Popular technology weblog BoingBoing.net is reporting that a PR manager representing Russian game/software protection company StarForce has contacted co-editor Cory Doctorow with threats of legal action and the intervention of the FBI, following the publishing of a negative feature on the company’s game copy protection software.
The original article described a group of gamers attempting to create a boycott of video games that include dangerous anti-copying mechanisms, in particular StarForce. The article claims that StarForce causes system instability and crashes and goes on to detail specific examples of such.
StarForce software is used in a variety of PC titles including Ubisoft's Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood, Irrational Game's Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich and Namco Museum 50th Anniversary. Most recently, several online messageboards have noted that the recently announced free downloadable Trackmania Nations ESWC PC racing title also contains StarForce protection.
In December, StarForce offered a prize of $1,000 to any consumer who can prove that the software is adversely affecting their computer, though it is unclear whether anyone related to Boing Boing will attempt to claim this prize.
After printing the e-mail on the site, Boing Boing updated its story to indicate that a commenter on technology site C|Net had also been threatened with legal action in a similar manner by StarForce in late 2005, for describing the technology as a “nefarious rootkit/virus”.