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Oculus Rift’s new piracy protection somehow made piracy even worse

Published May 23rd, 2016 7:30PM EDT
Oculus Rift DRM Update
Image: Oculus

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Last Friday, Oculus released a software update for the Rift that was meant to curb piracy, but it looks like it had exactly the opposite effect.

Back in April, a developer known as Libre VR released a program called Revive which allowed HTC Vive owners to play Oculus Rift exclusives on their headsets. Oculus’ update killed off Revive, but in the process of developing an updated version of the software, Libre VR stumbled upon a workaround that might have made the entire situation much worse for Oculus.

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As Libre VR explained to Motherboard, the original Revive converted Oculus Runtime functions into OpenVR calls, which gave owners of other HMDs (head-mounted displays) the ability to play Rift games.

With the new Revive, created in response to the DRM, the ownership check is bypassed altogether. In other words, the Oculus Rift no longer has any idea whether or not someone playing a game actually owns that game, which makes it far easier to play pirated software on the Rift than it was with the old Revive.

“This is my first success at bypassing the DRM, I really didn’t want to go down that path,” the developer explained in a Reddit post over the weekend. “I still do not support piracy, do not use this library for pirated copies.”

Libre VR wants to work with Oculus on a legitimate way for owners of other HMDs to play Rift games, because if the company continues to push back without offering any solutions of its own, VR enthusiasts are going to keep fighting.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.