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Two New Class-Action Suits Against EA Over DRM 336

Posted by Soulskill
from the ea's-chickens-have-come-home-to-roost dept.
In September, we discussed a class-action suit filed against Electronic Arts over the DRM in Spore. Now, two new class-action suits have been filed that target the SecuROM software included in a free trial of the Spore Creature Creator (PDF) and in The Sims 2: Bon Voyage (PDF). If this sort of legal reprisal continues to catch on, EA could be seeing quite a few class-action suits in the future. One of the suits accuses: "The inclusion of undisclosed, secretly installed DRM protection measures with a program that was freely distributed constitutes a major violation of computer owners' absolute right to control what does and what does not get loaded onto their computers, and how their computers shall be used ... [SecuROM] cannot be completely uninstalled. Once installed it becomes a permanent part of the consumer's software portfolio ... EA's EULA for Spore Creature Creator Free Trial Edition makes utterly no mention of any Technical Protection Measures, DRM technology, or SecuROM whatsoever."
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Two New Class-Action Suits Against EA Over DRM

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:07PM (#25695601)

    If uninstalling the free trial would leave your computer in exactly the same state as before, then nothing could stop you from free trying again.

    • by davidphogan74 (623610) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:22PM (#25695699) Homepage

      I'm not sure that's really a great defense. If I uninstall software, I don't expected phantom memory use by something I'm not using anymore.

      I know it's not realistic, but it doesn't change that uninstalled programs should not leave shit all over my hard drive.

      • Not to mention as a PC repairman I have seen that these kinds of DRM can cause serious problems and even hardware damage. I've seen PCs that you couldn't burn anything with because the DRM would screw up the burn every time, I've replaced both DVD and CD burners because the DRM would throw them into PIO mode and burn them out,weird lockups and crashes of the entire system that magically disappear when they DRM infection was removed,etc.

        Now I had no problem with the "you have to keep the CD in the drive" old school DRM. It was irritating but was easy enough to get around with a noCD and still kept Joe Average from just hitting copy in Nero. But today's DRM is just too damned nasty,and has more in common with virus infections that legitimate software. It hides from the user,it makes itself a royal PITA to get rid of,and it causes all kinds of PC screwups that are damned hard to track down. Actually I'd say some of the newer trojans actually behave better than the new Starforce and SecuROM infections,since they leach off the bandwidth without causing all kinds of errors.

        It has gotten bad enough that when a customer brings in a PC for cleaning and repair I look for SecuROM and Starforce just like I look for worms and trojans. Because the "virus free" computers that are brought to me because they are screwing up always seem to have either SecuROM or Starforce on them,and its removal makes the problems go away. They are just going to have to face the fact that like Apple's iTunes DRM,the best you can do without boning your customers is stop the casual pirates. Because this new DRM infection only screws your paying customers and as we saw with Spore the pirates had their copy before it was even released.

        And while I love MoH and C&C I simply won't be giving EA another dime of my hard earned money until they get rid of the infections on their products. My gaming PC runs quite stable and well and I have no intention of breaking it just for the privilege of giving EA $60. Sorry C&C and MoH developers,but you lost a long time fan and paying customer thanks to the viruses installed in your games by EA.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:26PM (#25695755)

      There is a difference between leaving "hey, I was here before" traces, and actual executables that continue to load and run on a machine.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by erroneus (253617)

      So frikking what?!

      It would be the same situation if people had Deep Freeze installed on their PCs... or even if they re-installed or re-imaged their computers after the trial. It is stupid to think that people will not use free things over and over and over again. It is more stupid to take steps to ensure that their computers are impaired or limited in some way to ensure that. Sony did that and it didn't work out so well for them although I believe the remedy wasn't harsh enough.

      What if drug manufacturer

      • by www.sorehands.com (142825) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:49PM (#25695931) Homepage

        Why should I have to run Deep Freeze, or any type of software to return my system to a state before a program is installed?

        Unless I give explicit permission for a program install something, then it should not be installed.

