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Colin

Official StarForce Feed Back Thread

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It's good system. I have used it before, for about a year with VBS1, and never had one single solitary issue with it.

Now Lockdown on the otherhand was a total pain to install. It sucked, because of SF. I like the game, but that SF ###### just ###### me off. It's a pain in the ass.

Tomorrow morning though, I'm going to try to duplicate PigFisters problem. And if I do, both them and Ubi are going to get a serious ear full.

Because in day after day, they haven't even bothered to try to help him.

As far as I'm concerned now, after GRAW(and only after GRAW because we waited so may years for a sequel), as long as Ubi uses SF they will never get a penny from me, and I will advise everyone I know to stay the hell away from them.

They wouldn't give the guy support after taking his 50 bucks, you know damn well StarFarce won't support him, and that is just plain ######.

So after GRAW, as long as Ubi uses those idiots at StarFarce, I'm strictly a BIA fan from now on, and Ubi can ######. They have gone way too far this time.

Everyone should have seen that when Colin brought that so-called company rep in here, and he disappeared after he found out that the new title they were protecting was fully cracked and usable before they sold one copy from a retail store.

There comes a time when you just have to call a thing what it is: If it looks like BS, lays like BS, and smells like BS, it is BS. And on both Ubi's and StarFarce's part, this is definitly BS ! !

Edited by Specter

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I'm for laws keeping CD protections on the CD/DVD ROM media.This way, nothing comes off of the disk and nothing gets installed onto peoples PC's and ruin windows installs, hardware or the like.

I think these companies who create/use such copy protections, are pretty nerving and have alot of nerve to just throw thier crap on our systems and say..."oh it's to protect our investment.." what lies... they're getting pretty daring by invading our systems on thier whims

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i had an email back from ubi eventually passing the buck to starforce:

Recently you requested personal assistance from our on-line support center. Below is a summary of your request and our response.

We will assume your issue has been resolved if we do not hear from you within 48 hours.

Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.

To update this question by email, please reply to this message.

Because your reply will be processed automatically, you MUST enter your reply in the space below. Text entered into any other part of this message will be discarded.

[===> Please enter your reply below this line <===]

[===> Please enter your reply above this line <===]

To update your question from our support site, click on the following link or paste it into your Web browser.

http://ubisoft-en.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/ubi...ated=1141833403

Subject

---------------------------------------------------------------

I installed your game and played it fine but the very next day I started to g...

Discussion Thread

---------------------------------------------------------------

Response (UK Technical Support) - 03/15/2006 13:42 Hello,

My apologies for the delay in a response.

We are simply a company which uses the starforce protection system to protect our game assets. If you feel that the protection system for our game has damaged your system then you will be best advised to contact the copy protection company directly. There is contact details available on the following website : http://www.star-force.com

Please also note that the starforce company has an offer going that if you can prove that damage was done to your system as a result of the starforce protection system then you can win a cash prize. See the following link for details : http://www.star-force.com/protection.phtml?c=261­&id=707

Thanks,

Technical Support.

Customer (paul braid) - 03/12/2006 19:19 can you please respond to this question it has been well over 24hours and still no answer for me!

Customer (paul braid) - 03/12/2006 17:02 can you please respond to this email asap i can get this error to reoccure within hours of installing your game and it disappears as soon as you remove the drivers please make a fix avalible to ppl playing your games!

Auto-response - 03/08/2006 15:56

Title: What are the system requirements for Brothers in Arms - Earned in Blood

Link: http://ubisoft-en.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/ubi...ated=1129825188

Title: What Ports are Required to Play Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood Online?

Link: http://ubisoft-en.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/ubi...ated=1128599250

Title: Where can i find the Brothers in Arms 1.02 update

Link: http://ubisoft-en.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/ubi...ated=1129646863

Title: Where can i find my installation key and the CD -key to play on-line

Link: http://ubisoft-en.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/ubi...ated=1128445056

Title: What are the recommended pc secs for Brothers in Arms - Earned in Blood

Link: http://ubisoft-en.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/ubi...ated=1128598273

Customer (paul braid) - 03/08/2006 15:56 I installed your game and played it fine but the very next day I started to get errors when burning with my DVD drive. this happened 4 times so I uninstalled the starforce copy protection and my burner now works again what going on I have a game I cannot use because of the dodgy code you are bundling with your software, sort it out. I would like a full refund on the game that is useless to me as it messes with my hardware!

Event Properties:

Source Cdrom

Type Error. Event ID:7

0000: 03 02 68 00 01 00 b8 00 ..h...¸.

0008: 00 00 00 00 07 00 04 c0 .......À

0010: 00 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 ........

0018: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ........

0020: 00 00 31 17 01 00 00 00 ..1.....

0028: ed 7a 05 00 00 00 00 00 íz......

0030: ff ff ff ff 02 00 00 00 ÿÿÿÿ....

0038: 40 00 00 c4 02 00 01 00 @..Ä....

0040: ff 20 0a 12 4c 02 00 00 ÿ ..L...

0048: 00 00 00 00 88 13 00 00 ....ˆ...

0050: 00 00 18 02 e8 53 e1 84 ....èSá„

0058: 00 00 00 00 f0 86 c6 84 ....ð†Æ„

0060: 00 00 00 00 20 e6 22 00 .... æ".

0068: 28 00 00 22 e6 20 00 00 (.."æ ..

0070: 10 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ........

0078: f0 00 03 00 22 e6 20 0a ð..."æ .

0080: 00 00 00 00 02 00 00 00 ........

0088: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ........

