The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => Starbase Café => Topic started by: Nathanael on January 23, 2006, 07:40:52 am



Title: I hate product keys
Post by: Nathanael on January 23, 2006, 07:40:52 am
I buy rise of Nations gold best darn RTS ive ever played by the way. I have it for bout 2 months then computer gets jacked with viruses. Takes few weeks to repair when its repaired rise of nations wont work. Fine ill just reinstall. Guess what i find out my cd box is missing. Apparently while my mom was in automatic. (she will just start cleaning for no reason) She threw the box away. So the game wont let me reinstall i have the cd but not product key. So now whenever im goin through my case of cd's to find something to play it taunts me so much. But it isnt like i have another $30 to buy the game again just so i can get a new product key.

Well i still hate product keys but now whenever i see one of my games that need a product key I just take a perm marker and write the product key right on the cd. Cause i take real good care of my cd's just not so much of thier boxes. But that doesnt bring back my favorite RTS waaaah :'(

Any one else ever have a similar problem?


Title: Re: I hate product keys
Post by: Draxas on January 23, 2006, 07:55:28 am
My Diablo 2 was from the original print run. Turns out, by Blizzard's own admission, they used a particularly substandard type of ink to print their CD key labels...

When I got a new computer a few years back, and got the hankering to play some D2, I tried to reinstall the game. Somehow, the CD key had been almost completely obliterated from the label, despite the fact that I hadn't touched the box in some time (because I was using the Exapnsion disc to play). Thankfully, Blizzard is rather nice about helping out with this particular problem; I sent a letter with the CD case (showing the obliterated label), and they sent me a replacement in more permanent ink, free of charge.

Of course, the only reason they were so nice about it was because they knew about the CD key ink issue, and I still had the original case. Sorry, looks like my story doesn't apply, really.


Title: Re: I hate product keys
Post by: Halleck on January 23, 2006, 08:51:46 am
1. You can try requesting a new key from the publisher, with photo evidence of your ownership.

2. You can try obtaining one through less scrupulous means (serial lists/crackers). This is legally dubious, but you do have the legal right to one CD key (I would consider this about the equivalent of downloading a ROM for a cartridge you own, or an MP3 from a CD that you own.)


Title: Re: I hate product keys
Post by: Novus on January 25, 2006, 01:25:28 pm
I ran into a similar issue recently when I had a sudden craving to play Lemmings. The copy protection on the PC version (sometimes) requires you to insert the Lemmings floppy when starting the game, and I'm not quite sure where the disk is.

The following is based on my understanding of copyright law, which is heavily influenced by Finnish law. What I say may or may not apply to your situation.

In cases like this, downloading a crack seems reasonable (and probably legal, too, unless you have laws against circumventing copy protection even for legitimate use). Downloading a cracked version of the game is a bit of a grey area as it involves unlicensed distribution of a derivative work (however, downloading it may be legal, especially if you already have a legit copy). Note that software of this type is high-risk when it comes to viruses and other malware.

Copying a serial number or product key is probably legal; I strongly doubt it constitutes a copyrighted work or an effective copy protection measure, so distributing it is probably legal unless you agree otherwise (which you may have implicitly done by buying/installing the game).

If you want solutions that are definitely legal, try:
  • Asking the publisher for a new key, based on e.g. proof of purchase (receipts or such) or a photo of the CD and other material you have.
  • Asking your mother to buy a new copy.
  • Trying to get your old installation to work or extract the CD key from it.


Title: Re: I hate product keys
Post by: Nathanael on January 26, 2006, 07:25:42 am
Well ive tried number 3 but no way in. And number 2 wont work cause i already used my freebie for the year to get empire earth gold which is good game but Rise of nations better. Now to find that address "Im off to see the website the wonderful website of microsoft ;D"


Title: Re: I hate product keys
Post by: Halleck on January 26, 2006, 12:32:25 pm
I think Novus's logic was that if your mother was responsible for tossing your CD key, she should be responsible for getting you a new one. I don't have much hope for that option though... I think that parents operate on a plane of logic entirely different from our own.  ;)


Title: Re: I hate product keys
Post by: Draxas on January 26, 2006, 08:19:41 pm
Oh, indeed. Typically the driving logic of said plane is "video games are bad, why don't you do something productive?"

You have no idea how much I hated the P-word in my youth.