        How is EA doing this different from anyone installing trojans, spyware, or virus?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        ...What? We're talking about unethical software, not the actions of nations. Don't blow it out of proportion.
      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by Crazy Taco (1083423)

        The Bush administration, other members of the government and most rednecks feel it is important to protect our interests even when it means invading other nations, killing people and destabilizing the world in the process. (Here's the acid test to ask yourself if this is okay or not: ask yourself if you would be okay with it if some other nation did that to you? If the answer is "hell no!" then you have your answer.)

        While that rant was way off topic, let me respond anyway.

        How about we use a more valid anal

        • It would only be justified if it worked, and you could be sure that they weren't just bringing in or fostering their own set of murderous wild-eyed lunatics.

          Have you looked at Iraq and Afghanistan lately? The Taleban is on the rebound, civil services have gone back to the same levels they were under the _Russians_ in Afghanistan, and Iraq has become a recruiting ground for Muslim terrorists worldwide. The invasion has, in fact, made it less safe than it was under Hussein, at least for those in Baghdad.

        • by ultranova (717540)

          If my country was full of wild eyed lunatics who kept running across the border and blowing up bystanders in other countries,

          I believe that's what the grandparent meant by "invading other nations".

        • by FLEB (312391)

          Personally, I consider it a "judgement call". While invading other sovereign nations opens one up to retaliation, the balance between sovereignty and human rights must be weighed when choosing to breach another nation.

          There's really no set formula for this-- for even telling what's "right" or "wrong", and what "wrong enough to intercede" is. It's why international organizations exist, and it is an important reason-- aside from unified military might-- why "rescuing" nations need to have international backin

    • by sjames (1099) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:50PM (#25695937) Homepage

      Fine, but they need to ask permission before making a change that can only be backed out by reformatting your HD. Either that, or PAY for you to have your machine reformatted and re-installed with everything but their steaming pile.

    • by Morlark (814687)

      Why would they want to stop you from using something that they are giving away for free? EA do not stop you from reinstalling the program, nor would they ever wish to do so. As a result, there is no justification for leaving any traces of anything behind when you uninstall.

      • by Tatsh (893946) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:52PM (#25696473)

        It might sound like a dumb idea and has no reason (there is no disc to authenticate with), but the DRM is present in demo versions only because crackers used to use demos to crack the retail versions of the games. They were a good starting point (especially with StarForce games) as most of the code to start the game was EXACTLY the same as what would appear in the retail version if it had not a copy protection placed on it.

      • by shish (588640)
        I was unable to play Deux Ex because I managed to get one of the few releases which came with DRM, and it refused to acknowledge the existance of my CD drive -- replacing the .exe with the one from the free and un-DRM'ed demo, everything works fine. I assume demos now come with DRM to stop this~
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Lyrael (1196443)

        They do, in fact, stop you from reinstalling programs. Both Spore and Red Alert 3 have a limit on the number of re-installs you're allowed.

        Spore was originally 3 installs per purchase of the game but I think it got pushed up to 5 after thousands of people complained (correct me if I'm wrong - it may still be 3). Red Alert 3 is limited to 5 installs.

        (And with the rate my boyfriend breaks my computer bad enough to need reformatting, I'm damn glad I pirated both or I'd need to buy a second copy by now...)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:07PM (#25695603)
    I'm never buying anything made by Wil Wheaton again.
  • by Dr_Banzai (111657) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:14PM (#25695653) Homepage
    What's to stop them from including a clause in their EULA allowing the installation of shadow DRM?
    • by wfstanle (1188751) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:22PM (#25695705)

      IANAL

      There is a principle in law that a clause in the contract can not invalidate a law. Also, you cannot waive a fundamental right that is granted by the constitution. To give an (absurd) example...

      In a hidden clause of a contract (or EULA) it says that you agree to give up your first born child. If the other party tries to enforce that clause of the contract, the courts would invalidate that clause (and maybe the entire contract).

        • by harl (84412)

          Unconscionability does not apply. The criteria under which a contract is deemed unconscionable is very narrow and it's virtually impossible for a computer game EULA to ever meet the criteria.

          The reason is quoted here from your link "...one party to the contract took advantage of its superior bargaining power to insert provisions..."

