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DRM

Oculus Rift Is Dropping Its DRM, so You Can Play Oculus Games on Other Platforms

Despite all the press over the past few years after the Oculus Rift made virtual reality seem like an attainable goal, the technology is still in its infancy with its place in consumer electronics largely unknown. That makes the competition rather stiff and led to Oculus locking down games for its hardware so they couldn't be played on anyone else's headset. Now, they've seemingly decided that decision caused more harm than good.

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Apple Trial Reveals They Forced iPod Restore Messages to Delete iTunes Competitors’ Music

Dammit, sad iPod. I trusted you and your "pity me" face.

Apple might be all about DRM-free music and free hugs and high fives for everyone or whatever these days, but that wasn't always the case. In fact, an iPod DRM trial has revealed that they once went so far as to force customers to restore their devices to delete competitors' music.

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X-Wing, TIE Fighter Games Coming DRM-Free to GOG.com With More LucasArts Classics

We've time traveled, yes?

The classic X-Wing and TIE Fighter games of the '90s are finally getting digital rereleases thanks to a deal between Disney and GOG.com!

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Apple Is Going to Trial for $350 Million Over… iPods?

My time machine worked! It's 2005!

Sure, iPods still exist, but it's not every day that they specifically pop up in the news, because nobody needs them anymore. I think the Apple store just uses them as something to jam under table legs to make sure their display surfaces don't wobble. But now they're the focal point of a fairly expensive legal battle for Apple over whether or not their DRM practices gave the little MP3 players an edge in the market.

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Will Hollywood Follow GOG.com Into DRM-Free Movie Downloads?

Thus leaving us agog.

Music services like iTunes brought digital distribution into the spotlight long ago, but in the years since, concern over the ease of copying files have led to Digital Rights Management (DRM) issues and a slew of different solutions. Launched back in 2008 under the name Good Old Games, GOG.com has made a name for itself in DRM-free video games, and they just launched an initiative to bring the same freedom to movies and TV. But will Hollywood go along for the ride?

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Citizens of Delaware Can Now Inherit Digital Assets, Rest of Us Stuck With Analog Estates

"To you, I bequeath all 800 of my Flappy Bird knockoffs."

Currently, all of the digital wealth you've built up—iTunes libraries, Steam games, Farmville micro-transaction purchases—is the property of whatever service provides that particular online account upon your passing, but a new law enacted in Delaware will allow citizens to inherit their loved ones' digital possessions. On a related note, the top Google search term in Delaware is now "permanently delete Fifty Shades of Grey from Kindle account."

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Comixology Announces DRM Free Digital Comics Downloads: You Can Really Own Your Comics Now

Time to buy a new external hard drive.

I love digital comics for what they do for my ability to read back issues, try out new series, and get caught up on old. But there's always that little consumer worry in the back of my head: what I'm trading for this convenience is that technically I'm renting those comics, not buying them. No more, says Comixology. Kinda.

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Keurig Is Planning to Make Coffee Machines That Only Work With Officially Licensed “Pods”

I take my coffee black and DRM-free, please.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters are not content to have a single-serving Keurig coffee machine in every home and office building; they want dibs on those little pods you use to make the coffee, too. So like the movie industry and music industry before them, they've decided to shut out the competition with the cunning use of DRM-locks.

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GOG Now Lets You Return Downloaded Games That You Can’t Get To Work

And you don't even have to stand in line!

We're sure this has happened to everybody at least once -- you download a game off the Internet that, by all accounts, shouldn't have a problem running on your computer, and it still crashes every single time. Most downloaded game policies will tell you that you're fresh out of luck. GOG.com, however, is trying something new.

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Microsoft Completely Backpedals on Xbox One Used Game and Internet Connection Policies

They should call the console the Xbox 180, since that's totally what they just pulled. Zing!

It’s really easy to hate on Microsoft right now, and for good reason -- the more we heard about their draconian rules for the Xbox One, the more we never wanted to pick up an Xbox controller ever again. Apparently, however, Microsoft's grokked just how angry even the most lenient of gamers are right now, because they've announced a complete reversal of practically every single policy that's gotten heat from critics. Wait, really? Just like that? Well, now things are about to get interesting.

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Your Used Games Are Killing the Game Industry Because They’re Actually Affordable

How dare you not buy every game at full price the exact moment it's released? You should feel bad.

Despite the popularity of the Gears of War series, game designer Cliff Bleszinski isn't particularly well known for his ability to embrace the gaming culture that exists outside the industry's interests. That's probably why he recently sent out a series of tweets backing XBox One's decision to make reselling used games a thing of the past. According to him, that's the only way to save the $60 game model -- and the entire gaming industry as a result -- from collapsing. Yes, because it's not the industry's fault for making games so expensive, it's your fault for not being able to afford them at the full retail price. Silly you, choosing to spend that money on food or rent!

