Author Topic: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'  (Read 33515 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Legodragonxp

  • Excitebike Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 3556
  • Now for some real user power...
    • View Profile
EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« on: September 26, 2008, 10:14:49 am »
http://news.yahoo.com/s/cnet/20080925/tc_cnet/83011377231005071752;_ylt=AiaRgaVYNwFgmfibvmwPgR8jtBAF

Earlier this week, a class action suit was filed in the Northern District of California Court on behalf of Melissa Thomas and all other Spore purchasers. The suit contends that EA violated the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law by failing to inform consumers that by installing Spore, they also inadvertently install a program called SecuROM. SecuROM is a copy protection program that limits the number of times software can be installed on a PC. In the case of Spore, that limit was set to three (and later upped to five).

Fun.

-Lego







Offline Miclee

  • Donkey Kong King
  • *****
  • Posts: 1014
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2008, 10:20:35 am »
Wow. They are whiners. EA's told everyone.

Offline Techleo

  • Defender Devotee
  • ***
  • Posts: 447
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2008, 10:29:04 am »
 EA will win. All EA has to do to win is establish plausibility that they could have found out. Not putting it on the outside of the box isn't necessary as long as they put it inside the box. Which they did. In several places. Due to standard return policies in most stores this whole cause is moot.

 Oh and correction to the thread title. Its suit over SecureRom. Not Spore persay :)

 P.S. I dont support SecrureRom. Nor the laws in place which protect the way companies can put DRM software on products the way they do. I do however support DRM. TO a extent. Id much prefer the way Stardocks did it. No DRM to speak of.

Offline Miclee

  • Donkey Kong King
  • *****
  • Posts: 1014
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2008, 10:31:11 am »
EA, here's something to help! :P
Find your link for your official announcement for the SecuRom. I know I saw it.
Tell them they could have looked there.

Offline Null

  • Tempest Top Dog
  • ****
  • Posts: 897
  • ...
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2008, 10:43:33 am »
We knew some form was coming out with spore even before the game shipped. DUR

And why not a case on the even more restrictive SecuRom types in some of those other games?

Offline Zamaza

  • Bezerk Brawler
  • ****
  • Posts: 592
  • Daydreaming at Night
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2008, 10:54:05 am »
Huh *glances at box sitting next to computer* it's not even in the super small print on the bottom. I mean, it just seems sad.

If it had a little red sticker saying "Contains SecuRom" and a booklet EXPLAINING what that meant people would still find a reason to sue.

Doesn't the UK have a lovely system where if you sue frivolously and loose you have to pick up both sides court costs? That sounds like a good plan some times...
« Last Edit: September 26, 2008, 11:00:26 am by Zamaza »

Offline Techleo

  • Defender Devotee
  • ***
  • Posts: 447
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2008, 11:00:28 am »
 Doesn't have to be on the outside of the box for software. General protections for software companies and all dont have to be addressed. Although wrong perhaps its the law and whoever did this suit probably was aware of it. What they may do though is change how the laws work by getting a law passed saying it does have to be outside on the box :)

Offline Legodragonxp

  • Excitebike Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 3556
  • Now for some real user power...
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2008, 11:02:00 am »
Oh and correction to the thread title. Its suit over SecureRom. Not Spore persay :)

True, but I am not going to correct it since it is the headline of the article.
-Lego

Offline Uroboros

  • Duck Hunter
  • *****
  • Posts: 3060
  • Am I awake?
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2008, 11:07:03 am »
You're forgetting that we've followed the game as it was being made. Someone picking the game up off a shelf and having a brief glance over it wont know about the securom stuff. Had I bought it without hanging around first, I wouldnt have known either. Though I havent had any problems with it, myself, I can easily see why others would. Official announcements and online articles dont count if its not on the box. People shouldnt have to do research on a game prior to buying it, the info should be on there, and given what it entails, it should be in clear view. Whilst I dont think a lawsuit was necessary, what were they expecting would happen?

EA is the big bad "because I said so" corporation, so they'll probably win.
Then again, people have sued Mc.D for 'making them fat' and not adding warning signs like "Warning : Food may taste good, you may want to eat more". So who knows?

I dont have much pity for either side, though it would be nice if some kind of crystal clear line could be drawn on the ridiculous anti-piracy measures issue.

Offline Bellum

  • Pac-Man Maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 273
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2008, 12:38:25 pm »
Quote
Then again, people have sued Mc.D for 'making them fat' and not adding warning signs like "Warning : Food may taste good, you may want to eat more".


Might be because it doesn't, though.  :P

Offline SL

  • Missile Commander
  • **
  • Posts: 245
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2008, 12:42:56 pm »
It's not mentioned in the license agreement either. DRM never is. (Believe me, I've looked :P)

Offline Granite T. Rock

  • Intellivision Junkie
  • ***
  • Posts: 478
    • View Profile
    • Granite's Homepage
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2008, 01:08:04 pm »
Why can't they figure out a way to make secureRom internal to the Spore.exe file that only runs when Spore is running.  That would solve the problem, at least for this suit.   

Is there actually a separate securerom file running on my system all of the time? 

In court, the test could be would the average person installing the game being expected to know... not necessarily a high tech savvy person.  It will depend alot on the case law in the province that has already been established.
My Spore Profile  ****  My Spore Videos
Wii Friend Code: 7772 0178 1092 3363  Mario Kart Code: 2363-6666-4480 (PM me when you add me)

Offline Yokto

  • Street Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 6238
  • Do not feed the Giant Gnawling.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2008, 01:15:27 pm »
I lets the courts decide over this. Though my personal opinion is that she might be right and that i would be happy if she won. But i would not cry ether if she did not. (It would be expected after all.)

But i would like to remind you all that you probably do not know every DRM scheme that is on the products you have bought. At least if you have several of the. I know i have a lot of with some DRM but i do not know what they are and i know that there not mention. The only reason why i do not care is because i am somewhat tech swavy and can often solve any problems DRM might create. Including cracking the said product if i need to.

But in general i do not like DRM and have even choice to not buy product with DRM (or bough products without DRM like Paradox games and Stardocks.)
Check out my Creatures.
The Æthirans
The Echin
The Jinnivons
Star Citizen Ref code: STAR-JLJP-LRTC
When you singing up use code and get 5000 credits for free ;)

Offline Cow

  • Track and Field Jock
  • *****
  • Posts: 2475
  • Rad.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2008, 01:17:06 pm »
Heh. Never gonna win.

Offline Crowster

  • Defender Devotee
  • ***
  • Posts: 437
  • It's Crow-Time, Baby!
    • View Profile
    • The Adventures of Crow-Man
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2008, 01:40:46 pm »
That Yahoo article is misleading as to what the lawsuit is about. It's not about the install limit, it's about SecuROM and its reputation of being possibly harmful to one's system. SecuROM, while it's being used to limit installs for Spore, is not solely  a program for limiting installs. That last few Sims 2 expansions, for example, use SecuROM copy protection, which outraged many people in that community, but it was not used to limit the installs.

The lawsuit isn't about the install limit, it's about the fact that SecuROM installs itself on your computer, can't be uninstalled without messing with the registry or completely formatting your drive, and is potentially harmful to many machines. The lawsuit is a long time coming, and I support the effort. While SecuROM may not be harming most of our machines, it has been known to be fatal to a number of systems. Even if it's not a majority of the users, it's something that needs to be addressed. After all, if our rights as consumers aren't protected, then who knows what the next form of copy protection might be capable of.