          As long as you can decline the contract with no harm then it cannot be an unconscionable contract. A computer game is a luxury good. There is no possible harm from not being a

      • by Red Alastor (742410) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:18PM (#25696165)

        Also, this is not a contract. Clicking 'I agree' is not a legal way to sign a contract and it is not legal to unilaterally add conditions once a deal is done (once you gave them money, they can't force more conditions on you). They know this, this is why they call it a license. However, a license cannot only grant you rights, it cannot remove them from you.

        Hence, EULAs are bogus.

        • by Repossessed (1117929) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:55PM (#25696499)

          The courts do not see it that way. I've seen a number of cases were EULA's were deemed valid, I have yet to see one where the EULA was deemed invalid (though parts of it being unconscionable are probably common enough).

          • by Alsee (515537) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @05:51PM (#25697961) Homepage

            The U.S. District Court of Kansas in Klocek v. Gateway [2000 U.S. Dist. Lexis 9896, 104 F. Supp.3d 1332 (D. Kan., June 16, 2000)] ruled that the contract of sale was complete at the time of the transaction, and that additional terms included in the package did not constitute a contract, because the customer never agreed to them when the contract of sale was completed.

            There ya go.

            But really the case *I* want to see is one where software installation pops up a click though EULA, the person clicks the EULA's DECLINE button, and then proceeds to complete installing and using the software anyway. It's not particularly hard for a programmer to write a utility to do that.

            US law Title 17 Section 117 explicitly states that you need no license whatsoever in order to lawfully install and run software you have bought. So you have explicitly declined their EULA contract offer (which is what an EULA actually is, nothing but a contract offer), and you have perfectly lawfully installed an lawfully use the software. By declining the EULA you receive no license and receive nothing else the contract offers, but generally EULA offer nothing that you want or need.

            THAT is the court case I want to see. There is absolutely no legal reason you need to accept an EULAs. You don't need it. It's just that they make it really inconvenient to install it without clicking the agree button. In the case I described they have absolutely no hook available for them to hang a claim of contract acceptance. They sold it to you, you declined the contract, and you perfectly lawfully proceeded to use the software you bought without any contract and without any license.

            Actually I believe there is a valid argument that a purely local process of clicking the "accept" button on your own computer and involving no one else and doing nothing you didn't already have the right to do, that that would validly establish a contract either. However that is a far more disputable situation and it seriously has the appearance of accepting a contract. I think judges are going to have a hard time seeing past that appearance of contract and ruling against it unless there is a a clear ruling on my reject-and-install example first. Once it is clear that you *can* legitimately avoid the contract then they will be far more accepting of the legitimacy of other means of avoiding the contract, more accepting of more subtle arguments on what exactly what act does or do not indicate binding acceptance of the EULA contract offer.

            -

            • by GIL_Dude (850471) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @07:44PM (#25698759) Homepage
              Just playing Devil's advocate here as I believe that EA is clearly in the wrong foisting SecurROM on people. However, to argue the point you mentioned about:

              But really the case *I* want to see is one where software installation pops up a click though EULA, the person clicks the EULA's DECLINE button, and then proceeds to complete installing and using the software anyway. It's not particularly hard for a programmer to write a utility to do that

              Again, in a Devil's advocate mode: What about the DMCA? Wouldn't it apply here? Apparently, it "criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself.. It would seem that your method, while completely feasible (and I think reasonable), would possibly fall afoul of this provision as it would be circumventing the access control which prevents install if you click "decline".

              Thoughts?

              • by Alsee (515537) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @11:57PM (#25700205) Homepage

                What about the DMCA?
                Thoughts?

                My first thought is to puke.
                My second thought is that "click yes to continue" ranks about three levels below ROT13 as a technical protection measure.

                The DMCA is a totally incoherent clusterfuck of a law. I have actually read most of the judge rulings on DMCA-circumvention cases, and I don't think any of them have managed a coherent construction of the critical issues. They apparently decided if they like or dislike what you are doing, dodge the undefined aspects, and then conjure some very creative narrow discussion with little connection to anything in the actual law an no connection to anything any of the other judges have ever ruled. If the judge views you as some naughty hacker doing something to annoy wholesome businessmen, then he rules against you. If he decides the businessmen are abusing the DMCA then he makes up some excuse to toss the case.

