Denuvo Accused of Pirating Anti-Cracking Software to Protect its Floundering Solution

cageymaru

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Denuvo has been accused of using unlicensed software by fellow anti-piracy outfit VMProtect Software. It seems that Denuvo needed a way to thwart crackers from reverse engineering their software and VMProtect was the perfect solution. The problem was that VMProtect didn't feel that the standard $500 license was the correct compensation as it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for Denuvo to develop an in-house solution. Denuvo rejected VMProtect's suggested compensatory package and purchased the standard $500 license anyway. By integrating VMProtect's reverse engineering protection software into their anti-piracy software solution, Denuvo was able to score many contracts from game developers and publishers that generated lots of revenue over the past 3 years. Many in the industry viewed Denuvo as the premier anti-piracy solution for their products.

This typical corporate sordid tale of greed and theft ends just as you would have imagined. VMProtect's spokesperson drVano announced that they have revoked Denuvo's license and notified Valve that titles such as Nier:Automata, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3, and Prey are using pirated software. They are requesting that Valve remove the work of scammers on their platform as they seek possible legal action against Denuvo. The Sophos anti-virus solution officially flags the older Denuvo versions as malware now.

Denuvo to their credit has removed VMProtect's software from their anti-piracy solution for the game Rime that was cracked in less than a week. Their old solution made 1,000 anti-piracy checks when a game launched which affects loading times of course. Their new solution creates 300,000 anti-piracy checks during the loading operation alone! This increases to two million anti-piracy checks after 30 minutes of game play as the new protection calls 10-30 anti-piracy triggers every second compared to the 1-2 triggers every few minutes that the old solution utilized!

What do you think of Denuvo's anti-piracy software now? Do you think that they have a legal leg to stand on? I think that they should have negotiated a proper licensing agreement from the beginning to avoid all of this legal drama. Also it just seems so morally wrong to ripoff another security outfit's software for personal gain. Creating 2 million anti-piracy checks in 30 minutes of game play seems like the worst idea ever when it comes to game performance. I could imagine all the support tickets that the Rime developers received about bad performance.

"Everything went well for Denuvo until we notified them that their VMProtect license had been canceled due to a breach of its licensing conditions. Options were offered for solving the problem, including paying modest compensation to us. Our proposal was ignored," drVano says. VMProtect says it has also been speaking with Valve about not featuring the work of "scammers" on its platform. "Through our long-standing partners from Intellect-C, we are starting to prepare an official claim against Denuvo Software Solutions GmbH with the prospect of going to court. This might be a very good lesson for ‘greedy’ developers who do not care about the intellectual property rights of their colleagues in the same trade," drVano concludes.
 

Ehren8879

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I guess I don't know enough about VMProtect's initial licensing agreement to make an informed opinion. Was Denuvo in the wrong? Did they use the $500 license within its guidelines?

Is this a case where VMProtect didn't define a licensing structure that sought the use case of their top-tier clientele?
 

Ryokurin

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I guess I don't know enough about VMProtect's initial licensing agreement to make an informed opinion. Was Denuvo in the wrong? Did they use the $500 license within its guidelines?

Is this a case where VMProtect didn't define a licensing structure that sought the use case of their top-tier clientele?

Basically VMProtect's license is for your own products, not to protect 3rd party clients. They have a separate license for that purpose and Denuvo declined to pay that fee
 

FrgMstr

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The ironing is delicious.
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arnemetis

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This is exactly the kind of thing the law is there for. It won't happen, but this is the perfect case to set a strong precedent for punishing actual piracy (not fines of millions for sharing some mp3s for no profit.) All assets and funds of the company should be awarded to VMProtect, everyone of upper management up should be facing prison time of 10+ years each. This actual piracy resulted in commercial success and should be dealt with swiftly and with extreme punishment.
 

LurkerLito

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The only thing I want to say is PlatinumGames better patch out denuvo, because if this causes the games like Nier:Automata to "disappear" due to it technically being a purchased "pirated" version from my steam games list then I will be more than a little pissed off.

An anti piracy protection actually pirating an anti piracy protection to enhance their anti piracy protectition WTF ROFL.
 

Cyraxx

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who the hell pirates PC Games anyways? Most people want to play games online against other people, which means there must be a connection to the server - which can obviously be checked for having a valid license.

We aren't in the dark ages of playing games offline, and most LAN Parties are a thing of the past as far as playing locally offline.

I guess I'm saying of all the things to pirate, I would think games would be the least common.
 

