Game Politics (gamepolitics) wrote,
Game Politics
gamepolitics

Chilling Effects Dept: Starforce Whistles Up Feds on Blog Site

Following the recent, disturbing trend of threatening law enforcement action to silence online critics, StarForce, Inc. has apparently requested the FBI to investigate Boing Boing, a popular blog for alleged harassment.

Boing Boing's "crime?" It had the temerity to criticize StarForce's copy protection software, which the company licenses to publishers of computer games.

Boing Boing claims the copy protection, used to thwart software pirates, causes instability on installed PC's. The blog site has called for a boycott of games published by companies that use StarForce. Similarities.org has posted a large list of video-games that employ the copy protection scheme. StarForce clients include a number of well-known game publishers, incuding Ubisoft, Strategy First, Namco, and CDV.

StarForce's ham-handed response to the proposed boycott was a letter accusing Boing Boing of violating "approximately 11 international laws", noting that, "I [PR Director Dennis Zhidkov] have also contacted the FBI , because what you are doing is harassment."

Zhidkov did not elaborate on which laws he is accusing Boing Boing of violating.

Boing Boing responded with a short letter, which reads, "Thank you for your response. I have appended it to my original post and have forwarded it to the Chilling Effects project to be part of the permanent record of abusive attempts by companies to silence their critics."

StarForce has apparently threatened other critics of its copy protection, including posters commenting on C|Net, who called their copy protection a "nefarious Rootkit/Virus."

It remains to be seen what action, if any, the FBI will take. StarForce, by the way, has its corporate headquarters in Moscow.

-Jabrwock

Tags: boing boing, chilling effects, copy protection, fbi, jabrwock, starforce
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