                Some judges would likely be more than willing to hit you with the DMCA in a ROT13 case but I think.... I hope... that few would actually buy into "click YES to continue" as an effective technical protection measure. But yeah, I can definitely see some company pushing that argument. Puke puke puke.

                -

            • by Samah (729132) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @09:33PM (#25699423)

              So if I manually extract the files from the installer and add all the registry entries and what not (if I happened to know what they were), such that the application will function perfectly, that means I'm using the software without the EULA even being presented to me. If I was never given a "license" to agree to, how does that stand legally?

              I'm sure EA/etc. would make some bogus claim of not being allowed to "reverse engineer", which is rather amusing since that clause is usually in the EULA too.

        • by williamhb (758070) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @03:00PM (#25696545) Journal

          Also, this is not a contract. Clicking 'I agree' is not a legal way to sign a contract and it is not legal to unilaterally add conditions once a deal is done (once you gave them money, they can't force more conditions on you). They know this, this is why they call it a license. However, a license cannot only grant you rights, it cannot remove them from you. Hence, EULAs are bogus.

          Some courts have upheld EULAs in the past. In some cases they have even upheld shrinkwrap EULAs that you cannot see until after you have accepted them (where a 'reasonable person' would have expected the clause to be present in the contract). I am not a lawyer, but I strongly suspect the parent poster isn't either and you should think twice about taking his "EULAs are bogus" advice.

          • The software companies claim you should hire a lawyer before installing any program to review the license for $200 an hour. Pfft

            Why does software get this special treatment?

            Imagine not buying anything and just buying a license to use products like groceries or your car? People may actually want to hire a lawyer before buying a car if they pull this crap but its not worth it for a $45 game.

        • by harl (84412) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @05:02PM (#25697559)

          The 7th circuit court of the USA disagrees with you. Click through licenses are valid legal contracts.

          Please see ProCD v Zeidenberg [findlaw.com]

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by syousef (465911)

        In a hidden clause of a contract (or EULA) it says that you agree to give up your first born child.

        Damn, EA is getting tight on those EULAs. Oh well he was a cute little bugger, but he screams and poops a lot and I REALLY want to play Spore. "Hey honey, where's our son at the moment?" ;-)

        • by syousef (465911)

          In a hidden clause of a contract (or EULA) it says that you agree to give up your first born child.

          Damn, EA is getting tight on those EULAs. Oh well he was a cute little bugger, but he screams and poops a lot and I REALLY want to play Spore. "Hey honey, where's our son at the moment?" ;-)

          "Oh come on Honey, that's not mean. They probably just want him to bring him up as a code slave. You know the drill, 120 hour weeks for a pitance wage. Just like daddy. Only we won't have to feed him or pay for college beca

  • by thermian (1267986) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:16PM (#25695659)

    I've just stopped buying any of their games. Simple yes, but the easiest form of protest, and it works because they are right now down about £200 in lost sales from me.
    I don't download them from piracy sites either, I just completely ignore their products.

    • by Paradigm_Complex (968558) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:22PM (#25695701)
      They can just attribute your loss in sales to piracy. There's just not enough people willing to stop buying EA's games in protest to actually change EA's minds. If a successful legal attack is practical it may be the best option.
      • by Trojan35 (910785)

        Given their recent earnings troubles, I think you are wrong. Whether they believe that's because of the economy, piracy, bad games, or DRM backlash, I don't know.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      May work better if you write them and tell what you chose not to do.
    • by Gorgonzolanoid (1394311) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:45PM (#25696399)

      In a similar way, I stopped buying CD's as a protest against the RIAA. I've got over 200 albums on my iPod: no downloads, all imported from CD's I own, of which exactly *one* was bought less than so many years ago.

      Some time after I stopped buying, I read that they were suffering from a loss in revenue (not that I think my personal bit was of any visual influence in that), and they were attributing it to piracy. Not to displeased customers like me giving them the middle finger, only to piracy.

      So in a way, they were using my protest to "prove" that their actions - the same ones that made me stop buying CD's - were right all along.