SomeoneElse

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My intinal thoughts were they pirated anti-piracy software..... how ironic. Granted they paid for a license but the fact they they scammed the system to make a profit is just laughable. Such a public display of plagiarism. Glad they got caught.
 

nysmo

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How does a company expect to get away with something like this lol. You are a multi-million dollar outfit and really think you're gonna get away with paying 500 bucks to fix your software for all of your clients? Just pay VMprotect what they want.
 

Cobra

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The only thing I want to say is PlatinumGames better patch out denuvo, because if this causes the games like Nier:Automata to "disappear" due to it technically being a purchased "pirated" version from my steam games list then I will be more than a little pissed off.

An anti piracy protection actually pirating an anti piracy protection to enhance their anti piracy protectition WTF ROFL.

I have Prey and I thought about this too. I would hope they would just pull it from the store to prevent further sales until it is removed and not yank it out of your library. I know you can do that because I have a lot of games in my library that you can no longer buy in the steam store.
 

sirmonkey1985

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who the hell pirates PC Games anyways? Most people want to play games online against other people, which means there must be a connection to the server - which can obviously be checked for having a valid license.

We aren't in the dark ages of playing games offline, and most LAN Parties are a thing of the past as far as playing locally offline.

I guess I'm saying of all the things to pirate, I would think games would be the least common.


with the lack of demo's these days or having to pay just to access "beta's" which are usually just a demo anyways for most games it's still a thing..
 

Semantics

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VMProtect? Must be hanging around too many wanna be script kiddies making hacks and bots for games...
 

Derangel

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The only thing I want to say is PlatinumGames better patch out denuvo, because if this causes the games like Nier:Automata to "disappear" due to it technically being a purchased "pirated" version from my steam games list then I will be more than a little pissed off.

An anti piracy protection actually pirating an anti piracy protection to enhance their anti piracy protectition WTF ROFL.

I really feel like every publisher using any kind of DRM beyond platform DRM (Steam, Origin, Uplay, etc) should remove it after its cracked, outside of MP focused titles, at least. Though, Nier really isn't up to PG. The IP and game itself are all owned by SquareEnix. SE is likely the reason the PC version has yet to see a patch to fix things that are probably relatively simple and SE will definitely not remove Denuvo from the game. SE are straight up douchebags so don't expect them to do anything nice for consumers.
 

Criticalhitkoala

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who the hell pirates PC Games anyways? Most people want to play games online against other people, which means there must be a connection to the server - which can obviously be checked for having a valid license.

We aren't in the dark ages of playing games offline, and most LAN Parties are a thing of the past as far as playing locally offline.

I guess I'm saying of all the things to pirate, I would think games would be the least common.

It's pretty common for lots of varied people to pirate, but I tend to notice it happen a lot with 15~25 year old males. I think one of the unfortunate side affects of consumer culture is the desire to collect and own things, even if they are outside our means. "If our joe shmo neighbor has it, why can't we" type attitude. This unfortunately occurs of all things in the stealing of shoes (really?, that's so stupid) as there's a major issue with inner city kids stealing branded shoes. I think another factor is time. As we gotten older, our time is more at a premium as we add up too much shit on our schedule. So we don't have time to go search for pirated stuff and make sure it doesn't fuck up our computers compared to when we were younger.

I remember in the late 90's copy'ing games on cd and even floppies back then, but starting with Unreal Tournament I personally ended up buying most of my games but will admit to pirating microsoft office until like 2007. Now shit it's easier to just buy everything and not 1) Deal with software that might give you shit on your pc 2) Have stuff that simply just works 3) not spend minutes to hours trying to find a crack that actually works.

Of course there's always the odd man out. My bestfriends pops was the most awesome pirate guy I've met with bookshelf full of software. I think it just ended up being something like Pokemon to him. There was no way he would care about using Dragon Naturally Speaking 7 Portugese edition....but you never know he thought.
 
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Delicieuxz

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From what I've read since years ago, Denuvo was started by a group of software-protection crackers, so they aren't exactly foreign to piracy. They just figured they could make some good money by using their know-how and expertise with cracking software to switch teams and start making software protection.
 

Pandur

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Yeah, big surprise!

It's about darn time the industry realises that DRM is mostly hurting the legitimate customers. The people who most commonly pirate software are the same people who lack the disposable income to spend on said software in the first place.
 

Maxx

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Is there any? I tend to try to see the good in things and denuvo is a two faced coin made of shit. B

Sure seems so every time I get involved in the topic on here.

Recent example:
https://hardforum.com/threads/prey-with-denuvo-cracked-in-10-days.1934292/

Won't name names but you see multiple people questioning whether Denuvo had any impact on load times with the explicit implication that it has no impact on performance, yet it's pretty clear post-VMProtect that games like Rime did suffer from significant DRM-related performance issues. Consumer value aside, a paraphrased quote from me in that thread states, "while I'm not necessarily anti-Denuvo ... I do take issue with the underlining mentality of the industry where consumers are assumed criminals when if anything the publishers and developers ... engage in practices I consider questionable." And here we have this news.
 

