Essay:The war on software ownership
Since the beginning of silicon valley. Microsoft and other tech companies have always disdained the public owning their own personal computers. Because of the general computers power to infinitely copy files (aka binary instructions) and the irrational nature of capitalist companies of trying to turn into property charged electrons and magnetic moments. This they see as an affront to their ability to make profits and have always wanted to dominate and take control of the publics PC's for their own financial gain. There's only one problem, you have to get rid of peoples basic human rights and create a turnkey dictatorship with massive human rights violations.
The computer is a copying machine
A computer works by copying, modifying and storing electrically charged signals and finally committing them to some permanent media like Hard disk drives, CD/DVD/Blu-ray discs or solid sate for permanent storage when the computer is off. It copies and reads the instructions from Hard disk/SSD again at power on and copies it into Ram Main memory and then endlessly reads and writes (copies) binary numbers to and from CPU and main memory. That is how a computer works.
Copying electric charges that comprise the 1 and 0 binary instruction language of a computer is fundamental to it's operation, to try to hinder it is to literally put defects into the electronics for the sake of extreme corporate commercial capitalist political ideology.
What is Copy Protection?
Copyright protection is software companies ways of trying to prevent computers from making easy copies of files or programs.
One of the oldest and least complicated copyright protection methods for computer and Nintendo Entertainment System games was when the game would pause and prompt the player to look up a certain page in a booklet or manual that came with the game; if the player lacked access to such material, they would not be able to continue the game. A product key, a typically alphanumerical serial number used to represent a license to a particular piece of software, served a similar function. During the installation process or launch for the software, the user is asked to input the key; if the key correctly corresponds to a valid license (typically via internal algorithms), the key is accepted, then the user who bought the game can continue. CD-keys were the primary method of copy protection was the predominant one for most PC games from the late mid 90's to early 2000's.
Copyright protection from 1960 to 1990's
Copyright protection existed in one form or another but largely the computer software industry was mostly honest in that they gave us honestly coded software applications. You'd usually get a compiled DOS or Windows EXE and the rest of the required program files on floppy disc or CD ROM. It largely had to do with trying to make files hard to copy off floppy discs and CD-ROMS but were largely easy to defeat because the only way for companies to sell you software was to give you the honest compiled binary files. An honestly compiled binary, is simply a program written in a computer programming like like C++ that when compiled is in it's pristine and non-neutered form, the files instructions are open to analysis and can be reverse engineered with a lot of effort and time, but reverse engineering regular binary files is difficult because they have been stripped of the c++ english written source-code's human asbtractions.
What is DRM?
DRM is not a technology, it's really just a term for a set of corporate strategies and corporate malware to undermine basic human rights. It is a term invented by software companies like Microsoft, Valve, EA, etc it is fundamentally a principle about abusing corrupt copyright laws written by corporate lobbyists to to lay claim to the program files you are purchasing. The goal of DRM is to steal computer application files and modify values in binary files like exe's, DLL's and other program files and to make them work in harmful and destructive ways to the software buyers basic freedoms and human rights. It's basically an all out attack on your personal freedom and done invisibly because copyright laws of places like the USA were written before the modern internet was invented. Corporate lobbyists successfully lobbied away any property rights to software (aka the ability to own software, get source code and repair it). Because most of the general public was unaware of computers importance during the rise of silicon valley tech companies, big tech companies successfully hired lobbyists to get rid of your basic human rights right to own software you pay for and hence your PC.
Without ownership of software you can be legally spied on and have your privacy violated. Modern DRM violates fundamental human rights to own and control the things we purchase and not have them forcibly leak data. That's impossible in client server programmed software like client-server programmed RPG's (marketing moniker MMO's)
DRM systems abuse copyright to turn your computer files into corporate property. They do this primarily by splitting lists of computer instructions contained in files into two parts (in computer science parlance, they call it "the client server" model of program development). One program acts as the master program, the other the client. So instead of getting a complete game or application you own and control, that means client-server programs are programmed in a fraudulent way where their networking functionality as in the case of PC games has been ripped out or obscured. Since there is no reason to use it unless you are committing fraud to undermine software ownership. It's the same thing as selling you half a program, or a game with a missing disc, or an operating system with missing files and functions. The files and instructions they keep on corporate servers that they are withholding from you and the files. Hence the term DRM in most modern forms is software theft, quite literally. Literally stealing program files and functionality.
