Are game "No-CD Cracks" Illegal...

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#1 Posted by Neobrio (140 posts) -

Okay I own many games which require a cd to play... I have bought these games and I am totally against piracy of any form. However is it illegal to use game cracks so that you dont need a disk to play the game?

#2 Posted by VideoGameNerd77 (47 posts) -

No, they're just cracks that let you run the games without CDs in case you lose them, etc.. As long as you bought the game, they're legal.

#3 Posted by Maddie_Larkin (6387 posts) -

technically yes, they are illigal.

However Most Devs dont really bother about such things tbh, and they often release no cd patches sometime after launch.

#4 Posted by Neobrio (140 posts) -

Oh okay good... I just wanted to know for sure :)

#5 Posted by -Feath- (1452 posts) -
They're only legal if you actually own a purchased, legitimate CD/DVD and are using the crack for convienience purposes.
#6 Posted by XaosII (16563 posts) -

Its illegal. No Exceptions. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

Using cracks circumvents federal DMCA laws where you cannot purposefully bypass software security. Just because you didn't write the code to do the circumvention doesn't mean its not doing the same end result.

But i wouldn't be too worried about getting caught or anything of the sort.

#7 Posted by Baranga (14217 posts) -
#8 Posted by Muhannad_basic (3687 posts) -
[QUOTE="XaosII"]

Its illegal. No Exceptions. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

Using cracks circumvents federal DMCA laws where you cannot purposefully bypass software security. Just because you didn't write the code to do the circumvention doesn't mean its not doing the same end result.

But i wouldn't be too worried about getting caught or anything of the sort.

Really? If it wasn't for No-DVD cracks, I would not be able to play my favorite game Splinter Cell Chaos Theory on Vista x64, simply because Ubisoft never bothered to release a patch to fix this, but someone else released a No-DVD crack that fixed it. No-DVD cracks also fixed alot of other problems I had with other games, and helped me keep my games without a scratch for a very long time. It is 100% legal.
#9 Posted by lundy86_4 (43010 posts) -

They are technically illegal, but it's so widespread and insignificant that it's just not worth circumventing. It's like most problems, wy go for the end user, when you can cut it off with the supplier?

#11 Posted by XaosII (16563 posts) -

Really? If it wasn't for No-DVD cracks, I would not be able to play my favorite game Splinter Cell Chaos Theory on Vista x64, simply because Ubisoft never bothered to release a patch to fix this, but someone else released a No-DVD crack that fixed it. No-DVD cracks also fixed alot of other problems I had with other games, and helped me keep my games without a scratch for a very long time. It is 100% legal.Muhannad_basic

The game states quite clearly that they don't support Vista 64 (or any version of Vista most likely).

Just because it fixes the game and makes it playable doesn't mean you aren't circumventing software security measures. One doesn't have anything to do with the other.

#12 Posted by Solidus171 (318 posts) -

The reason why cracks might be considered illegal is because of people buying the game...from a retail store lets say andthey then crack the game and resell or get the game refunded. That means they get the game essentially for free and the inconvenience of either downloading it or waiting for delivery is cut out. However the widespread availability of cracks means firms see it as a wayof helping gamers in case they break/scratch or lose their CDs altogether.

#13 Posted by XaosII (16563 posts) -

The reason why cracks might be considered illegal is because of people buying the game...from a retail store lets say andthey then crack the game and resell or get the game refunded. That means they get the game essentially for free and the inconvenience of either downloading it or waiting for delivery is cut out. However the widespread availability of cracks means firms see it as a wayof helping gamers in case they break/scratch or lose their CDs altogether.

Solidus171

There's no "might be illegal." It simply is. Firms don't like CD cracks at all, and theres certainly nothing related to losing CD's or scratching them. If thats the case then why have CD checks in the first place after you install the game?

#14 Posted by clyde46 (45064 posts) -

I use them only because my disc drive is right next to my ear and its really loud.

#15 Posted by purple_MAN1832 (2125 posts) -

As stated before it is illegal because of the DMCA (digital millennium copyright act). But with the internet the way it is, they cannot enforce these penalties efficiently so you run almost no risk.

