Sony patent fights PlayStation piracy with load times

New patent uses load times to determine whether software is being pirated.

Sony has filed a new patent which uses load times as a way of determining whether software is pirated.

The patent--which was filed in 2011, published last week, and dug up by DarkZero--establishes the typical loading times for legitimate software and then runs all loading times through these benchmarks. If the software does not load within the acceptable time frame then the antipiracy tech kicks in and stops the game from being played.

The full patent, titled Benchmark Measurement For Legitimate Duplication Validation, shows a secondary validation process that kicks in if the software fails to load within Sony's acceptable time range.

But failing to pass the secondary validation process brings the potential of being blocked, presumably from Sony's online PlayStation Network services.

Sony's latest patent has surfaced less than a week after the company formally announced the next-gen PlayStation 4, suggesting the possibility that Sony might incorporate this patent into its suite of antipiracy measures for its next console.

For more information on the PlayStation 4, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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Discussion

407 comments
Rioichi21Cooper
Rioichi21Cooper

No, Sony just no... Being blocked is a bit drastic in my opinion. Besides you kinda just told all of the hackers your brilliant new idea, bravo!

Zero_resistance
Zero_resistance

I'm going to use a PS2 analogy.

As the console ages, the laser will wear out (I've had to change the laser several times on my PS2). I've not had to do it on my PS3 (because they don't last long enough) but there is still time.  This does affect loading times.  Will Sony ban my account if the fault is theirs?

Also I'm wondering does DRM stand for - 

DID REMEDIALS MAKE-IT?

Philly04
Philly04

So now we have: Benchmark Loading of a game --> disclaimer screen --> Intended Non-skipable display of game publi sher company, then developing company, and game engine logo load screens --> load to main menu --> load time to connect to severs --> *press start* load saved data (tolerable) --> *game starts* load cutscene.  >___<

The RAM and processing power better be a beast. I'm not very hopeful.  Oh, lets not forget Playstaion Move display screen, Legal jargon, Photosensitive & Siezure screen, and "The characters of this story in not base on real persons; if so, it's just coincidental" screen. 

Philly04
Philly04

And I thought this generation would severely damp out load times. Do we really want 10-30 second load times.  I could foresee problems with this as PAID users would end up getting booted by this load time benchmark.  If PS4 would have tech problems by ported titles that bring load extensions like on PS3 than... brace yourselves.

rafaelszpo
rafaelszpo

This can seriously be a disaster. What if my game crashes? Even inFamous once crashed on me, freezing when I finished a mission and never loading the next chapter. Thankfully, I just reset the system and it was ok, but what if it had locked me out?! This really has disasted spelled all over it. Bad move, Sony!

Elaisse
Elaisse

Sony spends money that will have little effect. The media industry forgets one thing the hackers tend to always win no matter what you come up with or how much money you toss at it.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Anyway.. This won't affect me at all so nothing for me to worry about.

Scorpion1813
Scorpion1813

2 things wrong with this.

1: I can forsee a number of things that could effect the load times of a game. Internet speed may be a factor, as will whet-ever else is running in the background (downloads, etc). But also, what if the PS/game crashes. There have been times in Skyrim where the game just loads indefinitely. You can still interact (by spinning the model around), and the little hints still cycle through. Imagine being banned from playing the game and using PSN because of the games bad coding or you internet connection sucks.

2: Revealing this information is practically telling the pirates. And you've given them almost a year to figure out ways to get around it. Well done!

Lhomity
Lhomity

(Assuming it works without ever mistaking a legit copy for a pirate copy), Okay, cool. I don't feel that I have some selfish right to pirate games and I enjoy spending money on games, so this doesn't bother me at all. If it works as intended, it should not affect anybody for any legitimate reason. Pirates don't deserve sympathy. 

