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Boing Boing Threatened By Software Creator 351

mfh writes "StarForce has issued threats to Boing Boing's Cory Doctorow in retaliation to Cory's post about the anti-copy malware that installs itself along with many popular (and unpopular) video games." From the BoingBoing post: "Yesterday, I posted about StarForce, a harmful technology used by game companies to restrict their customers' freedom. StarForce attempts to stop game customers from copying their property, but it has the side-effects of destabilizing and crashing the computers on which it is installed. Someone identifying himself as 'Dennis Zhidkov, PR-manager, StarForce Inc.' contacted me this morning and threatened to sue me, and told me that he had contacted the FBI to complain about my 'harassment.'"
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Boing Boing Threatened By Software Creator

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  • Well, I hope other companies dont find out about resellerratings... or the reviews... or um just about anything lol.
  • The FBI? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @01:50PM (#14608380)
    He contacted the FBI?

    Well, there's only one response to this nut. Laugh at him because he obviously doens't have a clue as to how to bring legal action against you.
    • Re:The FBI? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Otter ( 3800 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @01:58PM (#14608490) Journal
      The company is based in Russia and the guy is obviously not a native English speaker. I assume he doesn't have the slightest idea how US law works or how it's enforced.

      An odd choice as a PR figure, though...

      • Re:The FBI? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Bogtha ( 906264 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @02:14PM (#14608678)

        I assume he doesn't have the slightest idea how US law works or how it's enforced.

        Well I assume he doesn't have the slightest idea how US law works, or how it's enforced, or that Cory Doctorow [] is Canadian, or that he lives in London.

      • Re:The FBI? (Score:3, Informative)

        by arivanov ( 12034 )
        Considering his name extremely odd.

        Any Russian speaker will start laughing hysterically the moment he sees the name...

        Frankly, this sounds like a far fetched antisemitic joke someone tried to pull out. Making a silly complain to someone who is likely to make this widely known and signing it the word antisemites in Russia use as a derogatory name for jews.

        The person who did it is most likely laughing hysterically know seeing that it has made Slashdot.
    • Some PR people believe that all PR is good PR.

      Some PR people are idiots.

      Well, it might be good for Boing Boing. But I doubt it'll be good for StarFarce.

      (Oh, no! I mocked their name! Call the FBI! or maybe the Turkish government!)
    • "this digital terrorist is harassing us'.. Instant federal involvement.

      Terrorist = anyone that doesnt agree with the DMCA, or any other federal law these days.
  • by PFI_Optix ( 936301 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @01:51PM (#14608393) Journal
    That's right, folks. Criticism is harassment. It's no longer voicing an opinion. The press' right to inform the consumer and raise awareness about problems no longer exists. At least, that's how these guys would like it to be. What we need is a way for judges to penalize plaintiffs if they are clearly attempting to infringe on the rights of others for their own gain, as the case would appear here.
    • by dptalia ( 804960 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @01:54PM (#14608429) Homepage Journal
      Well, it's not the press - it's the internet, so OF COURSE it's harassment! That's why some companies/politicians are so interested in the FCC rulings on bloggers. If the FCC declares them journalists then we're talking free press, but it they call it political speech that needs to be regulated then the door is open for such lawsuits.
    • If Cory really said the things the summary claims he said, then he way overstepped the line between criticism and libel. IIRC StarForce actually have a competition or prize around for anybody who can reproducibly demonstrate their software harming a system after a bunch of rumours started about how it damages CD burners etc - so far the prize has gone unclaimed and in fact they even raised it after it'd been out a while and nobody had been able to do it. They also claim they did extensive internal testing f
      • by amazon10x ( 737466 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @03:29PM (#14609511)
        anybody who can reproducibly demonstrate their software harming a system

        You understand that one of the 'rules' of this competition was that it had to do permanent damage. Someone (multiple people, actually) showed them that when they installed a game with StarForce, their DVD(cd?) drive began to malfunction. However, they would not let this individual claim the prize because after completely wiping the HDD and reinstalling windows it began to work properly. They claimed this did not harm the system because it did not do permanent damage.

        (I don't have a source to back this up right now, I'll find the article later.)

        If I install a game on my system I don't want to have to reinstall my OS everytime I want to burn a DVD.