#16 Posted by Solidus171 (318 posts) -

[QUOTE="Solidus171"]

The reason why cracks might be considered illegal is because of people buying the game...from a retail store lets say andthey then crack the game and resell or get the game refunded. That means they get the game essentially for free and the inconvenience of either downloading it or waiting for delivery is cut out. However the widespread availability of cracks means firms see it as a wayof helping gamers in case they break/scratch or lose their CDs altogether.

XaosII

There's no "might be illegal." It simply is. Firms don't like CD cracks at all, and theres certainly nothing related to losing CD's or scratching them. If thats the case then why have CD checks in the first place after you install the game?

Dude you really have to calm down. You are taking this issue far too seriously and due to the wonder that is the internet, there's not a damn thing you can do about it. Firms cannot enforce these laws due to the availability of cracks, and even if they are "illegal" which you think is reason enough to disuade people from using them, it's like telling teenagers not to smoke. The simple notion of telling them a cigarette exists means they want to try it, and with cracks, there's more advantages than disadvantages in their use, so why block yourself from using them? Especially when firms incorporate the ability to play games without CDs in future patches? You probably keep all your CDs in a room sized cupboard because you enjoy it like that, but the vast majority of people who own laptops for example, don't have the space to carry around CDs...and cracks are their storage solution.

#17 Posted by lundy86_4 (43010 posts) -

[QUOTE="XaosII"]

[QUOTE="Solidus171"]

The reason why cracks might be considered illegal is because of people buying the game...from a retail store lets say andthey then crack the game and resell or get the game refunded. That means they get the game essentially for free and the inconvenience of either downloading it or waiting for delivery is cut out. However the widespread availability of cracks means firms see it as a wayof helping gamers in case they break/scratch or lose their CDs altogether.

Solidus171

There's no "might be illegal." It simply is. Firms don't like CD cracks at all, and theres certainly nothing related to losing CD's or scratching them. If thats the case then why have CD checks in the first place after you install the game?

Dude you really have to calm down. You are taking this issue far too seriously and due to the wonder that is the internet, there's not a damn thing you can do about it. Firms cannot enforce these laws due to the availability of cracks, and even if they are "illegal" which you think is reason enough to disuade people from using them, it's like telling teenagers not to smoke. The simple notion of telling them a cigarette exists means they want to try it, and with cracks, there's more advantages than disadvantages in their use, so why block yourself from using them? Especially when firms incorporate the ability to play games without CDs in future patches? You probably keep all your CDs in a room sized cupboard because you enjoy it like that, but the vast majority of people who own laptops for example, don't have the space to carry around CDs...and cracks are their storage solution.

The reason they are not enforced is because they don't go after the people using them... they nail the people creating them... Cut them off at the source. At the end of the day they are illegal, and that was the original question

#18 Posted by XaosII (16563 posts) -

Dude you really have to calm down. You are taking this issue far too seriously and due to the wonder that is the internet, there's not a damn thing you can do about it. Firms cannot enforce these laws due to the availability of cracks, and even if they are "illegal" which you think is reason enough to disuade people from using them, it's like telling teenagers not to smoke. The simple notion of telling them a cigarette exists means they want to try it, and with cracks, there's more advantages than disadvantages in their use, so why block yourself from using them? Especially when firms incorporate the ability to play games without CDs in future patches? You probably keep all your CDs in a room sized cupboard because you enjoy it like that, but the vast majority of people who own laptops for example, don't have the space to carry around CDs...and cracks are their storage solution.

Solidus171

I use cracks myself. That does not, in any way, change the fact that they are illegal under US laws. Companies are entirely in their right to persecute peope who use them. They do not because its expensive to do so and the gains are very minimal. They much rather go after people who host pirate sites of the games versus those that just crack the games that they've legitimately bought.

Its disingenous to tell someone that its legal to do something that is clearly not. Its one thing to tell a minor "Its illegal to smoke cigarettes, but you probably won't get caught" compared to "Oh yeah, bro, its totally legal to smoke if you're a minor!"