Question Reference No060308-000288

---------------------------------------------------------------

Escalation Level: 26 hours from time updated 1

Product Level 1: PC Titles

Product Level 2: Brothers in Arms Earned in Blood Category Level 1: General Category Level 2: any

Date Created: 03/08/2006 15:56

Last Updated: 03/15/2006 13:42

Status: Waiting

DXDIAG Attached?: Yes

[---001:004141:44571---]

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Interesting how JM says Starforce is used to block copying for the first month(s) of release.

Well, I'm waiting for the patch from Ubi for Chaos Theory and Lockdown to remove the copy protection ... :whistle:;)

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Thats a real copout of a response from UBI, they decided to put the starforce protection into their software, you didnt buy starforce software, you bought UBIsoft software, as far as I can see theyre responsible for all the code in their product whether that code was produced by a third party or not and they should handle any problems that come up as a result of that. If you bought a car and it broke down and they told you to get in touch with the clutch manufacturer you'd think they'd gone mad.

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What was the responce from SF.??

Surely you jest.

I know in Pigfisters case, there has been no legitimate response.

They quit coming here when confronted with facts they didn't want to hear or like to see.

What kind of response do you expect from them?

They are a joke.

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forget it guys, it will never happen, kinda reminds me of GR2, never happened. Starforce, let me say something. starforce is a Russian company, Ubisoft is a French firm and i live in the US. thankfully, I have laws here that are meant to protect me in fair use. but I'm sure UBISOFT and Starforce have broken these laws wide open and noone who can make a difference has taken notice. but it's awesome what a phone call and documentation can do. It would suck to Be UBISOFT and on release day of GRAW, when hundreds or thousands, depending on the sales numbers, report system crashes and system failures of all kinds. Maybe then UBISOFT would pull it's head out of it's ass and fix the issue at hand. but what could UBISOFT do? nothing but remove the copy protection through a patch.

UBISOFT is taking a huge risk not just in it's future but it's good name, what's left.

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Those of you that have had problems with SF and have dealt with SF Direct Via Support.

Please post in this thread responce from SF.

This is direct contact not through the forum.

Colin

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I fell like i'm  :wall: :wall:  :wall:  a wall Specter!what do you do if you purchase a game that a top publisher will offer no support for and the copy protection people cant even tell the diferance between error codes :rofl:  :stupid:  :rofl: ?

Do as I have done, contact your highest legal authority and show thwm what's going on. this is illegal what they are doing. thisis EXACTLY the same as what SONY/BMG did with thier music CD's by installing the rootkits on peoples CD's without thier knowledge, which left them open to hackers. I doubt that starforce leaves us open to attackers at this point but hey, the situation is exactly the same. Sony/BMG sttled out of court too.

If you bought Lockdown, thats' exactly what you got. If you are one of the one's that had problems that is.

UPDATE on Pigfister's issue with Nero 6.0.6.1: and a Lite-On 48X CDRW/DVD-/+RW

I was able to recreate the issue with burning errors burning some music, and copying a disc that I have copied many, many times. So the error appears to be non-drive specific, or maybe it is, who knows. But the point is, it causes problems, and the bigger point is, it does not need to be-installed on our system. Especially when they admit they know it will be cracked in 2-3 days, and that is in an interview with SF posted over at the GRAW forums at Ubi in the new StarFarce thread that I started.

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc...13/m/9731094224

I unuinstalled LD and SF, and what do you know? Gone.

I do have to say however that when burning the music, I didn't get the errors, only copying the disc, and I never had the error before.

And before anyone says call Nero for support, I want to say that is BS, becuase it all worked fine before the installation of StarFarce. That would be like the computer unit in your brand new car going out, and Toyota telling you to call the computer chip mfr. or some stupid crap like that.

Now, what I want to know is, why a BIA titlte that uses a crypto-box USB key security device causes no problems, and is non-system invasive, and as far as I know, isn't pirated at all? And I can back the disks up, but even so, I can't play without the USB key.

So, the proof is there.

Colin brought that SF guy in here for answers, and since he found out LD was cracked the first day, he hasn't been back, and when he was here, he didn't really give us any answers. The same thing with the interview we posted at Ubi. No answers. They try to cover it up with tech BS, and say things like, "Well, we do the same thing that Zone Alarm, Norton, blah blah blah do".

The only difference is SF, is they may write their software to use the same ring levels, but you know what? You get support out of them.

And with as many times as Pigfister has posted at your forums, and at Ubi Forums, and with the level of detailed information he has provided you guys, you have absolutely NO EXCUSE for not helping the guy. He has had posts deleted over there that hasd the error messages in them, I have seen them, and he had to re-post them, and all he can get out of you is "We'll see if we can duplicate the error?"

Gimme a break and help the guy.

Because I can help him, but if I do, it's going to touch off a bunch of crap, because it will mean me telling him to uninstall the game, and me taking him through and totally manually uninstalling your crap software, and warning him and everyone I can not to buy another product from a company that uses your so-called product.

Ubi won't stand by him because your software is causing the problem. They told him to come to you, for support for their product. As far as I'm concerned, Ubi needs to come up with a workaround to remove your software from their products and get a refund from you. You won't help him, because frankly, either you can't, which I think is a very strong possibility, or you won't. Those are the only two possible reasons. And if either are the case, you have no business selling anything at all that you can't or won't support.

And I think you would be surprised just how many of Ubi's customers read these forums, and their customer forums as well. It would be far better thing for everyone if you helped him.

Because my answer to his issue is to get your crap off his system and neve let it back on again. And one helluva lot of people will read that solution if it comes about, with very detailed instructions.

