Any DRM for Linux?

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by Roman Budzowski, May 18, 2007.

  1. Roman Budzowski

    Indie Author

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    Hi
    I am wondering if there is any DRM for Linux (like Software Passport). I guess separate demo & full versions are common for that market.

    best
    Roman
     
  2. PoV

    PoV
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    Shhh! Don't say DRM and Linux too loud. That's like asking for death. :)
     
  3. Bad Sector

    Original Member

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    IMHO it's technically nearly impossible to use any kind of DRM with Linux because how are you going to make sure that users won't copy your game? You can't lock to the hard disk, registry or anything else. You can check the contents of /proc/cpu and possibly some other files in there that won't change between distributions but will change between systems, generate a md5 hash and then make sure that this hash is assigned to your customer. However this can be cracked very easy by providing a fake /proc filesystem to your binary. Besides there is no guaranty that /proc will stay there forever or it's contents won't change. Some systems may not have /proc at all (it's optional) and some may have it somewhere else (programs which rely on procfs usually provide via "./configure" a flag to set another directory for it).

    I believe that, as you already mentioned, the best method is to use separate versions for the game, one for the shareware/trial/demo and one for the full.
     
  4. ggambett

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    On one hand, Linux users are way more tech savvy than Windows users on average, so you'd have a very hard time doing an effective protection mechanism. This is one instance where security by obscurity in Windows actually favors someone :)

    On the other hand, Linux users tend to be way more respectful of licenses than Windows users. It is true that Linux users "are used to using software and not paying for it" as it's commonly said, but it doesn't mean they will pirate your game if they don't want to buy it - it's more likely that they just won't play it (the most fanatic users actually refuse to use closed-source software even if it's free!)

    So I'd say just do separate demo/full versions.
     
  5. benko

    benko New Member

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    As ggambet say, Linux users are more respectful to licenses than the average Windows users.

    Anyway, your game is gonna get cracked sooner or later. If someone wants to pirate your game, he'll do that whatever the platform. That's why I see all the fuzz about DRM quite pointless (even unethical)... But well, it's your code, you decide :)
     
  6. cliffski

    Moderator Original Member

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    If someone wants to steal your TV, he will break into your house eventually. But you still lock the door when you go out.
     
  7. GolfHacker

    GolfHacker Member

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    Separate downloads for demo/full versions has worked well for me for Dirk Dashing, and not just on Linux.

    I've also purchased a few commercial games for Linux, including Fizzball, and they use separate downloads too. So there's a good precedent for this.
     
  8. ggambett

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Of course! Thus the "separate demo and full downloads" part. I wasn't advocating against some kind of protection, I just say DRM is probably useless.
     
  9. GBGames

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    *sigh* On the other hand, if you don't want people stealing your car, you don't lock everyone into their own homes, do you? You don't replace the locks on their homes with proprietary locks, do you? On top of that, you don't install proximity mines to destroy the power source to their homes in case they still manage to get out, do you?

    Not that copyright infringement is theft, but if we're going to use bad analogies, I'd like some of that action. B-)

    Anyway, so-called digital rights management isn't compatible with an OS that strives to be open, at least not until someone actually implements an open DRM solution. Why would you bother to use an open system if you are just going to allow applications to install proprietary blobs that purposefully prevent you from doing what you want with your system?

    Separate full versions make sense in this case.
     

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