I'm proud that this is my first post here. I'm all for copyrights protection, but the fact is that many fans would buy FM09 anyway even it was offered for free - just to show support for such a great game.
In theory, this whole "Activation" process sounds good, but in practice it's actually hurting legitimate customers. That's bad business 101.
The relationship between SI and their fans has always been one of the best. People in the forums have the freedom to post their ideas and some of them are actually implemented in the game! That's a rarity in gaming and FM fans are known to be very loyal (to the point that many in these boards were dismissing some very reasonable complaints). Even the F word has been misused. Heck, I'm a Fanboy.
I reckon the mods, researchers, beta-testers, programmers, everyone put a lot of hard work into the game AND trying to solve the isssues. Right now the staff must be going crazy with all the complaints.
Now imagine if there was no DRM. No problems for buyers. Just praise and constructive criticism. And that's how I hope this thread will be taken by SI and SEGA, as a lesson to be learned.
Instead, longtime fans and potential new buyers have been let down and the magic word - TRUST - will have to be regained.
I can only hope all this will lead to a better and awesome FM10, complete with useful ideas from gamers, no DRM stuff, and one that is so good everyone will buy it, as opposed to "I won't buy it because, frankly, the copy protection is (insert your valid complaint here)".
Pirates? Forget about them. Unless it's hardware or a (i can't believe i'm saying this, please don't do it) dongle, any software can be cracked. And you know what? By using this method SI makes it so all of these guys are going to want the credit for destroying the protection, because it's more of a challenge. And then voila, it's the most pirated game of the year! Just out of spite, sometimes (Microsoft for example).
There are so many ways to generate massive revenue for this franchise, but copy protection measures that hurt the legitimate buyer is not the way to go IMHO.