And just so you know, it's stuff like this that adds to the piracy problem. So many people pirate because they are sick of having to deal with all this crap to play a game they paid good money for, that they are getting to the point where they won't anymore. And let me make it very, very clear: I do NOT condone software Piracy. But Idon't condone lack of support from you ro Ubi for a product that a kid just saved up 50 bucks for, and can't get support. I don't condone either one. But I'm starting to think that piracy is the lesser of the two wvils if this is how things are going to be.

Enough is enough.

Ubi, StarFarce, support your products.

Edited by Specter

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yeah thanks. lol. :sheep:

@ colin down at drakes corner i live about 60miles north of you in sunny barnstaple!

i got a response that told me to uninstall my ide controllers from device manager which i have done but now power dvd is acting up by taking ages to access my dvds and has failed once already. i would post what starforce said but in thier emails it contained

"The information of this letter is confidential and must not be disclosed to third persons."

i have since then been adding my own disclaimer:

this is not the most recent email as i have yet to get a response!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DISCLAIMER: ANY RESPONSE FROM ANY EMAILS I SEND YOU WILL BE PUBLISHED ONLINE SO IF THERE IS ANY CONFIDENTIAL INFO DO NOT INCLUDE AS THESE EMAILS WILL BE ACCESSIBLE BY ANYONE ON THE INTERNET!!

And do what?

"My Computer -> Properties -> Device Manager."

As stated below I have uninstalled my 3 ide controllers what now?

-----Original Message-----

From: StarForce Support - Sergei Komissarov [mailto:support@star-force.com]

Sent: 16 March 2006 10:58

To: *******

Subject: [TRACK-0000012114] RE: ello again:

Hello

My Computer -> Properties -> Device Manager.

Best regards.

-----------------

Sergei Komissarov

Customer Support Group

StarForce Technologies

The information of this letter is confidential and must not be disclosed to third persons.

----- Original Message -----

From: ******<*****>

To: StarForce Support - Sergei Komissarov <support@star-force.com>

Sent: 16 Март 2006

Subject: ello again:

DISCLAIMER: ANY RESPONSE FROM ANY EMAILS I SEND YOU WILL BE PUBLISHED ONLINE SO IF THERE IS ANY CONFIDENTIAL INFO DO NOT INCLUDE AS THESE EMAILS WILL BE ACCESSIBLE BY ANYONE ON THE INTERNET!!

Ok I have done the ide thing. Is that all I need to do to correct this issue?

Yes I did update starforce. I have sent you a msinfo32 report and a print screen and a dxdiag already with the first email. How do I do the ide thing, if it means removing hardware I will not be able to do that as I do not interfere with the internals of my pc.

----- Original Message -----

From: Paul Braid

To:

Sent: 15 Март 2006

Subject: errors

Ubisoft have passed the buck to you so here goes ok I get a code 7 error when I try to burn any cd or DVD but as soon as I uninstall starforce this corrects itself and my burners both work fine again. I can recreate this error within a couple of days of starforce being on my pc. this is my 2nd DVD burner as my first a msi dr8-a started exactly the same as my current 1 a nec dvd_rw nd-3540a but the msi took about 4 months of constantly being glitchy and throwing errors on discs before it failed completely. the issues I have is that most cd or DVD I try to burn either have errors on disc or get 3/4 through the copy they stop. I have wasted loads of blank media due to this error and didn't realise till now what the cause was please can you help me as I have several starforce games that I cannot play due to the bad code. BTW your uninstaller does not remove all your code there are more reg entries but I think you get the picture:

:stupid:

Edited by pigfister

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You shouldn't have to uninstall your IDE controllers, bro. What kind of horse###### is that? For crying out loud.

If you do manage to do that, all of your burning software, and playback software will most likely have to be re-installed, and conceivably, drive letter s could change.

That letter I just read leads me to one conclusion:

Their support department is lost in space, and the only help that SF can provide, is from one of the programmers, who, will probably not bother, and may not know enough about hardware or other software programs to help you.

But if you want to try uninstalling your IDE controllers, it's easy enough.

Go to Start, right click My Computer, go to Properties, Hardware, Device Manager, and click the Plus sign next to IDE/ATA/ATAPI Controllers, right click each one, and remove them by choosing Uninstall. If you have any SCSI or RAID controllers, you may have to do them as well, depending on your drive configuration, and if your RAID controller is being used for RAID, or just as an extra Storage controller.

Then, shut your PC down for 15 seconds, and restart your system.

Hopefully Winblows will redetect them right away and re-install them. Most of the time it does. But, I have seen the odd occassion where it does not do it automatically, and either you cna't see the drives and you need to reinstall XP, or at the very least, you have to find the Chipset drivers for your mobo, and re-install them.

And what really cracks me up, is all they say is to uninstall them, they don't tell you what else to do. What ######' planet are these guys on? Geez.

Remember the old cartoons with Donald duck and the little Martian dude? That is what we have here. :wall::wall:

And they don't even give you a reason for uninstalling the IDE controllers.

Their credibility is going down the toilet on turbo flush with me at least, very very fast.

So basically, all of the folks that have been standing up for StarFarce: I'd take a long look at what they call product support and professionalism, and I'd pick someone else's cause to argue. But that's just me.

And Ubi: If I were you, and wanted to keep my customers, I would get my programmers on a way to get that **** off of people's systems, since it's been proven it's worthless anyway. But again, that's just me.

ANd if you are going to include viruses such as StarFarce in your products, at least support the product, and don't send your customers over to these jokes at SF. How would you feel if someone did that to you?

