Starforce Class Action Lawsuit

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Angelspit
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Starforce Class Action Lawsuit

Postby Angelspit » Apr 1 2006, 2:21

<a href="http://www.kotaku.com/gaming/legal/5m-class-action-lawsuit-against-ubisoft-for-starforce-164303.php">Kotaku reports</a> that "Christopher has filed a $5M class action lawsuit against Ubisoft for using Starforce DRM in their games." Here is an excerpt from the <a href="http://eplaw.us/sf/UbisoftComplaint032406.pdf">complaint</a> filed on March 26, 2004:

<i>"Starforce DRM can compromise Windows operating systems’ security. Any virus or trojan can control a computer by and through the StarForce DRM installed on the computer, despite the security measures taken in newer versions of Windows.

Users receive no notice that removing StarForce DRM is necessary to prevent possible security compromises on their computer systems. Worse, removal of a StarForce Title does not always remove StarForce DRM software."</i>

I'm not sure why the complaint is against Ubisoft and not Starforce though.

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Re: Starforce Class Action Lawsuit

Postby Psychobabble » Apr 1 2006, 2:33

[quote="Angelspit]I'm not sure why the complaint is against Ubisoft and not Starforce though.[/quote]
I think the answer's in point 7 of the claim - Ubisoft is headquartered and conducts a substantial amount of business in California which makes the local court an appropriate venue. The court might have jurisdiction over starforce itself, but it's probably a more tenuous argument and a Russian (or wherever) court might be seen as a more appropriate venue.

Oh, and read point 25 of the statement of claim. The substance of the complaint is non-disclosure of information which Ubisoft was required to by consumer protection laws (and a conjunctive breach under the tort of negligent misrepresentation). The claim has nothing to do with the software compromising security (any relevant anti-malware statutes aren't relied on). The headline claim is misleading, this is purely a case about disclosure of information and if information about, for ex., installation and non-removal of SF had been included in the EULA there would be no basis for it.

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Starforce Class Action Lawsuit

Postby madcat_lives » Apr 1 2006, 5:56

Starforce wanted to be in a court room, hope they are happy now. Its a shame a game I have been waiting for I will never buy now. Starforce is not to protect thier sofeware, its to control your comuter. So Starforce SUE me for my words, if you have any money left.
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Starforce Class Action Lawsuit

Postby Romanov77 » Apr 1 2006, 7:20

Very nice, I hope that this will bring ubi back to reason.
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Re: Starforce Class Action Lawsuit

Postby Psychobabble » Apr 1 2006, 7:54

Romanov77 wrote:Very nice, I hope that this will bring ubi back to reason.

No, like I said, at the very most it will cause them to put a few more lines of disclosure in the EULA (that little "I agree" contract before you install. Nothing more.

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Starforce Class Action Lawsuit

Postby Fnord » Apr 1 2006, 8:18

It's probably just an early April Fool's joke. :)
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Starforce Class Action Lawsuit

Postby Ryder » Apr 1 2006, 9:22

Early? It's been April 1 for over 20 hours.

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Postby Justice » Apr 1 2006, 10:17

No it isn't. it was made yesterday, I think, and has been planned for months.

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Starforce Class Action Lawsuit

Postby Orfinn » Apr 1 2006, 15:47

It may have been planned for this day too.

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Starforce Class Action Lawsuit

Postby [T]osHiro » Apr 2 2006, 3:21

This isn't an April Fool's joke. :hoo:

U gotta know I'm very happy with it!
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Starforce Class Action Lawsuit

Postby Campaigner » Apr 2 2006, 16:17

....This is what happens when stupid people get too much power....

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Re: Starforce Class Action Lawsuit

Postby HodgePodge » Apr 4 2006, 20:11

Campaigner wrote:....This is what happens when stupid people get too much power....

Are you referring to … UbiSoft? or yourself? :-D
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Re: Starforce Class Action Lawsuit

Postby ThunderTitan » Apr 4 2006, 20:21

Campaigner wrote:....This is what happens when stupid people get too much power....



You mean there was a time when stupid people didn't have power?
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Re: Starforce Class Action Lawsuit

Postby Justice » Apr 4 2006, 20:26

ThunderTitan wrote:
Campaigner wrote:....This is what happens when stupid people get too much power....



You mean there was a time when stupid people didn't have power?


