A couple of things I feel like I need to say here.
First of all, I already made up my mind of StarForce earlier when I bought Trackmania Sunrise and I also had some problems with a my CD/DVD drive afterwards. However, despite their software protection being intrusive and unfair, I would not blame this entire "crisis" on the company as a whole. A single individual made a bad judgement call and the company now takes the damage done, though most of those who're going on this new crusade against SF already hated it anyway.
But there's no need for excess anger here...
I would like to congradulate Stardock though, for posting this in fact insignificant error of judgement by one single employee on their website read by thousands. They knew the word would be picked up by bloggers instantly (which it did) and so the whole gaming has now read about SF's attack on GalCiv II.
Was SF trying to hurt GalCiv II sales ? Unlikely, but Stardock's crew picked it up and made it public (very few read that thread in advance)
What has this done to Stardock ? Massive hits, massive popularity in just 2 days time and now I'd say more than double as much people know about GalCiv II than before (if not, the links will keep bringing people in, no worries)
To take such a tiny event and turn it into a huge publicity stunt is a remarkable achievement. Funny how no one blames Stardock for taking advantage like that, but personally I can only applaud what they've done and how they've done it... shows good marketing skills.
Furthermore, I've been to the stores 4 times already (in 3 different cities) but haven't been able to purchase this game yet (first time delayed, other 3 times sold out in 1 day ). I used to be a warez kiddo and I did download the GalCiv 1 Altarian Prophecy game illegally. But then again, if I didn't do that, I wouldn't have bought it anyway and I wouldn't have been waiting for the release of GalCiv II for a couple of months now.
Normally, I download all games except the ones I use to play online (like Civ IV), but this time, I think this will be the first "offline" game I'll ever have purchased. Why ? Not only the continuous support, but how would I put it ... respect for lack of a better word. I actually respect a gaming company, there's a first.