This Might Be The Best Pirate Trap We've Ever Seen

Garry Newman, the creator of the Garry's Mod mod/machinima toolkit for the PC, just sprung one of the best pirate traps in recent memory, tricking those who did not pay for his product into essentially giving themselves up.

Newman recently programmed a little trap in the code of the game, which would generate an error message for anyone playing the game who did not pay for it. That error, "unable to shade polygon normals", quickly became the subject of a complaints thread on the forums of PC delivery service Steam.

Irate users unable to access Garry's Mod soon began posting their error messages in full, which alongside the above line also contained a series of numbers.

Those numbers, however, were not related to the "error". They were that user's Steam ID number, allowing each and every one of them to be swiftly banned from playing the game.

Garry's Mod catches pirates the fun way [Gamepron]



    He's Winning!


    Absolutely epic! That'll teach those pirates :P

    And by posting it here, rather than just banning the guilty parties, future pirates are aware of the issue...
    Brilliant idea though :)

      hopefully this sort of story will dieter potential pirates though, make them think twice about what they're doing.

        I think it will just make them think twice about posting on forums.

        Or make then stop being idiots who both steal the game and the. Complain it doesn't work

        I can tell you it will also deter potential buyers...

    Wasn't there something in Batman Arkham Asylum like that? If I recall it made players drop right out of the sky when they'd grapple or something.

      Yeah they more or less disable the grapple in pirated copies so you can't get more an thirty or so minutes into the game.

    Well done sir, I tip my hat to you!


    A good trick, and one I hope they use frequently in subsequent releases. The only real question I have is how exactly did he know who was running a pirated version? And with that knowledge (and the ability to change the game's code) did he rely on something that people would have to post on a forum to sting them?

    Just seems like he would have caught 1/1000th of the people who were pirating the game this way.

    I guess he could use a more direct method but then it would be a chicken and egg ethical issue over privacy.

    Oh wow, epic!

    Much more effective than back in the day when Tribes would give you a message like "The FBI is on their way to your house" if it wasn't a legit copy :P

    lol that is epic

    Nice to see they at least didn't go beyond banning them from playing the game. Though what if they then decided to pay money for it....?

    Why would you pirate the game then go onto the steam forums complaining that your pirated copy doesn't work. Wow the stupidity is astounding.

    Kinda like in Batman Arkham Asylum where the developers disabled the cape function. Loads of pirates got exposed in those next few weeks.

    This is nothing new, also nothing new that invasive DRM like this usually gets more false positives than not. You might consider reading:

    Quoting from the comments:

    Step 1 - Installation [fine]
    Step 2 - CD Key [fine]
    Step 3 - Online registration...which is mandatory [tolerable]
    Step 4 - Install EA Download Manager...a newer version than the game I bought 6 weeks ago [now you're starting to piss me off]
    Step 5 - Realize EADM doesn't overwrite, and now both copies are running in my system tray [wtf]
    Step 6 - Download & install a patch [i'll go make a sandwich while this finishes]
    Step 7 - Watch 9000 logos [does everyone who touched the game, including Smitty The Janitor® have a logo in this bitch?]
    Step 8 - Watch an epic 9 minute trailer for the sequel to the game I JUST INSTALLED [keep the sandwich...I lost my apetite]
    Step 9 - Tell me to connect to the internet, even for single player [KILL ME]
    Step 10 - "Press Start"
    Step 11 - Load the RSS feed and other nonsense it thinks I want into the menu system [almost there!]
    Step 12 - Choose a lvel [level 1, obviously]
    Step 13 - Loading screen [I. Give. Up.]
    Step 14 - actually, really, play the game that, by this point, you no longer even want and are simpyl going to play the first level for the principle of the matter.

    Compare this to:
    Step 1 - Download game
    Step 2 - Play game

    Also, having to allow a baker's dozen of untrustworthy sites to run scripts just to comment here is muchos fail for Kotaku.

      You would have to do at least half of those things with a pirated copy too.

    Lol people pay for Garrys Mod?

    Indeed, less complaints from pirates who's software suddenly stops working will make everyone's lives easier

    Smart idea. -This is why i purchase my games.

    Isn't Garry's Mod like $5 tho? Pirating that is real lame.

    iono this is the sign of a bad dev that's unaware of the fragile industry they work in, I used to pirate games to test if they're good enough to buy, i've looked back at all my pirated games and I’ve since bought 90% of them.

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