:lolu: :loll: really good one :hail:

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Starforce Class Action Lawsuit

Postby Omega_Destroyer » Apr 5 2006, 0:16

If brought in a local state court, the case will be removed to federal court. If and when that happens, the defense will make a motion to dismiss based on forum non conveniens. If granted the court will deem there is a better forum to hear the case in outside the jurisdiction of the United States. Assuming Russia is the correct forum, the case will be dismissed because US courts lack the power to transfer cases outside of their jurisdiction. Piper Aircraft v. Reyno, 454 U.S. 235 (1981)_Destroyer
Edited on Tue, Apr 04 2006, 18:21 by Omega_Destroyer
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Re: Starforce Class Action Lawsuit

Postby Psychobabble » Apr 5 2006, 2:40

Omega_Destroyer wrote:If brought in a local state court, the case will be removed to federal court. If and when that happens, the defense will make a motion to dismiss based on forum non conveniens. If granted the court will deem there is a better forum to hear the case in outside the jurisdiction of the United States. Assuming Russia is the correct forum, the case will be dismissed because US courts lack the power to transfer cases outside of their jurisdiction. Piper Aircraft v. Reyno, 454 U.S. 235 (1981)_Destroyer
Edited on Tue, Apr 04 2006, 18:21 by Omega_Destroyer

This is why the sued Ubi and not Starforce, right? None of that will happen because they sued a company with head offices in California.

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Starforce Class Action Lawsuit

Postby Omega_Destroyer » Apr 5 2006, 5:56

That is a good possibility Psycho. The way I see it, and this is purely conjecture and by no means a complete analysis, is this: It would have been much harder to sue Starforce directly. The plaintiff could have attempted to join the two defendants in one lawsuit, but Starforce may have been able to argue lack of personal jurisdiction becuase there wasn't any purposeful availment to the state of California. That argument would most likely be overcome if the federal court adopted Justice Brennan's view taken in Asahi Metal Industry Co. v. Superior Court. He argued that placing products into the stream of commerce would be enough to constittue purposeful availment to the state of California. Thus, by providing protection programs to companies who make games that are shipped to California, Starforce will have purposefully availed themselves to the benefits and laws of California. However, Brennan's view is easily countered with Justice O'Connor's view that placing products isn't enough to constitute purposeful availment; thus helping Starforce. Even if Starforce knew where there product was going, it wouldn't matter without more evidence of reaching out to California. It would all boil down to which interpretation the court adopted, plus testing whether or not Starforce could survive a minimum contacts test. Anyways, Starforce may still be easily dragged into the case by Ubisoft through a procedural device known as impleader. Once Starforce is in, the plaintiff could attempt a cross claim but only if he can show that the court has supplemental jurisdiction (1367(a)) over Starforce. Assuming 28 USC 1367(b) doesn't bar 1367(a) supplemental jursidiction, then the plaintiff could indirectly sue Starforce because the claim arose out of the same set of operative facts as his claim against Ubisoft.
Edited on Wed, Apr 05 2006, 00:09 by Omega_Destroyer
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Starforce Class Action Lawsuit

Postby Omega_Destroyer » Apr 5 2006, 6:10

I used up the word limit. I'll pick up where I left off.

After that, if the claim against Ubisoft is settlted or dismissed, the claim against Starforce will most likely fail because the anchor claim would be gone, rendering the claim against Starforce an orphan claim that lacks any original jurisdiction in federal court.

Sorry if that seemed overly wordy and confusing. It's 2am and I've been studying for finals most of the day.
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Starforce Class Action Lawsuit

Postby Cleanpea » Apr 5 2006, 10:05

There is nothing wrong in posting. There has not been so much of it lately... The more post the more interesting. What interests me is: If I wait half a year or so, or more, H5 will go "best buy" or "complete," or something- cheap. In this cheap version, will there be Starforce-codes as well? Is Starforce a well unrevomable integrated part of the game? Or will it go away, when the game is "nice priced?"

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Re: Starforce Class Action Lawsuit

Postby HodgePodge » Apr 5 2006, 16:17

Cleanpea wrote: … If I wait half a year or so, or more, H5 will go "best buy" or "complete," or something- cheap. In this cheap version, will there be Starforce-codes as well? Is Starforce a well unrevomable integrated part of the game? Or will it go away, when the game is "nice priced?"

Logically, it would seem if Heroes V is initially released with StarForce, then when it hits the cheap buckets, it will still contain StarForce. Maybe this lawsuit will cause UbiSoft to take another look at using another safer copy-protection on their games. And maybe UbiSoft will remove StarForce from Heroes V altogether, hopefully before release … but if not, then maybe at least with the expansions and/or the "Complete" version.
And I want to extend a huge thank you to Omega_Destroyer for taking the time and effort in explaining some of the legal mumbo-jumbo connected with this case to us lowly lay-persons. :-D
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