Criticalhitkoala

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Yeah, big surprise!

It's about darn time the industry realises that DRM is mostly hurting the legitimate customers. The people who most commonly pirate software are the same people who lack the disposable income to spend on said software in the first place.

It does hurt the consumer, there's no doubt about that. I got RIme and it was annoying dealing with Denuvo. But when it comes to bullet points I think Denuvo can say it's prevented the early pirating. Yeah it only took 5 days for Resident Evil and Rime to be cracked, but 5 days is enough for someone to decide yes or no to spend on their credit card on an impulse buy.

(well fuck me, here I am defending that piece of shit Denuvo just 3 post down).

Since Denuvo stems from Sony people, and Sony has a history of having the most intrusive and destructive DRM possible I wish it went the way of the dodo. But since theres a bean counter who doesn't give a shit about user experience and only about that little extra amount of cash they get...DRM will probably never go away, it will just be replaced by another monster.
 

M76

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As much as I want to hate on denuvo I don't think they're in the wrong here.This is nothing but greed on the part of VMWhatthefuck. And it was greed that created denuvo in the first place. You can't solve a problem by using the same thinking that was used during it's creation.

So my message: Fuck em both!
 

deton8

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How does a company expect to get away with something like this lol. You are a multi-million dollar outfit and really think you're gonna get away with paying 500 bucks to fix your software for all of your clients? Just pay VMprotect what they want.
Sounds like you should have been working for Denuvo.
 

DPI

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Denuvo has been accused of using unlicensed software by fellow anti-piracy outfit VMProtect Software.

Actually, VMProtect Software hasn't alleged anything. The allegation was made by an anon post on a russian cracking forum, and regurgitated by a pro-piracy blog which you in turn are regurgitating here. And the allegations lose credibility as actually being written by someone VMProtect when factoring all the hyperbole like "greedy Denuvo".

Creating 2 million anti-piracy checks in 30 minutes of game play seems like the worst idea ever when it comes to game performance. I could imagine all the support tickets that the Rime developers received about bad performance.

Citation needed. I assume you fact checked this before copy/pasting it, because you state this like it's fact. Who or what is your source for "2 million anti-piracy checks in 30 minutes"? I don't mean to break your balls but when bad information gets regurgitated and rebroadcast like its fact then everyone gets dumber for it. I do realize that's the age we live in now.
 
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lcpiper

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who the hell pirates PC Games anyways? Most people want to play games online against other people, which means there must be a connection to the server - which can obviously be checked for having a valid license.

We aren't in the dark ages of playing games offline, and most LAN Parties are a thing of the past as far as playing locally offline.

I guess I'm saying of all the things to pirate, I would think games would be the least common.

Many many people from all over the world.

Not everyone has the same life as North Americans or even many Europeans. Spend some time in Iraq and you won't need to ask this question.
 

lcpiper

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I guess I don't know enough about VMProtect's initial licensing agreement to make an informed opinion. Was Denuvo in the wrong? Did they use the $500 license within its guidelines?

Is this a case where VMProtect didn't define a licensing structure that sought the use case of their top-tier clientele?

I went looking for it to read it myself, but it seems the US Army blocks VMProtect's site :rolleyes:
 

rgMekanic

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From what I've read since years ago, Denuvo was started by a group of software-protection crackers, so they aren't exactly foreign to piracy. They just figured they could make some good money by using their know-how and expertise with cracking software to switch teams and start making software protection.

Denuvo is made by the team from, and is the evolution of Securom.. and we know how good Securom was.... /s
 

xmadror

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I havent read the article yet and I dont agree at all with what was done with denuvo but you have to wonder why VMProtect waited this long to take action. To me it seems that the answer is that they waited as long as possible to get the biggest payout possible as Denuvo is mostly failing now and will probably not make much more money in the foreseeable future.
 

Criticalhitkoala

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Many many people from all over the world.

Not everyone has the same life as North Americans or even many Europeans. Spend some time in Iraq and you won't need to ask this question.

I think Europeans are the masters of pirating along with the Chinese though. That's why MS decided to just make all pirated versions of windows in China legal if they upgrade to windows 10.
 

DPI

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I havent read the article yet and I dont agree at all with what was done with denuvo but you have to wonder why VMProtect waited this long to take action. To me it seems that the answer is that they waited as long as possible to get the biggest payout possible as Denuvo is mostly failing now and will probably not make much more money in the foreseeable future.

What action has VMProtect announced? And how is "Denuvo mostly failing"? Be specific.
 
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