DRM as corporate PR and propaganda to confuse the public
DRM is marketing term by corporations to cover up the fact they are lying to come up with justifications to steal software and take control of your PC and has authoritarian and feudal tendencies built into their business model. Their goal was to get super profits for themselves and gain a monopoly on software and try to use the internet to turn software into propety by way of the publics technological illiteracy and irrationality. Before the rise of the internet almost all software were programmed as complete local applications, a programmer would program a game, OS or game in a programming like like C, or C++ then release the compiled binary exe's and associated files to floppy disc, CD/DVD-ROM, or bluray disc.
That stopped with the rise of the internet, the internet just means "inter linked computers", the when you connect all computers together in a network, they form one giant computer and all computers linked behave as single device. So that mean's software programs like Operating systems, applications and games, can be split into two and parts of them with-held on remote comptuers. This is called the "client server" model of application development, and can only exist in an internet enabled society, but for you as a consumer, it means theft of software. To program any application, OS or game using client server model, is literally to commit fraud. Why not just buy a complete program where you get the complete set of files and exe's?
DRM in it's modern form (any software that requires sign in, or is programmed client server) is literally fraud and selling incomplete sets of files to a computer illiterate and/or irrational public.
Copyright protection is NOT the same as DRM
On the internet Wikipedia lists CD KEYS and other copyright protection mechanisms as the same as DRM. They are nowhere near the same. Copyright protection left game files unmolested and working in good order. To see this, games like Doom 1, Doom 2, Duke nukem 3D, Descent 1, Descent 2, Quake 1, 2 and 3 were all programmed under the assumption that their customers were computer literate. DRM systems are literally rewriting Operating systems like Windows 10, adding Hardware DRM, and adding criminally coded software backends like Steam, Origin, and uplay to claim files remotely on consumers PC's to try to legislate by underhandedness the rights and freedoms of consumers and first sale doctrine by attempting to reclasify software from products (as it was from 1960 to roughly 2010's) to services. This is to dispossess the masses of their right to own game files and executables and hence hte control over their Computers and other computing devices like Phones, tablets, etc. Android and Apple have locked down operating systems with DRM built into the software and hardware where the user never see's honest compiled binaries when downloading software like games from the Appstore.
Real DRM examples
In 2005, Sony BMG introduced new Corporate Malware which installed DRM software on users' computers without clearly notifying the user or requiring confirmation. Among other things, the installed software included a rootkit, which created a severe security vulnerability others could exploit. When the nature of the DRM involved was made public much later, Sony BMG initially minimized the significance of the vulnerabilities its software had created, but was eventually compelled to recall millions of CDs, and released several attempts to patch the surreptitiously included software to at least remove the rootkit. Several class action lawsuits were filed, which were ultimately settled by agreements to provide affected consumers with a cash payout or album downloads free of DRM.
The general public getting internet and the rise of DRM
With the rise of the internet reaching the masses came a perverse set of incentives to attack the publics right to get a complete and honest binary files for the programs they were purchasing from big tech companies. Since in an internet enabled environment, if you buy any software that is split into two pieces and programmed client server, you are being robbed and give every other software company market signals that you are ignorant about technology and hence will be defrauded of your right to own local applications.
DRM is not about any piece of DRM technology, it is where the files and instructions of the software is located and the denial of getting a complete program and set of honestly coded files called a "local application" that is the main issue. A program is just a list of instructions, it either runs entirely on your PC outside of the control of remote corporately owned computers or companies control the software while violating your privacy and basic human rights to own and control what you buy.
The first attempts at DRM for PC games started by rebranding PC RPG's that publishers and developers had in development as "MMO's" a fake genre invented as a marketing moniker to con the general public out of PC role playing game ownership. This started to take off with games like Meridian 59, Ultima online and Everquest in the mid 90's. What EA (with ultima online) and Sony (with Everquest) discovered from their trial balloon was that the public was computer illiterate/irrational beyond it's wildest dreams. Every software company in silicon valley was jealous at what videogame companies had gotten away with. They had literally convinced the public to buy incomplete stolen software which is no longer within their own control and only continues to exist at the behest of the companies game servers containing the server executable back end that is required for the game to continue to function. Adobe, Autodesk, and all other tech companies were green with Envy with what Electronic Arts, Sony and Activision (with world of warcraft) got away with. The public literally paid money to be defrauded of the right to own and control it's PC RPG game software.
