Oculus VR drops hardware-checking DRM

June 27, 2016 | 14:13

Tags: #digital-rights-management #drm #htc-vive #oculus-store #revive

Companies: #oculus-rift #oculus-vr

Facebook-owned Oculus VR has performed a surprise volte-face on its decision to implement a hardware-based digital rights management (DRM) check for software sold through the Oculus Store, removing the DRM and allowing third-party compatibility software Revive to continue operation.

Designed to allow users of the HTC Vive to access exclusive software designed for use with the rival Oculus Rift hardware, Revive was blocked by Oculus VR back in May with the implementation of a hardware DRM check: if no Oculus Rift hardware was found, the software would refuse to run. The Revive developers responded by bypassing the DRM check entirely - which had the knock-on effect of making it easy to play pirated Oculus Store titles, as well as using third-party hardware.

Following considerable consumer backlash and, more than likely, the spectre of rising piracy, Oculus has quietly changed its mind on the matter. In the release notes for Revive 0.6.2, the development team post about the discovery: 'I've only just tested this and I'm still in disbelief, but it looks like Oculus removed the headset check from the DRM in Oculus Runtime 1.5. As such I've reverted the DRM patch and removed all binaries from previous releases that contained the patch.'

While Oculus VR has not made a formal statement to its users on the change, it has spoken to Ars Technica to confirm that it 'will not use hardware checks as part of DRM on PC in the future.'
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