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GalCiv2 dev on copy protection

Sales vs. stopping piracy.

Galactic Civilizations II design lead Brad Wardell says the developer has accepted an apology from Russian copy protection firm StarForce over an incident that saw pirated copies of the game linked from StarForce's forum.

Speaking in an interview with GameSpot, Wardell also explained his views on game copy protection - the stance which originally prompted the forum discussion that lead to the pirate software links appearing on StarForce's website.

Wardell said that Stardock's was "the PC application software model of IP protection", which doesn't use CD-based copy protection but instead relies on a unique serial number required to obtain updates.

"I simply don't [think] CD-based protection is particularly effective. Any copy protection system, in my opinion, should be focused on trying to increase sales - not stop piracy. The two aren't the same. Most people who pirate a software product would never have purchased it. It's pointless to waste time on those people. The people to focus on are the ones who might have bought your product or service but chose not to because it was easier to pirate it."

Wardell's is a view often espoused by opponents of systems like StarForce, which aim to protect software from piracy by demanding the presence of a genuine CD or DVD-ROM.

"Most serious PC gamers have had cases where they've lost a CD or damaged it. They resent not being able to play the game because on top of the game using gigabytes of disk space... it's also treating their CD-ROM drive as an expensive dongle key."

Wardell also said that Stardock would not be pursuing any action against StarForce about the unfortunate incident involving its forum.

In a separate statement, on the Galactic Civilizations II website, the developer said, "We appreciated them taking down the link. It also gave us the opportunity to request the various meta-torrent sites to remove links to illegal torrents.

"In every case, the torrent list site in question responded quickly to our request. One might make the argument that a simple polite email to a meta-torrent search site is as effective as copy protection."