  • by schnikies79 (788746) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:19PM (#25695685)

    Don't buy them and don't download them.

    Just don't play them at all.

  • by AM088 (1170945) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:32PM (#25695783)

    I installed the Creature Creator back when I was still looking forward to Spore, and I was unaware of that the Creature Creator came with that crap too until today.

    Does anyone know of a way to remove it?

    • by khellendros1984 (792761) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:49PM (#25695923) Journal
      in run->services.msc, stop and disable the securom service. In the Documents and Settings, in Application Data, delete the SecuROM folder. Delete UAService7.exe from windows\system32. Run "sc delete useraccess7" from the run command on the start menu, or from a command-line prompt. Delete the key [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SecuROM] from the registry.

      Note: This will, of course, stop any SecuROM game from functioning until you reinstall it, and various games may put the actual files in different places....but this should give you a starting point. I haven't actually tried this...although I plan to when I get home tonight. But it looks sane enough to me.
      • by Edgewize (262271)

        Well, I've installed Mass Effect PC and Spore Creature Creator, and I don't have any of those files or registry entries.

      • by Machtyn (759119)
        Be aware, however, that you may have other games that depend on SecuROM. By removing the SecuROM software, you may have trouble with those other games.
      • by Gnavpot (708731)

        in run->services.msc, stop and disable the securom service. In the Documents and Settings, in Application Data, delete the SecuROM folder. Delete UAService7.exe from windows\system32. Run "sc delete useraccess7" from the run command on the start menu, or from a command-line prompt. Delete the key [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SecuROM] from the registry.

        I don't suppose that any of this will remove the deliberately invalid filenames in your Windows profile?

        Those files prevents a user from copying the con

      • by Spatial (1235392)

        delete the SecuROM folder

        Note that you can't do this through Explorer. Windows will give you an error message saying it can't find two of the files, because Sony - being lowdown shits - had SecuROM give them invalid names. You need to use the command line: change directory to the folder, then do del /F /AH *. Or something like that. It's been a while since I've done it.

      • by Alsee (515537) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @06:29PM (#25698201) Homepage

        I'm having a little difficulty following those directions. I've always considered myself a bit of a computer geek, but they were a bit complex even for me.

        Ok... so far I've reflashed my BIOS.... extracted my CPU and located the prime numbered pins and alternatingly wired them to ground and +3.5Vdc then reseated the CPU... then I clipped a wire to the motherboard A20 address line and clipped the other end to my corpus callosum just like you explained...

        and that's where I'm stuck. I've still got those electrolytic capacitors shoved up my nose but there are no more free terminals to attach them to on the high voltage winding of the powersupply.

        I tried calling EA tech support asking if there was an easier way to remove this SecuROM crap, but they just gave me the same instructions you did.

        HELP!!!!1!1111ONE

        -

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Repton (60818)

        in run->services.msc, stop and disable the securom service. In the Documents and Settings, in Application Data, delete the SecuROM folder. Delete UAService7.exe from windows\system32. Run "sc delete useraccess7" from the run command on the start menu, or from a command-line prompt. Delete the key [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SecuROM] from the registry...

        ..open CONFIG.SYS and remove the line "srom.com /ng:43h /b /v". Using a hex editor, open windir\system32\comsvcs.dll and change the byte at offset 0xB3

    • I use a freeware version of "Revo Uninstaller"(got it from downloads.com....yeah, yeah. Shake your heads, but it works, and works well).

      What it does is images your drive BEFORE an installation(must have hunter mode active for this imaging to take place) so that when you go and UNinstall something, it knows what shouldn't be there. It then runs the applications built-in Uninstaller. After that it does a comparison and lists ALL changes that were made to your harddrive by the installation, BUT NOT CHANGED BAC

    • by Khyber (864651)

      Dial-A-Fix [lunarsoft.net] is your friend

  • by Edgewize (262271) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:51PM (#25695939)

    Does anyone have a solid description of specifically what this form SecuROM "installs", what it does, how it is harmful, and why it can't be removed?

    Every time this topic comes up it becomes a "How dare they!" bitchfest so I've never been able to figure out the answers to the above.

