Post subject: Removing DRM via piracy - acceptable on TASVideos?
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For those that are not aware, libTAS is a program that allows you to TAS DRM-free Linux games and is now acceptable on TASVideos. Just this week, several TASes for Linux games like Shovel Knight, TowerFall Ascension, Volgarr the Viking, and Mari0 are in the workbench and will probably be published soon. The thing these games have in common is that they are all free of Digital Rights Management (DRM). Typically, DRM is used to prevent piracy because it does a variety of checks to ensure you're playing on a legitimate copy of the game. This will cause desyncs in Linux TASes because it affects the game in a variety of ways that cannot be accounted for as far as I'm aware. While there are many games that do not have DRM, most modern AAA titles do. There is, however, a way to get around DRM for plenty of games. Most pirated games either remove the DRM entirely or find a way to disable it. In cases like this, a game that would normally be impossible to TAS could be run through libTAS and possibly accepted to this site. One specific example I mentioned in the "Ask a Judge" thread was Far Cry 3. If you purchase this game legally through Steam, uPlay, or a physical copy, the game will take time during the loading screens to check if you're playing on a legitimate copy of the game, even if you're playing offline. However, you can circumvent this by purchasing a physical copy and using a crack to remove this DRM completely (or pirate the 1.0 version). This works because the physical copy has the 1.0 version on it and doesn't require connecting to Steam or uPlay. After that, you just use a crack to remove the rest of the DRM the game normally has. Theoretically, this game could be TASed with libTAS under these conditions (ignore the fact that Far Cry 3 is a windows-only game, this is just an example that could apply to any game). The only lasting effect of using this crack is that the loading times are quite a bit faster, since it no longer takes time to check if you're playing on a legitimate copy of the game. There are no gameplay differences as far as I'm aware. There are lots of Windows and Linux games that have DRM. While DRM-free linux games can be legally purchased through websites like GOG and Humble Store, there are so many more games that could be TASed with hacked or pirated versions of the games that would otherwise be impossible to TAS. If libTAS ever supports TASing Windows games through WINE, then the number of potential games would be in the thousands. I started this thread because I want to hear other people's opinions on how pirated PC games would affect TASVideos. Should TASing a hacked or pirated PC game be acceptable on TASVideos if there are no other alternatives? While I don't want to support piracy, I don't have any objections to using a pirated copy of the game for TASing if there are no alternatives available.
DrD2k9
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The biggest problem I see is this: If someone uses a legit copy of the game and someone else uses a pirated/DRM-free copy of the game, how do you compare the resulting TAS? Especially if the DRM-containing run is longer only due to the DRM being present (loading times, etc). The recent discussion about format conversions for C64 might be slightly applicable in this context too. Namely, that discussion resulted in the rules being clarified to only allow using formats of the game know to have been legally released unless those original formats cannot be obtained. This added to the previously existing rule that disallowed cracked versions of games unless no un-cracked version is obtainable. For my opinions specifically on using pirated versions of games: If the game was legally released in both DRM-free (GOG, Steam, etc) and DRM-containing (Disc, Floppy, etc) versions; either version is fair game for TASing and either can obsolete the other. If the game was never released in a DRM-free version, a pirated/hacked version is only allowable if the original version containing the DRM isn't obtainable. (This is based on currently established rules regarding cracked/hacked games for other systems.) If the un-pirated game is obtainable, pirated versions shouldn't be allowed simply to save time and/or increase compatibility due to a lack of otherwise intended DRM.
creaothceann
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Well, TASVideos already allows games that have their DRM removed... ;)
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what we do here is piracy, i'm not entirely sure how you guys wrap your heads around it, but it is, the basic sources of our work are all piracy and there's no way anyone can say it isn't, nobody here dumped a cartridge they bought or anything like that
TAS i'm interested: megaman series: mmbn1 all chips, mmx3 any% psx glitched fighting games with speed goals in general
Post subject: [citation needed]
Masterjun
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[citation needed]
Warning: Might glitch to credits I will finish this ACE soon as possible (or will I?)