Edited by Specter

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Proof ...

they have no customer support

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Specter, what gets me is from what I'm reading it hit me. this is exactly what they want. they want our DVD-writers and DVD-ROMs to eat ######.Starforce could very well destroy the PC game industry, which, could play nicely into UBISOFT's plan ANYWAY.

UBISOFT seems more intent on pumping console games moreso than PC games. So if people ditched thier PC games and went console, then we would play straight into thier proposed sales numbers.with console games, there's no patches and no tech support. what an ingenious idea! Hell, UBISOFT doesn't have any tech support that I've seen posted on this thread and starforce is too dumb to know how to fix thier own ######.

But I thought this was a US only problem but, customer service anymore sucks ass and half of the people you do speak to have no ######ing clue as to what to do since jobs, yes corporate outsourcing is wonderful!

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I just emailed starforce and this is the content of that email;

I'm writing to express my dismay at your starforce copy protection. I'm an advocate of copy protection, always have been, but installing software which has been proven to corrupt or damage peoples PC's isn't acceptable. Copy protection needs to stay on the DVD/CD media period. you guys have developed a CP(copy protection) that is just as wrong as the Sony/BMG music CD scandal.I CAN prove that your product gets installed on my PC without my knowledge or consent. even if with my consent, I do NOT enjoy the idea that your product drags my system down. I tried (according to US fair use laws)to burn a regular favorite CD of mine so i don't lose my original or damage it, my DVD-writer wouldn't write. this is unacceptable.After  removed your product, it worked again.

I will be addressing my congressman about this issue, how it is parallel to the Sony BMG audio CD scandal and how it affects peoples PC's. there might even be an investigation into your firm and UBISOFT for using your software which rapes peoples PC's(an analogy).

We(there are more than just one of us mad at your firm) but you need to keep the protection on the CD media. we all do believe in CP's to protect companies investments. but if you were to distribute a patch to remove the copy protection, this wouldn't work as game DVD'c/CD's are unalterable. everytime someone reinstalled the PC software BAM!, there's those starforce drivers. your product is VERY intrusive and illegal. I do mean illegal as the drivers are installed covertly without a users knowledge and they hamper a user from using thier PC as they bought it. Illegal I mean inthe sense that your product is installed EXACTLY as the rootkits were on SONY/BMG audio Cd's. If you read the news, Sony/BMG settled out of court...

-Chris J

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I've just been banned from ubisoft forums for adding my opinion to a starforce debate!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Forums Membership Information

Dear paul,

The site administrators have removed your access rights:

Disruptive posting. You've been asked to take your starforce conerns up with starforce. Spamming the forums with the complete history of your exchange between Ubi and yourself is not helping any. Tully

powered by groupee community

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was linking the ppl at http://forums.ubi.com/groupee/forums?a=tpc...7424#6421077424 where a poll is currently running about starforce to my thread http://forums.ubi.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc...62/m/1121067124

So they could see the issues I was having but Ubi mods deemed this not “helping any†I would of thought letting ppl know the truth of how we are treated when we have an issue is very relevant! as for spamming i think pigfister2005 posted twice on the forum, the 2nd time was a reply to ubisof stating that people should try and contact ubisof for help instead of posting noncence in the forum. My post may have been a bit strong but I have suffered much stress over this issue that DOES NOT EXIST but I have had nothing but a mess about from ubisoft so I am understandably fractious to say the least!

MY POST:

pigfister2005

Posted Mon March 20 2006 06:49

quote:

Originally posted by Targ:

Posting rants on these boards does little good, have any of you thought to actually e-mail UBI and let them know how you feel?

Use that thing on top of your shoulders people, throwing hissy fits on these boards is stupid and pathetic and a huge waste of time.

use the thing at the top of your shoulders please the thread unhappy-boy linked to was my post where i ask ubi for help and advice but all i got was shown the door and mocked by listing me to a competition that had closed!!!

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc...62/m/1121067124

BTW IT TOOK 2 WEEKS TO GET THIS LAME RESPONSE AS FOR THE STUPID RESPONSE I NEVER SAID THAT IT DAMAGED MY SYSTEM JUST STOPPED MY BURNERS WORKING TILL I REMOVED STARFORCE!!!!!!

Response (UK Technical Support) - 03/15/2006 13:42 Hello,

My apologies for the delay in a response.

We are simply a company which uses the starforce protection system to protect our game assets. If you feel that the protection system for our game has damaged your system then you will be best advised to contact the copy protection company directly. There is contact details available on the following website : http://www.star-force.com

Please also note that the starforce company has an offer going that if you can prove that damage was done to your system as a result of the starforce protection system then you can win a cash prize. See the following link for details : http://www.star-force.com/protection.phtml?c=261­&id=707

Thanks,

Technical Support.

:stupid::wall::wall::stupid:

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Starforce in the news...

So the cat is out of the bag! :rofl:

We have a SF guy come in some times to look at this thread.

I would like to ask if the above thread and this quote are true please.

According to Futuremark the anti-piracy system that Starforce is using installs a driver that runs at the highest level of access on the system. Meaning that this driver has access to basically all same things the operating system itself enjoys (hardware/drivers/processes). Further more this driver runs all the time, regardless of whether or not you are playing a game that used Starforce's DRM. If that wasn't enough to scare you, if the Starforce driver thinks it has detected suspicious activity relating to disc copying the driver will instantly reboot your computer without any notification.

Aside from restarting your computer whenever the driver thinks it detects suspicious activity, the Starforce driver can also interfere with certain device drivers. In fact it can interfere so bad that the device drivers will run in legacy PIO mode instead of DMA, this not only slows down you computer but also slows down the data transfer to affected hardware. As with the Sony rootkit, this Starforce driver will only install under Administrator privileges.

