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New Class-Action Suits Target EA, SecuROM, The Sims & Spore Creature Creator

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| GamePolitics has learned that a pair of new class-action lawsuits were lodged
| against Electronic Arts in October. Both suits were filed with the U.S.
| District Court for the Northern District of California and both target EA's
| use of the controversial SecuROM digital rights management (DRM) software on
| the company's PC games.


EA Sued Repeatedly Over DRM


DRM should be against the law. It's a crime, it's a con-piracy coordinated by
the copyrights cartel.


EA in Spore DRM climbdown

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| Critics claim DRM limiting those who bought the hotly anticipated sim to only
| three installs amounts to no more than renting the software out, rather than
| selling it. DRM also prevented players from creating more than one user
| account per copy of Spore — even though the game's literature specifically
| states otherwise.
| As what is now a matter of routine with modern PC games, pirates managed to
| crack the game's DRM restrictions within a day of the game's release and
| hosted this de-restricted content on certain nefarious file-sharing websites.


Did 'Spore' copy protections backfire on EA?

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| Enraged by what they call "draconian" copyright protections, thousands of
| people flooded Amazon.com to give the game a one-star rating. And now there
| seems to be another movement afoot, one that is far more likely to hit EA
| where it counts.
| What's the fuss about? Electronic Arts imposed copyright protections that
| limited the number of times a user can install the game to three. EA has
| likened the system to the limits imposed on songs bought through Apple's
| iTunes store (though in the case of iTunes, users can easily manage their
| libraries by specifying which computers are authorized to play their
| purchased content).


DRM Helps Spore Make History as The Most Pirated Game Ever

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| Spore, a Sim-like game about the evolution of creatures, was recently
| released as one of the most anticipated games of the year. Our initial
| impressions were high with the release of SporeCreator. However, Spore itself
| failed to meet our expectations. In the end, we found the game to be too
| simple for our tastes.


What EA's botched Spore launch could learn from Open Source

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| If there is one thing that open source has taught us it's that there
| are "users" and there are "customers". Odds are that all of your customers
| will be users first, taking your software for a test drive and then deciding
| if they want to pay for it. It's all about getting people to consume your
| software.
| The video game industry remains one of the last hold-outs in the war against
| consumption. Instead of encouraging more use, EA royally botched the launch
| of Spore with a seriously misguided DRM choice.


EA to PC Gamers: “Install 3 times? Buy another copy”

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| This can be triggered via using up your 3 activations and each time you
| change a piece of hardware, reformat your computer or install/upgrade a new
| operating system, it takes up one of the activations.


Mass Effect DRM goes too far

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| PC GAMERS WHO have had their fill of online activation headaches with Windows
| will be pretty miffed to hear the latest anti-piracy scheme being dreamed up
| by top games publishers.
| In a post on Bioware's forums, producer Derek French has confirmed that two
| of the biggest PC titles of the year - Will Wright's Spore and the Xbox 360
| conversion of Mass Effect - will require ongoing, rolling 10-day activation
| over the internet.



Vista DRM to slow down high-end graphics? [update 1]

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| We've posted before on how the Vista brand will change the PC gaming
| market. But how will the OS affect the gameplay experience itself?
| An in-depth analysis of the operating system's draconian digital
| rights management features suggests gamers might not be too happy
| with some of the system's unintended performance effects.

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