        • That's interesting and I would like to see this article.

          However, given that the claims people were making against StarForce were specifically that it physically broke drives, I'm not surprised that was a part of the rules ... otherwise it would have turned into $10,000 for any bug report going which I doubt many software companies would be willing to make.

          Clearly their software shouldn't interfere with legitimate CD/DVD burning and I'd hope they'd fix that though if the claims are true (could well be,

        • by amazon10x ( 737466 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @03:41PM (#14609667)
          I realized I had the bookmark right here. Straight from the terms of the contest []:

          Using your PC (the subject PCs hardware must be under warranty terms) or any StarForce office PC you demonstrate that:
          - All the drives in the system are properly functioning prior to the installation of a StarForce protected product of your choice. A legal version of operational system must be installed and there must be no other third company products installed. StarForce experts have full access to the subject PC for verification of installed software.
          - After the installation and start-up of StarForce protected product (the product itself must not be hazardous for optical drives) the CD or DVD drive in the subject PC is not reading CD/DVD discs or the drive is not writing CD/DVD discs.
          - After this demonstration the subject Drive must be removed from the subject PC and installed into any other computer that has no StarForce protected products or drivers installed, that has a legal version of operational system and has no third company products installed. StarForce experts have full access to the subject PC for verification of installed software.

          Should the subject Drive fail to read or write CD/DVD discs in the second PC, you will be acknowledged the Winner.

          That last sentence means that you must make the software actually physically fubar you drive to the point it will not work in ANY SYSTEM without starforce protection. Everyone knows starforce isn't physically smashing drives with hammers; they are breaking drivers to the point one needs to reinstall Windows.

          This contest will never be won.

          As a side note, if you decide you want to try to win this contest anyway, you must foot the bill to fly to Moscow (the one on the other side of the planet) and show the folks in the office.

    • What we need is a way for judges to penalize plaintiffs if they are clearly attempting to infringe on the rights of others for their own gain, as the case would appear here.

      In jurisdictions where barratry [] is an criminal offense, there is just that.
  • by binaryspiral ( 784263 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @01:51PM (#14608397)
    When companies realise they are copy protecting themselves out of business, maybe others will learn from their mistakes and not treat every paying customer like a thief.

    Bravo for posting information on this - the public needs more information to make educated choices.
    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @01:56PM (#14608452)
      People will buy until they know. Look around amongst your peers, mention "Sony rootkit" or "DRM" and check how many blank stares you receive.

      Yes, WE know it. Now. Thanks for posting. But we already knew. We already take care of our computers. We already check on CDs if they are REALLY CDs. We already make sure that our Games don't hassle us with "I don't wanna run as long as you have that CD Emu soft running".

      But we don't count, folks. We are a minority. We think before we act. And most of all, we think before we buy.

      We're a small minority. We don't count.
      • by Blue Stone ( 582566 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @03:37PM (#14609610) Homepage Journal
        So you tell those people, who stare at you blankly, when you tell them of the Sony Rootkit et al. in a simple and easy to understand manner what it is, and ... get this ... you educate them!

        And they tell their friends, and slowly the pool of available knowledge of these matters, and people's awareness of them, is increased.

        And the snowflake becomes a snowball, and the snowball becomes an avalanche.

        Saying "we don't count" is apathy bordering on self-pity.

        Stop it! And instead do what little you're able! It all adds up. :-)

      • by technos ( 73414 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @04:23PM (#14610160) Homepage Journal
        Look around amongst your peers, mention "Sony rootkit" or "DRM" and check how many blank stares you receive.

        I work about the last place you'd expect to be tech savvy: A railroad, surrounded by union truck drivers, most of which are pushing retirement age.

        I'd say most of them own a home computer. Of the ones that own a PC, most could reinstall the OS without trouble. They all know about spyware, and I've heard at least one "AdAware vs. Spybot" zealotry argument. At least one of them reads /., and I've traded mp3s with a few of em.

        I could walk into the break room and say "Sony rootkit" and probably three quarters of them would know exactly what I was talking about.

