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Sony patents benchmarking piracy test

Sony patents benchmarking piracy test

The new Playstation 4 was announced last week and the timing of this patent suggests it may be included in the hardware.

Sony has patented a method of testing for pirated media by measuring loading times.

The 'Benchmark Measurement for Legitimate Duplication Validation' technology patent, found by Neogaf user Disorientator, details a system that checks how long software has taken to load and subsequently blocks it if it falls outside of a range that Sony feels is appropriate for the hardware it is running on.

'There is a continuous and ongoing need for novel and improved digital rights management schemes that provide additional layers of protection against piracy,' says Sony in the patent.

The patent was originally filed in August 2011 and was published last week. Although the timing of this suggests that it may be intended for use in the Playstation 4, there has been no confirmation of this.

Prior to the announcement of the Playstation 4 last week, rumours were circulated that Sony would be attempting to block used games from working on the new console, a tactic that has since been ruled out by the company.

The software benchmarking method would also likely be another roadblock to would-be Playstation 4 hackers. The Playstation 3 was successfully hacked into in 2010 with the PSJailbreak, allowing for pirated games to run from the hard drive.

The Playstation 4 release date is scheduled for December 2013, a time period which is looking likely to see Microsoft's next generation console, the so-called Xbox 720, released too.

23 Comments

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rollo 26th February 2013, 10:52 Quote
Publishers will be happy, not that the Ps3 had high piracy figures due to the huge downloads that the games required putting it to high for most gamers internet connections, That and the difficulty of the actual crack kept piracy down.

Guess this will make it ever harder to do.
law99 26th February 2013, 10:59 Quote
if you are cracking stuff yourself, I'm sure you'll be smart enough to be able to set up a time delay on certain functions loading... with your only hurdle being if the intended device is below par.
damien c 26th February 2013, 11:02 Quote
Wow!!

I was looking at the PS4 as a potential purchase but this has just made it a no go for me.

I don't play cracked games on a console, but like what happens sometimes on my Xbox games take longer to load if you have no internet connection, but it would appear it tries to download data whilst loading the game or map etc.

Halo 4 tried to load the campaign and after 3 minutes I gave up, and then I noticed that Xbox Live was not connected, I then connected to Xbox Live and loaded back in to the game and the campaign loaded straight away.

Not to mention if your internet has messed up and the game is trying to download data whilst loading the map, then what happens if you net goes down??

Whilst it's a good idea trying to stop the chipped consoles from playing games, there has to be better ways than this.
steveo_mcg 26th February 2013, 11:12 Quote
Of all the crap Sony pulls, this is the straw? Seriously? Looks like a fairly sensible and unobtrusive DRM to me only issues could be degredation of physical media but I doubt that'll be an issue one...
Nikumba 26th February 2013, 11:15 Quote
It sounds good but as people have said what if the disc takes longer to read, or the drive itself is being sticky.

Not sure how this will pan out, but does seem like a tactic to get people to download their games from Sony rather than get the disk
Flibblebot 26th February 2013, 11:25 Quote
I'm guessing from Gareth's article (Yes! I follow Gareth's recommended article-reading method) that the check will work on a range of acceptable times, rather than an exact figure - and hopefully it will take into account things like Internet activity into account and the source of an application (downloaded vs physical media) as well as which iteration of a console is being used.

I certainly don't think it's as draconian as requiring an always-on connection to play or some other anti-piracy measures that end up hurting legitimate users more than pirates...certain other companies might want to take note.
snootyjim 26th February 2013, 12:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by damien c
I was looking at the PS4 as a potential purchase but this has just made it a no go for me.

Have you read the article?

It's not a feature of the PS4, it's a patent that Sony registered - you know, that gigantic technology/media company. And one that they registered 2 years ago.

I'm fairly confident that the only reason it's been linked to the PS4 is because that will suddenly make people interested.
damien c 26th February 2013, 13:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by snootyjim
Quote:
Originally Posted by damien c
I was looking at the PS4 as a potential purchase but this has just made it a no go for me.

Have you read the article?

It's not a feature of the PS4, it's a patent that Sony registered - you know, that gigantic technology/media company. And one that they registered 2 years ago.

I'm fairly confident that the only reason it's been linked to the PS4 is because that will suddenly make people interested.

I did read the article, but I do realise I should have phrased that differently.

It should have said that if this is in the PS4 it's a no no for me.
lacuna 26th February 2013, 14:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by damien c


I did read the article, but I do realise I should have phrased that differently.

It should have said that if this is in the PS4 it's a no no for me.

Thats ridiculous. So it might fail once or twice but then you just reset and do it again. My PS3 occasionally (once every 4 months maybe?) doesn't recognise the HDD on startup for whatever reason but I just reset and it works fine. Its hardly a reason to ditch it.
rollo 26th February 2013, 14:42 Quote
Don't personally see the big issues that people think consoles have.

Pcs have had all these issues for years.

Sonys patent is not the worst anti piracy device I've met. Uplay on launch anybody, what about games for live windows.

Or perhaps rockstar games idea for gta4 on launch with there broken rockstar club idea.

Same with second hand games, I've brought and sold 0 second hand games since the days of the ps2, the value on trade in makes it worthless.

Pocket money even in my days was enough for 1 ps2 game a month. Kids must surely get more than that in today's eras.

Pc has not had a second hand market in 8 + years, virtually every released game uses online authentication which locks the games to your account wether you like it or not.

