We're tempted to call this one "Son of Sony," though it looks like it was conceived all on its own with no help from the likes of Sony BMG or its partners. The latest word is that StarForce, a company that makes DRM for some gaming companies, has implemented a form of DRM that can force a PC to reboot without giving the user any prior warning. According to reports, the system installs a driver that gives it low-level access to PC hardware drivers and system resources. CD Freaks reports that the system apparently runs continuously, regardless of whether a protected game is currently in use. The system could the force a reboot if it detects what it considers an infringing act, such as attempting to copy a CD or DVD, even if that disc isn't explicitly protected by StarForce. While we haven't seen any references to the DRM scheme actually causing any crashes, it does seem like a pretty underhanded way to enforce copy protection. We hope StarForce decides to follow Sony's lead and apologize, offer removal instructions and vow to never do this again -- though we suspect that's not about to happen, since the company's sole business is copy protection.

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