        The reach is getting bigger, boys and girls. The second their digital TVs break, or their mp3s no longer work, the blue collar slice of America will know and complain, rest assured.
    • by w1ll0w ( 658777 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @04:52PM (#14610428)
      It's weird, they have icewind dale heart of winter on the list of released games. I used to work at interplay and was a programmer on that title. I don't ever remember use using this stuff. I guess it could have been for a european release, they wouldn't even take a game unless it used macrovision. I wonder how many other games on their list are false. Anyone else work on any of these games and not use starforce?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Where's the company web site? How else can we slashdot them? C'mon! Someone dig it up! I've got an itchy mouse button.
  • WTF (Score:2, Funny)

    by bvimo ( 780026 )
    Cory Doctorow publishes an opinion and then someone called 'Dennis Zhidkov' runs to the FBI and makes claims about harassment. WTF
  • by eno2001 ( 527078 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @01:54PM (#14608431) Homepage Journal
    Sorry. That was me. My Troll Tuesday antics got a little out of hand and I started calling everyone in my address book (Lycos People Search) and threatening to sue for unspecified amounts under the DMCA just to make a point. You can disregard the call. Sometimes a joke CAN go too far, can't it? ;P
  • Cory can use the money.

    If nothing else, cartooneys are good for plenty of laughs.

  • by Nf1nk ( 443791 ) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <kn1fn>> on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @01:55PM (#14608441) Homepage
    This is a classic SLAPP technique []
    One nice thing is that states like California have fairly strong anti Slapp laws and lawyers that specialize in this sort of case
  • by Sundroid ( 777083 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @01:55PM (#14608448) Homepage
    Smile, you're on Slashdot: []
  • by deathcloset ( 626704 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @01:56PM (#14608459) Journal
    Honestly, it sounds and reads like boing boing is just reporting the facts. Nothing more.

    Software is written that destabilizes a system, causes a crash and could potentially damage hardware.

    What am I missing?
    • You did it again !
    • What am I missing?
      The word allegedly.
      I saw nothing in the post the back up his assertions. While I don't doubt that it is possible that everything stated there was fact, there is nothing posted, nor did I see any links to evidence nor how he came to the conclusions that the software in question did any of the things he describes.
      If the company can demonstrate that any one of the statements he made is false then there is grounds for a lawsuit...
    • What am I missing?

      They forgot to say "Thank you sir, may I have another" to the "protection agencies". I mean, the nerve of people nowadays, wanting things to work, and wanting their rights! I swear, people who complain that companies are screwing up their games can stop using them, and return them for no refund whatsoever, because if they try to get a refund, they're obviously pirates.
  • by Avillia ( 871800 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @01:56PM (#14608461)
    Threaten to involve or claim to involve the FBI (Cybercrime)? Really, I swore they had better things to do than investigate petty sites using legally protected free speech to label corporate interests as having malicious intent with their product. Like, I dunno. Child Porn? I hope so.

    And then, of course, comes the OMG LAWSUIT brigade, claiming libel and slander when, again, opinions of a entities buisness practices are protected free speech...Hoping to tie up critics in a huge and costly (in the short term) legal battle to silence them. (PriceRitePhoto scandal, anyone?)

    It just goes to show the sort of people behind this company that, instead of making logical arguments against their critics, they choose to take the 'dirty route' with the aforementioned threats...360, Claira, Jack Thompson, PriceRitePhoto..

    I really, really, really hope someone gets up the gonads to take one of these foolish corporations, PARTICULARY so a adware/spyware corporation or someone with similar malicious intent to court when they issue a groundless Cease and Desist in a attempt to hold face and further their own intent.

    • by dwandy ( 907337 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @02:37PM (#14608934) Homepage Journal
      claiming libel and slander when, again, opinions of a entities buisness practices are protected free speech...
      While opinions are protected, false 'facts' are not. The following (from the original) are not opinions, but were persented as statements of fact, not opinion:
      • The software causes system instability and crashes.
      • Starforce, on a regular basis, triggers this silent step down.
      • ...the Starforce drivers, installed on your system, grant ring 0 (system level) privileges to any code under the ring 3 (user level) privileges.

