'Fading' software-White elephant?

  3Toed 23:29 10 Jun 2003

I have just read an interesting thread posted about copying media to cd’s and the ‘yesteryear’ equivalent of copying to tapes and suchlike.

A comment was made about the copying of digital media and being able to retain its quality,as opposed to the degenerative effects of copying audio tapes.

This led me to think about something I heard about certain games written to cd’s,having the ability to actually ‘fade’ after a while if the material used was a copied version.
The result of course caused poor enjoyment of the game.

My question ,and, at the risk of asking an entirely silly question

Is this possible or is it just a white elephant?

If it is possible-is it hard or software induced?

  carver 14:14 11 Jun 2003

The problem with any form of CD is that after a few years they start to degrade, so information is lost, this can be as short as 3-4 years with some of the older CD's or as long as 10 years with some of the newer better quality ones but it will happen eventually its to do with the way the burning process is done on a CD in a PC.

  Jester2K II 14:26 11 Jun 2003

I think the idea was first in Operation Flashpoint. A copied CD will be detected by the installed game and after a while features of the game would be disabled. It didn't so much fade the CD itself.

Now there is talk of a new type of rental DVD which fades after 3 plays. This allows you to rent a DVD for 3 plays before binning it!You order online so no fancy store fronts are needed just a warehouse and no DVD are need to be returned!!

Not yet see it "in action" as it where!!

  Jester2K II 14:32 11 Jun 2003

click here


Codemasters continues to fight a Cold War against game piracy in preparation for the release of Operation Flashpoint on June 22nd - 7th June 2001

Codemasters' effective anti-piracy initiatives receive an additional push with the introduction of FADE(tm) a unique PC-based piracy protection system that can degrade gameplay if a counterfeit copy of the game is identified as being played.

Created for the June 22nd launch of the mighty military simulator Operation Flashpoint, one of the most anticipated PC games of the year, Codemasters has equipped Operation Flashpoint with embedded coding that can recognise the difference between counterfeit and real copies of the game's CD.

If a pirate CD is identified, the game automatically disables key gaming features and instigates a number of subtle changes that adversely effect gameplay.

Anyone attempting to play an illegal copy of Operation Flashpoint will begin with a game that looks and plays just like the real thing. However, over a period of time, the game gradually self-modifies and degrades elements of play to a point where the game is no longer playable.

This system of anti-piracy not only puts off the pirates from duplicating the game CD but is also preventative in putting off people who would purchase a pirate copy from doing so. Indeed, no matter what a pirate may say, anyone considering getting an illegal version will not be convinced they'll get the fully-playable game.

The use of FADE(tm) will be displayed during game installation, saying "Original discs don't FADE(tm), in order that players who experience problems will be aware that their CD is potentially an illegal copy.

The FADE(tm) system used in Operation Flashpoint is created using a combination of Codemasters' own technology and commercial products. The game will additionally be protected with secondary copy protection technology and use FADE(tm) as an additional tactic against counterfeiting. The concept of FADE(tm) is adapted from a similar system employed by Codemasters' PlayStation game LMA Manager 2001, which reduced the amount of pirated CDs in circulation and enhanced sales performance.

Comments John Hemingway, Codemasters' Development Director: "We continue to act against the trade of counterfeiting software with new and innovative systems. In addition to protection that attempts to prevent illegal duplication, we are building Operation Flashpoint to include FADE(tm) as a second level deterrent and I am confident we shall see this effort reflected in the additional sales performance of the game."


  3Toed 15:51 11 Jun 2003

So Codemasters must be rubbing there hands with glee.

Its strange how other companies havn’t latched on to this(or maybe they have?),as I havn’t noticed the market being swamped with similar counterfitting methods.

That’s interesting about the dvd fading after only 3 days,opens up whole new possibilities,in the fight against piracy,mind you,I wont have to let the wife know about this,lol,if they come up with a similar thing for humans,I would have been’binned’ decades ago.

Thanks for the information

  Jester2K II 16:02 11 Jun 2003

Maybe it wasn't too successfully or the costs are prohibitive or not going to be recovered using this technique. Still looking for the DVD story -heard it at least twice now...

  snoresloudly 20:28 11 Jun 2003

Operation Flashpoint doesnt need fade, the game itself ensures that after playing it once it never gets put back in the cd tray!!! LOL

However it is an interesting turn of events, if the technologly is embedded into the code then surely a "mirror" of the disc will overcome this, unless of course I am misunderstanding and somehow the actual cd is marked??. as we all know most games are now protected against being copied but free software like clone cd etc can usaully overcome this, and yet hugely expensive programmes like office 2000 (and indeed most ms products) etc are not even remotley protected, and they whinge when pirated copies turn up!

  Forum Editor 20:35 11 Jun 2003

of anti-piracy measures appearing, and certainly Microsoft are working on the problem in a big way.

Of course they "whinge when pirated copies turn up!" - wouldn't you, in their position? Surely you're not suggesting that it's a software company's fault if their property is illegally copied because they haven't included anti-piracy measures?

That would be like saying that if you have no burglar alarm on your house you've no right to whinge if you're robbed.

  Patr100 22:26 11 Jun 2003

If I remember correctly think Disney or one of the larger film companies were thinking of using disposable DVDs that would be playable for a few days or so aftr opening but you don't need to return them so reduces costs for the supplier. The surface decays gradually when exposed to the air. It would still be possible to copy them but only for a short window of time.

  jazzypop 22:27 11 Jun 2003

click here for a strange method of anti-piracy. The discs effectively 'self-destruct' after 48hrs - but are easily copiable by the 'bad guys' until the 48hrs is up? Weird!

  jazzypop 22:28 11 Jun 2003

Now there's a spooky coincidence :)

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