Courthouse News Service
Courthouse News Service

Courthouse News Service
Tuesday, September 23, 2008Last Update: 1:02:47 PM

'Spore' Hijacks Computers, Class Claims


     SAN JOSE (CN) - Electronic Arts, a leading maker of computer games, defrauds consumers through its "Spore" game, which installs an "uninstallable" and "undisclosed" program that "remains a fixture in their computer unless and until the consumer completely wipes their hard drive through reformatting or replacement of the drive," a class action claims in Federal Court. 
     The class claims that "Spore," a virtual reality simulation game, contains "a second, undisclosed program" called SecuROM, a "form of Digital Rights Management (DRM) for computer games."
     Consumers are not warned about the program, which is installed without notice and cannot be uninstalled, even if the uninstall Spore, the complaint states. The secret SecuROM program is "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," the complaint states.
     Plaintiffs demand disgorgement of unjust profits and damages for trespass, interference, unfair competition and consumer law violations.
     They are represented by Alan Himmelfarb with KamberEdelson of Vernon, Calif., and New York.
     Note: An earlier version of this story contained an error, which has been corrected.