EA publishes many top games that I want to play, and that is why I want this DRM malarkey to stop. My computer doesn't seem to conflict with SecuROM too badly, but what about those who DO experience issues? What about those who have their DVD drives stop working because of it, or who find themselves no longer able to run antivirus software? And will my system be at risk when SecuROM is retired for an even newer form of DRM?

Offline AlfredO

  • Phoenix Fighter
  • **
  • Posts: 156
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2008, 01:58:08 pm »
EA, here's something to help! :P
Find your link for your official announcement for the SecuRom. I know I saw it.
Tell them they could have looked there.
Wow. Are you kidding? You're the only person in the world that doesn't hate EA. Maxis made the game, not EA. EA just published it, rushed it, and probably made the only decisions we don't like about the game.

EA buys out all the good game companies, then tanks them with their terrible knowledge of video game production.  They deserve to go down and free all of those little companies who got bought out.

They're a money hungry, mega rich, umbrella corp. Why do you want them to save pocket change so bad? Everyone who installed it that didn't know about SecuRom should be reimbursed.

Offline Crowster

  • Defender Devotee
  • ***
  • Posts: 437
  • It's Crow-Time, Baby!
    • View Profile
    • The Adventures of Crow-Man
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2008, 02:14:04 pm »
EA, here's something to help! :P
Find your link for your official announcement for the SecuRom. I know I saw it.
Tell them they could have looked there.
Wow. Are you kidding? You're the only person in the world that doesn't hate EA. Maxis made the game, not EA. EA just published it, rushed it, and probably made the only decisions we don't like about the game.

EA buys out all the good game companies, then tanks them with their terrible knowledge of video game production.  They deserve to go down and free all of those little companies who got bought out.

They're a money hungry, mega rich, umbrella corp. Why do you want them to save pocket change so bad? Everyone who installed it that didn't know about SecuRom should be reimbursed.

To be fair, many of those developers probably wouldn't continue to exist today if it weren't for EA. Maxis was, more or less, on its way out. If it weren't for EA, they wouldn't have been able to develop the original Sims, which was the game that gave Maxis its second wind.

It's not a black and white issue. However, at times, EA has been known to abuse its position of power. It wasn't that long ago that they were getting in trouble over human rights issues, over-working and under-paying their employees. Anyone remember that? Last I heard, they were on the up and up as far as that issue is concerned, now I'd really like to see the DRM issue go the same way. Protecting your software is fine, but not when you start stripping away at the rights of your consumers.

The only question I have about this lawsuit is, "Why did you have to wait until SPORE?" This lawsuit should have happened some time ago, I think.

Offline Techleo

  • Defender Devotee
  • ***
  • Posts: 447
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2008, 02:26:06 pm »
 We have heard all of these points. I think in the end everyone of us is right. About different aspects of the situation. EA helps fund, which kept the smaller companies afloat. Increasing programming costs were killing companies in the 1990's. Then companies merged or were bought out. Its just like TV, Radio and every other form of media. We left the small fry phase. Even the smaller companies are bigger then the largest in the old days. Well with a few exceptions. We just need to come to grips with the reality gaming is going to become the norm.

Offline DylanTK

  • Video Pinball Wizard
  • *
  • Posts: 81
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2008, 03:37:02 pm »
Well, here's my two cents... I do think that all software companies should be required by law to inform buyers of what the installation actually entails. This information should be on the OUTSIDE of the box. Someone was saying something about the return policy for game stores, and I know first hand that there are store chains that will NOT take back software that has already been opened.. this of course is to prevent copies being made. So, what? People unfortunate enough to buy from one of those stores are just out of luck because they don't have x-ray vision? I don't see info on it inside the box either, for that matter, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong..

Furthermore, this is my theory on how Spore ended up hacked and online before it ever hit the shelves.. I'd be willing to bet that a Maxis employee, after finding out about the over-the-top anti-piracy software, either deliberately leaked the game to be hacked, or perhaps even did it themselves in order to make a point.

Offline Plank of Wood

  • Final Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 8424
  • Ka-Boom!
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2008, 04:02:44 pm »
From what i know about DRM, it's a like a guy who comes to you house when you buy a car, checks that it isn't stolen by looking through your bank statments and drinking all of your beer, and makes such a mess of your house and life in general that some people have to sell their house and get a new one.
the real saviour of this forum

Offline Techleo

  • Defender Devotee
  • ***
  • Posts: 447
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2008, 04:06:57 pm »
 Back of the manual states there is Securerom. As well as some other interesting tidbits. It should be noted a company doesn't have to make the information available when it comes to security measures. Companies are afforded some leeway in that matter. I don't think its right in this case because you cant uninstall securerom. THAT is the true infringement. Permanent manifestation is illegal if not noted. Which its not. Most of there case will be thrown out. On most of the accounts. The permanence issue could drag on IF its established as a issue in court and if the people have the money to pursue the case that long.  Now the only issue is people can learn that securerom is permanent. Establish that they should have told people more explicitly and ooooh boy, EA would be in deeeeep trouble.

Well in anycase thats up to the courts to decide. If the suit passes you could expect a substantial set of measures put into place.

Offline Plank of Wood

  • Final Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 8424
  • Ka-Boom!
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2008, 04:11:03 pm »
Also, if data of our hard drives is sent back to EA without telling us or warning, we can kick their asses for infringing the Data Protection Act. So thus we can say, if fined for piracy: "Can't touch this!" then break into dance.
the real saviour of this forum

Offline Yokto

  • Street Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 6238
  • Do not feed the Giant Gnawling.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2008, 04:12:12 pm »
It is Quasi permanent. But is hard to uninstall and requests a lot of knowhow. Especially if you do it manually without any tools made specifically for the job.

Well for them to have a case then they need a really good lawyer. Different nations have different laws but i am pretty sure that a good lawyers is always good to have on your side ;)
Check out my Creatures.
The Æthirans
The Echin
The Jinnivons
Star Citizen Ref code: STAR-JLJP-LRTC
When you singing up use code and get 5000 credits for free ;)

Offline Techleo

  • Defender Devotee
  • ***
  • Posts: 447
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2008, 04:18:46 pm »
 ALWAYS good to have a lawyer friends! My cousin is one, does family work for free. Boy howdy thats nice! ;D

Offline Yokto

  • Street Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 6238
  • Do not feed the Giant Gnawling.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2008, 04:21:42 pm »
Or one could study law one self. >_>
Check out my Creatures.
The Æthirans
The Echin
The Jinnivons
Star Citizen Ref code: STAR-JLJP-LRTC
When you singing up use code and get 5000 credits for free ;)

Offline DylanTK

  • Video Pinball Wizard
  • *
  • Posts: 81
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2008, 04:37:11 pm »
Back of the manual states there is Securerom.

*squints at teeny-tiny font* So it does... I didn't realize that's what OpenSSL was at first [providing that's what you're talking about since I don't see anything explicitly stating Securom is included], which is a problem all on its own for the average buyer [and trust me when I say I know a lot more about computers than the average buyer and I didn't realize what it was]... My opinion still stands about it needing to be available outside of the box for stores that don't allow the return of opened software, and to be less obscure since most people would say "OpenSSL... wtf, mate?"... Something like... "this game contains anti-piracy software created by such-and-such all rights reserved blah-blah-blah," would be sufficient.. I looked at their website and found this all-caps warning interesting:

"PLEASE REMEMBER THAT EXPORT/IMPORT AND/OR USE OF STRONG CRYPTOGRAPHY SOFTWARE, PROVIDING CRYPTOGRAPHY HOOKS OR EVEN JUST COMMUNICATING TECHNICAL DETAILS ABOUT CRYPTOGRAPHY SOFTWARE IS ILLEGAL IN SOME PARTS OF THE WORLD. SO, WHEN YOU IMPORT THIS PACKAGE TO YOUR COUNTRY, RE-DISTRIBUTE IT FROM THERE OR EVEN JUST EMAIL TECHNICAL SUGGESTIONS OR EVEN SOURCE PATCHES TO THE AUTHOR OR OTHER PEOPLE YOU ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO ANY EXPORT/IMPORT AND/OR USE LAWS WHICH APPLY TO YOU. THE AUTHORS OF OPENSSL ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY VIOLATIONS YOU MAKE HERE. SO BE CAREFUL, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. "

Does this mean that it's legal in all the countries where Spore is now available, or that there is actually a second version of Spore without that software for countries where it is illegal.. Hmmm.. You have to wonder why any country would allow such invasive software to be legal.

