i agree with those few smart people that have seen the truth.
here's my personal take on the matter:
they are correct in that "nothing major" was removed. the biggest hurdle for those that know is that you can not install (let alone play) bioshock using the '07 retail disc. for successful completion you require an internet connection. that still stands today. there will never be a patch to bypass that. it's not worth their time or effort - and why should they ? if they did they would loose control. and this is what this "new" drm is about. control. they control how you use the software. they have the ultimate say. and also that bit about turning games into "services" and "leased play time" models. and also it would possibly give the crackers some clues about some "things".
the reason, i believe, they now, several months later, removed the activation "hassle" is simply to save themselves time and money - and then put a spin on it to make it look/sound as if they did it for "us". oh the humanity. it costs money to keep/maintain/support a securom activation server. (weather in-house or leased) so since the game has gone past it's major sales time frame, the cost to profit ratio of the activation routine vs the sales made has reached an impasse where it's not worth maintaining the activation routine as originally operated. this includes but is not limited to technical support calls which cost money (to pay the person on the phone etc..) so at the very least they did this for their benefit as much as for the consumer. there's no need to grovel at their feet for this "gift". also i wonder why so many people are that happy with this ? if you bought the game, the initial 3 installs should have sufficed the average user. why would it now, several months later, matter to a genuine customer - who would have long ago finished the game and moved on - that they can now install it an unlimited number of times or such ? makes no sense. and like judge judy says:"if it doesn't make sense then it usually isn't true" please don't bother with "my hdd failed 10 times last month" or "i upgrade my pc several times a month" nonsense.. that's unrealistic and would affect less then 1% of users. and even if so, those kind of users, should surely know ways around it, eh ?? i mean if noobs can use torrents (as claimed by the companies themselves when they give reasons why they switch to draconian drm) then a "power" user that upgrades frequently and manually (that is in person) would surely know of "methods" to fix these issues.
those that keep referring to the protection used on bioshock as "securom" to describe it completely, are wrong. securom is a suite application developed and owned by sony dadc of japan. at this time it has the biggest share of the "mature" and developed commercial copy protection software in the western world of entertainment software. (the 2nd is safedisc advanced by macrovission corporation) what people should be talking about in reference to the "nasty" side of the bioshock copy protection is the online activation module, specifically SecuROM Product Activation - and not the de facto securom disc based portion of it. i know some of the misinformed noobs do mean the whole thing but most of the confusion seems genuine. specifically the moderator who tried to be sarcastic but failed because of his lack of knowledge. when he implied that if you boycott bioshock because of its drm then you might as well boycott most other big companies and games as well because they too used securom. and so you should look at pictures or some sh!t to find waldo or suchlike. yes many games do in fact use securom. these games use the "standard" or disc based version and not the online activation module. big difference. in fact bioshock was the 1st "AAA" game from a major company/distributor in the western world to use securom's online authentication system. again, do not confuse the brand name securom that has multiple variants when talking about protection on bioshock, which uses both. (disc based and online) every other game in the past that used sony's securom (hundreds of them) until bioshock have only ever used the disc based variant. in fact even today there are only three such games as already mentioned. they are bioshock, mass effect and alone in the dark. (spore is not out yet so please shut up ) (even that guy from valve was right - so it's not just me telling you that)
which brings me to my next point. this one is touted by many fanbois as the ultimate proof that this kind of draconian drm works - or at least works better then the status quo (disc based protection). and that is that it took 2-4 weeks to properly crack bioshock. think about it. the fact is that it did indeed take longer then the usual crack. but also think about why. because it was a new kind of protection - a new mechanism to circumvent. makes sense. once more games use this draconian drm (and it has begun) after some time the cracking "scene" will understand it and get better and better - thus faster and faster. it has always been like this. also like sated before, mass effect (only the 2nd released pc game to use this drm) took even less time. (and yeah the galaxy map "bug" was an oversight on a cracker's zest to be 1st, which was soon rectified. at least they broke the door down much faster then bioshock and were inside the house rummaging when a small booby trap went off.) the more games that use this the more wide spread the knowledge about them will spread. it's only a matter of time. that's what happened with starforce - another subject these noobs like to tout. and with that too, it's the same reason. at that time, for the western world starforce was new. so of course it took some time to "crack" the system of it. in fact try and find games with version 1&2 of starforce in western games and you'd be lucky to find a very few. if at all. why ? because the first two versions were almost exclusively used in russia and some other eastern european countries. in conclusion, the ranting about how bioshock "lasted" 2 weeks (or whatever number) before it was fully cracked and thus is proof that this drm works and will work like that in the future is flawed beyond argument. at this moment in time there are only three released pc games from major western companies that utilize securom's online authentication module. bioshock, mass effect & aitd. if you talk about securom for any other game, then that "securom" is the "kinder" and i believe, accepted disc based variant. so get your facts straight. knowledge is power.
and a 2nd plausible reason that many people also interpret with this draconian drm is the killing off the 2nd hand market. and i would have to agree. i have no doubts some company executives (EA springs to mind) look at places like ebay and go:"gosh darn it, look at all those copies of game x being resold. how can we get a cut of that huge market or at least put a stop to it since we don't get 2nd helpings". so yes, when using online activation any company that does that can technically limit a products use artificially. these are the starting blocks for them to overturn by proxy the first sale doctrine. <=== read this [knowledge is power] don't be a serf!
after reading all that if nothing else, for those that were misinformed about securom, don't "hate" securom per se, rather hate the online authentication portion of it. because i have no doubt that most heavy gamers, perhaps without you explicitly knowing, many games you already have use securom already. it's just that it's the "nicer" disc based version that does not require a bloody internet connection and thus you know nothing of it. let's try and keep it that way. i'm happy with disc based protections. at least you have control of said product. they could make a patch that bypasses the intrusive and draconian and obscene installer as mentioned by others and still make it so that the original disc is verified by the disc based securom portion - but they won't. this game was used as a "sacrificial" title to introduce this drm variant. it had to be a "AAA" title so that many people would buy it regardless of controversy - and then execs and bean counters could fall back on the new drm with two reasons. if it flopped they could have blamed the new drm. as it stands they can flout it and say:"see ??? this wonderful new drm was why it sold so well. we better keep using it"
btw, this is my short version of my usual posting on this matter. to recap and summarize:
- bioshock still requires an active internet connection to install/play
- the reason it took "2 weeks" to crack it is simply because it was the 1st game to use this kind of protection. don't laud that as a positive. it's a downward sliding scale based on new technology.
- subsequent such titles (mass effect & aitd) took considerably less, and they will only get faster. sure sony will update and tweak revisions of securom but then so will the crackers update their methods.
- in the meantime the consumer gets shafted. (i'm not one of those. - knowledge is power.)
- the retail BioShock disc is nothing more then a delivery system for the data files. the main executable and some other stuff still gets downloaded from their servers, even today. (17/09/08). as long as that happens you "have" no game.