If you thought you could have games without paying the price for them... haha i hope this works perfectly. You people make me sick and don't deserve to enjoy the games I pay hard earned money for.

watchuwa
watchuwa

uh no plz, my ps3 working perfectly fine now

maddog123
maddog123

Pirates will always exist, and Sony cannot eliminate them. Their attempt at mitigating their influence will have grave repercussions for those who have legitimately bought there games, and for some odd reason, do not pass the benchmark test, thus making them erroneously blocked from PSN or their game.

hatethenamefilt
hatethenamefilt

I love how they justify the always on DRM by features I don't care anything about.

hatethenamefilt
hatethenamefilt

Anti piracy measures always make me think of the FBI warning, on old movies, against pirating movies.  You only had to read that if you purchased the movie legit. If you were watching a pirated version, it was always cut out.  Most anti piracy technology is like that- It hurts the people who pay, while the pirates get around it.

AlexFili
AlexFili

They can't really use load times as a way of detecting piracy, doesn't make it any easier than the current methods of detection like serial keys and user accounts

pelvist
pelvist

What if you have a dried up bogie or cum on your disc?

genjuroT
genjuroT

A patent on a hardware/software check? You can claim intellectual property on anything these days, and sue anyone for using it. Much like how Apple patented the shape of their phones...A SHAPE. I love America but it has it's greed flaws.

Alucard1475
Alucard1475

Lost of pirates protesting against piracy features. 

shamarke
shamarke

Really a bad move by Sony.

Quelthela
Quelthela

PC only, PC only and PC again. Good luck with the fail PS4... Maybe the last one for Sony.... 



volcax
volcax

I little FYI for everyone.
This will have NOTHING to do with the disk.

Every PC game you start on your computer, calculates the number of cycles your rig is capable of per second. This is so it can scale, and not run at different speeds on different PC's.

Consoles generally have no need for this, because every system should be mechanically identical. But if a console is modded, the extra cycles required to 'sidestep' the copy protection, would tip off this particular protection.

leeko_link
leeko_link

Hmmm... so what happen if I bought a game from another region and that game somehow runs faster than the version over here, will the BMV prevent me from playing that game too?

DeFiLeDTitan
DeFiLeDTitan

as long as this doesn't somehow screw me I'm good

awesome_jeevs
awesome_jeevs

Interesting, Xbox 360 already applied this measure to all games released in Autumn last year. Just don't ask me how I know this....

Gomtor
Gomtor

My games on PS3 does not always load the same amount of time.  Just sometimes it loads forever, but mostly it is the same.  Now that times it loads forever; if that block my game which I paid for; I can just as well go the pirate route.

blackace
blackace

Wow.. that's going to suck especially if developers are able to get their games to load in a timely matter. I can see brand new games being blocked even though they were pirated already. Doesn't sound like something I'd trust after paying $60 for a game. How would you be able to refute this piracy application when it doesn't work correctly?

SiLenTWarrior29
SiLenTWarrior29

Idk why people are complaining... Sony is just trying to give us the best gaming experience possible. And if it helps then by all means Sony.. DO THE DAMN THAAANG!!!

ewjiml
ewjiml

Wahhhh.  What if the disk is scratched?  What if I fart too loud and the disk skips?  What if Michael Bolton's music on my stereo causes PSN to ban me 4 life!?  If you own a PS4 legally, then you are in the clear.  If you mod, illegally burn, or buy a game, then you are not.  The End....

marvelx3
marvelx3

@SIDEFX1 yes because you are skidrow and have already figured out how to crack this new system. I have been watching you skidrow.


Centurion-Legio
Centurion-Legio

@Scorpion1813 you think they don't know or think about stuff like that? i don't think that online connectivity affects how a game loads at all, only how you connect with others. 

It will probably only apply to the first load when the game starts. I think that they would figure that it's pirated then and there and thus no reason to do that again.

Enundr
Enundr

@Lhomity personally some companies do DESERVE to be pirated (cough EA cough) , dont do it myself but i hope they go bankrupt and out of business fpr good. 

twztid13
twztid13

@Lhomity So I take it you are in favor of food stamps & medicare, right? Those darn people getting stuff for free that others pay hard earned money for...no?

