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  StarForce Threatens to Chill Doctorow  
 
 
Posted 2006-01-31 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
StarForce, according to the Boycott StarForce web site, is "a software copy protection tool installed by PC game publishers, which is designed to prevent the casual copying of retail CDROM applications. It installs as a hidden device driver, without the end-user's knowledge or consent." Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing calls StarForce "a harmful technology used by game companies to restrict their customers' freedom." Doctorow says he has been threatened with a lawsuit by StarForce's PR-manager Dennis Zhidkov over comments the company disagrees with. According to Doctorow, an email from StarForce reads, in part, "Your article violates approximately 11 international laws. Our USlawyer [sic] will contact you shortly. I have also contacted the FBI , because what you are doing is harassment."

There must be something in the air this week. Yesterday, a gamesblog reported it had been contacted by Sulake, the company which maintains Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom, about objectionable comments. Sulake's Community Operations Manager told Water Cooler Games that "My hope is that you will hide or otherwise remove the offending posts, as they contain falsehoods that are derogatory to VMK and provide false information."

When will these companies learn that legal action and/or ominous-sounding communication is not the way to win patronage or appreciation? Perhaps when the backlash becomes painful enough. I'm doing my part.
 
     
 
   
 
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Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
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