      An opinion might read like "It seems to me that my system became unstable after I installed some software. or I don't like the food at McDonald's.
      A statement of fact should be presented with backing documentation, something like After installing on a clean machine, using SomeMonitoringSoftware and SomeSoftwareToBeTested, it was noted that there were packets lost and the silent step-down was initiated by WinXP. if Mr BoingBoing can't prove his statements he might be in for a rough ride...

      • by WilliamX ( 22300 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @03:40PM (#14609655)

        Perhaps your view is because you are not aware of the very extensive evidence that has previously been posted in highly respective technical forums in the past about this subject.

        Read this from Tom's Hardware's Aaron McKenna: pirates/index.html []

        Read the follow up letter by Starforce: tml?c=256&id=658 []

        Read Aaron's response letter to Dennis Zhidkov at: []

        Ubi has received numerous emails from registered users of their games who have experienced this problem and are investigating them. Check their forums for more details on that.

        Starforce regularly LOCKS and even deletes threads on their own forums whenever someone posts requesting for help with problems related to those discussed here, so they can keep up the pretense of not having any legitimate reports of problems.

        I completely agree with Aaron's letter. When copy protection seeks to do modification to a person's system, regardless of what kind of "permission" they confuse the end user into giving them, then copy protection is going too far.

        And making non-specific overstated threats to silence public critics is one of the must surefire signs that a company is trying to hide something.
  • by geneing ( 756949 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @01:57PM (#14608471)
    that Boris Zhidkov didn't contact the russian mob... :)
  • Maybe that CEO thought that he could bully them around a bit and make the negative press disappear. After all it is probably his ass/job on the line.
    Why this id10t call himself CEO is a wonder to me. Anybody with two braincells would have known how his actions could backfire badly. But then again, the company makes software that works against their users, so they cannot be too smart anyway.
  • I hope these guys are in a state with anti-SLAPP [] legislation, so Cory can go after them if they do file suit.
  • What has been broken (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @02:00PM (#14608509)
    List of games they fucked up: unt=205 []

    courtesy of []
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @02:01PM (#14608517) Homepage
    Making that threat was a big mistake. Now more security people will take a look at this "protection software", probably confirm the holes, and get it marked as hostile code. That will hit the mainstream press, and some major game vendors will be in the position Sony is now in. Expect some product recalls.

    This controversy is good. Games must be stopped from installing code which runs with kernel or administrator privileges. That's introducing too many security holes now, by preventing users from running as a nonprivileged user. Users can't lock down their machines and still run games. That's no longer acceptable.

    • I wonder if MS will let companies like StarForce create signed drivers for Windows Vista. This is interesting since if not, many games will not work in Windows Vista and we will have almost the same scenario as when games were DOS based and NT first came out. But if MS let them, you'll end up defeating the measures taken to create a much more stable operating system.
  • You know, there's a lot to be said about being an "Anonymous Coward".

    Consider the following: Provide all the proof of your allegations, but do so in an anonymous manner (e.g., Mixminion).

    There is one inescapable truth: If you are truly anonymous, then you are lawsuit proof.

    • That's only if Bills like Canada's now dead C-60 don't pass, requiring ISPs to keep logs of their user's activities.

      This whole FBI threat reminds me of the "I'm phoning the" threat that several hundred eBay users are familiar with after someone auction was put up for ridicule on a message board, and he took it badly and flipped out.
  • This is the point where you start apologizing profusely, because as the Sony incident showed us, everyone just loves hidden DRM.
  • "Must get moose and squirrel, Boing Boing is a moosey/squirrey sound"
  • does this sounds peculiarly like Jack Thompson tactics?
  • The more I read crap like this, the more I'm glad I've pretty much stopped buying video games. Oh, I admit, it's not strictly because of this bullshit ( although it does play a large part of it. Who wants to go research to find out if the game you want to buy has intrusive copy protection? ), games in general have stopped being interesting.

    Give me back the days of Sam and Max. Grim Fandago. Even the old wing commanders were good games.

    Were I in the game industry, I would be very careful about what i put
  • by Paladin144 ( 676391 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @02:03PM (#14608554) Homepage
    At slashdot, we like to pretend that we're the Geek Mecca, and that we speak for all geeks. This is, of course, bullshit. Geeks are a huge demographic and they cannot be so easily summarized.