Enundr
Enundr

@maddog123 you mean like all the attempts at fighting pirates right now? aka online passes and other random crap thats only annoying regular players that buy their stuff/. were already dealing with all that and now we have to have another layer of crap added ontop. i forsee bad things in the console future with stuff like this....XD

hatethenamefilt
hatethenamefilt

Erm... Does everyone else read the post "I love how they justify the always on DRM by features I don't care anything about." as written by me "hatethenamefilt".... I didn't write that, weird.

tankbrain
tankbrain

@leeko_link you really do not want to buy games from other regions, as you cannot buy the DLC for the ones you like when the version you have is not from you're home region.... ps. Sony sucks that way.


At least on pc or 360 you can get games from anywhere and then buy dlc from anywhere too...... 


ps.

If you want some thing good to play games get a good PC

y3ivan
y3ivan

@awesome_jeevs MS has been doing it since 2010. However it is not that excessive compared to Sony PS3. X360 itself was completely lacking in security in the first place.

luckygrump
luckygrump

@Gomtor I don't think they mean when you load a save game. It would apply to when you load up the disk it self. When you enter the game from the ps menu, I'd suppose.

Scorpion1813
Scorpion1813

@Centurion-Legio

If you are downloading something it may slow the console down a little. I'm not saying it alone would slow it down enough to effect loading times by a lot, but it might be enough that it doesn't match up with what's on Sony's record, and could end up causing a ban.

Lhomity
Lhomity

@twztid13 @Lhomity I live in Australia where we have public healthcare and welfare accessible to everyone. Having unemployment benefits, single parent pensions and other services and safety nets is important to our society and helps to protect the most vulnerable or unfortunate among us. While in no way perfect, I love the system and am happy I do not live in a country where welfare is seen as a burden. 

This has nothing to do with games. There is no gamer-welfare. Not being able to afford video games does not entitle someone to simply pirate them.

Quelthela
Quelthela

Feel offended or afraid that I'm true? To answer your question, because I can... 



jvsexy
jvsexy

@tankbrain @leeko_link  Actually you can. You just have to create a separate PSN profile & set it to that particular country. The PS3 will recognize that your from that particular region. 

marvelx3
marvelx3

coming from someone who lives in Australia. whats a dingo?

Enundr
Enundr

@twztid13 @Lhomity  as Lhomity said , video games are a LUXURY and not vital to living in anyway , enjoyment can be found in more then just games (though we do like games , still not the only source and again not vital to life). Pirating games isnt that great and rarely is a viable excuse as food , water , electricity , etc . Only few times i EVER see posts in regards to why someone pirates is that whereever said person lives , does not actually sell that game(s). granted i havent checked that out myself , most other times ppl pirate is for s***s and giggles.

Lhomity
Lhomity

@twztid13 @Lhomity Because food, water, electricity and clothing are essentials. Videogames are luxury items, and there are countless other means of entertainmnet, far cheaper than gaming. There is a massive difference between someone who is poor, and someone who is simply irresponsible with money.

twztid13
twztid13

@Lhomity @twztid13 It has something to do with the way you look at gaming. You are putting an awful lot of faith that things will work as inteded, but you admit that even your welfare system can't. Enjoyment is not a staple of human life to you, then? Why is it okay to have others fund some things, but not others? Why stop anywhere? I know plenty of people that sell foodstamps for crack money. If they can do that, why not fund gaming for low income families? Why does your support for government funding for the less fortunate stop with gaming? That's too far gone, lol?

evaneself
evaneself

@Quelthela You are stupid if you accept Steam or other activations on PC as anti-piracy.

Dreizel
Dreizel

@Hardizla Right the "idiots" are the ones who buy it. 

But you forget that if we "idiots" didn't buy it you wouldn't have any games to play because the industry wouldn't be sufficient to support the development of games. 

If you like a game you should support the ones who spent their asses off making them, i do agree games are overpriced and people shouldn't support this high cost but the minimum one can do is wait for a price drop and buy it to support not just pirate everything, if everyone acted like you eventually there wouldn't be any more games to play, you go think about that "genious".