Saying its legal to smoke as a minor because everyone's done it is really, really bad justification and a disservice to the person you are telling it to, regardless of your moral stance on the subject of minors and smoking. Thats just plain lying.

#19 Posted by chandu83 (5185 posts) -
Indeed. They are illegal, but if you bought the game, well...you decide for yourself if you want to use it or not. if you did not buy the game, well, its just plain wrong.
#20 Posted by 404-not-found (1050 posts) -
If you bought the game, you can do whatever you want to the game if you don't distribute it.
#21 Posted by sp1r1t (149 posts) -

Instead of asking yourself, is it illegal, you should rather ask yourself, does it matter if it's illegal?

#22 Posted by jrabbit99 (2835 posts) -
i think its fine as long as your not then selling the copy of the game
#23 Posted by lost_cheeto (272 posts) -

if you buy the game from a site like direct2download or steam the game will run without a disk by default. so no crack is needed. it just sucks sometimes to not get a manual.

#24 Posted by American_Pirate (324 posts) -

Its illegal. No Exceptions. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

Using cracks circumvents federal DMCA laws where you cannot purposefully bypass software security. Just because you didn't write the code to do the circumvention doesn't mean its not doing the same end result.

But i wouldn't be too worried about getting caught or anything of the sort.

XaosII

100% correct, but again it's not something you need to worry about, case in point the biggest "cracks" website has been around since the 90's, they could have shut it down years ago if they cared to.

Also for the person that said it's all good unless you distribute it is wrong as well, you need to check up on DMCA laws. ANY circumvention of ANY digital protection is illegal. Will you get caught...no.

#25 Posted by painguy1 (8686 posts) -

simple explanation. Kinda are kinda arent. depends on the cercumstance. Most likely your in the clear so dont worry.

#26 Posted by Gog (16376 posts) -

If you bought the game, you can do whatever you want to the game if you don't distribute it.404-not-found

That's not true. You neverown a game. You buy a license to use it and agree with the limitations that come with the license agreement. This typically includes you are not allowed to change the game code.

#27 Posted by Papitar (2377 posts) -

As long as you bough the game, no. In some games you'll get permanent bans for "cheats" however, so it's kinda risky.

#28 Posted by DarkFadi (1912 posts) -
What about the people who makes them? using is using and making them is making them.
#29 Posted by DOS4dinner (1072 posts) -

It is illegal, but I don't think it would ever hold up in court if they somehow tried to convict you of it. The other problem is that the whole thing would be a big joke--If the media found out, it would become a "Look, Big Corporation is trying to hurt the customer that did everything right! Those scumbags!". It would become very negative press, and EA or other companies who are already famous for their draconian/sometimes less than legal DRM don't want anything to do with it.

#30 Posted by thebronsonite (123 posts) -

Using cracks circumvents federal DMCA laws where you cannot purposefully bypass software security.

XaosII
Correct me if I'm wrong, but that only applies in the US. If you live anywhere else, you'd have to be extradited to america to face that charge. I doubt anyone would be that bothered. I would imagine they are only legal if the person creating the crack has permission to do so from the game creator and if the person using the crack has permission to do so from the game creator. If you wanted to create and use a no-cd crack on Age Of Empires 3, for example, and Microsoft gave you permission to do so, it wouldn't be illegal.
#31 Posted by BlueBirdTS (6403 posts) -

I don't really care if something is technically legal or not. I just do whatever I find to be ethically/morally correct. If you're paying for a game then there is nothing morally wrong in using a CD-crack for convenience.

#32 Posted by Astaroth2k (877 posts) -

I use no dvd/cd cracks all the time,i also rip my all my games to iso format and mount them..i dont understand why people like having flimsy dvd's around that can get scratched and broken so easily.We really should be moving forwards,hard drives are so much better.

#33 Posted by gandhios (16 posts) -

I just got my internet shut down for downloading a NoCd patch for CoD.

I tried to get some info on how to contact Activision over this, but of course they were not allowed to do anything like that.

