Copy protection in SCI/Sierra games

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sev
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Post by sev » Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:45 am

BobbinT wrote:And I glad so far Activision (plus other holding companies) didn't axed this project yet (and hopefully never).
In contrast with the sites you mentioned, ScummVM project does not offer any illegal content to download, on the contrary, we have strict rules about it, such as Forum Rule #0.

This led to success of the project, as the IP owners entrust us their source codes, give us permissions to freeware games and in overall there is a tremendous collaboration.


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Post by Muyfa666 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:35 am

Al Lowe is providing the manual to Freddy Pharkas, LSL and some other games on his website.

http://www.allowe.com/

My guess is that he would wholeheartedly agree to any integration ScummVM might provide for his fans. :-)

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Post by md5 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:50 am

Muyfa666 wrote:Al Lowe is providing the manual to Freddy Pharkas, LSL and some other games on his website.

http://www.allowe.com/

My guess is that he would wholeheartedly agree to any integration ScummVM might provide for his fans. :-)
He might agree, but the current copyright holders of these games (Activision) will certainly not be happy with any kind of "integration"...

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Post by m_kiewitz » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:22 am

lwc wrote:
m_kiewitz wrote:All those sierra people do not own the rights to the games anymore.
You do realize "those Sierra people" never owned rights in the first place, right? Only Sierra as a company owned rights, not its individual employees (especially as we're talking about personal websites).
Ken Williams is the founder of Sierra On-Line, so of course he actually owned the rights to all the games. He actually owned the whole company.

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Post by Muyfa666 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:41 pm

Wouldn't it be easy to just ask? I mean if Sierra is fine with AL Lowe spreading the manuals, then maybe they would like ScummVM too. Good publicity or whatever. Who knows?

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Post by BobbinT » Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:27 pm

I'm not sure. Ken already sold out all his share. If he didn't, he sure wouldn't let that Black-chainsaw monday to happen in the first place. That moment still grieves me till this day.

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m_kiewitz
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Post by m_kiewitz » Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:46 pm

Muyfa666 wrote:Wouldn't it be easy to just ask? I mean if Sierra is fine with AL Lowe spreading the manuals, then maybe they would like ScummVM too. Good publicity or whatever. Who knows?
Sierra doesn't exist anymore.
Activision will just say no.

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Post by lwc » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:13 pm

m_kiewitz wrote:Ken Williams is the founder of Sierra On-Line, so of course he actually owned the rights to all the games. He actually owned the whole company.
But do you think his site provided those stuff even when he was the copyright holder? He probably put those stuff in the site only after he quit.

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Post by m_kiewitz » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:37 pm

lwc wrote:But do you think his site provided those stuff even when he was the copyright holder? He probably put those stuff in the site only after he quit.
I guess so, but it doesn't matter. They are obviously not sued or even asked to remove it. I guess Al has a celebrity bonus and well sueing Roberta & Ken would be a pretty crazy.

We are not ex-workers nor founders of Sierra. I bet Al, Ken and Roberta wouldn't have a problem with us removing the protections now, but this doesn't help a bit. Activision owns the rights. And even trying to ask them is just a waste of time. It's like asking LucasArts about it.

And also - like I said - there is no point in removing them. Most of the protections were built nicely into the games and for the protections that appear right at the start - load from ScummVM menu directly. That way you only need to answer them once and there shouldn't be any problem with that, if you own the manual that is.

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Post by Collector » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:02 am

It's kind of silly to be arguing for this. It is not much of a reason to ask for it when legitimate copies of the games have the manuals. Even if you have lost your manual or you wish to not handle it for preservation reasons, it is easy enough to find PDFs of the manuals. Why put the project at risk for some very slight convenience.

As far as Ken's site goes, he has very little to do with the site anymore. He turned over administration of the site to someone else that had some of the games available for download. This person did make some style changes in which the forum's database, which contained a great deal of good information, was damaged somewhere along the line. After that he didn't do much more with the site. Later, when SierraVault closed, Ken offered to host the content on sierra Games if Andy took over running the site. I mentioned to him that it was probably not a good idea to host any of the games themselves, so he removed them. Part of the content of SierraVault were manual scans, but this probably attracts less attention than the games would. In any case, none of it is of Ken's doing.

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Post by BobbinT » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:20 am

not really. It does attracts me. It's like Sierra'a Museum of Wonders. Along with Queststudios too. :D

It would be great if they could also add extra content such as makings, sketches, etc. And it was nice to read the manual and hint books, not only as a guide for playing the games, but as some sort of appreciation. They (Sierra) did put nifty artworks & ideas here & there. That's also the reason why I'm still keeping my manuals, no matter how degraded the condition are.

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Post by BobbinT » Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:25 pm

just for a little tid and a little bit... :lol:

I recently began playing Dagger of Amon Ra, floppy version. Right after starting the game, Rube asking to validity the knowledge of Egypt symbol on Laura a.k.a copy protection.

My copy has been patched with auto bypass so that any choice I clicked will be the right answer. And it seems that this patch is working on ScummVM too. Too bad this patch was applied very long time ago on my diskette and there's no way knowing how to patch the original copy. I do know that it needs only the executable file to be patched.

Well... how's that for my tid and my bit? :D

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Post by MusicallyInspired » Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:43 pm

The only patching that it would have done would have been to add an alternate patched script file to the game's directory. All you have to do to restore it is delete this file (or rename/move it). Usually the script number for a certain room is the same as its background resource number.

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Post by BobbinT » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:04 pm

Good tip, although I won't be doing that. It's great to be able to play the game without me scouring the manual bin again. :lol:

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Post by MusicallyInspired » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:16 pm

Of course. I just didn't want you thinking that the actual EXE file is patched and therefore impossible to un-patch.

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