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    Server issues lock Gran Turismo 7 owners out of single-player races / ArsTechnica · Friday, 18 March - 15:43

The virtual sun rises on another day that <em>GT7</em>

Enlarge / The virtual sun rises on another day that GT7 's servers remain offline.

A longer-than-expected server outage has meant that Gran Turismo 7 owners haven't been able to access large portions of the single-player game for more than a day.

The scheduled server maintenance, timed around the release of the version 1.07 patch for the game, was initially planned to last just two hours starting at 6 am GMT (2 am Eastern) on Thursday morning. Six hours later, though, the official Gran Turismo Twitter account announced that "due to an issue found in Update 1.07, we will be extending the Server Maintenance period. We will notify everyone as soon as possible when this is likely to be completed. We apologize for this inconvenience and ask for your patience while we work to resolve the issue."

As of this writing Friday morning, the server outage has extended to over 32 hours. While a version 1.08 patch is now available for download , the gameplay servers remain offline.

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    Une décision d’Intel va perturber à la fois vos Blu-rays 4K et l’app Signal / Numerama · Tuesday, 18 January - 07:00

Intel abandonne un outil de sécurité pour ses futures puces, car il n'est plus au niveau. Mais cela aura des répercussions en aval de la tech. [Lire la suite]

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    Chip shortage has Canon telling customers how to skirt its printer toner DRM / ArsTechnica · Monday, 10 January - 18:12

Chip shortage has Canon telling customers how to skirt its printer toner DRM

Enlarge (credit: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg)

For years, printers have been encumbered with digital rights management systems that prevent users from buying third-party ink and toner cartridges. Printer companies have claimed that their chip-enabled cartridges can “enhance the quality and performance” of their equipment, provide the “best consumer experience,” and “protect [the printers] from counterfeit and third-party ink cartridges.”

Left unsaid is the fact that requiring first-party cartridges also ensures a recurring revenue stream. It’s an old business model—Gillette sold its razor handles cheaply to sell more razors, for example—and it's one that printer companies have enthusiastically embraced. Lexmark , HP , Canon, Brother, and others all effectively require users to purchase first-party ink and toner.

To enforce the use of first-party cartridges, manufacturers typically embed chips inside the consumables for the printers to “authenticate.” But when chips are in short supply, like today, manufacturers can find themselves in a bind. So Canon is now telling German customers how to defeat its printers’ warnings about third-party cartridges.

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    Today is Bandcamp Friday—put 100% of your music purchases in bands’ hands / ArsTechnica · Friday, 6 August, 2021 - 18:44 · 1 minute

For the rest of 2021, Bandcamp Friday is back on the first Friday of every month (including today). That

Enlarge / For the rest of 2021, Bandcamp Friday is back on the first Friday of every month (including today). That's one of many reasons why I recommend checking out Bandcamp as a solid digital music storefront. (credit: Bandcamp)

The digital music universe has come a long way since the Napster era, and these days, that means a good number of paid subscription services are angling to serve all the music you could imagine in a legally acceptable fashion. But getting music-subscription dollars into your favorite musicians' hands remains a sticking point.

As far as musicians are concerned, Apple Music is still one of the better payout services, with the company officially estimating as much as one penny paid per streamed song , while Spotify maxes out at less than half a penny per stream—and those payouts can drop based on whatever wacky spreadsheet-calculus each service runs in the background. Either way, that math checks out; your $10 or $15 per month can only be divided so far between hundreds of song streams.

If you're willing to open your wallet a little wider for downloaded music, today's return of the Bandcamp Fridays promotion is a massive counterbalance to underpaying subscription services. And it's a good excuse to point to Bandcamp as a feature-rich, mobile-friendly option for buying music online.

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    Denuvo DRM removed from upcoming strategy game, dev blames “performance impact” / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 20 July, 2021 - 18:26

A video game logo and a company logo are combined on smashed pavement.

Enlarge / The Humankind hand slams down on Denuvo in this week's latest story of DRM woe. (credit: Aurich Lawson )

For years, PC gamers have wondered out loud whether antipiracy solutions like Denuvo get in the way of game performance, since the solutions tend to operate in the background in search of piracy-related flags. Denuvo-related game tests in the wild have ranged from inconclusive to damning .

This week, that debate gets worse for the makers of Denuvo: a video game developer has made the rare move of abandoning the DRM platform for its upcoming game's PC version—and it squarely blames Denuvo-related performance issues for the decision.

Amplitude Studios, a French studio known for PC-exclusive 4X strategy games, had previously announced that its next game, Humankind , would ship with a Denuvo implementation in August 2021. This prompted a post titled "The day Amplitude broke my heart" on Amplitude's official forum, with a fan declaring their love of prior Amplitude strategy games and then expressing their disappointment that Humankind had a Denuvo tag on its Steam page .

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    Better performance for pirates: Crack removes stutters from Capcom PC game / ArsTechnica · Monday, 12 July, 2021 - 23:57 · 1 minute

Over the weekend, the PC version of May 2021's Resident Evil 8: Village was apparently cracked and uploaded to various piracy depositories. In sadly unsurprising news, as with at least a few other cracked PC games in recent years, this scene release came with a bonus that's currently only available to freeloaders: improved performance.

