The main problem I have with DRM is that its not really designed with the target market in mind. I'm in college so most of the time I get to play games on my comp is when I have no internet access, and thus have a legimate excuse not to be studying something. I'm sure the same could be said of many others, espicially in this particular market(PC and Strategy), I don't pirate games so the only other complaint I have against DRM is the inflexibability for modders.
As for "silly little ploys", I can't see whats wrong with the torrent thing. The game is incredably cheap and a good buy to boot when contrasted to the other PC options, such as the average rushed, bugged EA game. The only reason I see people torrenting this game is because they are even cheaper. While making a move like putting up bad copies purposely on torrenting sites would be quite unseemly for a large, well-known developer, I don't see any reason a small indie wouldn't find it a logical path.
To be honest, I didn't even though there were hegemony cracks out there until this thread. I regular many torrenting sites, as many people make software and put it up as freeware that regularly equals, or at least comes close to, the mainstream(and usually quite overpriced)alternatives for whatever the software does. I've never seen any Hegemony torrents whatsoever.
As for my opinion of the whole issue, keep in mind that the demo downloads the entire game, and the game's coding isn't difficult to get into. It doesn't take the team that made the Stuxnet worm to successfully crack a demo copy for personal use. While they may be impossible to stop, they arnt the problem - its the fact that some of them will put it up for others. Its an obvious fact that out of the many who pirate software of any kind, the vast majority have no hand in actually cracking the software in the first place, very few are even close to knowing how. If those who do crack the software just kept it to themselves, software piracy would barely make a dent on any company's profit margins. That being said, I'm in favor of anti-piracy measures, providing they don't sacrifice the integrety of gaming in the process(DRM).
If Longbow started or was doing something along the lines of what the OP thought, I would give them a round of applause.