As an aside for anyone who is curious, BestBuy is the lousy d**k who treated me like a criminal for trying to return a game that lied when it said it was XP compatible.. Ah, remember the days when XP first came out? The compatibility issues were insane. I was eventually able to play the game on one of my Dad's old computers that still had Win '98 on it, but that's not the point... The point is that because I opened the package I was SoL. I've boycotted that evil store chain ever since.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2008, 05:02:35 pm by DylanTK »

Offline legojedij

  • Asteroids Aficionado
  • **
  • Posts: 107
  • nothing is impossible...
    • View Profile
    • ZTV
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2008, 04:41:02 pm »
see this is the reason i dont have spore yet because of sucurom can mess up my computer and i cant uninstall it. and to the post above about some versions not having sucurom, i want that kind of copy of spore

Offline Ryuukuro

  • Phoenix Fighter
  • **
  • Posts: 162
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #27 on: September 26, 2008, 04:58:39 pm »
On the one hand I hope the plantiffs win but not if they get money out of this.  A patch to de-DRM Spore would be great but no one deserves their money back unless they can prove their computer got messed up by Spore.  If something like that happens to anyone, whether they knew about the DRM or not then they ought to be compensated but, otherwise, I don't have that much sympathy for them.  It was difficult for me to decide whether or not to put Spore on my computer but I decided to take the plunge and I'm glad I did it (major Space game glitch aside.)
"It's just a game!  Stop complaining!"  - Me

"Earth is the Kingdom of Who-Gives-a-****" - Will Wright

Offline immortius

  • Sea Battler
  • ***
  • Posts: 396
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #28 on: September 26, 2008, 05:46:27 pm »
OpenSSL != Securom.  OpenSSL is an open source implementation of SSL (Secure Socket Layer), which is a technique for communicating in a secure manner over the internet.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2008, 05:48:17 pm by immortius »

Offline Absinth

  • Sea Battler
  • ***
  • Posts: 388
    • View Profile
    • Check out my creatures on the sporepedia
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2008, 08:19:07 pm »
When you installed Spore you had to agree with the EULA (End-User License Agreement).
Btw you never own the software you payed for, you only bought the right to install and use the program/game.
In the EULA Securom is mentioned and what it does as well.
Once you agree with the EULA you basically cannot claim you didn't know, in best case this action suit will only make them have to mention that it uses Securom on the box.
Spore has made us gods even before we are worthy of being men.

My sporepedia page
My gamingsteve creature page

Offline SL

  • Missile Commander
  • **
  • Posts: 245
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #30 on: September 26, 2008, 10:10:49 pm »
In the EULA Securom is mentioned and what it does as well.
Once you agree with the EULA you basically cannot claim you didn't know, in best case this action suit will only make them have to mention that it uses Securom on the box.

Bull****! I read the EULA when I installed Spore, and it didn't mention SecuROM in there anywhere. (You might call me crazy, but I actually read the EULAs of programs before agreeing to them, although my eyes glaze over at the PARAGRAPHS WHICH ARE IN ALL CAPS, SO THEY COULD HAVE THEORETICALLY HIDDEN IT IN THERE)

To be doubly sure, I just googled 'spore license agreement', opened up a PDF-converted-to-HTML-by-google of the license agreement, and searched it for 'secuROM' to confirm that it really isn't mentioned anywhere in it.

(I have a feeling that if I tried to run the spore installer to see the EULA, it would just say "But spore's already installed!" and refuse to show the EULA, since the creature creator did the same thing when I tried to look at its EULA again before spore came out)

Offline Crowster

  • Defender Devotee
  • ***
  • Posts: 437
  • It's Crow-Time, Baby!
    • View Profile
    • The Adventures of Crow-Man
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #31 on: September 26, 2008, 10:45:25 pm »
It's true. Nowhere in the EULA does it tell you that it will be installing SecuROM, let alone the risk involved or that it will be impossible to remove without registry edits or a full wiping of the drive.

Also, call me crazy, but I can't find ANY mention of the DRM scheme on the box, in the box, anywhere on the front, back, or inside of the manual ... or anywhere.

This is the closest I can find, on the back of my manual.

Quote
Internet connection, online authentication and end user license agreement required to play. To access online features, you must register online with the enclosed serial code. Only one registration available per game. EA terms and conditions and feature updates can be found at www.ea.com. You must be 13+ to register online. EA may retire online features after 30 days notice posted on www.ea.com

No reference to SecuROM, what it does, or how it works. Not even a mention of the install limit. However, I see that they covered themselves in the case of "retiring online features." Do the AUTHENTICATION SERVERS count as an online feature? Sounds like they could, at any point, decide to cut the activation for Spore, making any future copies of the game null and void. Could we be facing this 10 years down the line?

But that's all beside the point. I have dissected my Spore box/manual up, down, left, and right, and I have yet to find any mention of SecuROM, and as was stated before me, it's also not mentioned in the EULA. It is, more or less, exactly what the lawsuit claims it to be, a program that is installed without the user's knowledge along side the product, that may cause problems, and that can not be easily removed from your system.

Offline DylanTK

  • Video Pinball Wizard
  • *
  • Posts: 81
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2008, 12:08:21 am »

Sounds like they could, at any point, decide to cut the activation for Spore, making any future copies of the game null and void. Could we be facing this 10 years down the line?


EA would only cut online features from Spore when they went out of business, and by the time EA is no more, we will have already made emulators to play downloaded versions of Spore and Sims 3 on our holographic computers.  :D

It sounds like sarcasm, but I'm actually pretty serious.. The games of today may very well be obsolete by the time EA kicks the bucket. Even if something did happen in the near future, the players would either figure out how to hack the purchased game into overriding those security measures, or simply download the pirated version.

If a game is popular, then no matter how old it is, there will still be someone who has a functioning version. Heck, I still have the SimLife CD, floppy discs, booklets, large manual, and even the advertisements for computer hardware and other Maxis games all inside the box it originally came in. Booyah.  :P

Offline Crowster

  • Defender Devotee
  • ***
  • Posts: 437
  • It's Crow-Time, Baby!
    • View Profile
    • The Adventures of Crow-Man
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2008, 01:40:59 am »

Sounds like they could, at any point, decide to cut the activation for Spore, making any future copies of the game null and void. Could we be facing this 10 years down the line?


EA would only cut online features from Spore when they went out of business, and by the time EA is no more, we will have already made emulators to play downloaded versions of Spore and Sims 3 on our holographic computers.  :D

It sounds like sarcasm, but I'm actually pretty serious.. The games of today may very well be obsolete by the time EA kicks the bucket. Even if something did happen in the near future, the players would either figure out how to hack the purchased game into overriding those security measures, or simply download the pirated version.

