“The only long-term effect of copy protection is to ensure that those who defeat it are immortalized.”

What the past will look like someday is an interesting essay on the true outcome of copy protection that appears in Mark Pilgrim’s blog, diveintomark:

Sonys and Broderbunds of the world, pay attention: the only long-term effect of copy protection is to ensure that those who defeat it are immortalized. Long after my Playstation console falls apart, long after all the original, legitimate, uncopyable Playstation discs have crumbled into dust, long after the no-doubt-teenager who cracked Spyro 3 has grown up and joined polite society and found better things to do with his time, Spyro the Dragon will be remembered. Unfortunately, it will also be associated with that damn ugly crack screen, because no other versions will exist. This is what the past will look like someday. And we’ll just shrug, skip intro, and get on with it.

Point of information: The term “crack screen” may be unfamiliar. In a game that’s been “cracked” — that is, a game that’s had its copy protection mechanism defeated — the people who did the cracking often add an extra screen to the start of the game as their calling card, kind of like the “20th Century Fox” or “Paramount” logo at the start of a movie. That screen is the “crack screen” to which Mark refers.

Thanks to Johnathon Delacour’s blog, which pointed me there. Johnathon also points out that:

…there’s no point wondering why no-one is making the creative leap to find solutions that generate revenue for content producers while recognizing the inevitability of copying. No-one’s making the creative leap because, as Dave Winer points out, (with a few exceptions) the suits resent the talent — and it’s the talent who have a lock on the creativity.

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