nettime's_roving_reporter on 7 Jul 2000 15:28:05 -0000

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<nettime> top hacker interviews videogame conglomerate about spate of piracy


   Interview with Sega of America
   ttol: The software fix....uhm...when was this implemented? Before or
   after Utopia's Boot Loader?
   Sega: After.
   ttol: What reactions did people at Sega have when they first learned
   of this boot loader that's been released..capable of loading imports
   and CD-R's..
   Sega: Most people have modchips anyway, so on the executive level I'm
   sure there was cause for concern, but otherwise it was expected
   ttol: Sega said that 100,000 to 200,000 units only were capable of
   being able to use Utopia's boot loader. True or false?
   Sega: Officially not sure, but in my experience false.
   ttol: That's what I found out also. Why would Sega say such a thing if
   it wasn't true?
   Sega: To make light of the issue..
   ttol: In your opinion, officially or not, do you think Utopia's boot
   loader has incurred stronger sales within the last two weeks?
   Sega: I have watched the different IRC channels and I constantly see
   people saying they went out and bought a dreamcast because of this so
   I would say yes.
   ttol: So in general, there has been higher Sega happy or
   unhappy overall about this?
   Sega: I think neither, we all expected it eventually, maybe not this
   early in the game though.
   ttol: Would you attribute the phenomenal success of the Sony
   Playstation to it's virtually non-existent piracy protection?
   Sega: I would think that its continued ability to increase sales long
   after its launch would in part have to be attributed to its
   ttol: So wouldn't Sega like to follow suit and have the same success
   that Sony has enjoyed so much?
   Sega: I think that Sega is to "proud", and would like to be the first
   to beat the piracy, but I doubt it'll happen.
   ttol: Why do you doubt it?
   Sega: The company is trying to be innovative by moving into the online
   arena, (which I applaud) but that opens the flood gates even more.
   ttol: Did you help implement the new security fix on the software side
   of the Dreamcast?
   Sega: No.
   ttol: Do you know how it was implemented? (ie. How it's suppose to
   defeat piracy)
   Sega: No I just talked to one of the guys that was working on it. 
   ttol: What did he say (if I can ask)?
   Sega: Just that they had a fix for that method of copying game images.
   ttol: What "method of copying"?
   Sega: That I don't know.
   ttol: So are all old games copyable?
   Sega: I would only be assuming.
   ttol: Are they actively persuing, lawfully, all entities involved with
   Utopia and Kalisto?
   Sega: Haven't heard anything of that nature yet.
   ttol: Have you personally tried a copy of the boot loader/downloaded
   game on a new machine that's supposedly fixed?
   Sega: I saw it done by other employees...........I think they were the
   ones that initiated the fix though.
   ttol: So do you think they succeeded?
   Sega: I believe in their ability, but I'm sure eventually another
   method of booting or copying will come about.
   ttol: Do you think this would be somewhat of a cat and mouse with Sega
   and the Utopia's of the world?
   Sega: Probably.
   ttol: With the X-Box and the Dolphin on the horizon, is Sega planning
   on a new console? Or are they putting their full weight behind the
   soon-to-be dated Dreamcast?
   Sega: They are putting a heft of money into the online portion of the
   Dreamcast, but there has been rumor of another system. Been quite
   secrevtive though. 
   ttol: Was security a implemented feature in the Dreamcast, or was it
   there from the beginning?
   Sega: There are many security features in the Dreamcast (18 I
   believe), that will allow them to make future fixes.
   ttol: Allow them to make future fixes? Can you elaborate on that?
   Sega: Don't really know the depth of that statement. Thats just what
   we have been told from day one.
   ttol: What's this about the Yamaha 400t that I've been hearing about
   so much lately? Does it have "copying" abilities?
   Sega: I don't think so, people think that only because its the drive
   the DC was based off of I think. But the dream cast is far from that
   drive now.
   ttol: Rumour has it that the Yamaha 400t is what Kalisto is using.
   They've managed to crack the firmware to read the game sector of the
   GD-Rom. Does this sound plausible?
   Sega: I guess..............I don't know enough about CD/GD hardware to
   ttol: Do you know of a way to copy GD-Roms?
   Sega: lol......with a GD Burner.
   ttol: What drive is currently in the Sega Dreamcast if it's not the
   Yamaha one like you said before?
   Sega: Not sure.
   ttol: Is there any tips or other things you know about the Sega
   Dreamcast that's not public?
   Sega: No...........when you know the guys that make this stuff, you
   don't need tips.......... We get pre-release copies of stuff usually,
   so there are usually developer codes for everything.......Every game
   developer puts commands in pre-release versions of games that allow
   the developer to become literally godlike in the game's
   universe...whatever they like..I think this is how gameshark utilities
   work......not sure......usually a developer makes sure they don't make
   it into releases.
   ttol: Anything else you'd like to contribute to this? I mean,
   something to tell Utopia or Kalisto or any future Dreamcast groups?
   Sega: I would just like to say that while I don't look down on those
   that "crack the games", I do despise those who try to sell them. And
   I'm sure that Sega will pursue all those attempting to sell illegal
   ttol: If someone is found with multiple ISO's, but no evidence of him
   selling the games or even making copies of the games to give out for
   free, is it likely he'll be thrown in jail/etc?
   Sega: They might be questioned just as to get to the source I would
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