If a game is popular, then no matter how old it is, there will still be someone who has a functioning version. Heck, I still have the SimLife CD, floppy discs, booklets, large manual, and even the advertisements for computer hardware and other Maxis games all inside the box it originally came in. Booyah.  :P

But games that are obsolete today are still played. If a game like Sim City 2000 or 3000 had online activation, do you really think that they would keep the activation servers running today? Although with Spore that's moot as we will most likely have gone well past our 5 machine limit by then. The thing is, I still install and play those old games semi-regularly, and it's a shame that I won't be able to do the same for Spore.

Still, has very little to do with the topic at hand. Just something I ran across while looking for secuROM information.

Offline CosmicD

  • Omega Racer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1056
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2008, 02:25:15 am »
finally, we now know what the anti drm bandwagon looks like:



It's as if basicly anything just goes there.

Offline Absinth

  • Sea Battler
  • ***
  • Posts: 388
    • View Profile
    • Check out my creatures on the sporepedia
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2008, 05:47:56 am »
In the EULA Securom is mentioned and what it does as well.
Once you agree with the EULA you basically cannot claim you didn't know, in best case this action suit will only make them have to mention that it uses Securom on the box.

Bull****! I read the EULA when I installed Spore, and it didn't mention SecuROM in there anywhere. (You might call me crazy, but I actually read the EULAs of programs before agreeing to them, although my eyes glaze over at the PARAGRAPHS WHICH ARE IN ALL CAPS, SO THEY COULD HAVE THEORETICALLY HIDDEN IT IN THERE)

To be doubly sure, I just googled 'spore license agreement', opened up a PDF-converted-to-HTML-by-google of the license agreement, and searched it for 'secuROM' to confirm that it really isn't mentioned anywhere in it.

(I have a feeling that if I tried to run the spore installer to see the EULA, it would just say "But spore's already installed!" and refuse to show the EULA, since the creature creator did the same thing when I tried to look at its EULA again before spore came out)

Not literally but i mean the copyright protection that they use is mentioned!
They don't need to mention the software's name btw!
The reason why is because they have a contract together Sony and EA.
Maybe better if all you whiners would also read the Californian law together with that EULA before posting.
Here's a snippet from the EULA mentioning the DRM, in case you missed it.

"Technical Protection Measures. Our Software uses access
control and copy protection technology. An internet connection
is required to authenticate the Software and verify your license.
If you are not connected to the Internet, you will not be able to
use the Software until you reestablish an internet connection
and verify the license. The first end user of this License can
install and authenticate the Software on a set number of
machines which may vary by product. If the Software permits
access to additional online features, only one copy of the
Software may access those features at one time. Additional
terms and registration may be required to access online
services and to download Software updates and patches. Only
licensed software can be used to access online services, and
download updates and patches. If you disable or otherwise
tamper with the technical protection measures, the Software
will not function properly."
Spore has made us gods even before we are worthy of being men.

My sporepedia page
My gamingsteve creature page

Offline immortius

  • Sea Battler
  • ***
  • Posts: 396
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #36 on: September 27, 2008, 06:32:37 am »
That doesn't mention:

a) That a separate piece of software is installed for the protection
b) That the separate piece of software is not uninstalled when you uninstall Spore.
c) That the separate piece of software is given high-level system access.

Offline CosmicD

  • Omega Racer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1056
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2008, 06:49:53 am »
If you install a game you always install software by different vendors. THe developers themself use different physics engines or licens parts of their software from different software producers. And sudenly  because it's DRM this is bad ? Yet another useless arguement methinks. You should also uninstall all your nvidia/ati drivers also, surely there'll be things included that you only will see in small print.

sigh, it becomes much more than tiring.

Offline Yokto

  • Street Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 6238
  • Do not feed the Giant Gnawling.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #38 on: September 27, 2008, 07:07:40 am »
Not true. Most of the Software you do install ether ask for you to install it or is so tied in to the program it self (The engine you mentioned) that is basically a part of the program. And all of it is easily removable. I can remove Direct X for example if i do not want it on my machine without to much effort. DRM schemes however are often made to be hard to remove and hard to detect. Not that it has ever stop a pirate. Even a newbie pirate often enough to ether to circumvent it or even totally remove it.

I believe they add these DRM fixes mainly so that the high up can say they did something (Wile in reality they did nothing.)
Check out my Creatures.
The Æthirans
The Echin
The Jinnivons
Star Citizen Ref code: STAR-JLJP-LRTC
When you singing up use code and get 5000 credits for free ;)

Offline SL

  • Missile Commander
  • **
  • Posts: 245
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #39 on: September 27, 2008, 10:07:39 am »

Sounds like they could, at any point, decide to cut the activation for Spore, making any future copies of the game null and void. Could we be facing this 10 years down the line?


EA would only cut online features from Spore when they went out of business, and by the time EA is no more, we will have already made emulators to play downloaded versions of Spore and Sims 3 on our holographic computers.  :D

It sounds like sarcasm, but I'm actually pretty serious.. The games of today may very well be obsolete by the time EA kicks the bucket. Even if something did happen in the near future, the players would either figure out how to hack the purchased game into overriding those security measures, or simply download the pirated version.

If a game is popular, then no matter how old it is, there will still be someone who has a functioning version. Heck, I still have the SimLife CD, floppy discs, booklets, large manual, and even the advertisements for computer hardware and other Maxis games all inside the box it originally came in. Booyah.  :P

There's a variable in the game data files (one of the cht files and maybe also in a prop file, haven't looked for it there) which specifies what server to connect to, so it would be possible to make server emulators (I'd rather say replacement servers), like what was done for Ultima Online. The problem is that it couldn't be done *after* EA died, because you'd need to analyze the packet stream between the client and server to figure out what the client's saying and what the replacement server should respond with.

Of course if they're smart they may have encrypted the communications properly to prevent this...

Offline Yokto

  • Street Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 6238
  • Do not feed the Giant Gnawling.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #40 on: September 27, 2008, 10:21:04 am »
There is always a way. But one may not want to wait until 2050 when computers are powerful enough to bruteforce the verification.
Check out my Creatures.
The Æthirans
The Echin
The Jinnivons
Star Citizen Ref code: STAR-JLJP-LRTC
When you singing up use code and get 5000 credits for free ;)

Offline DylanTK

  • Video Pinball Wizard
  • *
  • Posts: 81
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #41 on: September 27, 2008, 11:45:54 am »
Quote
But games that are obsolete today are still played.

Thus why I said:

Quote
If a game is popular, then no matter how old it is, there will still be someone who has a functioning version.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2008, 11:48:19 am by DylanTK »

Offline Crowster

  • Defender Devotee
  • ***
  • Posts: 437
  • It's Crow-Time, Baby!
    • View Profile
    • The Adventures of Crow-Man
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #42 on: September 27, 2008, 12:53:58 pm »
Personal note really quick.

Maybe better if all you whiners would also read the Californian law together with that EULA before posting.

Come on. We can discuss the subject without comments like this. I don't care what you think of the anti-DRM crowd, you can discuss the topic and the merit of the lawsuit without name calling.

"Technical Protection Measures. Our Software uses access
control and copy protection technology. An internet connection
is required to authenticate the Software and verify your license.
If you are not connected to the Internet, you will not be able to
use the Software until you reestablish an internet connection
and verify the license. The first end user of this License can
install and authenticate the Software on a set number of
machines which may vary by product. If the Software permits
access to additional online features, only one copy of the
Software may access those features at one time. Additional
terms and registration may be required to access online
services and to download Software updates and patches. Only
licensed software can be used to access online services, and
download updates and patches. If you disable or otherwise
tamper with the technical protection measures, the Software
will not function properly."

