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Rage 2 Drops Denuvo In Record Time After Customer Outcry

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I have avoided writing posts every time Denuvo's DRM, once thought un-crackable, ends up being very, very crackable. At some point, everyone basically agrees that the dragon has been slayed and we all ought to stop poking it with pointy sticks. The most recent story involving Denuvo, however, deserves to be highlighted, if only to recognize that the neutering of this once-vaunted antipiracy tool has reached a stage that requires a different time measurement. Let me explain.As Denuvo's technology unraveled, both the company and its defenders retreated to a position of claiming that even if Denuvo could protect a game for mere weeks, or even days, then it was still worth it. A huge chunk of a game's total sales, goes the theory, occur in the initial release window, so protecting that timeline is vital. As Denuvo began to be cracked more quickly, that useful time for protection went from months to weeks to days. As a result, I began updating you all here with posts detailing the dwindling timeline for major game titles' protected status. It became a useful unit of measurement right up until a game was cracked before its public release.But perhaps we have a new unit of measurement we can start using: the length of time before a game publisher decides to strip out Denuvo itself. We don't appear to have much time to use this new measurement unit, however, as that timeline already appears to be in the category of days.

When Rage 2 players discovered it was tagging along for the ride in the post-apocalyptic shooter’s Steam version, they were not pleased.They didn’t have to wait long for a solution. Rage 2's latest Steam patchtouts that it “removes Denuvo DRM” because its developers “saw a fewrequests”—emphasis theirs. Rage 2 came out on May 14, meaning that player complaints got it stripped of Denuvo mere days after release.
This isn't a brand new thing, of course. Previous titles have had Denuvo stripped out of games via patch updates. What's different with Rage 2 is the speed with which this decision was made, coupled with the outcry from a well-informed customer base. Gamers at this point generally are aware of what Denuvo is. They're also aware of the debate over claims that Denuvo has performance impacts on how games play on their PCs. And many of them are probably even aware of how useless the DRM has become.All of this combines with some specific circumstances in this game to create pissed off customers when games release with Denuvo. Pissed off customers are generally something a business wants to avoid, leading to the publishers of Rage 2 to strip Denuvo from its game with haste.
For one, there was all the passionate fan response to Denuvo’s presence in the game, which took on an even more aggrieved tone than usual due to the fact that the DRM wasn’t present in the game’s Bethesda Launcher version. This led to the usual slew of negative Steam reviews, forum posts, and other complaints. On top of that, Rage 2 was cracked within less than 24 hours of its release, seemingly because of the aforementioned lack of Denuvo in its Bethesda Launcher version. Given that Denuvo’s stated goal is to “protect initial sales” from piracy, there was likely no real reason for Bethesda, id, and Avalanche to keep it around anymore.
And so here we are. Denuvo has reached a place where the best measurement of its success or failure is no longer how long it takes to crack the games it is supposed to be protecting. Now we measure it by how fast its own customers are dropping the DRM from their games entirely.It really shouldn't take some third unit of measurement for the industry to realize that this is all pointless.

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SFPD Finally Admits The Search Of A Journalist's Home Over A Leaked Document Was Probably Illegal

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The raid of stringer Bryan Carmody's home by the SFPD has detonated directly in the face of the department. After someone in the department leaked a police report in an effort to smear a prominent public defender following his unexpected death, an internal investigation was opened to determine which SFPD employee was the source of the leak.This internal investigation quickly went external. Bryan Carmody had shopped copies of the police report to a few news stations, which resulted in the SFPD raiding his home and seizing $10,000 of his equipment, including phones, laptops, and storage devices.After a brief round of "this is all by the book" by a number of SF officials, it soon became apparent this was not at all by the book. In addition to Carmody's First Amendment protections, the stringer was also likely shielded by state law, which forbids searching and seizing journalists' property for the sole purpose of trying to identify a source.The mayor walked back her statement defending the SFPD for its actions. So did a couple of council members. The District Attorney delivered the harshest criticism of the police force, saying he couldn't imagine a situation where this search would have been appropriate.At long last, the department itself is coming around to how much it fucked this whole thing up. A qualified apology has been delivered, as Evan Sernoffsky reports for SF Gate.

After two weeks of growing outrage, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott apologized Friday for raiding a journalist’s home and office in a bid to unmask a confidential source, admitting the searches were probably illegal and calling for an independent investigation into the episode.Police “should have done a better job,” Scott said in an interview with The Chronicle. “I’m sorry that this happened. I’m sorry to the people of San Francisco. I’m sorry to the mayor. We have to fix it. We know there were some concerns in that investigation and we know we have to fix it.”
Among Chief Scott's concerns are the possibility the search warrants didn't specify Carmody's occupation. It seems clear they didn't. If they did, they likely would have been rejected as impermissible under state law, not to mention the First Amendment.
“One of the issues that I saw in this is in the initial warrants,” he said. “There’s one that’s particularity troubling and concerning. The issue is the clarity in the warrant. The description of what his role entails as a journalist — there should have been more clarity there. That is going to be a concern that has to be explored further.”
Scott has seen the underlying documents, so this hedging is a little disingenuous. But it's probably necessary, at least from the department's perspective. The SFPD is likely planning its defense against Carmody's inevitable lawsuit, so it does the agency no favors if the chief states plainly officers conducted illegal searches using warrants obtained untruthfully. The SFPD may also be holding out hope the judge presiding over the coming lawsuit will find stringers aren't journalists, but that eventuality seems unlikely.Furthermore, "issue of clarity" just sounds like fancy words for lying. It's incredibly unlikely the officers didn't know what Carmody did for a living. Stringers are fixtures at crime scenes, car accidents, and other emergency calls. This information appears to have been downplayed in the affidavit, if not omitted completely.The independent investigation could lead to additional charges. Not only will this investigation try to find the source of the leak, but it's going to go after the officers who used a bogus affidavit to violate the state's journalist shield law. The end result of all of this is the stripping away of another layer of trust and a widening of the gap between the police and the policed.

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