SecuROM and Star Force are two of the more popular forms of "copy protection" schemes for computer games. The system is based on making you insert the correct DVD or CD each time you want to launch the game, and SecuROM's or StarForce's task is to make it harder to make a copy or image of the original media which stands up to validation. Fair enough. DVD-ROM is fast becomming a horribly inefficient, expencive and archaic way of content distribution, so I guess a horribly inefficient, expencive (in terms of usability) and archaic way of authentication is just fitting.

However, it stops beeing fine when my legal games stop working as a result of a broken "copy protection" scheme. The DVD-unit in my PC is a Samsung TS-H552U DVD Burner which is less than a year old. All other DVD-ROMs work just fine, but it runs it to a lot of problems just trying to read the "copy protected" DVDs. I've had some problems previously with Splinter Cell 3: Chaos Theory, which uses StarForce v3 ( according to gamecopyworld. However, the real problems didn't show up until I bought Hitman: Blood Money, which uses SecuROM v7 (v7.00.00.0018). When I insert the DVD, 9 out of 10 times it won't be able to recognice the DVD at all. You can hear it starting to spin the disc slowly, and then resetting the laser position ad infinitum.

zum zum

…zum zum wock-wack……zum zum wock-wack……zum zum wock-wack……zum zuuum wock-wack……zum zum wock-wack……zum zum wock-wack……zum zuum wock-wack….

That won't get on your nerves.

End result: A "copy protected" game where the legal copy is probably harder to use than an illegal one. Nice going, people.

When you do manage actually play the game, Hitman: Bloody money is a pretty amusing in a Léon sort of way. You're obviously a hitman, and after each mission you get a fake newspaper report about the hit with phrases like "It concerns the authorities that all of the victims were brutally excecuted by shots to the head." According to violent computer game zealot Jack Thompson you have to be a computer gamer or a hitman to shoot people in the face. Well Jack, that might be true. It's not becauce of the violence in the video games however, but having to wade through the layers of incomptance that is "copy protection" every time you try to start the game would send Mother Theresa over the edge.

…zum zum wock-wack…