DRM Website Posts Pirate Link

Stardock, publishers of the successful turn-based PC game Galactic Civilizations II, has not only found itself the recipients of excellent reviews for their title, but also the focal point of some strange controversy. Stardock has taken the odd position that removing copy protection from games does not hurt game sales. This bold move by Stardock is to make a point. According to their website: Our license [of Galactic Civilization II} allows you to install the game onto as many machines that you own that you want as long as only one copy is being used at once. How many sales are lost because people want to have a game on their laptop and desktop and don’t want to drag CDs around [and as a result] so choose not to buy the game? Our primary weapon to fight piracy is through rewarding customers through convenient, frequent, free updates. If you make it easy for users to buy and make full use of your product or service legitimately then we believe that you’ll gain more users from that convenience than you’ll lose from piracy. The twist to this story is that Starforce, a copyright protection scheme company, decided to take issue with Stardock™s position about eliminating copy protection. To prove the publishers of Galactic Civilization II wrong, Starforce decided to post URL pirate links to GC II on their website. Starforce later gloated, "Right now several thousands of people are downloading the pirated version only from that [pirate] web-site. Is it good for the sales? Unlikely." The GCII publishers immediately contacted Starforce, and the link was taken down. Starforce has been in controversy before. In January, the company was threatening lawsuits against C/NET and boingboing.net for publishing articles about Starforce copy protection software opening up dangerous security holes in computers and making them unstable. So has removing copy protection from GCII, hurt sales? Stardock says, We’ve now outsold the first [edition of] Galactic Civilizations in North America in the first 10 days. Last week we were apparently the #1 PC game at Walmart. Maybe Stardock is onto something here. If customers are treated as though they were customers instead of pirates, more copies of the game will sell. In a case of reverse logic, it seems that Stardock is correct.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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