For all the serious cash poured into preventing software piracy through security programs and increasingly complicated DRM, sometimes the simplest methods can be the most effective.

For all the serious cash poured into preventing software piracy through security programs and increasingly complicated DRM, sometimes the simplest methods can be the most effective. Just ask anyone who found themselves recently unable to use a game called Garry's Mod.

Garry Newman, the creator of the sandbox-style physics game, deliberately enabled an error a few days ago which was designed to only affect people using an unlicensed copy of the game. The bug would cause the game to crash along with a message, stating, “Engine Error:Unable to shade polygon normals(##########).” The numbers in parentheses would actually be the user's 64-bit SteamID, which identifies them on the game's main distribution platform, Steam.

EXCLUSIVE MEMBER CONTENT
PSFK provides access to this article and every report, case-study, interview, and analysis that we publish for our members. PSFK Professional Membership also unlocks accessto unlimited customized research assistance and our database of over 100,000 insights on innovation trendspanning across eight industry sectors—from culture and brand to retail and customer experience.
Already a members? Log in