    I'm not saying that this is definitely just a pile of FUD combined with general anti-corporate hate against EA. But I'm leaning that way without real evidence.

    • by Repossessed (1117929) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:32PM (#25696277)

      Reading over the legal filing for the creature creator demo, a few very specific complaints are made.

      It allegedly disables a number of semi legitimate (Any DVD, Daemon tools), and completely legitimate (Process Manager, Alchohol 120%) software tools. (10 specific programs are named) It also claims that it interferes 'in some circumstances' with having a secondary CD drive (I assume it prevents burning a copy of a CD that's in the other drive), and that all of this occurs whether the demo is running or not.

      Looking at the filing, they mention process manager as its own claim, given that this is a legitimate tool used to identify rogue processes, EA can't really claim, (falsely or otherwise) that it is a piracy tool, the way they'll surely claim with the others. AnyDVD is a particularly interesting one as well, since to my knowledge, it only affects movies, and has nothing to do with any EA product at all.

      I can't actually say if the claims are correct for the specific version of SecuROM in the demo game, or if a lawyer simply looked at the things SecuROM is known to do and filed those, depends on how bright s/he is I suppose.

      • The other complaint (Score:3, Informative)

        by Repossessed (1117929)

        Ok, looking at the complaint over Sims 2: Bon Voyage, the same allegations of not informing the consumer of SecuROM is made (including not making the user agree to it in the EULA, which is moronic in the extreme in my completely non legal advice opinion, EA may lose this on the basis of having crappy lawyers). In this case, ambiguity as to exactly what SecuROM does is lessened, since the primary plantiff's personal experiences are listed.

        Allegedly, backup CDs of other Sims 2 games stopped working. Her USB

      • by jez9999 (618189)

        It allegedly disables a number of semi legitimate (Any DVD, Daemon tools)

        What is 'semi legitimate' about AnyDVD or Daemon tools? As far as I'm aware, they allow you to perform acts that are completely legal, and really rather useful. They have as much potential to be used for illegal purposes as any other tool such as a hammer or screwdriver.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Repossessed (1117929)

          To my understanding, AnyDVD contains features that are specifically illegitimate (bypassing region codes). Daemon tools, why not illegitimate on its own, is frequently used for illegitimate purposes (note that playing a game you bought with Daemon Tools is probably not allowed under the games EULA, many of the ones I've actually read say something along the lines of 'only play the game with the original CD'.

          Please keep in mind I'm not saying either of them is *wrong*. The DMCA, coupled with the ridiculous

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Baldrake (776287)

      This article [reclaimyourgame.com] has a fairly comprehensive list addressing the "how is it harmful" question.

      The truth is, most people will never notice that SecuROM is installed. But if you do run into a problem, SecuROM is very hard to remove, and in fact goes to great lengths to conceal its presence.

    • by Morlark (814687)

      The question of what it installs and how to remove it have already been covered in other comments, listing the relevant files, registry keys, and services. The problem with removing it is not so much that it's "impossible", but more that the removal process is quite beyong the capabilities of your average user, so for all practical intents and purposes it is impossible to remove for them. Even worse than that, each new version of Securom adds (or can potentially add) a whole batch of new things in different

      • by Edgewize (262271)

        The problem is that the information in all the other posts is of the "I found this on the internet and haven't tested it" type.

        I would happily accept that if it weren't for the fact that I have a copy of Spore Creature Creator installed and my Daemon Tools work fine, my Process Explorer works fine, and none of the files that these instructions tell me to remove even exist.

        • by TheSunborn (68004)

          But the big problem is that EA refuse to say exactly what it does.

          They don't even want to say what consist a new computer and thus requiring a new install, and I could not even get the Spore license from their webiste(Despite the fact that the box say to go to their website and download it before buying the game).

          After 3 mails to EA tech support I have simply given up finding out exactly what what the license for Spore is, what exactly SecuROM does and if it overwrite my boot sector(There were some versions

      • According to the complaints in the Sims 2: Bon Voyage filing, it prevented the primary plantiff from using 'backup' copies of other sims games. If this is in fact intentional, and not a bug, EA may be attempting to force people who pirate some games and buy some games to buy all the games.