See, this is, more or less, what it says on the back of the manual. It mentions the install limit and online activation, which is not what the lawsuit is about. They aren't suing EA over only being able to install their copy of Spore 5 times, they are suing over a potentially harmful piece of software being installed without the user's knowledge. The claim is that SecuROM is potentially harmful to a number of machines, is installed without the user's knowledge, and can not be removed without messing with the registry (which can be dangerous) or completely wiping the drive. At no point does it say it's installing anything on your computer, or at what means you'd have to go through to remove it if any problems occur.

The EULA does a fine job explaining what limitations you have, but not what risk you are taking, which is why they are getting sued.

Offline CosmicD

  • Omega Racer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1056
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #43 on: September 27, 2008, 01:38:31 pm »
maybe in 2050 computers will also be powerful enoug to run 2048bit virtual encrypted memory space where the game is being run in proteced mode (by the cp/protection:).. A few processors will do that, while others will show the graphics , sound etc.

Offline Absinth

  • Sea Battler
  • ***
  • Posts: 388
    • View Profile
    • Check out my creatures on the sporepedia
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #44 on: September 27, 2008, 02:24:53 pm »
Personal note really quick.

Maybe better if all you whiners would also read the Californian law together with that EULA before posting.

Come on. We can discuss the subject without comments like this. I don't care what you think of the anti-DRM crowd, you can discuss the topic and the merit of the lawsuit without name calling.



Yeah i agree, and i sincerely apologize for my reaction.
I also dislike drm, don't get me wrong on that, but it's part of the gaming industry for so long now and tbh i never had problems with Securom on my computers.
Maybe I'm more fortunate then some others on that but i do think that people are overreacting lately.

Personal note really quick.

"Technical Protection Measures. Our Software uses access
control and copy protection technology. An internet connection
is required to authenticate the Software and verify your license.
If you are not connected to the Internet, you will not be able to
use the Software until you reestablish an internet connection
and verify the license. The first end user of this License can
install and authenticate the Software on a set number of
machines which may vary by product. If the Software permits
access to additional online features, only one copy of the
Software may access those features at one time. Additional
terms and registration may be required to access online
services and to download Software updates and patches. Only
licensed software can be used to access online services, and
download updates and patches. If you disable or otherwise
tamper with the technical protection measures, the Software
will not function properly."

See, this is, more or less, what it says on the back of the manual. It mentions the install limit and online activation, which is not what the lawsuit is about. They aren't suing EA over only being able to install their copy of Spore 5 times, they are suing over a potentially harmful piece of software being installed without the user's knowledge. The claim is that SecuROM is potentially harmful to a number of machines, is installed without the user's knowledge, and can not be removed without messing with the registry (which can be dangerous) or completely wiping the drive. At no point does it say it's installing anything on your computer, or at what means you'd have to go through to remove it if any problems occur.

The EULA does a fine job explaining what limitations you have, but not what risk you are taking, which is why they are getting sued.

You have a good point that the EULA doesn't mention that it installs a separate program, which is hard to uninstall yes.
Although while they don't have to mention that in fact, it might be better that it is written in there, on that i do agree.
You know I'm not so scared about piracy killing PC-gaming, I'm more scared about action suits like these that make investors less likely to spend their money on new titles for PC's.
I'm also afraid that company's will simply move towards consoles.
Many hate EA for using securom, but what would you do when others copied your work and investment time after time again?
They're still the largest and best selling gaming company on this planet, so in their eyes this strategy works.
I also wonder how they will prove that SecuROM "only" is potentially harmful.
As far as i know every program can be potentially harmful, even the game itself.
And again i repeat here, I'm not pro DRM, in fact i wished it wasn't needed, but unfortunately as long as it helps even 0.01% to reduce piracy they will prefer to have it.
Spore has made us gods even before we are worthy of being men.

My sporepedia page
My gamingsteve creature page

Offline Crowster

  • Defender Devotee
  • ***
  • Posts: 437
  • It's Crow-Time, Baby!
    • View Profile
    • The Adventures of Crow-Man
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #45 on: September 27, 2008, 02:57:14 pm »
Hey man, no hard feelings.

I haven't had a problem with SecuROM either, but others have. Some claim that it's spyware as it has been witnessed sending mysterious packets of data over the internet. Others claim it to be a rootkit. It has been documented to interfere with antivirus protection or system firewalls, which can be very dangerous, and disable your DVD drive due to its ability to burn DVDs. Some people claim that it has killed their burning software, or disabled various drive emulation programs. The list of complaints go on and on.

I really am not sure of the validity of some of these. I hear a lot of contradicting information, and it's apparent that sometimes people don't know what they are talking about. You DO have to take every claim with a grain of salt. Still, it is potentially harmful to many machines, and is installed without the user knowing about it. If you have trouble, you're more or less screwed.

I'm honestly not against SecuROM because it itself is the worst possible DRM. I'm against it because it's pushing the boundaries. It's just starting to cross the line. I'm all for them practicing their rights as publishers to protect their software, but not when protecting that right starts to violate our rights as consumers.

Somewhere down the line, I stop buying software, and I started buying "a license to use this software." That's what I'm against. This very shift from, "I bought it" to "I'm licensed to use it but only in a manner that the publisher will allow" is, effectively, a loss of consumer rights. When did my product become something OTHER than a product? When did it become something LESS THAN a product? Software installed on your computer that starts trying to dictate what you can and can't do with your machine in an attempt to combat piracy is violating consumer rights.

I'm scared about what SecuROM could lead to is the thing. What is going to happen when SecuROM is retired for some new, BETTER form of copy protection? The line has to be drawn somewhere, or it's just going to snowball. That is what my stance is on the issue.

Offline Arachoid

  • Tempest Top Dog
  • ****
  • Posts: 883
  • A new musical revelation...
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #46 on: September 27, 2008, 03:54:53 pm »
Software installed on your computer that starts trying to dictate what you can and can't do with your machine in an attempt to combat piracy is violating consumer rights.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next_generation_secure_computing_base

Microsoft will be doing EA's job before long.
I say NO! to all limits.
Unfortunately, I don't think we're far enough into the Civ stage to have deveoped into the 'Infinite-ghz processing' research tree yet...

Offline Yokto

  • Street Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 6238
  • Do not feed the Giant Gnawling.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #47 on: September 27, 2008, 04:10:40 pm »
Thanks but no Thanks. I prefer my low security computer where i actually have control over there supposedly secure system where i have no control.
Check out my Creatures.
The Æthirans
The Echin
The Jinnivons
Star Citizen Ref code: STAR-JLJP-LRTC
When you singing up use code and get 5000 credits for free ;)

Offline Arachoid

  • Tempest Top Dog
  • ****
  • Posts: 883
  • A new musical revelation...
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #48 on: September 27, 2008, 04:13:58 pm »
Oh but Yokto, wouldn't you love to live in a world where Microsoft controls everything you do? Where you use only Microsoft products, and only they can see what you've been doing? Where they must give you permission to do anything and where draconian DRM dictates every aspect of your life? I know Orwell would!
I say NO! to all limits.
Unfortunately, I don't think we're far enough into the Civ stage to have deveoped into the 'Infinite-ghz processing' research tree yet...

Offline Crowster

  • Defender Devotee
  • ***
  • Posts: 437
  • It's Crow-Time, Baby!
    • View Profile
    • The Adventures of Crow-Man
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #49 on: September 27, 2008, 04:15:53 pm »
I would finally convert to Mac, I swear to Spode ...