Uplay origin steam. I brought a disk based copy of crysis2 still requires origin online to run it.
Gareth Halfacree 26th February 2013, 14:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Pocket money even in my days was enough for 1 ps2 game a month. Kids must surely get more than that in today's eras.
I used to get £2 a week, which is why my Commodore 64 collection is filled with a load of Firebird Silver Range £1.99 titles and the like. Used to go to the local computer shop - which was actually called The Computer Shop, charmingly enough - and pick out a budget tape, while staring avariciously at the £15+ cartridge games.
damien c 26th February 2013, 14:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lacuna
Quote:
Originally Posted by damien c


I did read the article, but I do realise I should have phrased that differently.

It should have said that if this is in the PS4 it's a no no for me.

Thats ridiculous. So it might fail once or twice but then you just reset and do it again. My PS3 occasionally (once every 4 months maybe?) doesn't recognise the HDD on startup for whatever reason but I just reset and it works fine. Its hardly a reason to ditch it.

"The 'Benchmark Measurement for Legitimate Duplication Validation' technology patent, found by Neogaf user Disorientator, details a system that checks how long software has taken to load and subsequently blocks it if it falls outside of a range that Sony feels is appropriate for the hardware it is running on."

To me that read's that the game disc would be banned if it doesn't load in the allowed time, either by loading to fast or to slow.

Now given that the rumours are that the next gen consoles will block used games, that would mean that if each time this happens and a game is blocked you would then have to buy the game again and again, given that there are a various number of reasons for a game loading slow or fast.


So to me that means it's a no go at the moment, however if it turns out that, that is not the case then I will potentially buy it but as of now it's a no go.
damien c 26th February 2013, 14:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Pocket money even in my days was enough for 1 ps2 game a month. Kids must surely get more than that in today's eras.

That is one thing I never received.

Until I was the age of 12 years old, I asked for something and if my parents had the money for it they would buy it but after 12 years old I had, to do something in the house to earn the money.

Nothing major but they wanted me to get use to working for money, since I was never going to be a genious lol.
lacuna 26th February 2013, 15:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by damien c
[
"The 'Benchmark Measurement for Legitimate Duplication Validation' technology patent, found by Neogaf user Disorientator, details a system that checks how long software has taken to load and subsequently blocks it if it falls outside of a range that Sony feels is appropriate for the hardware it is running on."

To me that read's that the game disc would be banned if it doesn't load in the allowed time, either by loading to fast or to slow.

Now given that the rumours are that the next gen consoles will block used games, that would mean that if each time this happens and a game is blocked you would then have to buy the game again and again, given that there are a various number of reasons for a game loading slow or fast.


So to me that means it's a no go at the moment, however if it turns out that, that is not the case then I will potentially buy it but as of now it's a no go.

The rumous of used games being 'blocked' have already been quashed by Sony. So thats the end of that.

Physical discs are not unique so if one was 'blocked' for taking too long to load then the problem could not be remedied by buying a new copy as it would be no different. Clearly this isn't acceptable and just wouldn't be allowed to happen. If you are only going to use genuine software then this is a total non-issue.
Flibblebot 26th February 2013, 16:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by damien c
To me that read's that the game disc would be banned if it doesn't load in the allowed time, either by loading to fast or to slow.
Why on earth should a game load any faster or slower, given that the PS4 will be a single-model, unified platform: there is only one PS4, and they should all perform the same within given margins of error. The only legitimate time they wouldn't is if your game disc is failing or the console itself is failing - in which case, you'd be seeing other problems even if this system wasn't included on the PS4.

Like lacuna, I can't see what you're worried about. It's not in Sony's interests to lock out legitimate customers, and frankly this method sounds a lot more user friendly than anything EA, Ubisoft, Rockstar or Microsoft have tried so far.
lacuna 26th February 2013, 16:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo


Same with second hand games, I've brought and sold 0 second hand games since the days of the ps2, the value on trade in makes it worthless.

Of the 40ish games I have bought on disc for my ps3 only 1 has been new and I regretted that because it was a bit disappointing. I currently only have 2 games on disc as all the others I traded in after finishing them. The trade in values at CEX are really good from my experience. Moved on to PS Plus now and don't envisage buying any more games for PS3 because the monthly freebies are more than I can get through!
lp rob1 26th February 2013, 16:36 Quote
Although the locked down hardware on the PS4 should mean that load times would be consistent across consoles, I can imagine that a console would slow down with age as the disk/hard drive gets worn, or new firmware updates causing old games that have not been patched to support the new firmware load slower, causing them to be blocked. If Sony tries to pull this off then they will need a lot of mathematics behind them...
LordPyrinc 27th February 2013, 08:58 Quote
What about the ISP speed throughput when playing online? That can have a big impact on load times for multiplayer games. If Sony really wants to be anti-piracy, then they need to by a gunboat or two and follow cruise ships and personal yachts around the troubled waters of the world.
liratheal 27th February 2013, 09:20 Quote
It seems unobtrusive, and given the fact that they know the hardware, should be fairly reliable.

If implemented correctly I doubt anyone would really notice..
DXR_13KE 27th February 2013, 18:05 Quote
It will be hacked the day it comes out.
YEHBABY 27th February 2013, 18:54 Quote
What if you replace the hard drive with a fast SSD? I wonder if that will have an affect?

What with this and 'cinavia'. It really puts me off using the PS4 as a media player/gaming machine.
CowBlazed 28th February 2013, 01:32 Quote
Since when do pirated games take longer to load?
YEHBABY 1st March 2013, 12:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CowBlazed
Since when do pirated games take longer to load?


Exactly, pirate games load a lot faster. So they could tell the difference between legit and copies by load times.


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