Oculus Rift Piracy Crackdown Actually Makes Piracy Easier

Oculus Rift Piracy Crackdown Actually Makes Piracy Easier

A new software update for the Oculus Rift VR headset that was supposed to "curb piracy and protect games and apps that developers have worked so hard to make" has actually had the opposite effect. Whoops.

The creator of the Revive hack, which had allowed HTC Vive owners to play Oculus-exclusive programs before Rift's latest update, has now released a workaround which restores functionality to his code.

Revive's creator, Libre VR, tells Motherboard that "the original version of Revive simply took functions from the Oculus Runtime and translated them to OpenVR calls...the new version of Revive now uses the same injection technique to bypass Oculus' ownership check altogether. By disabling the ownership check the game can no longer determine whether you legitimately own the game."

Libre VR later added on Reddit that "This is my first success at bypassing the DRM, I really didn't want to go down that path. I still do not support piracy, do not use this library for pirated copies." He also told Motherboard that "if he finds a workaround that doesn't need to disable the ownership check, he'll implement it."

Remember that as recently as December 2015 Oculus founder Palmer Luckey had said "If customers buy a game from us, I don't care if they mod it to run on whatever they want." How time flies when you've got a competing product in the marketplace.


    “if he finds a workaround that doesn’t need to disable the ownership check, he’ll implement it.”

    Too late. Now its known to be doable, someone with less honorable intentions will do it anyway. Its far too early in the VR life to be messing about with blocking users, they should be focussed on getting as many interested as possible rather than brand protection.

    Worry about that with 2nd gen stuff, just get people using it first.


    So, in a bid to stop people from doing whatever they wanted with a game they purchased, Rift folks accidentally enabled the option for people to simply not purchase at all.

    If that's actually how it's panned out, then I'd say they deserved for that to bite them in the ass.

    I'm so sick of this dictatorial attitude about restricting software down to specific devices, platforms, regions, locking out single-player mods for the sake of MP, whatever.
    "Play it the way we intended or not at all," is bullshit.

    Because it's always about trying to squeeze out more money than is covered by the up-front initial transaction. It's region-locking DVDs to let middle-men get their cut; it's exclusivity deals for TV; it's geo-blocking free streaming for Australia because they can't find a local advertiser willing to pay enough; it's paying a developer not to get exclusive content for your platform early, but to delay it on other platforms; it's always-online requirements for single-player games to capitalize on social pressure and serve as clumsy-ass anti-consumer DRM; it's all of that bullshit and it needs to fuck right off.

      So, in a bid to stop people from doing whatever they wanted with a game they purchased
      This part is mind-numbingly bad. Users still had to buy a game through the Oculus store to use Revive.

        Yeah, from where i'm sitting they got exactly what they deserved for being jackasses about it.

        there is a GIANT warning saying you should not purchase as you dont have CV1
        even DK2 users get it

    I realise that there's text on this page, but all I'm interested in now is going home and watching Muppet Treasure Island. What a great movie :-)

      I got cabin fever,
      It's burning in my brain
      I got cabin fever,
      It's driving me insane

      Dodo, Pirates, Lew Zealand:
      We've got cabin fever
      We're flipping our bandanas
      Been stuck at sea so long that we have simply gone bananas

      Spotted Dick, Lew Zealand, Mr. Bitte:
      We've got cabin fever, we've lost what sense we had
      We've got cabin fever we're all going mad!

      My sanity is hanging by a thread,
      Since we're going nowhere, I've thought out of my head.
      We were sailing, sailing
      Over the bounty way
      Lew Zealand:
      ...and now we're not

      Jaques Roach:
      Grab yer partners by the ears,
      Lash 'em to the wheel.
      Dosey doe, step on his toe,
      Listen to him squeal!
      Allemande left, allemande right,
      It's time to sail or sink.
      Swing yer partner over the side
      And drop 'im in the drink!

      Female Frackle:
      We've got cabin fever,
      No ifs, ands or buts,
      Female Frackle:
      We're disoriented
      And demented,
      And a little nuts!

      Begoony and Dodo:
      Ach nor beaver,
      Volkswagen car
      (yodel ae ee hee)
      Begoony and Dodo:
      Sauerbraten, wienerschnitzel
      (yodel eh eh hoo)
      Begoony and Dodo:
      Unt is vunderbarr.

      Short Stack Stevens, Calico Jerry, Easy Pete, Blackeye Pea:
      We were sailing, sailing,
      The wind was on our side,
      Real Old Tom:
      ...but then it died.

      Spotted Dick:
      I've got cabin fever,
      I think I lost my grip
      Mr. Bitte:
      I'd like to get my hands on,
      Whoever wrote this script!

      Angel Marie:
      I was floating in a tropic moon,
      And dreaming of a blue lagoon,
      Now I'm as crazy as a loon.

      Cabin fever has ravaged all aboard,
      This once fine vessel has become a floating psycho ward.
      We were sailing, sailing,
      Heading who knows where!
      And now though we're all here,
      We're not all there!

      Cabin fever, aah.

      I used a cabin fever reference as a joke to a friend, cant remember why or what we were talking about. The friend just looked at me wondering what the hell I was talking about

    The article title is a bit misleading. Presumably it was just as easy to bypass the Oculus Store's DRM before they rolled out today's changes as it was previously. What has changed here is that someone who has no intention of pirating games has now produced software that bypasses the DRM.

    From Oculus's point of view, this isn't even necessarily a loss: it means that new versions of Revive are circumvention devices in the eyes of the DMCA, rather than just being "reverse engineering for the purposes of compatibility". It can be blocked or taken down in the same way as actual software piracy tools.

      Historically not particularly effective techniques for halting piracy.

      I think it's dumb that they're going down the DRM arms race this early. It really does need to be the gold rush days of the wild west, dragging people in with the appeal of freedom to help with up-take into that ecosystem.

      It's additionally headscratch-worthy that they're implementing this policy to try and stop Vive/Rift-users from using the device in ways other than intended.

      I mean, look at the user-base, for fuck's sake. We're talking about the people who were so dedicated, so tech-savvy that they pre-ordered in the first few minutes. These early adopters are overwhelmingly NOT going to be the casual curious who don't know what the walled garden is, nor to look over its boundaries. Active users are people who grabbed whatever device they could as soon as they could - potentially more than one brand! Because, as an additional insult to users, Oculus can't even fucking deliver the hardware they HAVE sold.

      Who do they think they're fucking with, here, and to achieve... what exactly?

      It's a series of actions indicative of fucked up priorities, and/or paying way too many people who don't have anything better to do. DUMB people who idiotically put too much stock in the 'lost sale' fallacy. Corporate-level, utterly baseless FOMO.

        It works well enough. As an old example, consider the DVD content scrambling system DRM. It was cracked wide open, but the relevant software is still considered illegal under the DMCA. So I doubt you can find anyone producing devices that ship with libdvdcss installed.

        Similarly, the DMCA means that HTC can't promote the use of Revive (or a functional equivalent) as a way of accessing more software for use with their hardware.

        As for Oculus, they're following the traditional platform exclusive strategy where they pay a developer to only provide their software on one platform with the hope that the extra income they get from hardware sales will cover those payments. So you can see why it would be quite important to Oculus to keep the hardware lock in place. Of course, there is no reason why us consumers should feel obliged to support this business model ...

          Yeah, I think we simply have different ideas on what constitutes 'working well enough'.
          For me, I'd want it to work well enough to discourage people from doing it. Attempting to enforce exclusivity options on an incredibly tech-savvy userbase seems... counter-productive and perhaps the opposite of 'effective'.

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