I really can only make a guess at why this was done, I know why in the case of Bluray discs, but in other options I think it may have been because the program is so good that many people were stealing it so they decided to have it check your license before allowing you access to the tools and program. As updates for v8 no longer being available, you can also say that for V3 ,V4, V5 V6, V7. Technology moves on and to my knowledge they never charged a dime for the updates of the original options. As for having internet access, there is nothing in the EULA that says the program must have or will not be accessible to those with or without, it doesn't state anything to do with that.
I actually feel very bad for users such as yourself that only have partial internet accessibility, I do not think that was the intention, to stop you from using your licensed program. But that is what has happened. I am sure the author thought long and hard about this. I bet it was not an easy decision either, but alas as with all good programs nowadays , they do call home. Its the way many good programs assure they will get paid for their hard work.