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Why why why is there not an official patch to remove the CDV "copy protection"?


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You would probably have to ask CDV for such a patch. It was their decision to utilize a specific copy-protection system (that I believe had problems with certain patches that came out for Windows 7). I'm not sure what the legal implications are of providing a patch that does away with the copy-protection for a game that was distributed by another vendor. Though the CM1 series is so far off the radar of CDV that you probably can't even find patches for CM on their website. The last release of CM1 series from CDV was the 'Anthology' (all three games), that I believe didn't have any copy-protection.

There were the "1.04" patches (that had to be purchased) that addressed an issue that came about with Windows Vista. These patches introduced the eLicense copy-protection system (the previous system was a disc-based copy protection from Battlefront). The 1.04 patches solely updated a DirectX function that was having issues with the video drivers that came out around the time of Windows Vista. Eventually these drivers updated to the point that the 1.04 patch wasn't necessary (though I have seen it fix an issue with AMD drivers that came about much later). With that progress I guess the decision came down not to distribute the 1.04 patch anymore. In fact the GOG.com games are version 1.03 and not 1.04. I believe the 1.04 patches could be applied to the CDV distribution of the CM1 games (though I don't know if was officially supported to do this). This would basically convert your CDV version to a Battlefront version using the eLicense copy-protection. This would limit you to two concurrent activations of the game; requiring unlicensing to move the game to another computer. I'm not sure how well eLicense works with virtual machines, but I would guess that it can work.

The release of the last CM1 series title, CMAK, was 2003; when Windows XP was less than a year old. 

The CM1 series are old enough that even Battlefront doesn't sell it directly anymore. The only official source for them is GOG now (where the games are about US$6 each). I believe that the 1.04 patch was US$5.00 when Battlefront sold it.

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