I didnt realize that NoCd's were illegal. Aren't unenforcable laws fantastic!

#34 Posted by StealthKing93 (715 posts) -

No, they aren't. It saves the scratches you will put on your cd's from constant use. BUT, one thing is it can also solve your previous compatibility problems.

Such as, Star-Force problems with Vista and game compatibility problems. Like when my Rome Total War Barbarian Invasion (It was the Gold Edition) wouldn't work everytime it said "Please insert correct CD-ROM" when I already had the right one in there, I just downloaded a NO CD patch and it worked fine. I figured it was because I have Windows Vista 32 bit, so most of these NO CD patches solve alot of things you haven't even thought about.

#35 Posted by Treflis (11480 posts) -
I don't see why it would be illegal, all they do is enable you to start the game without putting your CD into the computer. Unless you're using it on a downloaded copy then technically the download of the game is the illegal part.
#36 Posted by blade55555 (1116 posts) -

I just got my internet shut down for downloading a NoCd patch for CoD.

I tried to get some info on how to contact Activision over this, but of course they were not allowed to do anything like that.

I didnt realize that NoCd's were illegal. Aren't unenforcable laws fantastic!

gandhios
I don't believe you in any way shape or form. I think your a troll and lying your pants off.
#37 Posted by kono11 (947 posts) -

I just got my internet shut down for downloading a NoCd patch for CoD.

I tried to get some info on how to contact Activision over this, but of course they were not allowed to do anything like that.

I didnt realize that NoCd's were illegal. Aren't unenforcable laws fantastic!

gandhios

That's the best words i have heard since now.

#38 Posted by JackBurton (3798 posts) -

There's no "might be illegal." It simply is. Firms don't like CD cracks at all, and theres certainly nothing related to losing CD's or scratching them. If thats the case then why have CD checks in the first place after you install the game?

XaosII

Vietcong was mentioned in another thread, and I remembered this video review by Greg Kasavin. For those not wanting to watch in it's entireity: 3:11 to 4:14, followed by 8:40-end. Does a no-cd crack in this circumstance change anyone's opinion of its legality or morality?

#39 Posted by osan0 (12631 posts) -
depends on where u live. in some countries its illlegal to break any sort of protection such as DRM. even if u own the game...cracking it can still be against the law. in saying that, if u bought the game then i dont think any publisher would care. however dont distribute the game or the crack or a cracked copy of the game.....that can lead to a world of hurt.
#40 Posted by mr_mozilla (2381 posts) -
There is absolutely no way you can get in trouble for using one(unless it's a virus). And there's absolutely no moral obstacle for using one. So unless you're a total wuss I don't see why it should matter.
#41 Posted by dannenissan2 (1890 posts) -
It's legal for personal use on a software that you have bought the license to . Cracks are great for storage and makes playing games alot more flexible. Use them if you want to , there's nothing stopping you ...
#42 Posted by jjtiebuckle (1856 posts) -

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act:

Does permit the cracking of copyright protection devices, however, to conduct encryption research, assess product interoperability, and test computer security systems.

interoperable (adj.) - able to exchange and use information

This is where you use law to your advantage. Cracks are legal if you assess the encryption of games or share information about the encyrption with others. So, whenever you use a no-cd crack jump on these boards and report that such and such game needs improved encryption. Cheers :)

#43 Posted by naval (11109 posts) -
Ithink they are illegal, but I don't consider them morally wrong
#44 Posted by XaosII (16563 posts) -

[QUOTE="XaosII"]

There's no "might be illegal." It simply is. Firms don't like CD cracks at all, and theres certainly nothing related to losing CD's or scratching them. If thats the case then why have CD checks in the first place after you install the game?

JackBurton

Vietcong was mentioned in another thread, and I remembered this video review by Greg Kasavin. For those not wanting to watch in it's entireity: 3:11 to 4:14, followed by 8:40-end. Does a no-cd crack in this circumstance change anyone's opinion of its legality or morality?

No, it doesn't change the legality of it.

