Most of these games have no-cd patches available, created by fans or those distributing the unlicensed version, defeating the whole purpose of requiring the cd to be in the drive in the first place. So in the end - the only ones harmed by requiring cd in drive, are the legitimate customers.

If this is done from unofficial side - it's a crack and no patch then, right? If I understood the meaning of the word "patch" correctly => solely something the Devs/publishers do, to erase code program errors.

But, lets say nobody has allowed legitimate owners of a game title to play it without having the cd in drive - after having spent gigabytes of hd space for the title, that does'nt mean they are doing something right (the publishers/developers), or that its a good idea

Do you know a working different method to assure games are not pirated - if copy protection is not the correct one?

I know games from disk times, where I had to type in manual key words or move circles to find the correct icon (Monkey Island e.g.) - but this didn't work either. Manuals were simply copied, this icon stuff was copied, so gamers could cut it out and use it. What about a hardlock key then? But these USB things cost a lot of money and the consumer will have to pay for it - and as these would not fit into Euro cases or DVD boxes, package costs are higher as well. Maybe online registration then? And what about gamers without internet? Having to write a post card first. And then a Black market for numbers would be created and...