DRM Sucks, II

or Why I will never buy another Rockstar game.

SecuROM DRM Blocking My Game

Some years ago I bought Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and loved it. So I did the logical thing and bought the rest of the series. Ordinarily, I check the Steam page for 'third party' DRM and won't buy the game if it has any (at all.) In this case, however, I breezed through the checkout process without remembering to check and I wound up with a lemon: Grand Theft Auto IV.

GTA: IV on Steam (and elsewhere no doubt) comes packaged with SecuROM, one of the more annoying, intrusive, and infuriating DRM packages out there. The developers responsible for SecuROM ought to be banned from computer access for life as punishment for their unbelievably horrid software. The error box you see to the right is SecuROM refusing to launch the game that I purchased because I have Process Explorer running. Yes, that Process Explorer. And no, I'm not kidding.

In addition to my other arguments against intrusive DRM, there are several points I'd like to harp on for a while which, I think, justifies my absolute detestation for SecuROM and everyone responsible for it. The main thrust is this: they are morons.

My first point in support of the SecuROM/Moron premise is that they're blocking Process Explorer. It is perplexing, to say the least. I can't think of any way that Process Explorer poses a threat to any well-implemented security system. So, they must be doing something incredibly badly if Process Explorer is a threat.

My second point is related to my first point. A picture is worth a thousand words, so:

GTA IV in Windbg

For the uninitiated, this is GTA: IV running in Windbg, the Windows Debugger. Windbg is absurdly more powerful that Process Explorer for the purposes of defeating any software-implemented DRM scheme. According to SecuROM, however, it's the other way around.

I was going to write more, but actually this picture is worth quite a bit more than a thousand words on the subject.

SecuROM is moronic, designed by morons, and used by companies run by even bigger morons. Rockstar's customer/tech support also go miles towards proving my point.


November 17, 2012


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