EA Getting Slammed for Spore's Unintelligently Designed DRM

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mjm

The music folks have already gotten into trouble on this one. They want to shut down their DRM sites, and the courts make them remain up (at least for a while).

Will the Spore site still be up in 3, 5, or 8 years? Do I have the right to continue running the product in that time frame (or is there something on the box that says "Good for two years")? Or is there an assumption that I will lose interest in a few months, and the game itself will fall off the charts in a year? I still pull out the old games once in a while. Is that not allowed here?

I've installed cracked versions of games, even though I had the legit game in my hand, just because the Anti-Piracy Process was so onerous. Amazing that legit owners/users want cracked copies, just to avoid the APP.

I've never bought a DRMed item (that I know of - obviously, all sorts of things can be imbedded on CDs). So, the music companies can say their numbers are down. And they'd be right. Ditto the game companies. I simply don't buy items that require these ridiculous authentication schemes - if I can avoid it.

The question I have to ask is "Which has cost the vendors (game/music/etc.) more? Piracy or Anti-piracy?"

I can say with certainty, as far as I, and my wallet, are concerned, "Anti-piracy" has cost them far more.

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I will add that record/game/etc. companies could learn a lot by understanding why/how piracy works. For example, I've talked to many people who believe that paying for their peer-to-peer programs means that they are not pirating things acquired via that software. That's lilke saying "they bought and paid for their computer, the internet should be free", or "they pay for their internet connection, everything acquired via their connection should be free" or "I paid for the canvas and frame, the painting should be free..." or "I paid for the lumber, building the house should be free..." or "I paid for cable, why is there pay-per-view?"

I don't know why people believe that $5 or $10 for the peer-to-peer software conveys _any_ portion to the artist. If a user downloads 50 songs, how much of that $5 or $10 could actually go to the artist?  Make a difference - be sure people _understand_ piracy: how, when, where, etc. it happens.

I am sure a lot of piracy is willful and deliberate. I believe that a lot is simple misunderstanding. That part's much easier to address. For example, you don't have to inhibit peer-to-peer exchange. It's a great way of exchanging family pictures. But it would be wise to remind people that the P2P software is independent of the material exchanged. 

Education first, heavy handed enforcement second.  Cheers!

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mwizard

I believe the publishers of Bioshock pulled a similar stupid move and tried to limit consumers who bought the game to just three installs after that you just were basicaly screwed. It caused such an uproar from the gaming community that as far as I know the three install limitation has been removed from that game. I have personally got to the point that I refuse to buy any game that is severely restricted through the use of lame DRM schemes. I have had several games with securom that I had to install hacked versions of the executable files becuause the stupid  securom software kept insisting my game disk was not in the drive or that I had drive emulation software on my PC which I don't. What I do have is SATA DVD drive and I am convinced thier stupid securom software was flagging my SATA DVD drive as an emulated  drive. If game publisher can't come up with better copy protection than that then they should not be using copy protection. I mean the stupid software was penalizing me, a paying customer for having the latest DVD interface! Does it get any lamer than that? And that was not just one game it was several games that were all using securom.

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sirphunkee

This is just un-frikkin-believeable.  First I find out I there still not may not be enough wii's to get my wife/daughter one for Christmas...and now I gotta tell them they can't have Spore either?!?!?

Any of you guys have a couch I can crash on? 

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Cache

Nothing would make me happier than to see EA get stomped into the dirt on something like this.  What's their next DRM scheme going to include?  A pint of blood every time you play the game so that they can verify the person who is playing is the same person who bought the game?

EA has brought this on themselves, and while I don't expect them to ever change (or any other company for that matter) I do think that if they get hit in the wallet often enough they will make some meaningful attempts to stop acting without thinking.

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WindowsXP

Why cant we just by a game, install it as many times as we want, and never have to tie it to an account? Like others said this doesnt hurt the hackers nearly as hard as us. Maybe they need to drop DRM and move on to something else!

And in relation to the amazon ratings; besides the 3 installs and DRM software, ive had no problem with spore and its security programs. 

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optimizer

In the Spore manual on page 52 it says exactly that "you may have multiple Spore accounts for each
installation of the game." Naturally I thought this meant that I would install the game and then I would log in under my Spore account so my creatures would be under my name and any achievements would show up on my
Spore account and my wife could do the same things. Low and behold, after the game registers to my account,
my wife tries to log in and it says she doesn't have permissions for this specific install. After much frustrated
searching I find that this is seemingly an epidemic. Apparently what EA meant was you could access multiple
accounts that are each registered to their own purchased copy of the game. What this means is, if my wife and
I want to have our own login and game info, we have to buy two copies of the game, somehow install and
register both of them (luckly we have a laptop, I don't know how you would do this with one computer in the
house). This is frickin' retarded. I am ashamed to say I bent over and let EA shove their cash sucking pork
sword in my... wallet, but we got what we wanted. I don't know how long EA will be able to do this before it
becomes a major public incident. It could be fixed, but then where does that leave people that bought
multiple copies? I think a refund would be in order.

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Antilogic81

EA:Hey I'll sell you this game...
Consumer: YEAH!! *Forks over $50*...(later on the phone with EA)...hmmm I have rootkits all over my system.
EA: Of course we just want to make sure you're not doing something illegal...
Consumer: But I bought the game...how could I do anything illegal? Why wasn't I told this on the box or the manual? Isn't that a little invasive and deceptive?
EA: ......You have three lives...have a good day. *click*

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Tekzel

Those crazy, cuddly suits.  They are so CUTE when they do ridiculous things.  Especially when they are so absolutely certain it is the right thing to do.  They grow up so fast.

Naa, I haven't played Spore, and I never will.  I would have bought it if it wasn't crippled DRMware.  I refuse to pay that much for a game that is that crippled.  They can eat me.

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Set271

Set271 here... putting my two cents in to the mix. I didn't mind when gaming software companies put software on the shelves that either couldn't work with most hardware or vice versa. It didn't take long for me to realise the unspoken incompatabilities that were avoided by both hardware and software companies, there was/is no law forcing these companies to reveal their own mistakes....especially when (up to) months later a patch would come out seemingly to the rescue.....sound familiar.....an OS? But I've digressed. I didn't mind when software companies would market their product in the media with elaborate cinematics that were pretty and obviously time intensive but showed nothing of actual gameplay....impulsive and naive average pc gamers disappointed left and right....no wonder consoles surge occasionally. Now (lately), the gaming software industry...or more specifically certain companies want to accuse me of theft before I put my hard earned money in their pocket. And even with my disc in one hand and the purchase reciept in the other and the phone crammed between my shoulder and my ear waiting for however long to beg them for some code to be able use said purchase in the event I commit the haenis act of altering my hardware/enough to have to reinstall it. THE ONUS OF THEFT PREVENTION SHOULD NOT BE ON THE CONSUMER! 

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