If yes could you give us an explanation of how this works.

And why.

Colin

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The above quote was not issued by Futuremark. It was taken from a post by a regular user in the Futuremark forums. No inherent credibility, although that doesn't mean it's not accurate. It just means that it's not Futuremark's opinion.

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I've had the DMA to PIO problem before, I couldnt honestly say whether I had anything installed with starforce on at the time but to say that your computer runs slow is something else, its a right ###### to get back the first time it happens and you cant figure out why everything seems to be going slow either.

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I found this today its long god its long but its a good read and has many ares of interest.

After my recent stint in hospital, obviously I was not feeling in the mood for yet more silly games from Ubisoft. However this was what I was greeted by when I went to log into the Ubisoft forums.

-- Account Suspended: Your account has been suspended for the following reason:

Terms of Use violations For not following the instructions of authorized personnel on the Sites: Failure to bring sig file into compliance with forum expectations. For behavior that harassed, threatened, embarrassed, or caused distress, unwanted attention or discomfort to another Member or Guest: litigation against moderator, with possible action against Ubisoft. For promoting Communications or content that is illegal: sig file link to site associated with private organization commonly held to support hacking and cracking activity.

Update: 6th March 2006

Click Read More for the full Article... 

Obviously I was quite surprised by this given that lately I had been literally bending over backwards to try and stay inside the Ubisofts ever changing Terms of Use.

So I proceeded to create another account for the purpose of sending a Private Message to a moderator to find out what was going on?

I can state his response was very polite and he was just as puzzled about it as I was. He said he would ask around who had done this.

A few seconds after I read that reply the screen changed to this comment.

-- Account Suspended: Your account has been suspended for the following reason:

Ban-evasion from CM-ban

So it looks like Ubisoft has resorted to instructing its Community Managers to lie to try and silence people involved in the DRM debates.

They accuse they them of owning/running sites that promote Hacking and Cracking activity.

They accuse them of harassing, threatening, embarrassing, or causing distress, unwanted attention or discomfort to another Member or Guest in their forums.

Having a signature files that does not conform to their expectations. (Even though the boundaries on those expectations are changing literally on a daily basis, making it impossible for anybody to comply if they have a signature on their account).

Well Ubisoft seem to have this idea that Litigation is pending from somebody. All I can say that given these slanderous comments that litigation is almost a certainty. However it will be coming from NGH and R-Force.

Ubisoofts Press office, Senior Comunity Manager where not available for comment at the time fo the publication. "They are all in Paris for the Weekend".

Update: 5th March 2006

Response from Acheval (Carolyn Carnes Ubisoft CM)

I was the CM who suspended your ThirteenthHouR account. While I consider it unfortunate, I felt obliged to take that action. Below are my reasons, to clarify the necessarily abrupt language of the suspension notification:

(1) I have been provided evidence that you failed to comply with a request from a moderator to change your sig file. Regardless of your disagreement with moderator requests, you should comply with them. Disagreement with such requests should be taken to CMs promptly if you feel that they qualify for being overturned. www.r-force.org does sell merchandise associated with the organization, and as such, your actions fall under Ubisoft's ToU and Rules of Conduct violations regarding advertising/promotion of goods and services. Your refusal to modify the sig file was failure to follow instructions of authorized personnel when asked to remove the link to the site.

(2) I have also been provided evidence of a lawsuit threatened against a moderator for enforcement of forum expectations (Rules of Conduct - "Harass, threaten, embarrass, or stalk or cause distress, unwanted attention or discomfort to another Member or Guest"), and statements suggesting action against Ubisoft regarding technical consulting you freely gave to others on the forums (as covered under ToU - "By submitting or posting Communications to a Site, including, but not limited to, a character name, you automatically grant Ubi the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive and fully sublicensable right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such Communications (in whole or part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed. In addition, you warrant that any and all so-called "moral rights" in the Content have been waived. You hereby waive all rights to any claim against Ubi for any alleged or actual infringements of any proprietary rights, rights of privacy and publicity, moral rights, and rights of attribution in connection with such Communications.").

(3) Although your site in and of itself does not engage in illegal activity, it states in the banner that it is the portal of the New Cyber Army. The Cyber Army is sometimes viewed as questionable in its activities, though not illegal. This in and of itself is not a violation of Ubisoft's ToU, but does constitute concern for a forum administrator.

Together, these violations and concerns have prompted my action. Though I regret it, I considered a suspension of your account to be necessary given the above. If you have additional information that you would like to provide in order to reverse this decision, please provide it as soon as possible in reply to this private communication.

- Acheval

My subsequent response:

Hi Carolyn,

Thank you for taking the time to respond to the reasons why I have been banned, now previously I was giving Ubisoft a very wide berth in reference to litigation over Copyright infringement. TOU’s or TOS does not give Ubisoft automatic right to information or content that is copyrighted elsewhere. I suggest you refer this back to the Ubisoft legal team and have them issue a formal apology for such a claim. Otherwise we will be stepping into the Arena of formal litigation. Ubisofts TOU actually violates both UK and United States Copyright law.

Specific case law can be cited in which corporate owned forums have been successfully sued concerning the very same cases of copyrighted materials not being removed from their forums when requested. In those instances the sites in question has almost exactly the same wording

Under copyright law, Copyright can only be transferred when signed and witnessed by and independent witness and the documents submitted to the relevant Copyright offices.

