Following the news that UK resident Isabella Barwinska, an unemployed housewife of two children, received fines totaling £16,000 for illegally downloading a copy of Topware Interactive's £9.99 game Dream Pinball, a software security expert has spoken out on his frustration at the current lack of IP protection for videogames.
Mike Dager from Arxan Technologies, a company who coincidentally help to protect Intellectual Property from software piracy,believes that although Topware Interactive are doing the right thing to combat piracy, games shouldn't be released without the proper protection.
“It is good that game makers like Topware Interactive are following the lead of the business software and music groups in taking a strong stance to protect the intellectual property that they have worked so hard to create. It is rather sad however that software, games and music are not being effectively protected by developers. Banks don’t send their vans full of cash out into the world unprotected, and neither should valuable content like games go out online without protection to stop people from easily ripping it off, " he said.
“Historically most anti-piracy and copy protection applications defend the content but not themselves. Modern technologies guard the content of software and also work to guard themselves through defending, detecting and reacting against all types of attacks, even healing themselves, calling for help or just shutting the program down.”
“Investing in protection like this offers a far more cost and time effective solution that going to court after the damage is done,” concluded Dager.
Topware Interactive is just one of five UK publishers, which include Codemasters, Atari, Reality Pump and Techland, who have applied to the courts asking for ISP's to give them access to names and addresses of people in the UK who are known to be downloading games illegally.
So far 500 letters have been sent out to the accused, with each demanding £300 in compensation. The five publishers plan to send out a further 24,500 letters.
Is there any form of IP protection that can stop illegal downloads? Or is Dager living in dream land? Let us know your thoughts in the HEXUS.community forums.
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Source : ITB Gaming