Many early stolen RPG's reprogrammed client server (MMO is a marketing buzzard to con the gullible), were so basic that fans easily reverse engineered the back end and made their own servers by doing traffic analysis on outgoing packets. This lead to fan made server shards for games like Ultima online and World of warcraft. Proving that there was no need for these "mmo" fake branded stolen RPG's to be controlled by these companies, revealing the scam for what it was. The public however is still in deep denial and incapable of realizing they are being robbed. The entire world continues to buy client-server back ended game software, and logins and launchers have grown expontentially.
Valve and the rest of the tech industry saw what EA and Sony had accomplished and there was a massive push by the entire Silicon valley tech community to undermine software ownership en mass over the next 25 years from the mid 90's until 2020, the time of this articles writing.
Note on client server programmed software
Note that "client server software" just means any programs list or array of binary instructions can be split into two lists of instructions or executables, one called the "server" and the other called the "client". The "server" program being the master program, commands the "client". Any computer program can be split this way, especially over a network.
Two or more machines linked in a network become and behave as a single computer, so the "internet" is the worlds first, planet surfaced sized Personal computer motherboard, and all our phones, PC's and devices can now be remotely controlled by software companies by way of rewriting the rules that govern the machines (aka programs).
The general publics denial that they are being robbed
Most of the general public is too clueless and irrational to realize there is no rational reason to by any piece of software that requires another computer for it to continue to function. This denial tragically is widespread throughout the internet and especially on reddit's gaming subreddits like r/pcgaming where the mods specifcally ban anyone for mentioning game theft or attacking mmo's (of which the moderators are emotionally connected to). Whenever you see a login on a piece of software, you're seeing a stolen piece of software. All a piece of software is, is a list of binary numbers, an array or sequence of hexadecimal values. If you don't get a complete list, you're being robbed.
During the 90's game companies were experiencing massive growing pains due to the relentless advancement of CPU power from Intel, AMD and other peripheral companies. Which caused software companies development costs to skyrocket. However instead of doing honest business, game companies like Electronic Arts and Sony floated trial balloons to sell the public on incomplete PC games, they re-branded PC Role playing games as "Massively multiplayer online RPG", which is just an invented marketing buzzterm to confuse the lay and irrational public. When Ultima online and Everquest were successful, that caused the entire game industry to turn around sharply and start making client-server locked software (the beginning of DRM). Where the games networking code is reworked, stolen and dumped into a separate executable file that is never given to the customer. Since there is no rational reason for a role playing game with a high number of players, not to be a local application that the customer controls with the server executable. John Carmack talks about multiplayer quake with lots of players.
See video at 1:25 https://archive.org/details/electric-playground-season-1-episode-12
Up until the late 90's and early 2000's. Almost all PC games came with dedicated server and LAN (local area multiplayer) functionality built into the games executables mostly and some released dedicated server exe's like Descent 3, Quake, etc. You could host your own multiplayer game locally and the game did not require any kind of internet connection in order to continue functioning. Doom, Quake, Early call of duties and battlefields all had dedicated server functionality built into the game.
This began to change as once the industry had successfully stolen Role playing games they began experimenting with in game stores and micro-transactions now that they had control and had succesfully stolen the software by just keeping a piece of it on servers at their offices. The biggest abuser of this was world of warcraft, where Activision had convinced the lay game buying public to pay full price for the game, then a subscription fee and then added microtransction stores on top of that. The enormous profits gained by fraudulently coded RPG's like World of warcraft, that lead to an enormous shift across the entire industry once they realized the general public was gullible beyond their wildest dreams. They literally paid for the priviledge of being robbed.
Most PC games during the 90's had enormous modding communities of free skins, maps, texures, for games like Doom, descent, quake. Games like Descent had full blown level editors that came with the games! This practice stopped with the rise of "MMO's", hereby referred to as criminally coded stolen rpg's where the network code is removed from the role playing game reworked and stolen and dumped into seperate exe's not given to the customer.
Studies from the OECD show 70% of the general public is basically computer illiterate to a large degree and has no idea how computer technology works and has weak understanding of operating systems and software. Neilsons group rates only 5% of the public as highly literate.
Early Copyright protection on software is not the same as Modern DRM
While copyright protection existed on PC software and games in the past, there was no mass internet penetration from the 1960's to the mid 1990's. So almost all software was programmed as local applications under Win16 or Win32 application model for windows operating systems. New application model began with the rise of windows 10 called UWP - Univeral windows platform, with support for things like hardware DRM, virtual machines, and encrypted computing.