Title: Re: I hate product keys
Post by: Nathanael on January 28, 2006, 07:07:18 pm
Nah my fault for leaving it on floor. But it wouldnt be problem at all if it wasnt for the stupid product keys. But they have product keys to help stop duplication. So ultimately i blame whoever makes illegal copies of games, they should buy me a new rise of nations of gold. Thier i cracked the code. So whoes the wise guy who had to ruin it for the rest of us by making illegal copies of games. Well im waiting i want my new copy by next week GOT IT. ;D


Title: Re: I hate product keys
Post by: taltamir on February 06, 2006, 09:53:31 am
your parents just didnt get hooked yet.. for years my mom hounded me... now she cant stop posting on newpaper forums... procrastinating EVERYTHINGS (ironically, she went back to college, and is now procrastinating so she can play around with her computer...)

Once you get your parents hooked they will not nag you again... but they will be more likely to buy THEMSELVES a computer upgrade then for you... (then again, I moved out so its all a non issue...)


Title: Re: I hate product keys
Post by: Nathanael on February 11, 2006, 06:20:43 pm
Huh ??? what does this have to do with anything?


Title: Re: I hate product keys
Post by: Jonathan on March 03, 2006, 09:19:58 am
How is it possible to find a CD Key on the Internet? I've done searches for it, but it just comes up with help pages and this page.


Title: Re: I hate product keys
Post by: JonoPorter on March 03, 2006, 10:13:53 am
It should not be possible. Anyone who post their key is an idiot, what you are most likely are looking for is a CD Key generators which are considered to be illegal. If you are trying to pirate software you should stop, because by doing so you are proving yourself to be a selfish, worthless, lazy, bum who would rather steal then get things the honest way. Those are the kind of people I despise.


Title: Re: I hate product keys
Post by: Lukipela on March 03, 2006, 11:59:30 am
How is it possible to find a CD Key on the Internet? I've done searches for it, but it just comes up with help pages and this page.

Try entering 1-4MS0-L4M3-H3LP-PL3Z

It works for most games ;)


Title: Re: I hate product keys
Post by: guesst on March 03, 2006, 08:46:31 pm
Heh. L33T sp34|<. Doesn't usually get a laugh from me, but good use of it, luk.


Title: Re: I hate product keys
Post by: Zeep-Eeep on March 06, 2006, 02:01:53 pm
Search for text documents on nearly any file sharing
client and you should get product keys. Such clients
include Kazaa, Limewire, etc.

Let's say I want a product key for Moose Wars II,
I'd open Limewire and search for text
documents called "moose wars". That should
yield a few results.


Title: Re: I hate product keys
Post by: Koowluh on March 12, 2006, 03:53:22 pm
I myself don't hate the product keys. I always keep the dvd case and the booklet with the key, so the chance of losing it is small. What I do hate about this copy protection frenzy is the so called "CD checks" . To prevent you from copying the CD, manufacturers add pieces of unreadable data for a CD/DVD writer, and as a result, some of these players (most of my CD/DVD players, which are not that 1 or 2 percent the companies claim only have that problem) are not able to read em.

On top of that, you are NOT allowed to play the game without the CD, because hey, you might take it over to a friend and give him/her a free game. The result? A Diablo II LoD CD getting hot as the hell that spawned it and a CD player buzzing like a jet engine the whole time you're playing the game.

Copying a game? Don't feel like it, never did. Playing it? I don't bother anymore either. Buying it? Why bother? My player can't read it anyways. Result: even more loss for those "poor" companies.

Give me a product key over a CD-check any time.


Title: Re: I hate product keys
Post by: Novus on March 12, 2006, 05:35:23 pm
Seeing as all major titles (and most minor ones, I guess) are cracked pretty soon after release anyway (or, in some cases, can be copied or cracked with existing software), copy protection is in my opinion utterly useless and a waste of both consumers' and developers' time and money. If you can execute it, you can copy it, especially if it's designed to be executed by a programmable computer under the consumer's control. Alienating your paying customers is one way of encouraging piracy.

Product keys make more sense, as they are essentially secret identification numbers for licenses. All you have to do then is track the usage of each key, which is almost trivial for e.g. a MMORPG with servers run by the company that wrote the game itself and quite nonintrusive. "Phoning home" and checking product key validity makes a lot of sense for any commercial product that requires Internet access, as it requires no extra effort for the user. However, forcing checks for single-player gaming (e.g. Half-Life 2) can be annoying.


Title: Re: I hate product keys
Post by: Koowluh on March 12, 2006, 06:33:35 pm
Well, I finally managed to get one of those no-cd cracks to work with the "new" Diablo patch. So now I can play in "silence" again and keep my original cd's safe as well.