Two US lawsuits files over publisherâ??s controversial use of SecuROM digital rights management software

Legal action taken over EA DRM

Electronic Arts is to face legal action over its controversial use of SecuROM digital rights management software in many of its recent PC titles.

GamePolitics reports that two class-action lawsuits were filed against the firm last month. The first case, raised by Richard Eldridge, alleges that Spore’s “secret” installation of SecuROM was a violation of privacy. It reads: “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.”

The second case, raised by Dianna Cortez, adds: “After installing The Sims 2: Bon Voyage, Ms. Cortez began having problems with her computer. She had previously made backup Sims 2 game content on CDs, but her computer’s disc drive would no longer recognize that content, reporting the CDs as empty. She could not access files that were saved on her USB flash drive or iPod, either.”

SecuROM became a heated talking point following its use on EA’s recent PC hit Spore, mostly owing to the fact that it limited users to installing the software on three PCs.

The latest issue of Develop magazine asked a number of DRM providers how they intend to combat the growing ill-feeling they are suffering at the hands of consumers. Sign up to the site now to download the magazine as a PDF, or alternatively head over to Issuu where the magazine can be viewed quickly and easily online.

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