Copy Protection

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Many software vendors include copy protection in their applications (mostly in games). For the most part, copy protection focuses on establishing that the user has an original disc (i.e. a CD or DVD as supplied by the manufacture and not a copy supplied by someone else). This adds inconvenience for the end user, but grants the software vendors some peace of mind knowing that fewer people are pirating their software.

In an effort to make copy protection more effective (i.e. resistant to cracks), the methods used by many copy protection products have become complex, difficult to understand (obfuscated), and hard to debug. In some cases Wine would need to be altered to allow for almost rootkit-like functionality of programs to get some of these copy protection schemes to work. To support copy protection Wine developers have to contend with undocumented interfaces, code obfuscation, and maintaining compatibility with *nix security models.

Wine cannot and will not break the functionality of these copy protection products. Wine's goal is to be compatible with Windows software, including copy protection. Although some would advocate the use of illegally modified or "cracked" games, Wine does not support, advocate, or even view this as a solution. The use of cracks is considered off topic on the forums, IRC channels, etc and will not be tolerated (summarily dismissed and deleted).

That said, there are some forms of copy protection that do work in Wine and some that do not (resulting in applications refusing to run or to crash altogether). This page identifies which copy protection products work in Wine, which ones do not, and what Bugzilla entries are used to track issues.

Copy protection that works:

  • Safedisc 1.x: see bug 9925-- FIXED (2008-01-04) used for example in: Age Of Empires 2, System Shock 2, Heroes of Might and Magic II, III
  • Safedisc 2.x: works since 0.9.49 used for example in: Max Payne, Battlefield 1942 might have problems when using certain (newer) ["gcc"] versions.
  • older Securom 4.xx: not working with linux: 2.6.9,2.6.10(x86) and 2.6.9-2.6.15(x86_64) (ptrace bug) or when using gcc 4.0.x used for example in: Diablo II, Warcraft III (appdb pages for these have more details about problematic configurations), Pharoh, Sierra's Emperor, !RollerCoaster 2

May face trouble when installing two of these simultaneously.

  • Ring Protech: used for example in german titles: Ronja Räubertochter, Fritz und Fertig Schach, Felix abenteuerliche Reise auf 5 Kontinenten

It uses the standard mcicda dll to check something on the CD. This dll serves to play music off a CD's audio tracks. If Wine cannot play audio tracks using mcicda on your machine for whatever reason, then apps protected with Ring Protech will fail to start.

Copy protection that doesn't work:

  • Safedisc 3.x: see bug 219-- FIXED
  • Securom 5.xx (and higher): see bug 7065 -- FIXED
  • Starforce: used in big number of racing games, see bug 3260
  • ProtectCD/ProtectDISC: see bug 9484
  • XStreamlok
  • GameGuard
  • PunkBuster: see bug 9685 -- WONTFIX
  • Protect DiSC: see bug 9484
  • Tages: see bug 10264-- FIXED
  • Pace Interlok: see bug 12297 -- FIXED
  • Oreans (oreans32.sys): see bug 21959 -- ABANDONED
  • UPlay for Rocksmith (Win32_PnPEntity WMI class): see bug 35224-- INVALID; see AppDB page here

See Also

  • SafeDisc