Thursday, September 25, 2008

EA Sued Over Spore DRM

GameSpot reports that a class action lawsuit filed in US District Court contends that the game publishers hide the fact that the game installs irremovable SecuROM, violating two California laws.

"Although consumers are told that the game uses access control and copy protection technology, consumers are not told that this technology is actually an entirely separate, stand-alone program which will download, install and operate on their computers along with the Spore download," the complaint reads (you can read the full PDF document here).

The suit accuses EA of "intentionally" hiding the fact Spore uses SecurROM, which it alleges is "secretly installed to the command and control center of the computer (Ring 0, or the Kernel) and [is] surreptitiously operated, overseeing function and operation of the computer, and preventing the computer from operating under certain circumstances and/or disrupting hardware operations." The suit also claims the SecurROM takes over a portion of the PC's processing resources "to transmit information back to EA."

The filing asks the judge to certify the action as a class action, and award anyone in it damages equal to the purchase price of Spore and "actual damages, statutory damages, or treble damages." Given Spore's success, paying back thrice its $49.99 price tag could prove costly for EA.

According to TorrentFreak, Spore has earned the title most pirated game, and gauged strictly by the number of illegal downloads of the title, EA has already lost over $25 million in sales. Yesterday, EA said Spore has sold over a million copies since its September 7 release.

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