Ubisoft ditches StarForce

Shacknews is reporting on a forum thread on the Ubisoft Heroes of Might and Magic forums where a developer claims that the StarForce copy protection system won't be used in the next version of the game. Ubisoft did not state the reasons behind its decision to discontinue StarForce, but the company will reportedly switch to another copy protection system. This follows the filing of a $5 million class-action lawsuit against Ubisoft for its use of StarForce in a series of games, including XIII, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Silent Hunter 3, and Splinter Cell 3: Chaos Theory. In the class-action complaint filed in March 2004, the plaintiff claimed StarForce could compromise Windows operating system security unbeknownst to the end user, and that it was not always removed when StarForce-protected game titles were uninstalled. Other users have also claimed StarForce is "often linked to system instability and computer crashes," and that it can cause CD and DVD drives to physically fail.

StarForce attempted to refute the claims by pointing to an article on an alleged security website that stated: "It is obvious that all the rumors around StarForce hazards are spread by international piracy groups." Users on the StarForce forums quickly pointed out the security website shared its IP address with the official StarForce website, however, and that it was likely a propaganda attempt by the company.

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