In 2006 StarForce Technologies found itself mired in controversy and a public-relations nightmare when various websites accused its pc game anti-piracy measures of being harmful to pc hardware and systems operation. As a result, multiple pc game publishers, including Ubisoft and JoWood Productions announced that North American versions of their games would cease using StarForce for copy-protection.
Gamasutra has posted a recent interview with Dmitry Guseff, Deputy Marketing Director at StarForce Technologies. Guseff presents internal reactions to the 2006 controversy, along with developing technologies that StarForce hopes will rebuild the company's reputation. One theme surrounding said developing technologies is choice.
Guseff states that "freedom of choice is the fundamental right of every consumer. The consumer likes to have alternatives and we offer this possibility. In 2007, StarForce presented 'Disc Free Technology' which allows you to choose between a disc-binding schema and activation one."
"The most interesting thing is that the consumer may switch between launch methods whenever he or she likes. Internet connection problems? Activation server is down? Run out of activations? You are welcome to use the disc. Have disc checking problem? New operation system and protection driver incompatibility? Don’t like a protection driver presence at all? Activation solves all the problems in-house. Moreover, in case of the original disc being damaged or lost, the user may launch the game using a previously made backup."
Guseff also discusses Steam, "for those who say that Steam is the best choice, I say that Steam is not a protection method; it is the distribution platform," and a Stardock title that shipped with no anti-piracy or copy-protection measures, "but in spite of the fact that [Galactic Civilizations 2] made good revenue for Stardock, it was, I think, a weird move not to try to get twice more."
Personally, I never had any problems with StarForce software, but I am apparently in the minority. The interview can be viewed in its entirety here.