ClownholioDQ reader Greg M sent me yet another example of Starforce and their corporate icon--Clownholio. Here's a summary from Anandtech
In its latest battles with end users, StarForce, famous for creating copy protection schemes that violated user privacy rights as well as causing notable system problems, has created a website called OnlineSecurity ON. A StarForce employee implies that OnlineSecurity ON is an independent security website (his quote has since been modified) which reviews and writes about software security. Interestingly, he points to an article called "The Truth about StarForce Drivers," which claims: It is obvious that all the rumors around StarForce hazards are spread by international piracy groups. Our recent contest has just proven that StarForce does not damage optical drives.
Of course, one only needs to do a reverse host look up to show that is StarForce and OnlineSecurity-On.com is one and the same...
They've also created a "new" protection program called FrontLine 4.0, apparently, which will uninstall Starforce to install this new mal--um, "copy protection."
This has really turned into a large amount of bullshit, hasn't it? And it's simple, really--when we install a game, if the publisher has included additional applications that will reside on our systems and run as background tasks, we should explicity be notified--NOT in an eight page licensing agreement, but with a very simple spash screen before anything gets installed. And when we uninstall a game, everything should get uninstalled, including any DRM software.
Here's an example. Let's say, unfortunately, that we have multiple Ubisoft titles on our system, all of which use Starforce. When we uninstall one game, we should get a screen notifying us that if we uninstall Starforce, the other games that also use it will not work. Then it should ask us if we want to uninstall anyway.
That's going to cause some headaches for the people who make DRM software. Am I supposed to care?