StarForce is a controversial software copy prevention brand by the Russian developer Protection Technology. It is designed for Microsoft Windows. Its main strength lies in wrapping executable and DLL files using byte-code, interpreted through its own virtual machine.
CDV, Ubisoft, Digital Jesters, JoWooD, Egosoft, and Codemasters have used StarForce on some of their products. However, Ubisoft and JoWood have announced that the North American version of their games will no longer use StarForce, citing "problems with StarForce's software". CDV also announced that they were dropping StarForce for all future games in May 2006 in favor of the TAGES copy prevention system, citing customer complaints as the reason.
Many gamers have advocated boycotts of games or publishers known to use StarForce. Ubisoft decided to investigate the extent of the StarForce boycott and ran a poll on their forums, the outcome of which was against the use of StarForce. For example, in Heroes of Might and Magic V and GTR2, StarForce was replaced by SecuROM __FLAGS__