If you haven't heard about this, check it out: http://www.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=184810&perpage=15&pagenumber=1 Basically, Valve banned 20,000 Steam accounts for trying to use an illegal Half-Life 2 CD-Key. Now this may seem somewhat fair, but Valve did not put out a demo for the game. How are people supposed to know if they are going to like it or not if they don't try it first? I downloaded the game and used the cracking method to play it (for those who are not familiar with it, the game uses a program called Steam to validate the game thru Valve's servers. There was a way to put in a certain CD-Key and exploit the system to make the game playable. They have recently patched the exploit). I liked the game, so much in fact, that I bought the Collector's Edition for 80 bucks. I play it for a few days, and bam, account disabled. The game uses Valve's Steam software to play, and without an account, the game is un-playable. I spent 80 bucks to have my account banned. Is that right? This happened to 20,000 accounts! And they are not un-banning ANY of them. They are denying full paying customers the right to play their game. And all this, they claim, is to battle against piracy. Are they stupid? Right now, there is a working way to download the game, make the game think it has been activated, and play it. It requires no Steam account, and no internet connection. In effect, Valve is fueling piracy. All 20,000 people that tried to play the game through the first cracking method can now play the game through the current cracking method, and Valve can do nothing about it. So now, they are forcing paying customers to pirate their game. It doesn't stop there either. I personally know many people that were planning on buying the game, but after they heard what Valve did, they are definitely not going to give them money. Valve is hurting themselves by doing this. They are making many paying customers very angry and they are damaging their reputation in the process. I have been emailing Valve about my account being banned, but I am not getting very far. From what I have heard from other people, they are not giving in at all to these bans. I will be forced to pirate the game that I paid for fair and square, if my account is not un-banned. I am on a college campus with a large file sharing community. At this very moment, I can download the game in literally a few minutes, and using the latest crack method that does not go through Steam, I can play the game. It is easier for me to download the game, skip the whole activation process, and play it, not to mention the fact that I don't have to pay for it, than it is for me to buy the game. I often download games to see if I am going to like it, then if I plan to play it, I will buy it. I did the same thing here. I downloaded the game and used the original Steam exploit to play. I liked the game so I bought it. But Valve tracked all the accounts that used the original exploit and banned them. I can see them banning accounts that did not buy the game at all, but this is just rediculous. Are they stupid, or just evil?