Thus the claims made by Ubisoft and or the moderator at that point in time could not be ratified in law. So I was entirely within my right to question the response I was given. What you also fail to take into account is that the moderator in question actually entered a forum namely SHIII, a section he did not moderate and proceeded to start an unjustified attack (Flame war) upon myself and one of the Resident moderators there (GT182). When GT182 attacked Alderbranchh and asked him to leave that section, instead of dealing with that issue it was decided within the Ubi forum administration to Terminate GT182 moderating privileges.

Now if you had cared to actually read the HOMMV forum’s you will see that Alderbranchh and I had moved on and we actually politely joke with each other in the posts.

Getting to item 1:

In fact this is relating to Alderbranchh not asking users about the signatures or giving any warming, going in and editing any signature graphic that related to Boycott Starforce. Which technically is not within the moderators authority .Without any users knowing what had happened (and there being so many technical problems on the forums) many put them back again. Personally I just entered

B o y c o t t S t a r f o r c e

w w w . g l o p . o r g / s t a r f o r c e

Which is nothing more than an optical illusion and did not contain any Hotlink URL, if you care to check with your legal Department you will find that did not Violate the then posted rules on Ubi Forums.

Alderbranchh’s response was to go back into my profile and delete that, wrongfully stating in a PM that it violated the TOU (along with a string of expletives that I won’t repeat here).

At this stage I was fully aware of his involvement, due to the ongoing flame war that he and several other mod’s where carrying out in SHIII forums.

I would point out that he was also claiming that the 13thHouR graphic signature with the NGH logo was link to an illegal site. (The every same signature that you have deleted, claiming the same thing)

http://www.n-gage-help.com is in fact a very well respected Nokia N-Gage technical support site that I own. It has 2.1 Million Readers each month. One of the members there is Brad Grazadio (WGA Team Manager) Microsoft (Redmond). He actually joined to post a thank you on behalf of the Microsoft’s senior staff. After we saved Microsoft $Millions in lawsuits when they did not realise that their South American Distributor had not forwarded the purchased WGA kits to end user in most of Europe. Personally I still have all the private contact information within Redmond and I am quite sure that Microsoft would be very interested that Ubisoft have claimed the only site that they have ever issued a formal thank you and an apology to is to quote from my ban a “site associated with private organization commonly held to support hacking and cracking activityâ€

We also carry out other consumer affairs matters including recovering funds stolen by Dabs.com, getting Pixmania.com to remove a potentially harmful Camera from point of sale (Its motor over heated and could seriously burn the end user) etc. With the exception of Dabs.com this was done amicably, in their case we had to involve Thames Valley Police in the UK as they refused to comply with Distance selling laws.

Item 2:

Refer to my previous reply, however as I have stated, Alderbranchh and I had moved on since that point of time and have been chatting and joking together in the HOMMV forums. If you care to check the site records. You will find that I was actually the person who reported the posts made by another user in the ‘Dark Messiah of Might and Magic’ forums which did clearly violate the site rules, namely they where posting information on how to crack the SF protection. As you can see in this thread I was joking with FCY-JMDK-WLKY (a moderator there) forums.ubi.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/808101043/m/4231063373/p/3 about his wording, I.E unintentionally he had made it sound like it was me posting the illegal material. You can also see that the aforementioned Alderbranchh joins in the conversation with the resident joke about FCY-JMDK-WLKY to quote Alderbranchh “Hmm... he smells of wee according to UbiRazz... (check his sig)... So now you knowâ€. As you can see this is not what anybody could describe as an ongoing situation in which there is a conflict between Alderbranchh and myself.

Thus your alleged argument is currently non founded in fact.

Item 3:

In the politest term possible, you have basically lost the plot here (not offence ment by that I just can’t find anything else to adequately describe that response)

It’s a complete U-Turn form the reasons of the Ban.

The Cyber Army and the New Cyber Army (NCA) are completely different entities.

You can under your TOU issue a warning concerning signatures, you cannot make false allegations about the content of a 3rd party site.

The actual reasons for Termination of my account as posted on the login:

-- Account Suspended: Your account has been suspended for the following reason:

Terms of Use violations For not following the instructions of authorized personnel on the Sites: Failure to bring sig file into compliance with forum expectations. For behavior that harassed, threatened, embarrassed, or caused distress, unwanted attention or discomfort to another Member or Guest: litigation against moderator, with possible action against Ubisoft. For promoting Communications or content that is illegal: sig file link to site associated with private organization commonly held to support hacking and cracking activity.

Which is totally different to what you are now trying to say.

The New Cyber Army (NCA) is an organisation set up and solely own by myself, none of its activity has ever been in the public’s eyes, so I would be interested where you obtain such slanderous information from. As an example (Out of my own pocket and on behalf of NCA NGH and R-Force users) I recently paid in $XXX (£XXX UK) into a collection being run By Soulcommander (Larry Freese) and the guys on the 21st, to enable a Young Dutch guy who is suffering from Rheumatoid spondylitis ( Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Spine) it was this guys wish that he could go visit some of his online gaming buddies in Tampa Florida and to Visit Disneyland before he is completely wheel chair bound. Disneyland are in the process of supplying him free tickets to everything there, but the guys where $XXX short on the rest of the costs and the flights. So as I said I put this money up and termed it as on behalf of NCA NGH and R-Force users. Ok so it leaves me skint but if this guy can have great couple of weeks then its money well spent.

As I said to FCY-JMDK-WLKY please respect my privacy on this matter and don’t spread that information about, I only mention it now because it is an example of what NCA actually is. We stand up for the little guy, give them a place to voice there opinions, we take on corporations on their behalf when they as single person feel powerless against these people, we help out when we can.

Can you honestly say that is something that any Forum official should be concerned about?

