3 Count: Real-ly Dumb

This is daily column on Plagiarism Today where the site brings you three of the days biggest, most important copyright and plagiarism news links. If you want to offer your feedback on the column, use the contact form or just follow me on Twitter at @plagiarismtoday.

1: Don’t call it DRM: Microsoft explains new gaming piracy tech

First off today, in an interview with Ars Technica at the GDC conference, two Microsoft spokesmen explained some recent changes to the “Games for Windows” platform and some non-DRM anti-piracy measures.

The first measure is a zero-day countermeasure that will check and see if a game has been released or not. If the game hasn’t been released and was obtained either as an early copy or a pirated download, the game is encrypted and won’t decrypt until launch date. Once the game is released, there is a one-time check to confirm this and decrypt the game.

The second measure involves online activation to ensure that there is a licensed attached with every copy. Though users will be able to install games on as many systems as they wish, they will only be able to have one online account. This only works with online games.

The goal, according to Microsoft, is not copy protection, but license protection. They say that games could easily be distributed over file sharing networks since users won’t have a license and, in fact, it could theoretically be used to cut costs.

2: RealNetworks: ‘We Didn’t Think’ MPAA Would Sue Over DVD Copying Software

Second up, in a move that’s likely to cause a few “facepalms”, Real has claimed that they did not anticipate that the MPAA would sue them over their RealDVD software, which lets users make copies of DVDs to their hard drives, and that is why they destroyed the records that are being subpoenaed.

How one in Real’s position could claim that a lawsuit by the MPAA wasn’t foreseeable is rather baffling, but according to the law companies and individuals are only required to keep such records if they feel that a suit is likely.

Obviously, the case is ongoing.

3: GoDaddy Domain Takedown

Finally today, in what is an unusual use, and perhaps legally dubious, use of the DMCA takedown system, Conservapedia, a conservative answer to Wikipedia, successfully secured the takedown of a domain rather than a site.

The domain in question was Failapedia.com which, as both a joke and political statement, was forwarded to Conservapedia. No content from Conservapedia was hosted on this domain and the traffic to the Failapedia domain was simply forwarded on. Conservapedia admin Andrew Schlafly clearly took offense to the joke and filed a DMCA takedown with GoDaddy, who eventually disabled the domain.

The issue is that the DMCA does not provide any guidance on domain registrars, just on hosts. Since no content was hosted on the domain, it is unclear if and how the takedown works under the law.


That’s it for the three count today, we’ll be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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