  • by Ender77 (551980) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:15PM (#25696151)
    I have personally stopped buying any EA PC games after spore and I know of other who have also. I am also aware that piracy for EA games have SPIKED after they started implementing the DRM scheme. You have to seriously wonder what is wrong with EA. While the games are still making a buttload of cash, They have to realize that they are probably not making nearly as much as they would if they had not implemented the DRM scheme. On top of that they are pissing off the fan base into rabid hatred for them, and motivating the fans to not only pirate the games, but to go to review sites and post negative reviews about the games because of the DRM. Buisiness 101 should tell them this is not a good business in the long run and if you are a shareholder I would suggest getting rid of the stock because this is going to come back and bite EA in the ass.
    • by Tatsh (893946)

      It's true. Piracy will only continue to spike too either as a real 'stick it to the man' type of attitude of gamers or simply 'I don't have the money but I really want to play'. Honestly, I support both opinions because I hate DRM. Even the cracked games still run the normal installers which still install SecuROM or SafeDisc or whatever they want to use at any given time. So yeah you still have that 'garbage' running on your PC that can never be fully removed, seemingly. The EXE (and other files) are cracke

      • by jez9999 (618189) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @05:04PM (#25697569) Homepage Journal

        Honestly, I support both opinions because I hate DRM. Even the cracked games still run the normal installers which still install SecuROM or SafeDisc or whatever they want to use at any given time.

        I have a warezed version of Spore installed, and I don't see any of the SecuROM stuff (reg key, service, system32 file, etc)... so I'm not sure about that.

  • There are - many - reasons why courts have pruned back severely your right to prosecute a class action lawsuit.

    To waste their time on so fundamentally trivial a complaint as the DRM used to protect a free demo - is ludicrous.

    • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Sunday November 09, 2008 @03:17PM (#25696693) Homepage Journal

      Umm, BULLSHIT.

      SecuROM revokes some of your administrator priviledges and disables other legitimate programs on your computer. This is anti-competitive behavior (interfering with other products from other companies/individuals,) and a violation of my property rights. I own this computer, you do not have the right to revoke some of my administrator priviledges and make it to where I cannot delete files from my own goddamned system.

      Maybe in YOUR bizarro world this wouldn't go anywhere, but then again facts always fly in the face of the bizarre.

  • http://www.reclaimyourgame.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=17&Itemid=57 [reclaimyourgame.com] this site has all the information to contact the lawfirms handling 4 EA lawsuits over DRM covering Spore, Mass Effect, The Sims and other EA games
  • it doesnt take two monkeys to understand that placing something on someone's computer without their consent and knowledge constitutes not only a violation of their rights, but also an information technology crime, as same as hacking a pc.

    but apparently it takes infinite amounts of lawyers to understand that as a company. or, EA's lawyers were TOTALLY stupid, or bloodless bastards.

    this is 21st century, not wild west. enjoy your class action damages, jerks.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @03:20PM (#25696725)
    I'm waiting for a DRM-using company to get so fully and completely ripped that no other company in the future will ever try it again. I'd hoped it would be Sony over their audio CD rootkit, but that lesson didn't seem to stick. Perhaps this will be the one.
  • Band together, plan out a distributed attack against EA in court. file multiple individual lawsuits for different charges for the maximum allowed in your small claims court area.

    Basically a legal-system DDoS - no lawyers allowed in small claims court, and multiple suits (loss of property, trespassing, etc.) will be enough to bring up so many criminal charges against the company they'll likely lose their business charter and be sued out of existence by their shareholders.

  • by BuckoA51 (1119431) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @03:57PM (#25697029)
    Only recently I went back to my copy of STALKER - Shadow of Chernobyl only to find it was unplayable on my PC unless I downloaded a no-cd crack. I don't buy it when companies say "oh don't worry we'll make sure you can always play your game" since I've not had a satisfactory answer from THQ as to why my game won't run unless I use a legally dubious hacked version. It really puts me off buying PC games at all, and I know that I'm not the only one.

Little known fact about Middle Earth: The Hobbits had a very sophisticated computer network! It was a Tolkien Ring...

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