I am willing at this stage to accept this as being a mistake in interpretation on the part of Ubisoft, a simple apology would be suffice and I will present it in that manner on my sites. The alternative is litigation for unfounded slanderous statements and one of the biggest Media frenzy that has ever occurred around Ubisoft (That is in no way a threat, its just an observation from similar circumstances elsewhere).

Btw I would remind you that the account that you have now suspended, was actually created after the aforementioned alleged events, and the previous account in question received a formal apology for being accidentally terminated. I chose to keep that account rather than going through all the technical problems associated with reactivating the account in question. So technically you have suspended my current account for the actions allegedly carried out on a previously wrongfully terminated account of which I have already received an apology for. Of which the matters allegedly presented by you in issue 1 & 2 had already been resolved.

Hence the Ubisoft TOU doe’s not cover your current actions and in fact given that they are not retrospective, the TOU in question was not worded in that current manner at the time of the alleged Issues 1 & 2 thus they cannot be quoted in the said manner. (They cannot be changed after the fact).

So you technically have actually just terminated an account for matters that where previously resolved. Based upon falsehoods of interpretations.

Yours Sincerely

William John Taggart III AdDip.Prof.Con.Phys. AKA 13thHouR

Owner/Director

Ideas Unlimited â„¢ Thurlby Computers.

Webmaster

www.n-gage-help.com

www.r-force.org

(Normally I would not have declared what we paid out and why, but its very important in relation to alleged Commercial Enterprise, Obviously I have XXX out the actual amount)

Update: 6th March 2006 (Further response from Carolyn, take notice of the further U-Turn on the Previos U-Turn!).

Thank you for your response. I’m sorry to learn that you feel that way concerning the matter.

To your points:

Reasons 1& 2 - I had originally offered to re-instate your I3thHouR account based on the facts I had in hand at the time. However, the request came to me from the moderator in question last week to consider your account again, and those PMs were provided as evidence for his concern. I acted upon that information to enforce Ubisoft’s Terms of Use in the timeliest fashion available to me. Although those violations are associated with the I3thHouR account, not with your ThirteenthHour one, the person remains the same, and the infractions of the one still apply to the other. Changing accounts does not allow users to claim immunity from actions they have taken, even under a different account name. Given these facts, my reasons for banning the ThirteenthHour account still stand.

Reason 3 – As I had stated in my previous email, the “Note†function is limiting in how one may state reasons for an account suspension and may lead to incomplete, and therefore, inaccurate statements. However, it was not my intention to misrepresent the situation; hence my clarifying follow-up email. I apologize if you felt that my statements were contradictory and misleading. I have updated the note on the ThirteenthHour account to reflect a more accurate representation of the situation. Additionally, all notes on suspended accounts are held internally to the Groupee Community system and are not public information. They are there to advise CMs and other authorized users, not to disseminate information to any and all users. Given that there was no malice intended in my report nor was the information public, I’m not sure where your concerns regarding slanderous statements arise. The fact that you have chosen to make public the content of the account suspension ruling is your affair entirely.

Fundamentally, it is my job to enforce Ubisoft’s Terms of Use and Rules of Conduct when violations are brought to my attention. I have done so to the best of my professional ability and in the timeliest way available to me. Fundamentally, you seek to have this decision overturned because you consider Ubisoft’s Terms of Use and Rules of Conduct to be illegal; this is beyond the scope of my duties as a Community Manager. If you feel that there is a problem with them, I am not the proper person with whom to take up that concern.

I am certain that this is not the response you had hoped to hear, but it is the only answer I am able to provide. I suggest directing any future correspondence to Legal if this email has not adequately answered your concerns, as I am not professionally capable of entertaining more in-depth questions regarding the matter.

Sincerely,

Carolyn Carnes / Acheval

My Subsequent Response:

Hi again,

Yes some of the TOU is questionable in legal terms, however I was directly questioning the interpretations.

So at any point in time would somebody care to explain why on the forums a moderator is polite to users, jokes with them and  then behind there back brings up matters which had been dealt with previously.  If you care to go back through the reports of that time and look at the then TOU will find that the issue relating to the signatures was not presented in anyway or format. The TOU was changed, without notifying end users to that change. It was then enforced in a very draconian manner.

So Draconian that I decided that it was matter for public domain, thus I copy drafted the response into the SHIII forums, whereupon the Moderators who had been contacted concerning Alderbranchh’s over zealous and insulting responses. Then proceeded as mentioned in my previous reply to carry out a full on flame war with against a resident moderator there.

Now we come to a contradiction, the official report at that time was that my account had been suspended because of a technical error, are you now stating that in fact the reinstatement was as the result of a deliberate termination of the account (Without any basis for that termination) of which then you decided to offer either or reinstatement?

Also are you also stating that any changes to the Ubisoft forum TOU is back dated prior to it being instigated? 

Again I ask this because the TOU did not contain those rules at the time in question, why do you keep avoiding this fact?

Even if said rules had been in place.

After the associated signature which link Boycott Starforce ( A non profit gaming advice site of which many users including moderators have similar links), did I add a live URL link to the aforementioned site?

Ans: No I did not, thus I conformed to what the moderator had instructed, thus not in Violation of the TOU.

When I added the simple letter based optical illusion, Legally that is ‘not’ a link, and I suggest you speak to Ubisofts legal team about that. It was also deleted from my account. Did I add it again?

Ans: No I did not, thus I conformed to what the moderator had instructed, thus not in Violation of the TOU.

I challenged the moderator over the issues of Copyright, that was forwarded to the Community Managers at the time, should the CM’s, which was followed by my account being terminated, then not being terminated, then an apology, now a retraction of that apology. Which is it?

