Sunday, May 8, 2005


BIG hat tip to for this alert. I am NOT trying to rip him off I will fully admit this is his article, and thank him for it.

Piracy Protection Taken Too Far
To those of you with no interest in using your computer for anything other than word processing and spreadsheets, you can safely disregard this post. At least for now, since it doesn't seem to have spread beyond game software.
For pretty much as long as computer software has existed, companies have tried to come up with new and innovative ways of protecting their product. This is of course all well and good. They invested a lot of time and money in it, and they have every right to protect their investment from theft.
However, a new company has come along, a company that has decided to push the boundary of what a software developer can reasonably do to protect his product.
The company's name is Starforce, and they are truly the most despicable little arrogant snots that ever hacked out code. We never thought that we'd see a legitimate software protection company that would make even snot-nosed, pimple-faced pirates look angelic by comparison, but once again we underestimated them.
Why are they so particularly nasty, we hear you ask?
Well, here's what they do: In order to "protect" their product, they install a little piece of malware on your computer that messes up your registry, tampers with your drives and generally fucks up your computer's functionality. Forget about the hours you spent building and tweaking your dream system, StarForce will turn your box into a limping x486 emulator in no time.
Particularly if you have a DVD or CD RW drive. You'll immediately lose a lot of speed when legally writing to discs if you're not one of the really unlucky ones who can't write anymore at all.
But even if you're just an average user with a standard Read-Only drive, you're not safe from StarFarce tampering with your property. His Rottieness, for instance, suddenly has great trouble playing standard DVDs, not to mention the fact that the drive doesn't detect what's in there anymore, which can make it somewhat difficult to play audio CDs, as we're sure you can imagine. Standard software CDs can still be read, but you now have to manually explore the CD and start the executable by double-clicking. Not too hard, if you know what you're looking for. But if you don't... Oh well, it's All For The Children™, dontcha know?
Oh yes, they DO have an "uninstaller". Problem is, it doesn't really remove itself and all the changes it made to your system. For that, you're going to have to feel familiar with registry editing, something that we know that gives quite a few people who just want to enjoy the computer THAT THEY BOUGHT AND PAID FOR goosebumps and bad nightmares. Oh, and if you ever choose to run a StarFarce "protected" program again, it'll just re-install itself, and you can prepare to do the cleaning all over again.
Again, we fully understand and acknowledge the right of software developers to protect their product from theft, but we aren't quite on the level with them tampering with YOUR PROPERTY to do so, not to mention tampering with it in a fashion that hampers or even destroys its functionality. As far as we're concerned, that kind of invasion of privacy and property rights should be illegal if it isn't already.
So buy software with StarFarce protection on it at your own peril. Currently Ubisoft is very much in love with it, but we're sure that it'll spread to others quickly, unless the companies using them realize what they do to their sales numbers.
This has been a public service announcement.
Feel free to pass the word to others or link to/post about it. (That is, if you give a flying flip at a rollin' donut, of course, but we have a suspicion that quite a few of you LCs are like His Majesty, wanting to use that expensive piece of equipment sitting on your desk for fun occasionally).

Again Thanx to for the story

Blame It On The Rain - Milli Vanilli

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