    That may explain why some people here might be puzzled to notice that geeks are among the most fervent supporters of DRM, copy-protection, spyware and other restrictive technologies. Witness the many gamers who have StarForce installed on their systems. Witness the many iTunes lovers (myself included) who've bought into the DRMed songs Apple offers.

    It's sad to realize that we are heading straight into a DRM/copy-protection nightmare, and the worst part is that we're fully aware where we're going. Gamers are leading the way. They seem to be fully content to have anti-copying and anti-cheating software running in the background while they play World of Warcraft or Half-Life. It seems that these companies are using our geek tendencies (!) against us. Is this the beginning of the end of our freedom on the net?

  • ...posted about StarForce, a harmful technology used by game companies to restrict their customers' freedom. StarForce attempts to stop game customers from copying their property, but it has the side-effects of destabilizing and crashing the computers on which it is installed.

    If I told you once, I have told you a thousand times - NEVER mess with STAR FORCE! []
  • Because the FBI takes a dim view of assholes wasting their time on civil matters the FBI couldn't possibly get involved in even if they wanted to.

    I've yet to see someone claim to have "contacted the FBI" who actually did, after being read the riot act.
  • Boinging for justice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by spyrochaete ( 707033 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @02:05PM (#14608582) Homepage Journal
    Boing Boing might in fact have a strong case vs Starforce here. Precedent was set by Kyle Bennett of HardOCP when he successfully defended [] vs Infinium Labs last year. I think what won him the case was his freedom of press rights. I wonder if Boing Boing could countersue for slander as Starforce contests his journalistic integrity.
  • by szembek ( 948327 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @02:07PM (#14608611) Homepage
    Check out d=707 [] for a claim that star force makes. They say if you can prove that their software causes the noted problems with dvd drives they will give you $10,000. Not that I believe they would actually pay you, or would expect anybody to travel to Moscow to do it, but it's pretty funny.
    • It's a shame that the terms of their 'contest' explicitly exclude the problems that have been noted, isn't it? They say that there should be permanent HARDWARE damange to the drive, not damage to the OS that renders the drive unusable.

      Their 'contest' is crap. Has nothing to do with the problems. It's a whitewash.

  • Too bad. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @02:11PM (#14608649) Homepage Journal
    There are some games on that list I might have wanted to buy... Not now. This copy protection scheme is an anti feature to me. AKA it makes the game not worth buying.
    You want to stop it? Flood the publisher of these games with email telling them that you will not buy games with this use this DRM.
    They have the right to put it on and we have the right not to buy.
    • Re:Too bad. (Score:4, Informative)

      by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @02:50PM (#14609094) Journal
      Since we want to keep everything legal...

      Buy the game, then go download an ISO & use a NoCD patched/cracked exe is one of the many places you can find such things. GCW has been around for a long time and you don't have to worry about trojans/virii/etc.

      On the other hand, if you want to make a statement, write those companies a letter telling them exactly why you're not going to buy their games.

      Just laying out your options for ya.
  • I found a comment "Dennis Zhidkov" made to C-Net interesting:

    "Now, let me ask you a question. If you are not a pirate, why would you need a debugger simultaneously running with the protected software? It is in the interest of the developer to keep the debuggers and emulators out of business when the protected application is run."

    Apparently he's never heard of decal for Asheron's Call. I'm sure a debugger (or something) was needed to find the memory locations it needed to integrate with the game properly.
  • How does one violate _approximately_ 11 international laws?

    Jeez, if you're going to bully people with legal threats at least make them long, with intimidating legal letterhead and scary pronouncements like, "you are in violation of statute 3 subsection q9 of the corndogian legal code, punishable by forced ingestion of flaming crickets."

    The quality of legal threats really has gone downhill in the last few years.

    What about shipping software into the US that deliberately opens security holes? Doesn't that con
  • by thaerin ( 937575 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @02:18PM (#14608718)
    Ever since I heard about some of the random issues caused by Starforce a few years back, I've always avoided any game title under it's protection. You can find a pretty good up-to-date list of known Starforce protected titles over here - []
  • I'm not much of a gamer, and the other day I saw a game called "Area 51" (A FPS) for the PC. Looked cool, the system requirements were modest, and I didn't see anything about content protection. So I bought it.

