What I find particularly interesting here is that he says he "recently activated" this scheme in the commercial version to weed out the pirates. This would indicate that the code was there all along, but some (on Steam?) check was previously returning a "all is well" response and since "activation" it is not anymore. If it's a check against valid Steam purchases in accounts, then Valve gave their blessings for it to occur. It seems to me that it would be a lot less troublesome to simply spit out an error like "Pirated version detected. KThxBye" and then nuke the game code. No added support effort (like banning forum accounts or whatever) as no one in their right mind with a pirated copy is going to post that on a forum as a "problem". Of course there are always a few who might post "I pirated the game and it says I'm a pirate, how do I fix that?" In that case you do ban the user as there is no fix for stupid. Just the ramblings of yer old Uncle Kreij.