Many arguments on the internet claim that older copyright systems are the same as modern forms of DRM like Steam, Uplay, Origin, UWP. On this they are incorrect. Because it's about how a program is written and compiled whether or not the software is honestly coded. Modern programs like steam use encryption and/are have their code obfuscated to prevent reverse engineering the server back end. Many efforts are underway to emulate steamworks network code, neworking code that used to be standard for every PC game in the 90's to early 2000's. Games like Quake 1+2+3, Doom 1+2+3, Descent 1+2+3 and many more. Especially id tech/quake engine related games.
Examples from PC gaming
In the mid 90's when the internet was first appearing, gamers used Kali and Kahn, IPX emulators that emulated netware's IPX protocol so that IPX packets were captured sent over TCP/IP and then unpackaged at the other side. The first games to use it were Doom, Duke nukem 3D, Descent 1 & 2, and Warcraft 1 and 2. Kali quickly expanded it's range of games it supported and became the defacto browser for hardcore gamers. Casual gamers who usually only played first person shooters used gamespy.
The rise of Denuvo/Irdeto
The rise of Denuvo beginning in the late 2010's PC games started encrypting their binary executables, adding corporately hacked software fraudulently called "anti-tamper" but it's really just taking honest binary instructions and inserting defects into the game executable to prevent modifing binary instructions. This method of "game protection" prevents things like game preservation for old games and makes emulation old software more difficult. Many early DOS games are emulated via DOSBOX specifically because there was no encryption on the game files, with enough knowledge or talent you could reverse engineer knowledge about DOS and game executables to provide an environment to emulate and translate function calls so that the game can work on modern operating systems. This practice will increasingly be more difficult to impossible, leading to preservationists "giving up", since only a minority of the global public is educated enough and smart enough to reverse engineer compiled binaries.
Windows 10 and the Tech industries commits to full blown war
Windows 10 is the first operating system in history to require a forced internet connection. A total unnecessary aspect to the OS. This is so Microsoft can secretly and not so secretly update your Operating system remotely, to control what you do on your computer.
How windows 10 controls your computer and violates your rights
Windows operating systems from NT onwards, have had a file system called NTFS which had user accounts and file access permissions to give companies security on who accessed their files and programs on company controlled networks bother internally and externally (Local area networks and Wide Area Networks). These technologies have been with us since early versions of NT and XP in the late 90's and mid 2000's but was mostly innocuous and invisible to home users of Windows. Since windows OS has always been an OS under complete control of the user (aka Microsoft could not deny you access to files on your own machine if you were serious about getting at them).
With the advent of high speed internet, Active directory and related technologies related to NTFS are now being used to attack consumer PC's on a mass scale. Active directory set of technologies are being merged with back end software programming models (Uniersal windows platform, etC) on remote servers. Where Microsoft and most of the tech industry is basically splitting all future programs into two seperate sets of files, files that live "in the cloud" (on their servers), and files that live on your PC's local hard drive. This acts as the ultimate hardware dongle. Since your program/OS have it's functionality disabled because you were never given a fully copy of the program to begin with. This was basically Microsoft's and the tech industries wet dream since the beginning of Personal computing, to turn customer PC's into dumb mainframe terminals. To move from local application model (aka Pro human rights) to corporately controlled smart server, dumb client model - incomplete software model. Client-server program software and is basically stolen and incomplete software.
They are adding more "DRM protections" to obscure the honest binaries that we used to get for most games until the mid 2000's, and most applications up until the 2010's.
Windows 10 application store
Avoid using this store at all possible because of the limits it places on your freedoms. Contact the FTC and say Windows 10 and UWP are fraudulently coded pieces of software.
The rise of Mobile phones and Mobile apps
Article -- money
What to do
Tragically because mobile phones are locked down computers, aka corporate speak for "Platforms". Any application you get either requires a login to a remote server or a sign up, these apps are designed to specifically harvest your data and you have no control over your phone. Any marketing speak from Google, Apple, Amazon or other big company are lies and spin to take advantage of the computer illiterate and irrational.
Windows 10 is being fraudulently coded and is trying to turn our PC's into locked down machines like phones.
Contact the FTC and say we need open Operating systems and "platforms", aka you want to be able to own honest binaries for mobile apps and games that are not programmed client server. You want Windows 10 to remove the forced client-server internet code and UWP are fraudulently coded.