange places - he simply cannot seem to keep his hands on it. Artists! They are always a few figs short of a kletzenbrot.

But in modern times, game companies generally do not deal with piracy by using dongles or manual lookups or coming to your house to scratch the data off your drive with a pointy stick. Nowadays games barely have CD jewel cases, boxes, or more than six hours of play, much less a manual! Today everyone uses software-based copy protection systems. So I made an appointment with the Russian company NovaHammer, one of the biggest names in the business, to find out what this DRM nonsense was all about."

You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the topic, including plenty more on the search for a sensible copy protection scheme (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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