Offline Yokto

  • Street Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 6238
  • Do not feed the Giant Gnawling.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #50 on: September 27, 2008, 04:53:05 pm »
Yeah and i would convert to Linux (A bit more then i already have >_>)
Check out my Creatures.
The Æthirans
The Echin
The Jinnivons
Star Citizen Ref code: STAR-JLJP-LRTC
When you singing up use code and get 5000 credits for free ;)

Offline superstartran

  • Fire Truck Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #51 on: October 01, 2008, 02:05:52 pm »
Facts about SecuRom

A. It can possibly shorten the life of your CD/DVD Drive due to the numerous checks it does on the drive.

B. It has been known to disable multiple CD/DVD Drives.

C. It prevents a game running from a Virtaul Emulated Drive, but it does not kill the emulation, it merely prevents it.

D. It is installed without the user being aware, and is relatively difficult for the average consumer to remove the software. It can be removed, however when you reinstall the game / start it up, Securom reinstalls itself.

E. Securom disguises itself as software that has Ring 3 Access, when in actuality it has Ring 0 Access (Which supercedes the user). This means that Securom has higher access to the user, as Ring 0 mainly deals with hardware communication and Operating System (thus why it is known to disable CD/DVD Drives).

D. Securom is not a rootkit, although it comes very close to the definition. It is more akin to a "Trojan" kit. It does similar things such as smokescreen techniques (disguising itself as a Ring 3 Access software, when in reality it has Ring 0 Access).


For those who want to argue whether SecuRom has Ring 0 Access or not, use some simple computer logic. Daemon Tools, Alcohol, and other emulation tools all install to your computer and have Ring 0 Access. This is an area which is defended by the computer hierarchy, thus why both Daemon Tools and Alcohol say that potential damage can be caused to your computer by using this software. Ring 3 Access software could not possibly detect anything in the Ring 0 Access area, as the Operating System would prevent it from doing so. However, if SecuRom was installed with Ring 0 Access, then it can see any emulation tools and prevent them from working properly. Ring 0 Access is strictly used for Operating System and Software that deals primarily with Hardware (such as burning software, etc). SecuRom has no business being installed with Ring 0 Access.

Offline Blulightning

  • Bezerk Brawler
  • ****
  • Posts: 575
  • Radioactive Kitty!!!
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #52 on: October 01, 2008, 02:30:34 pm »
First, I'd like to mention that the lawsuit is not just about Securom's unnotified installation, but it is also about what Securom can do, will do, and does to your computer. It is definitely not about install limits.

Securom is known to install itself in ways that are similar to viruses. It is close to being very illegal, if not highly illegal already.

I'd also like to mention, that along with all the Securom matters, and whether it was or was not in the EULA, EULA's themselves can not be regarded as legal documents.
There has never been one case that has established their credibility as a legal document.

... The fact is that EA can not expect you to buy a game, put the game in for install, and then realize (if you read through the 30+ page EULA) that there are non-descript Security measures being installed on your computer.

Basically that's like saying I can sell you a video game, but at the same time, I'm going to install a virus that can send me all of your credit card and password information. But because I put it in the EULA that no one reads but you agree to anyways, I can do it legally.

And some of you actually think that's legal. Whining? I think not.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2008, 02:32:14 pm by Blulightning »

Offline Yokto

  • Street Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 6238
  • Do not feed the Giant Gnawling.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #53 on: October 01, 2008, 02:59:50 pm »
The EULA is not a foolproof document ether. The EULA have in some cases found invalid. I am not sure it would be valid in Sweden where normally you are required to actually read and understand the contract you sign. (The fact that most people do not read them and that checking a box it should be enough proof for there inadequacy.)

Also i wonder. Ones in a time there where no EULA. Yep that is right there was no EULA when you bought you software. And times where not worse then really. At least i do not remember them back in the 80's and early 90's.
Check out my Creatures.
The Æthirans
The Echin
The Jinnivons
Star Citizen Ref code: STAR-JLJP-LRTC
When you singing up use code and get 5000 credits for free ;)

Offline Arachoid

  • Tempest Top Dog
  • ****
  • Posts: 883
  • A new musical revelation...
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #54 on: October 01, 2008, 03:08:39 pm »
Also i wonder. Ones in a time there where no EULA. Yep that is right there was no EULA when you bought you software. And times where not worse then really. At least i do not remember them back in the 80's and early 90's.

Yokto, please continue to regale my young mind with tales of this fantastic fairy-land of which you speak. What are these 'ate-Teez' and 'urly nine-Teez' you speak of?
I say NO! to all limits.
Unfortunately, I don't think we're far enough into the Civ stage to have deveoped into the 'Infinite-ghz processing' research tree yet...

Offline superstartran

  • Fire Truck Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #55 on: October 01, 2008, 03:29:41 pm »
The EULA is not a foolproof document ether. The EULA have in some cases found invalid. I am not sure it would be valid in Sweden where normally you are required to actually read and understand the contract you sign. (The fact that most people do not read them and that checking a box it should be enough proof for there inadequacy.)

Also i wonder. Ones in a time there where no EULA. Yep that is right there was no EULA when you bought you software. And times where not worse then really. At least i do not remember them back in the 80's and early 90's.


You essentially automatically agree to the EULA by purchasing the game. Since no one allows software returns, if you do not agree with the EULA, you are stuck with the game. You cannot read the EULA before purchasing the game, which is unfair. It's like saying when I go buy a car, I have to sign first before I can read what kind of contract I'm getting into. Abit stupid no?

Offline Yokto

  • Street Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 6238
  • Do not feed the Giant Gnawling.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #56 on: October 01, 2008, 03:41:58 pm »
Oh yes. It was when the gaming industry was consider young and foolish yet still could make a profit. It also saw the rise of great giants like Microsoft and Apple who know rules as gods. But you know Apple was not the know for music back then (Well there was apple records but they have no relationship with this apple) but they mainly made computer back then and had yet to discover to make art of making the outside as pretty as the inside. Today we only see a few companies still hold to the old ideas of DRM being useless. Back then it had been prove that DRM only lead to pissed of customers and that the same customers started to pirate software which had there DRM removed. Maybe they where more mature back then then we are today?



Also i have returned software but it was a long time ago. But i think the last time i did it was Ultima Online which was a pain. The store that sold it to me where nice actually and i got to replace my game with a other. (Really i wanted a other game if i could not get Ultima Online to work. But i think i did actually get my money back and then i decided to buy a other game.) Now i somewhat regret it as the copy would provably have gone up in value being one of the earliest Ultima Online copies. Normally i do a lot of research in to what i buy so i have only made a very few purchases that i have not been that happy about and none of those where return to store type disappointments. Still i support that if someone buy a product that does not work then they should be able to return it.

Oh wait there was one other case. I bought a game called Thorn of Darkness. Nothing wrong with the game. Just what i got form the store. Lacked manual and other impotent stuff so i returned it. Got my money back. End of story.
Check out my Creatures.
The Æthirans
The Echin
The Jinnivons
Star Citizen Ref code: STAR-JLJP-LRTC
When you singing up use code and get 5000 credits for free ;)

Offline superstartran

  • Fire Truck Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #57 on: October 01, 2008, 04:23:10 pm »
Oh yes. It was when the gaming industry was consider young and foolish yet still could make a profit. It also saw the rise of great giants like Microsoft and Apple who know rules as gods. But you know Apple was not the know for music back then (Well there was apple records but they have no relationship with this apple) but they mainly made computer back then and had yet to discover to make art of making the outside as pretty as the inside. Today we only see a few companies still hold to the old ideas of DRM being useless. Back then it had been prove that DRM only lead to pissed of customers and that the same customers started to pirate software which had there DRM removed. Maybe they where more mature back then then we are today?



