Tuesday, January 31, 2006

DRM company threaten to due Cory Doctorow

A company that supplies anti copying technology has threatened to sue Cory Doctorow for criticising their product.

"A company that was criticized on Boing Boing has threatened to sue me, and claims to have sworn out a complaint against me with the FBI.

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."

If you're looking for reasons to boycott StarForce-crippled games (besides the obvious ones), you might add their use of bullying legal threats to your list.

From: "Dennis Zhidkov"
Date: January 31, 2006 9:55:40 AM BST
To: "doctorow@craphound.com"
Subject: StarForce Response to Cory Doctorow

StarForce Inc. response to Mr. Cory Doctorow

Dear Sir, calling StarForce "Anti-copying malware" is a good enough cause to press charges and that is what our corporate lawyer is busy doing right now. I urge you to remove your post from http://www.boingboing.net/2006/01/30/anticopying_malware_.html because it is full of insults, lies, false accusations and rumors. Your article violates approximately 11 international laws. Our USlawyer will contact you shortly. I have also contacted the FBI , because what you are doing is harassment.

Dennis Zhidkov
StarForce Inc.

Here's my reply: "Thank you for your response. I have appended it to my original post and have forwarded it to the Chilling Effects project to be part of the permanent record of abusive attempts by companies to silence their critics." "

I doubt Cory will be hearing any more from them.

Update: Siva Vaidhyanathan has also written to Mr Zhidkov.

"Dear Mr. Zhidkov:

Threatening Cory Doctorow with baseless legal action is a prime example of harassment. Criticizing bad software on a Web site devoted to digital issues is what we in this country call free speech.

Before proceeding or threatening people who know the law and technology better than yourself, I suggest you hire better engineers and better lawyers. You are clearly overmatched here.



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