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Windows 10 Roundup: Games with Old DRM, Torrent Tracker Bans

Posted by: , 15:25 AEST, Mon August 24, 2015

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You can't play some old games on Windows 10 due to their DRM, and privacy issues force some torrent trackers to ban the OS entirely
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Image/Photo Credit: Microsoft

Windows 10 will prevent games with old DRM from being played, while several top torrent trackers have started to ban users who use Windows 10.

Games that use older version of SafeDisc and SecuROM will not work in Windows 10, according to Microsoft’s Boris Schneider-Johne. Speaking in a video interview with Rocket Bean TV (and translated via Rock, Paper, Shotgun), Schneider-Johne pointed out that Windows 10's security policy prevents these potentially insecure apps from running.

"Everything that ran in Windows 7 should also run in Windows 10. There are just two silly exceptions: antivirus software and stuff that’s deeply embedded into the system," Schneider-Johne said, according to the translation provided by RPS.

"And then there are old games on CD-Rom that have DRM. This DRM stuff is also deeply embedded in your system, and that’s where Windows 10 says 'sorry, we cannot allow that, because that would be a possible loophole for computer viruses.'

"That’s why there are a couple of games from 2003-2008 with Securom, etc. that simply don’t run without a no-CD patch or some such. We can just not support that if it’s a possible danger for our users. There are a couple of patches from developers already, and there is stuff like GOG where you’ll find versions of those games that work."

Meanwhile, the privacy issues related to Windows 10 have forced several top torrent trackers to block users using Windows 10.

The biggest concern appears to be Windows 10's willingness to send private user information to an anti-piracy company called MarkMonitor. According to one tracker iTS, Microsoft has been sending "contents of your local disks directly to one of their servers".

This has forced iTS to ban its users from using Windows 10, and users with the OS will be redirected to a video explaining why the ban is in place.

Another tracker, BB, is also following suit.

"We have also found [Windows 10] will be gathering information on users’ P2P use to be shared with anti piracy group," staff from BB informed users.

"What’s particularly nasty is that apparently it sends the results of local(!!) searches to a well known anti piracy company directly so as soon as you have one known p2p or scene release on your local disk … BAM!"

But according to analysis by TorrentFreak, these privacy concerns may be overstated. For example, according to the torrent news website, Microsoft has been working with MarkMonitor for years, but only in the protection of users from phishing attempts. And the recent change to Microsoft's service agreement that has caused so much controversy, is unlikely to target third-party non Microsoft products.

TorrentFreak says that instead of scaring users with unsubstantiated claims or banning the OS entirely, torrent trackers and others should simply try and educate users on the potential privacy pitfalls of Windows 10, and help users fix some of these privacy issues.


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