#45 Posted by guynamedbilly (12959 posts) -
It's not illegal. There are some games which require you to agree to a TOS saying that you won't modify the game at all, but I don't think that would be illegal, but a civil case. It is illegal to distribute the files developed by a company which protects those files by copyright, but that would mean that the website hosting the files would be breaking the law, if the company tried to punish someone who had downloaded from that site, again, it would be a civil case not criminal.
#46 Posted by Crimsader (11672 posts) -

I think cracks aren't illegal, but a pirate game is illegal. If you own the game and you use crack to by-pass the disc check it's okay. But if you just downloaded the game from the p2p network, that's just pathetic pircay, that won't be tolerated... :)

#47 Posted by aura_enchanted (7942 posts) -

some developers even place no-cd cracks on their games so you dont need the cd to play such as in painkiller, or red alert 3. however they are (at leats in written law) illegal to use. however i will put it next to downloading videos or tracks via limewire or torrent apps + sites in terms of severity. so in short if you use one they wouldnt hassle you for it at best you would get scolded with a nasty generic letter ifthey ever found out that you had made and circulated one. id also like to note that gamespot has a no-cd crack for counterstrike 1.6 here along with the full game. so id say your in the clear just dont make a habit of running for a no-cd crack every time you install a game.

#48 Posted by mouthforbathory (2114 posts) -

As long as you own the actual game, I could care less, but I don't use no-cd cracks simply because it's possible it could be detected in an MP server and possibly shut down if it's an online game where your stats are logged onto an outboard server like BF2 or BF2142.

#49 Posted by Makari (15250 posts) -

[QUOTE="JackBurton"]

[QUOTE="XaosII"]

There's no "might be illegal." It simply is. Firms don't like CD cracks at all, and theres certainly nothing related to losing CD's or scratching them. If thats the case then why have CD checks in the first place after you install the game?

XaosII

Vietcong was mentioned in another thread, and I remembered this video review by Greg Kasavin. For those not wanting to watch in it's entireity: 3:11 to 4:14, followed by 8:40-end. Does a no-cd crack in this circumstance change anyone's opinion of its legality or morality?

No, it doesn't change the legality of it.

Using them isn't illegal - making them often is. Important distinction!
#50 Posted by XaosII (16563 posts) -

Using them isn't illegal - making them often is. Important distinction!Makari

Nope.

"Using lockpicks isn't illegal - making them often is. Important distintion!"

Tell that to someone and i doub't they'll believe you. If you feel like reading legalese you can read the DMCA's anticircumvention of copy/access protection. But if not, another website sums its up quite nicely.

http://www.chillingeffects.org/anticircumvention/faq.cgi#QID91

The first provision prohibits the act of circumventing technological protection systems, the second and third ban technological devices that facilitate the circumvention of access control or copy controls, and the fourth prohibits individuals from removing information about access and use devices and rules. The first three provisions are also distinguishable in that the first two provisions focus on technological protection systems that provide access control to the copyright owner, while the third provision prohibits circumvention of technological protections against unauthorized duplication and other potentially copyright infringing activities.chillingeffects

It says fairly plainly that you cannot bypass software security measure and you cannot make any tools that help bypass security measures.

I'm not telling anyone here NOT to use cd cracks. The chances of you getting caught are nearly impossible, and no one is going to bother you about it, especially if you own a real copy. But the fact of the matter is that its NOT legal to do it, and telling people that it is is just plain wrong. I use them all the time myself.

Just as i said before, think of the difference between telling a minor "don't worry, its legal to smoke if you're a minor. I mean, everyone does it!" compared to "don't worry about getting caught, but know that you can get in trouble cuz its not legal. Everyone's done it!" While they are both terrible rationales to get some minor to smoke, you are simply lieing in the first one telling him that its legal. Atleast in the second you're letting him know that its not legal, but also giving him a false sense of security.

There are no exceptions. Its illegal.

But thats not entirely true. There are exceptions but 99.99% of users do not fall into them. You can circumvent if you're a library and keeping it for archiving purposes, you're a law enforcement agency with a warrant, authorized encryption research, and a few other fringe cases.