Well, i checked the only trustworthy sources for cracks (gcw/gf/megag....) and could not find a single crack for any of your games. Excluding Universal Combat - and patch 2.030 cracked. Now maybe they are still flying around but it seems your DRM efforts paid off decently. There are no legit scene torrents of any of your latest games around either, according to nforce
Steam however - is not an alternative at all, while it takes distribution and sales off your hands (i guess), its also extremely simple to crack (or rather, emulate) - so you will always need additional Online Auth DRM if you don't want 0-day spread of your steam games. So instead of giving Valve money it seems better to handle it yourself. You are doing so already anyway i guess.
Now probably this is not gonna get an answer from you/here but are there any plans for a fully mouse driven interface in AAW ? So will it be possible to do anything not directly related flight and fight (yaw/pitch/speed/afterburner etc.) via a mouse driven menu ? Like Crew Management orders and things ? ... - Without having to actually go into separate management screens? (So for example - readying all fighter craft for a patrol and sending them on a standard patrol pattern around your ship straight from the flight screen?)
prolly a weird question .. maybe the game is already complete different from Universal Combat Free Version ...