But again => how can Devs/publishers protect themselves if copy protection is inconvenient? This procedure causes them a lot of work/trouble/money/energies/employer capacity, too (referring to Lar's article about the problems they had to get the German version gold)

Much as I hate to say it, the answer would seem to be that they can't. Documentation things (having to type in a code from the manual or the CD box) can easily be scanned and passed around nowadays. CD-based protection schemes can be bypassed pretty readily, as the existence of no-CD 'patches' for virtually every game under the sun indicates. If there isn't one for Beyond Divinity yet, and I'm in no position to know whether there is or not, it is certainly only a matter of time.

Copy protection is, in my opinion, a scam that the gaming industry at large has fallen for. By and large, it doesn't work, and often creates more problems for legitimate gamers than it ever does for pirates and thieves. And it isn't simply a matter of convenience; it's no big deal if I have to have a CD in the drive, but it *is* a big deal if the copy protection scheme doesn't like the drive I'm using at all. (Which is not an uncommon problem. SecuROM in particular was/is notorious for this sort of thing.)

Though it's certainly nothing new. Older folks (like me) will probably remember some of the old copy protection schemes used on, for example, the Commodore 64 (beside which some of the modern CD schemes seem positively benign by comparison). I can still hear my poor 1541 disk drive rattling itself to death.

So how do you stop piracy? Maybe you don't. Oh, I'm not saying that copy protection should be abandoned wholesale...well, okay, maybe I am, as it's ultimately just a waste of time and money, but I don't realistically expect that to happen. And, for the most part, it probably doesn't *need* to, as long as those schemes don't make games unplayable.

And, for the record, I buy all of my software. (Er, nowadays. All those C-64 games I, er, acquired as a kid JUST DON'T COUNT, okay? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> )