Quite simply what you have quoted as issue 1 & 2 are not actually valid and I will openly challenge you to produce evidence to the contrary.

In respect of part one issue 3 reply I accept your apology, but I ask given the previous history  of such apologies “How long will it be this time before you retract it�

Internally or not, you quite directly stated via electronic communication (You need to read up on European Online law): sig file link to site associated with private organization commonly held to support hacking and cracking activity.

Such a comment via Electronic Communication is a ‘slanderous defamation of myself,of both my sites and of over 60,000 registered users of said sites.

Thus at this stage it should be a formal apology being issued by Ubisoft Management Directly.

I would remind you this is not the first instance of this, it was claimed previously by Alderbranchh that NGH and also the independent site Boycott Starforce where “sites associated with hacking and crackingâ€. Another reason in which I threatened litigation. The warning of possible of possible litigation against moderator who has allegedly broken the law is not actually grounds under the Ubisoft TOU for termination of a users account. IN fact it is grounds fro suspension of that moderators privileges until the matter has been resolved. Otherwise Ubisoft could find themselves liable to litigation for supporting the criminality of those alleged actions.

Now what I find laughable here, is that I was willing to step back, and assume that Alderbranchh and the other moderators in question had just got a little bit overheated in the situation. Thus I gave them the benefit of the doubt. Now we find ourselves after I had been more than reasonable given the level of the attack that had occurred. That Community managers are tryng to now wage an attack based upon incorrect interpretations.

Maybe we should get to the facts what this is really all about.

Prior to myself coming onto the scene it was very easy for Ubisoft to claim that Security Technologies (Starforce Virtual IDE protection driver did not cause problems).

I am a white hat, with 25+ year experience in the industry under my belt, thus neither Ubisoft nor Security Technologies can claim I am a “Beginner Level Hackerâ€.

Ubisoft have been in Stock exchange terms. “In financial Difficultyâ€.

I present Documented factual research into the technical problems.

I present Documented and fully recognised factual research carried out by Harvard and UNC that show the Piracy figures claimed by Security Technologies and Ubisoft are actually pure fantasy.

I present Documented factual research that the so called Piracy figures released by the BSA (As used by the industry) are in fact the figures including bootlegs. Thus not valid in the manner they are presented

If you are not aware bootlegging is “the act of selling illegally or without permissionâ€Â   which should never be included in such figures as the majority of that relates to sophisticated organised crime. I.E when you have access to copy and press silver disks, no amount of on disk copy protection will prevent that, as they can copy the disks on a  1 to 1 basis including the original software protection.

Summary:

Quite simply you have failed to show any reason for this termination of my account, you do not respond to the fact that links to tech support still exist directly to r-force and NGH both from my posts and from many other users. You have failed to show justification or produce even a shred of evidence to support your allegations of violation of the TOU (As it was at the time of the alleged violations, not its amended versions).

Thus at this point in time I am now invoking my right under my copyright that all the posts relating to I3thHouR and ThirteentHouR accounts be removed from the Ubisoft forums with 14 Working days. Failure to do so will incur a per use/view fee and my normal consultation charges as is my Right under Copyright.

You will find that the Ubisoft TOU does not exempt Ubisoft from said charges if under EU legislation the copyright holder has requested the removal of data which Violates their Copyright.

As stated previously I was willing to be reasonable about this and dealt with it in an amicable manner, it has now become very clear that Ubisoft or its representatives have no  intentions of honouring their previous responses thus I am not longer bound by that agreement to step back from litigation.

Btw the litigation is in relation 14 days time will be:

Violation of Copyright

Use of Copyrighted material without the permission of the Copyright holder.

Defamation of character.

Defamation/False claims made as the nature and online based tech support sites.

Wilfully supplying Software, with intent to cause harm, damage or infringe upon the use of third parties computer system without the consent of the said third party. (Ubisoft had been advised on many occasions that there was technical problems with its use of SF and that the EULA did not exempt them from this).

Yours Sincerely,

Mr W.J.Taggart AdDip.Prof.Con.Phys. (AKA 13thHouR)

Owner/Director

Ideas Unlimited Thurlby Computers

Webmaster.

www.n-gage-help.com

www.r-force.org

Further comment:

Basically Ubisoft do not seem to be willing to play ball, at no point in time have I ever done anything to violate the TOU that was in force at the times in question. At this Stage this community Manager is clearly clutching at straws.

Should she be willing to apologise and stand by that apology for more than a few weeks at a time. I am still willing to step back and continue to help peeps in the Ubisoft forums to resolve issues with the SF drivers.

I will point out one issue. Nobody withon Ubisoft has or can claim that the information tht I have previously posted against Starforce are incorrect, because they are fully aware that they are entirely factual and in at leastone instance Ubisoft has accepted liability and paid (in Kind, 4* latest title PS2 games) for the damage cause to a Plextor Drive by Starforce's Virtual IDE protection driver that was attached to Ubisoft game.

If you are within the EU, please feel free to notify Ubisoft of this position, if less than six months from the purchase of the game, Ubisoft have to prove it was not there software that caused this physical or software damage to your system (Not the otherway around as they and Security Technologies have been trying to claim). This is ratified in European Law.

Told you it was long. :)

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Thus at this point in time I am now invoking my right under my copyright that all the posts relating to I3thHouR and ThirteentHouR accounts be removed from the Ubisoft forums with 14 Working days. Failure to do so will incur a per use/view fee and my normal consultation charges as is my Right under Copyright.

LMAO I love that bit

:rofl:

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