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Louis C.K. Continues to Buck Tradition, Will Offer New HBO Special as DRM-Free Download

Of all the comedians out there to which folks are currently paying attention, Louis C.K. is probably the one being the most innovative. Amusingly, this has nothing to do with his ability to tell a joke, but more to do with the fact that he's continued to challenge the traditional distribution model. The man's circumvented the almighty TicketMaster in order to sell tickets directly to fans, and even sold a DRM-free comedy special directly to viewers in the past. He's at it again, too: Louis' going to offer an upcoming HBO special on his website, DRM-free, for $5 a few months after it airs.

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Amazon Wipes Woman’s Kindle, Closes Her Account, Won’t Explain Why When Asked

Digital rights management, often referred to as simply DRM, is the all-encompassing term used for just about anything that's meant to combat online piracy. Part of the greater DRM schema is the current business model that most digital distribution sales actually only license out their content. This can lead to some odd situations. For example, Amazon recently wiped a woman's Kindle and closed her account, because the company had determined her account was "directly related" to an account that had been closed by the online retailer before. When asked to clarify, Amazon merely reiterated their stance.

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Ubisoft Officially Off the Always-On DRM Bandwagon

Of all the publishers in the world of video games, few have put forth as onerous a digital rights management system as Ubisoft. Their stance on PC piracy eventually caused them to require all Ubisoft games on PC, across the board, to be constantly connected to their servers in order to ensure that they weren't pirated. It seems, however, that they might have had a change of heart. According to an interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Ubisoft quietly made the call last year to ditch their always-on DRM scheme.

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Hacker Exposes Major Security Exploit in Ubisoft’s Uplay

Whenever a new form of digital rights management, or DRM, hits the market, people get antsy. Developer and publisher Ubisoft has their own particular brand of this nonsense which requires a launcher of their making: Uplay. Unfortunately for them, it looks like Uplay includes a major security hole which some hackers are decrying as an intentional rootkit. This is the kind of revelation that can lead to recalls and public statements.

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Louis CK Sells DRM-Free Comedy Special Direct to Viewers Via Paypal, Makes Profit

As you are probably aware, Louis CK is a fantastic comedian. In the past couple of years, he's really hit his stride with the release of several comedy specials and the launch of his critically acclaimed TV show Louie. For his most recent release, however, he decided to shake things up a little bit and sell Live at the Beacon Theatre direct to his fans via Paypal for a paltry 5 dollars. No middle-man, no DRM, no hassle, no fuss. At a time when many content holders are pushing for SOPA and trying to DMCA takedown the entire Internet out of existence, this move makes for a particularly interesting experiment. The result? He made money.

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Serious Sam DRM Involves An Invincible Pink Scorpion Dude

No one likes DRM. Legitimate players hate that its always-online, verify-your-retinal-scan, apply-3-pints-of-blood mechanisms are overbearing and, in a sense, punish them for not pirating the game. Pirates hate that it can make pirating a hassle. And crackers are inconvenienced by the extra three seconds it takes to disable most DRM. Serious Sam 3 BFE has found an interesting way around this by utilizing a unique DRM system in the form of a giant, invincible, pink scorpion enemy. Pirates will find themselves harried by the beast from the outset of the game and will presumably get frustrated and go get a real copy.

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Dragon Age 2, DRM, and Lack of Publisher Clarity

Say what you want about Dragon Age 2, but it’s clear that it isn’t the same kind of game that the original was. There has been many an editorial circulating the web commenting upon this fact, some lamenting and some extolling it. It’s rather astounding just how divisive the game appears to be off the bat with some going so far as to refer to it as "Dragon Effect." Yeah, they went there. But the undercurrent of all the discussion about the game seems to be focusing on Electronic Arts, BioWare and the decision to use something very much like SecuROM but apparently not quite SecuROM. Depending on where you’re coming from, anyway. It’s all a bit convoluted and intertwined to really be definitive about any one thing. Essentially, there are claims that Electronic Arts included the much-despised form of digital rights management without informing customers. BioWare continues to insist that it isn’t SecuROM, but merely a product from the same company. Whether you believe the party line or not is inconsequential really; whatever it is, it’s still a problem.

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UltraViolet is Coming, But Will it Burn?

In non-Apple, non-Microsoft, non-Google news from CES 2011, a consortium of media providers have announced last night that UltraViolet, a cloud-based digital media management standard, will be coming very soon. Hinted at last summer, the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), which backs  UltraViolet, claim it will provide consumers with life-time rights to the media they buy in addition to the flexibility to watch that content on a variety of devices. It works like this:

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Ubisoft Games Appear to No Longer Require Constant Internet Connections

Ubisoft angered many in the PC gaming world last year when it began to implement a very restrictive form of authentication for its games.  If you wanted to play one of their hits like Assassin's Creed and Splinter Cell, regardless of whether the game needed the internet to function (like with online multiplayer, for example), you would have to have a constant connection to Ubisoft's servers so that the software could make frequent checks to see if you were playing a legitimate copy. It now appears, according to gamers on Reddit, that Ubisoft games only require an internet connection when you log on, and will no longer boot you out of your game if, for example, your router goes pear-shaped for no earthly reason.

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