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If you make a TAS on a ROM that you downloaded, it will sync up on a ROM from a legally dumped cartridge (and sometimes on console) as long as the ROM you downloaded is a good dump. In this case, how you got the ROM isn't relevant because it won't affect the final product at all. But in the case I mentioned earlier, piracy would be the only possible way to sync up a TAS like that. It would never sync on a legal copy of the game because the legal copy isn't TASable. I'm not aware of any TASes that require piracy to sync it up on an emulator or console, but libTAS could certainly require piracy if a TAS made on a pirated game gets published.
Memory
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FitterSpace wrote:
I'm not aware of any TASes that require piracy to sync it up on an emulator or console
The rules state "Exceptions may be made for bad or cracked ROM images only if no good ROM images exist, or are not obtainable." This mainly applies to Commodore 64 which uses cracked ROMs for a good number of its movies. It may be that these movies are impossible to sync on emulator with an unmodified ROM instead.
[16:36:31] <Mothrayas> I have to say this argument about robot drug usage is a lot more fun than whatever else we have been doing in the past two+ hours
[16:08:10] <BenLubar> a TAS is just the limit of a segmented speedrun as the segment length approaches zero
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FitterSpace wrote:
I'm not aware of any TASes that require piracy
http://tasvideos.org/3074M.html
Noxxa
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£e Nécroyeur wrote:
FitterSpace wrote:
I'm not aware of any TASes that require piracy
[3074] Genesis The Pirates of Dark Water by Archanfel in 14:14.92
Please don't derail serious discussion topics with joke/troll posts.
http://www.youtube.com/Noxxa <dwangoAC> This is a TAS (...). Not suitable for all audiences. May cause undesirable side-effects. May contain emulator abuse. Emulator may be abusive. This product contains glitches known to the state of California to cause egg defects. <Masterjun> I'm just a guy arranging bits in a sequence which could potentially amuse other people looking at these bits <adelikat> In Oregon Trail, I sacrificed my own family to save time. In Star trek, I killed helpless comrades in escape pods to save time. Here, I kill my allies to save time. I think I need help.
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Memory wrote:
It may be that these movies are impossible to sync on emulator with an unmodified ROM instead.
I haven't read the thread yet, but this is my view. We prefer determinism even to accuracy. If it is impossible to make the movie sync with the original image, we kinda have to tweak it.
Warning: When making decisions, I try to collect as much data as possible before actually deciding. I try to abstract away and see the principles behind real world events and people's opinions. I try to generalize them and turn into something clear and reusable. I hate depending on unpredictable and having to make lottery guesses. Any problem can be solved by systems thinking and acting.
Warepire
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I would say that if the DRM / copy protection causes desyncs that cannot be solved by measures that should be taken anyway to ensure sync, then, for those specific games, it may be in our interest to allow it. For me, even if the original disc is required (for disc based games) in order for the movie to sync due to DRM / copy protection, it should not automatically be allowed to use a cracked version.
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Requiring mediums that exist in real world can be problematic. Imagine Famicom game Gimmick only synced on original cartridge. Availability of the original medium is one problem. Introducing physical reality into our software-only paradigm is another.
Warning: When making decisions, I try to collect as much data as possible before actually deciding. I try to abstract away and see the principles behind real world events and people's opinions. I try to generalize them and turn into something clear and reusable. I hate depending on unpredictable and having to make lottery guesses. Any problem can be solved by systems thinking and acting.
Alyosha
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My opinion here is that as TASing encroaches on more modern games and systems, it simply won’t be a free ride anymore. If that puts it outside of TASVideos paradigm , then there just isn’t much that can be done about it. If people really want TASes of DRM protected games and can find a way to make them, they’ll just end up somewhere other then here. Same thing for TASes that require some physical medium. Most hobbies require money, and this one is getting there too (beyond the obvious pc + Internet part.) And I would say there is way more incentive today then ever to play by the rules and maybe even work with developers to get tas tools then to rely on pirates. If you want your hard work to be on something high profile like twitch you’re not going to start off by saying ‘this is all pirated and illegal.’ But as to the original question of whether cracked and pirated pc games should be allowed here, I would say no. I would prefer to see things like libTAS gain us some positive publicity instead. Maybe even gain some good faith from indie developers who would want to see their games get TASed.
