EA Hit With Two More DRM Class-Action Lawsuits

By Blake Ellison, Nov 10, 2008 10:13am PST Electronic Arts is the recipient of two additional lawsuits related to SecuROM DRM technology, this time in relation to Spore Creature Creator and The Sims 2 expansion pack Bon Voyage.

Richard Eldridge of Pennsylvania is suing the publisher over the undisclosed installation of SecuROM software on his computer after installing the demo version of Spore Creature Creator, reports GamePolitics. According to Eldridge's suit:

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...

Meanwhile, "avid Sims player" Dianna Cortez of Missouri cites EA for "immoral, unethical, oppressive [and] unscrupulous" conduct after including SecuROM in The Sims 2: Bon Voyage, which allegedly caused a host of problems on Cortez's computer.

The suits follow the trail blazed by Melissa Thomas, who in September sparked a $5 million class action suit against EA for its use of SecuROM in Spore.

GamePolitics noted that the same law firm that represents Thomas is also representing the new plaintiffs, Eldridge and Cortez.

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  • The game, music, and movie industries are the only businesses where customers are routinely treated like criminals. This is only because it has thus far not been challenged in court or in the marketplace. Any intelligent businessowner will recognize that shoplifting happens, and you can't stop all of it. DRM doesn't prevent piracy, but it's about more than just piracy. This is about the very concept of ownership and what a customer can expect when they "purchase" a game. Some DRM schemes are the equivalent of armed guards following you home and watching you while you play the game, and who take back the product that you PAID FOR if you do something they don't like--like lending it to a friend, or selling it to someone else. Do EA and other publishers have the right to do this? This is new legal territory and it should be interesting to see what happens.