The game's cracked version, credited to the release group Empress, includes an "NFO" text file that cites two distinct antipiracy prevention measures: "Denuvo V11" and "Capcom Anti-Tamper V3." While the NFO text includes its fair share of anti-Denuvo language, the Empress author's technical breakdown of the crack says both systems working in concert are to blame:

All in-game shutters [sic] like the one from when you kill a zombie are fixed because Capcom DRM's entry points are patched out so most of their functions are never executed anymore. This results in much smoother game experience. THIS IS PURE CANCER AND ANYONE WHO ACCEPTS THIS IS NOTHING BUT A PATHETIC GARBAGE HUMAN SLAVE!

The messaging continues with a key clarification: Capcom's DRM was "fully obfuscated" in a Denuvo virtual machine, thus making the game "run even slower."

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    Jury orders Apple to pay $308 million in royalties for DRM patents / ArsTechnica · Monday, 22 March, 2021 - 15:49

The federal courthouse in Marshall, Texas.

Enlarge / The federal courthouse in Marshall, Texas. (credit: Photo by Mario Villafuerte/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A jury in the plaintiff-friendly Eastern District of Texas has ordered Apple to pay $308.5 million to a small, privately held company for infringing a patent related to digital rights management.

An expert for Personalized Media Communications, the plaintiff, estimated that Apple owed $240 million. But after a five-day trial, the jury increased the amount by ordering Apple to pay a running royalty, which bases the award on sales or use of a product.

The jury found that Apple infringed on one of Personalized Media's patents when it developed the FairPlay DRM system. That DRM would form the foundation of the iTunes Music Store, which was introduced in April 2003. Initially, the DRM-locked audio files were limited to Mac and iPod users who purchased music through the iTunes Music Store, though usage expanded when Apple rolled the system out to Windows users later that year and again when the company introduced its Apple Music streaming service in 2015.

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    Fancy a Job Traveling The World, Annoying Pirates, Selling Denuvo? / TorrentFreak · Sunday, 21 March, 2021 - 10:08 · 3 minutes

Denuvo Over the past decade, the global video games market has gone from strength to strength, with some estimates suggesting revenues in excess of $138 billion dollars in 2021, up from around $53 billion in 2012. The big question for game developers is how much bigger the market would be without piracy.

In some areas of the market, piracy is much less of a problem than it used to be. The console market (Switch aside) is largely locked down, with no meaningful levels of piracy on recent hardware platforms from Sony or Microsoft. The same cannot be said about titles distributed for PC, with a large share of games eventually finding their way onto the Internet for free, protections removed.

This is a problem that anti-piracy company Denuvo has been trying to solve for the past seven years. Founded in Austria in 2013/2014, Denuvo was formed through a management buyout of DigitalWorks, the division of Sony that developed the now-infamous SecuROM DRM system. In 2018, Denuvo was acquired by global anti-piracy company Irdeto.

Denuvo’s anti-tamper technology finds itself in a somewhat unique position, in that its success in the market can be mapped not only by developer uptake, but also by how much it irritates pirates. Essentially, when hatred for Denuvo is at its peak, the company is achieving its goals of keeping PC games secure and off pirate sites.

Denuvo isn’t a silver bullet but there can be little doubt that it largely achieves its key goals of protecting video games during the first few days and weeks of the crucial launch window. There are exceptions but overall Denuvo tends to live up to expectations, something that should arguably make it an easy sell. That being said, nothing completely sells itself so that’s why Denuvo-owner Irdeto is hoping to hire a top-shelf individual to head up Denuvo’s sales operations.

We spotted the vacant position – ‘Sales Director, Video Games Security’ – on Indeed but the same position is also listed on Irdeto’s main careers site.

“We are offering a great opportunity to join a world leader in security for the Video Gaming Entertainment industry for the position of Sales Director at Denuvo by Irdeto,” the listing begins.

“Your main objective will be to drive forward our business for Anti-Piracy (Anti-Tamper), Integrity (Anti-Cheat) and Mobile Protedction [sic] solutions for the Video Gaming Entertainment Industry in the United States region. This is a remote role working with our national team frequent travel is expected.”

The responsibilities for the successful candidate are largely as expected, including managing sales to existing and new accounts while exploring fresh sales opportunities for Denuvo products in the video games market. The role will also involve responsibility for Denuvo’s sales strategy and “revenue delivery” for Denuvo customers and prospects, and whoever wins the position will be expected to “overachieve” on annual revenue targets.

Selling the most infamous anti-piracy product in the world will no doubt prove exciting for those interested in the niche but simple enthusiasm will not be enough to secure the position. It’s not clear how much money Irdeto is offering but they are setting the bar pretty high to eliminate all but the most experienced and accomplished of candidates.

The key qualities for applicants are numerous; significant experience selling complex software solutions (video games security solutions a big advantage), 10+ years sales management experience, plus a track record of over-achieving against revenue targets. Knowledge of content protection is a must and the right individual will already have a “portfolio of senior industry contacts”, a degree and a post-graduate degree in business.

While the goals of Denuvo are obvious, the mechanics of selling the product are unlike most other products on the market, in any sector. It’s essentially a product no one really wants to buy but thanks to the market challenges presented by piracy, for some developers it could be their only option.

Moving further down the chain, Denuvo is a product that no video games player would ever choose to have on their system, so selling the benefits of the product based on the advantage to the consumer is completely off the table. Even though they are the people that will ultimately have to pay for it. Pirates, meanwhile, pay nothing.

The job listing, including many other opportunities to work at Irdeto, can be found here .

From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.