Also i have returned software but it was a long time ago. But i think the last time i did it was Ultima Online which was a pain. The store that sold it to me where nice actually and i got to replace my game with a other. (Really i wanted a other game if i could not get Ultima Online to work. But i think i did actually get my money back and then i decided to buy a other game.) Now i somewhat regret it as the copy would provably have gone up in value being one of the earliest Ultima Online copies. Normally i do a lot of research in to what i buy so i have only made a very few purchases that i have not been that happy about and none of those where return to store type disappointments. Still i support that if someone buy a product that does not work then they should be able to return it.

Oh wait there was one other case. I bought a game called Thorn of Darkness. Nothing wrong with the game. Just what i got form the store. Lacked manual and other impotent stuff so i returned it. Got my money back. End of story.


It's very very rare that happens.

Offline Yokto

  • Street Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 6238
  • Do not feed the Giant Gnawling.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #58 on: October 01, 2008, 05:06:43 pm »
Could be a local thing. Or maybe because both stores where small. (And i almost know the owner of one of the stores >_>)
Check out my Creatures.
The Æthirans
The Echin
The Jinnivons
Star Citizen Ref code: STAR-JLJP-LRTC
When you singing up use code and get 5000 credits for free ;)

Offline SL

  • Missile Commander
  • **
  • Posts: 245
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #59 on: October 01, 2008, 05:29:09 pm »
Facts about SecuRom

A. It can possibly shorten the life of your CD/DVD Drive due to the numerous checks it does on the drive.
SecuROM does not check to see if your Spore DVD is in your DVD drives. Presumably it only checks once - when you try to install Spore. So, I'd think this claim would only really be potentially valid for games for which SecuROM does frequent CD/DVD checks, and Spore is not one of them.

B. It has been known to disable multiple CD/DVD Drives.
Why would it disable your CD/DVD drives? Isn't that something an older version of SecuROM did, and only for a short time because they quickly removed that 'feature'?

C. It prevents a game running from a Virtaul Emulated Drive, but it does not kill the emulation, it merely prevents it.
I'm running Daemon Tools, and have been for years (Having tons of HD space, I made CD images of my game CDs so that I wouldn't have to fumble around with them and risk scratching them). SecuROM hasn't impacted or impaired Daemon Tools on my computer, it hasn't stopped the emulated drives from working, it hasn't done diddly squat to them... As far as I know, SecuROM and other DRMs haven't been able to detect DaemonTools or its emulated drives for quite some time now.

D. It is installed without the user being aware, and is relatively difficult for the average consumer to remove the software. It can be removed, however when you reinstall the game / start it up, Securom reinstalls itself.
Yeppers. And for whom it isn't relatively difficult, it's relatively annoying, especially if it keeps coming back. Hell, StarForce is easier to remove, which is a bit bizarre, considering how StarForce is far more invasive, IIRC - the company that makes StarForce posted an uninstaller program, or you could do it manually if you have a .reg file with a few reg keys to remove, and run regedit on it as SYSTEM (not too terribly difficult to do).

E. Securom disguises itself as software that has Ring 3 Access, when in actuality it has Ring 0 Access (Which supercedes the user). This means that Securom has higher access to the user, as Ring 0 mainly deals with hardware communication and Operating System (thus why it is known to disable CD/DVD Drives).

D. Securom is not a rootkit, although it comes very close to the definition. It is more akin to a "Trojan" kit. It does similar things such as smokescreen techniques (disguising itself as a Ring 3 Access software, when in reality it has Ring 0 Access).
I'm assuming these are true, but I really have no idea. I think you meant "higher access than the user" though.

For those who want to argue whether SecuRom has Ring 0 Access or not, use some simple computer logic. Daemon Tools, Alcohol, and other emulation tools all install to your computer and have Ring 0 Access. This is an area which is defended by the computer hierarchy, thus why both Daemon Tools and Alcohol say that potential damage can be caused to your computer by using this software. Ring 3 Access software could not possibly detect anything in the Ring 0 Access area, as the Operating System would prevent it from doing so. However, if SecuRom was installed with Ring 0 Access, then it can see any emulation tools and prevent them from working properly. Ring 0 Access is strictly used for Operating System and Software that deals primarily with Hardware (such as burning software, etc). SecuRom has no business being installed with Ring 0 Access.

Nothing's stopping a ring 3 program from looking for EXEs or DLLs or VXDs with specific names, exports, or whatever, or to check the registry to see if it's being loaded, so you can't say that if SecuROM weren't ring 0, it would be impossible for it to tell if <random emulator program> is on the computer, or that it would be impossible for it to change the registry to stop loading the CD/DVD emulators. However I've never personally seen that happen on my computer or any computers I previously had. I presume that by the time I ended up with SecuROM on my computer it either no longer interfered with them (Ha!) or is completely failing to detect them.

It would be nice if it would stick to ring 3... But presumably they'd like ring 0 so they can make sure the drive is really emulated or real, or something, not that whatever they're doing actually works.

I'm not clear on what happens if different programs come with different versions of SecuROM. Does anyone know?

Offline superstartran

  • Fire Truck Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #60 on: October 01, 2008, 08:22:08 pm »
Facts about SecuRom

A. It can possibly shorten the life of your CD/DVD Drive due to the numerous checks it does on the drive.
SecuROM does not check to see if your Spore DVD is in your DVD drives. Presumably it only checks once - when you try to install Spore. So, I'd think this claim would only really be potentially valid for games for which SecuROM does frequent CD/DVD checks, and Spore is not one of them.

B. It has been known to disable multiple CD/DVD Drives.
Why would it disable your CD/DVD drives? Isn't that something an older version of SecuROM did, and only for a short time because they quickly removed that 'feature'?

C. It prevents a game running from a Virtaul Emulated Drive, but it does not kill the emulation, it merely prevents it.
I'm running Daemon Tools, and have been for years (Having tons of HD space, I made CD images of my game CDs so that I wouldn't have to fumble around with them and risk scratching them). SecuROM hasn't impacted or impaired Daemon Tools on my computer, it hasn't stopped the emulated drives from working, it hasn't done diddly squat to them... As far as I know, SecuROM and other DRMs haven't been able to detect DaemonTools or its emulated drives for quite some time now.

D. It is installed without the user being aware, and is relatively difficult for the average consumer to remove the software. It can be removed, however when you reinstall the game / start it up, Securom reinstalls itself.
Yeppers. And for whom it isn't relatively difficult, it's relatively annoying, especially if it keeps coming back. Hell, StarForce is easier to remove, which is a bit bizarre, considering how StarForce is far more invasive, IIRC - the company that makes StarForce posted an uninstaller program, or you could do it manually if you have a .reg file with a few reg keys to remove, and run regedit on it as SYSTEM (not too terribly difficult to do).

E. Securom disguises itself as software that has Ring 3 Access, when in actuality it has Ring 0 Access (Which supercedes the user). This means that Securom has higher access to the user, as Ring 0 mainly deals with hardware communication and Operating System (thus why it is known to disable CD/DVD Drives).

D. Securom is not a rootkit, although it comes very close to the definition. It is more akin to a "Trojan" kit. It does similar things such as smokescreen techniques (disguising itself as a Ring 3 Access software, when in reality it has Ring 0 Access).
I'm assuming these are true, but I really have no idea. I think you meant "higher access than the user" though.

