Ubisoft dumps Starforce


(via The Consumerist)

You may be saying “Why should I care?” right now. Well, there are a number of folks calling for a boycott of Starforce. Starforce is a copy protection system used by a number of recent games. It installs new device drivers onto your system to enforce its protection system.
I don’t know the truth of the claims, but here is what I’ve read about Starforce. There is talk that Starforce actually damages hardware in addition to slowing down systems on which it is installed. Starforce is installed without notification or requesting user permission when you install a protected game. It is not removed when you uninstall the game. The company that makes Starforce seems to threaten to sue people who speak ill of the product. The company also apparently assumes everyone who wants to make a backup copy of a game, a legally protected right, is a criminal or “hacker” to boot:

“According to our research those of users [sic] that do run into compatibility problems are beginner-level-hackers that try to go around our protection system.”

Yes, you are a criminal if you want to have some modicum of control over your computer. And since Starforce runs at ring-level 0 (the deepest level of the OS), any instability in the software will crash your system.

So, all this information just to build-up to the win for gamers that is the announcement that Ubisoft is dropping Starforce protection from all Ubisoft games.

“Right now, Ubisoft has decided to use an alternative copy protection system to Starforce for upcoming releases and we are investigating other possible steps at this time.”

…When we asked why they were dropping the company Ubisoft representatives said, “Ubisoft takes its customer concerns very seriously and is investigating the complaints about alleged problems with Starforce’s software. Ubisoft’s goal is to find solutions for its customers if there are problems with Ubisoft products.”

Hurray for the good guys.

[tags]Starforce, Ubisoft, consumer win[/tags]