EA Facing Lawsuits Over SecuROM

PC GAMES - EA is already facing thousands of enraged PC gamers about Spore's DRM system setting a limit of only three installations of the game. After thousands of one-star reviews on Amazon, the number of installations was increased to five. Then there was also the fact that you couldn't create more than one account in the game on a shared computer.

Wtih SecuROM on new PC games(Mass Effect and Spore), PC gamers are still unhappy and EA is now being sued by a plaintiff who believes that the surreptitious inclusion of SecuROM violates the law.

Melissa Thomas is suing EA ‘on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated’ after buying Spore. The case alleges that ‘When consumers make their purchase of Spore, they are told that they are purchasing “an exciting new simulation game that lets you develop your own personal universe.” However, the document adds that ‘What purchasers are not told is that, included in the purchase, installation, and operation of Spore is a second, undisclosed program.’

That second, undisclosed program is, of course, the much-hated SecuROM, which the document details. ‘Although consumers are told that the game uses access control and copy protection technology,’ says the document, ‘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. Consumers are given no control, rights, or options over SecuROM.’

The document goes on to say that ‘even if the consumer uninstalls Spore, and entirely deletes it from their computer, SecuROM remains a fixture in their computer unless and until the consumer completely wipes their hard drive through reformatting or replacement of the drive.’ Besides complaints about SecuROM, the main crux of the case appears to be the fact that EA doesn’t tell you about it.

The case document alleges that ‘Electronic Arts’ intentionally did not disclose to any such purchasers that the Spore game disk also possessed a second, hidden program which secretly installed to the command and control center of the computer (Ring 0, or the Kernel), and surreptitiously operated, overseeing function and operation on the computer, preventing the computer from operating under certain circumstances and/or disrupting hardware operations.’ Which, according to the case, violates a number of California laws, including the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act and California’s Unfair Competition.

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