Subject: RE: Greetings
To: Byrd, John <>
From: Todd Vierling <>
List: port-dreamcast
Date: 01/10/2001 15:56:53
On Wed, 10 Jan 2001, Byrd, John wrote:

: And then Commodore went broke, of course :)  Sega is trying to learn from
: the mistakes of other companies.  We're trying to figure out ways to get
: this sort of developers to be mutually beneficial to the hackers and to
: Sega.

When the platforms were readily available, game manufacturers had no qualms
about using the Commodore 64 (and then Amiga), and proceeded to make money
hand over fist on them in spite of the piracy rate.  Commodore's problems
had entirely to do with their executives' bungled handling of money, R&D,
and marketing.  I seriously doubt that Sega is going in that direction,
especially after the number of years of its background in the game arena.

I might point out that it's even easier to copy most PC applications and
games these days, as copy protection consists primarily of a registration
code, or simply presence of "the CD" (which the program has no idea is a
copy or the Real Thing).  I don't see too many established software
companies hurting for income in spite of that.

With that said, you might want to consider that there are other copy
protection methods, and all of these--including restricting the unit to
GD-ROMs--offer only differing degrees of security.  Most of the better
methods (in my opinion) require the game manufacturer to provide the
software insurance against crackers.  That shouldn't bother Sega much, as
licensing the GD-ROM format is probably no more than a positive cash cow,
and there isn't a loss to be had there.  People still have to buy the
hardware, too.

There's still little stopping a motivated person from doing board-level
twiddling, even if the board is entirely resin-coated (c.f. Netpliance
i-Opener, which is still fiddled by people willing to crack open the
resin--or even classic cable TV descramblers).  If there's electronics in
the box, it's crackable; it's only a matter of motivation, particularly now
that people know how the unit works on the inside.

If the only method to boot the Dreamcast (unmodified) in the future will be
through GD-ROM discs, then the market for alternative programs to run on the
Dreamcast will likely dwindle.  I would be disappointed for NetBSD's sake,
because I can't foresee rapid development on NetBSD's part in the face of
the resultant lower demand.

-- Todd Vierling <>  *  Wasabi NetBSD:  Run with it.
-- NetBSD 1.5 now available on CD-ROM  --