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grassini wrote:
what we do here is piracy, i'm not entirely sure how you guys wrap your heads around it, but it is, the basic sources of our work are all piracy and there's no way anyone can say it isn't, nobody here dumped a cartridge they bought or anything like that
Hi! I'm going to refute you hardcore. As keeper of TASBot I absolutely own or borrow every game I work with. Clearly this is true because console verification implies physically having the game with only minor caveats to that statement. I have even purchased games out of my own pocket on behalf of judges to allow them to judge a game. I have partnered with a local collector to have the physical cartridges of what I'm working on whenever possible. My hardline approach is necessary as the Ambassador of TASVideos but also reflects what I believe most judges aspire to do wherever possible and practical. I am not living in a hole and I realize that Nintendo in particular has made it extremely difficult in some cases to legally obtain out-of-production material; this is an issue which plagues many industries and each industry has had to respond in different and unique ways. However, making a sweeping blanket statement that endorses piracy or suggests everyone clearly participates in it grossly misrepresents the integrity of the site.
I was laid off in May 2023 and could use support via Patreon or onetime donations as I work on TASBot Re: and TASBot HD. I'm dwangoAC, part of the senior staff of TASVideos as the Senior Ambassador and BDFL of the TASBot community; I post TAS content on YouTube.com/dwangoAC based on livestreams from Twitch.tv/dwangoAC.
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I agree with this as well. Especially with Steam games, you should buy them. What’s more, sometimes so called drm-free pc games can contain viruses or malicious activity like stealing personal information. Now if there’s absolutely no other way of getting it besides some rare lucky find on eBay or amazon, then pirating it should be allowed. Libtas is getting steam hooks so a drm version can be played.
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InfamousKnight wrote:
Now if there’s absolutely no other way of getting it besides some rare lucky find on eBay or amazon....
Then officially it can't be submitted or verified in accordance with the site's rules. Please don't push the site into a corner here, we absolutely must be above reproach on the piracy issue at all times. The reality is as I pointed out above that access to some content is always a challenge in many other industries and niches from everything from sewing patterns to industrial control systems to you name it. In order to remain an ongoing concern it is necessary for the site to phrase things the way we do on the Wiki: WelcomeToTASVideos page: "Legal notice: TASVideos does not distribute games nor endorse software piracy."
I was laid off in May 2023 and could use support via Patreon or onetime donations as I work on TASBot Re: and TASBot HD. I'm dwangoAC, part of the senior staff of TASVideos as the Senior Ambassador and BDFL of the TASBot community; I post TAS content on YouTube.com/dwangoAC based on livestreams from Twitch.tv/dwangoAC.
Memory
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dwangoAC wrote:
InfamousKnight wrote:
Now if there’s absolutely no other way of getting it besides some rare lucky find on eBay or amazon....
Then officially it can't be submitted or verified in accordance with the site's rules. Please don't push the site into a corner here, we absolutely must be above reproach on the piracy issue at all times. The reality is as I pointed out above that access to some content is always a challenge in many other industries and niches from everything from sewing patterns to industrial control systems to you name it. In order to remain an ongoing concern it is necessary for the site to phrase things the way we do.
...Except this is basically listed in the rules already.
[16:36:31] <Mothrayas> I have to say this argument about robot drug usage is a lot more fun than whatever else we have been doing in the past two+ hours
[16:08:10] <BenLubar> a TAS is just the limit of a segmented speedrun as the segment length approaches zero
Post subject: Read the site rules?
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FitterSpace wrote:
There is, however, a way to get around DRM for plenty of games. Most pirated games either remove the DRM entirely or find a way to disable it. In cases like this, a game that would normally be impossible to TAS could be run through libTAS and possibly accepted to this site.