    Gameplay is nice, but from seeing this article, it installed "gameforce" crap on my system.

    Damn, 1st malware I've had in decades on any PC I've owned.

    Ah well, thanks to /., at least I know about it.
  • I read with great interest your attempts to bully and silence Cory Doctrow for having shed light on just what Star Force software is and what it does. I understand that you are the PR manager for Star Force. I would just like to say that you have done a good job in illustrating and explaining the goals and intentions of Star Force to the general public. I think your style of PR creates a more open environment of understanding how companies like Star Force operate. I applaud your efforts and wish other P
  • Boycott Starforce (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pyrosz ( 469177 ) <> on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @02:23PM (#14608776) Homepage [] I just picked up X3: Reunion without knowing that it included this Starforce software. I would not have purchased it had I known this. I will be writing both Egosoft and the publisher about this. Here is a reply by Egosoft on their own forums to concerns about Starforce:
    Starforce is picked by the publisher, not Egosoft. You should be writing this to either Deepsilver or Enlight, depending where you are. So no, you've not proved that Egosoft used Starforce. The publisher did. Likening Starforce to the whole Sony/root-kit thing is a little silly, as Starforce is clearly named as the CP in the game's manual. You're told it's gonna install. Almost all discussions on CP turn into discussions of piracy, and as a result this thread is being pre-emptively locked. If you have a problem with the CP, feel free to register your game and post the issue in the sticky in the Tech Support forum.
    • That's interesting. So can you read the manual without opening the shrinkwrapped box? Does the manual state that it can damage your ability to burn CD/DVD's? Does it mention that it installs this potentially damaging malware on the OUTSIDE of the box? Do any stores allow you to return game software after opening the box?

      Questions questions...
  • by Maxwell'sSilverLART ( 596756 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @02:24PM (#14608783) Homepage

    This is absolutely perfect. StarForce is accusing Doctorow of slander and/or libel (probably libel, as his remarks were published). Now, if he wants to press that case, Doctorow will have the opportunity to validate his claims in court. If he fails, he'll be found liable (of libel), and punished accordingly--as it should be. If he succeeds, plaintiff (StarForce) will lose, and will get the additional bonus of having their software be demonstrated in court as malware.

    As an additional bonus, if StarForce loses, Doctorow can countersue, also for slander and/or libel--if you accuse me of lying, and I'm not, it damages my reputation.

    As long as Doctorow is confident in his claims, his only thought should be "bring it on."

  • How does one "approximately" break 11 international laws. I mean there are grey and untested areas in the law but usually the amount og laws that one is breaking has a definable numerical value.
  • by Renraku ( 518261 )
    X3 came with StarForce, like someone above said.

    It absolutely REFUSED to let me run the game because it decided that my oldish DVD drive was emulated. So rather than disconnect my DVD drive I found a way around StarForce. So now not only can I play the game without the DVD, but I know how StarForce works so I could do it to all the other StarForce games, too. Rest assured that I will never buy another StarForce product, especially after noticing a reduction in performance (boot time and FPS) because it l
  • by thePowerOfGrayskull ( 905905 ) <marc,paradise&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @02:36PM (#14608918) Homepage Journal
    Below: Their side of the story
    So what if it reads more like a press release... but of particular interest is this: There is no legal concern because before a user loads a game, he or she has agreed to accept the conditions of the end-user licensing agreement, typically known as a EULA. These are also known as click and go, or click and accept agreements. When you accept, you are saying I will load this game or application at my own risk, and have read and understood the terms. Or there will be a disclaimer that protects the publisher from damages of any kind due to their products' use. Our product is licensed to our customers, and becomes part of their product, so the user by accepting the terms, is giving approval.
    It seems to me that one could read that to say that they are knowingly installing software that can damage a computer, and that the manufacturer is not liable. But anyway, I'm curious about the wording on that license -- since this is third party software, I wonder if it's still covered.
  • Oh yes, they interfered with each other and a computer with a pile of dongles plugged into the printer port was unstable and liable to errors.

    Every application assumes it is the only one installed on a PC and guess what? THEY ARE WRONG!!

Nothing will dispel enthusiasm like a small admission fee. -- Kim Hubbard