This is already covered in the rules.
No tampering with the files the game is composed of: Some systems, such as DOS, exposes the separate parts of the operating system and/or the game to the user. You are not allowed to manipulate these files except as is normally necessary to play the game, such as "installing" it. .... That means no renaming/copying/deleting/replacing/editing files that affect game-play. However editing environment settings or utilizing standard third party tools in order to get a game to load is allowed as long as the game runs as it's supposed to.
No pirating.
Warning: Opinions expressed by Nach or others in this post do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or position of Nach himself on the matter(s) being discussed therein.
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[3457] C64 Batman: The Caped Crusader "The Penguin: A Bird in the Hand" by adelikat in 07:21.84 If piracy isn't allowed here, can someone explain to me why did this got the pass? It IS a cracked ROM after all.
Here, my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/dekutony
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The problem with DRM that I see is that it relies on some online service being available. This becomes a problem when said service ceases to exist. Without the online component, you will always have the option to purchase a copy of the game. But not if a game gets taken off Steam or Steam itself goes out of business. As tempting as it might be to just accept piracy in cases where there is no legal way to get the game, this can obviously not be an option for this site. The only exception I could see are games from dead copyright holders, where the property remains untouched for long enough that it falls into the public domain. As for TASing a game with the DRM included, that would be a bad idea because, again, DRM relies on some online service that won't be available forever.
Current project: Gex 3 any% Paused: Gex 64 any% There are no N64 emulators. Just SM64 emulators with hacky support for all the other games.
creaothceann
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An online service could theoretically be emulated/simulated, though it'd probably be a lot of work.
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ok, DwangoAC, you're clearly the exception here and i also know that you know it, i've acquired some of the games i've emulated but it ends there, no dumping and clearly i've gone far beyond what was bought.
TAS i'm interested: megaman series: mmbn1 all chips, mmx3 any% psx glitched fighting games with speed goals in general
EZGames69
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Kurabupengin wrote:
[3457] C64 Batman: The Caped Crusader "The Penguin: A Bird in the Hand" by adelikat in 07:21.84 If piracy isn't allowed here, can someone explain to me why did this got the pass? It IS a cracked ROM after all.
C64 is a special case when it comes to Cracked roms. To quote the movie rules:
For Commodore 64 movies only, movies made using disk ROM files are preferred over movies using tape ROM files. This is due to the very slow loading times of C64 tapes, which significantly affect the watchability of such movies. This applies also for cracked Commodore 64 disk ROMs, if no non-cracked disk ROM version is available.
[14:15] <feos> WinDOES what DOSn't 12:33:44 PM <Mothrayas> "I got an oof with my game!" Mothrayas Today at 12:22: <Colin> thank you for supporting noble causes such as my feet MemoryTAS Today at 11:55 AM: you wouldn't know beauty if it slapped you in the face with a giant fish [Today at 4:51 PM] Mothrayas: although if you like your own tweets that's the online equivalent of sniffing your own farts and probably tells a lot about you as a person MemoryTAS Today at 7:01 PM: But I exert big staff energy honestly lol Samsara Today at 1:20 PM: wouldn't ACE in a real life TAS just stand for Actually Cease Existing
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creaothceann wrote:
An online service could theoretically be emulated/simulated, though it'd probably be a lot of work.
Some DRM bypass is done by faking the signal from the program or activation server it depends on for DRM. This generally never involves actual servers, just local control, to my knowledge. Actual emulation of an online service has been done, mostly for dead MMOs. More relevant for this site's interest, the DS/Wii's Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection has been emulated (or at least was in testing phase when I saw it years ago).
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If a DRM crack is to be used, the two problems I'd see with it is whether there's more than one version of a crack and what kind of changes the modification actually does to bypass the DRM. If important functions are poked that change the behavior of the game, I'd find that a gray area. Would require someone to actually reverse engineer cracks to make sure or perhaps make their own.