For those who want to argue whether SecuRom has Ring 0 Access or not, use some simple computer logic. Daemon Tools, Alcohol, and other emulation tools all install to your computer and have Ring 0 Access. This is an area which is defended by the computer hierarchy, thus why both Daemon Tools and Alcohol say that potential damage can be caused to your computer by using this software. Ring 3 Access software could not possibly detect anything in the Ring 0 Access area, as the Operating System would prevent it from doing so. However, if SecuRom was installed with Ring 0 Access, then it can see any emulation tools and prevent them from working properly. Ring 0 Access is strictly used for Operating System and Software that deals primarily with Hardware (such as burning software, etc). SecuRom has no business being installed with Ring 0 Access.

Nothing's stopping a ring 3 program from looking for EXEs or DLLs or VXDs with specific names, exports, or whatever, or to check the registry to see if it's being loaded, so you can't say that if SecuROM weren't ring 0, it would be impossible for it to tell if <random emulator program> is on the computer, or that it would be impossible for it to change the registry to stop loading the CD/DVD emulators. However I've never personally seen that happen on my computer or any computers I previously had. I presume that by the time I ended up with SecuROM on my computer it either no longer interfered with them (Ha!) or is completely failing to detect them.

It would be nice if it would stick to ring 3... But presumably they'd like ring 0 so they can make sure the drive is really emulated or real, or something, not that whatever they're doing actually works.

I'm not clear on what happens if different programs come with different versions of SecuROM. Does anyone know?


Try running a image of Spore on Daemon Tools. It won't work. However of course, if you have the right cracks it does. That's SecuRom at work, since it is detecting you are trying to run Spore with a image copy with Daemon Tools. Plus, Daemon Tools is located in Ring 0, and has access to Ring 0. SecuRom can detect if it's running, but it can't detect what it is doing without Ring 0 Access.


And yes SecuRom does frequent checks on your CD/DVD drive. I looked at the code myself. Ask any of the guys on R-Force.org forums.

Offline superstartran

  • Fire Truck Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #61 on: October 01, 2008, 08:30:26 pm »
"Simple Windows Operating structure:

A device in Ring 0 has more authority than anything in any other run level.

So any checks or interception in Run level 2 or 3 can be easily bypassed by Stealthed CD/DVD emulation. Running in Ring 0.

When stealthed, unless the DRM also runs in Ring 0, it cannot find it. If it does manage to find one or more of it's services. The likes of Daemon Tools or Alcohol 120% quickly write an update patch to compensate for this. "


- 13thHour from the R-Force.ORG forums.



Also, you cannot prevent/stop emulation of a drive without the computer crashing on you unless SecuRom has Ring 0 Access.


Also, SecuRom merely prevents the game from running, not killing your emulated drive like StarForce does/did. And it was pretty funny when StarForce did kill the emulated drive, because Windows goes haywire and there goes your computer.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2008, 08:35:13 pm by superstartran »

Offline SL

  • Missile Commander
  • **
  • Posts: 245
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #62 on: October 02, 2008, 08:46:31 am »
What are you saying exactly: Is SecuROM checking the CD/DVD drives when Spore isn't running? Why would it be doing it when it's running when we've been told that we don't need to have the DVD in the drive? And why would it be doing it when it *isn't* running too?

I find both possibilities difficult to believe.

Offline Bona Fide Supraman

  • Star Raider
  • *****
  • Posts: 1945
  • Not Super, Supra
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #63 on: October 02, 2008, 10:31:23 am »
To be honest, I think there is a fair point. I mean, people who haven't been following spore along development and just bought it because it looked good on the shelf, they won't have had any way of knowing unless it was printed on the box. I cba to check if it is or not, but if it isn't then I think there is a legitimate case. Hell, bags of peanuts have to warn people that they contain nuts. I'm not saying it is right, but it's the law.

I hope they win and EA get sued to death. I hate that company.
Statistically, 6 out of 7 dwarves are not happy.

Offline Yokto

  • Street Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 6238
  • Do not feed the Giant Gnawling.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #64 on: October 02, 2008, 10:43:43 am »
Yeah. I am not sure i have said it before but have any of you actually know what copy protection is in the box by simply looking at it? I have always had to do research to find out.
Check out my Creatures.
The Æthirans
The Echin
The Jinnivons
Star Citizen Ref code: STAR-JLJP-LRTC
When you singing up use code and get 5000 credits for free ;)

Offline CosmicD

  • Omega Racer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1056
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #65 on: October 02, 2008, 02:09:43 pm »
.. hmm about the validity of securom as a would be spyware/malware,  microsoft driver signing , does that count for anything ?

I tried to install a 64bit driver for virtual audio cable yesterday, it just doesn't work if the driver is unsigned.

And another trick question. Does anyone bother if the imaging software or monitoring software they use on their computer has higher righs than the administrator ? Even windows itself has higher rights than the administrator..

ANything goes these days...
« Last Edit: October 02, 2008, 02:11:46 pm by CosmicD »

Offline Yokto

  • Street Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 6238
  • Do not feed the Giant Gnawling.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #66 on: October 02, 2008, 02:19:49 pm »
Well i find it wrong. But i have Linux as backup for that reason. It has higher rights then Windows >_>
Check out my Creatures.
The Æthirans
The Echin
The Jinnivons
Star Citizen Ref code: STAR-JLJP-LRTC
When you singing up use code and get 5000 credits for free ;)

Offline Techleo

  • Defender Devotee
  • ***
  • Posts: 447
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #67 on: October 02, 2008, 02:31:31 pm »
 Yokto you hit it on the nose, override the override.. it is annoying. As for running with Daemon, its a cinch. I actually tested the security limits of securerom just to see how well it works with a few applications. Its far to flimsy. Scary part is I can make it stronger. Maybe to strong. You get a few of the hackers who hack into Secure DRM software to work for the people making securerom and then maybe they could make one nasty , make that demonic, drm.

Offline Yokto

  • Street Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 6238
  • Do not feed the Giant Gnawling.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #68 on: October 02, 2008, 02:34:54 pm »
In the end it does not matter. There will always be a group of even better hackers that crack it.

That is until is hardware locked and the user have no real control of his system. :P

(And even hardware can be hacked.)
Check out my Creatures.
The Æthirans
The Echin
The Jinnivons
Star Citizen Ref code: STAR-JLJP-LRTC
When you singing up use code and get 5000 credits for free ;)

Offline Techleo

  • Defender Devotee
  • ***
  • Posts: 447
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #69 on: October 02, 2008, 02:51:39 pm »
   Until there willing to drop the overhead of programming and make it a null point altogether. Do what Stardock did and make awesome games for less so if there awesome and sell great WONDERFUL! If they're copied, who cares, no losses.

  I don't want EA to die. There are to many programmers I like who work for them. A serious shake up of the ranks wouldn't be a bad thing though. They're publicly traded companies so keeping profit margins up and expenditures down is the only choice. Its more or less a problem inherent to all corporate entities.
 
  Besides big companies don't die. They just flounder. :)

Offline Yokto

  • Street Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 6238
  • Do not feed the Giant Gnawling.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #70 on: October 02, 2008, 05:57:05 pm »
Well EA is very business old school i say. Stardocks is more new school. Some  would say that Stardocks is old school as there more smiler to the early software companies in many ways. But that is just it. It was a new era. But that the biz back then also need to grow up a bit more. But the problem is that that it may have grown up a bit to fast. (Not that odd however considering how much money there is in the biz. i know that here in Sweden video/computer games makes tons of more money then our meager film industry. Our biggest block buster on the silver screen pales in comparison to our games make. Yet still the game industry do not really have the same respect.)
Check out my Creatures.
The Æthirans
The Echin
The Jinnivons
Star Citizen Ref code: STAR-JLJP-LRTC
When you singing up use code and get 5000 credits for free ;)

Offline superstartran

  • Fire Truck Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #71 on: October 03, 2008, 08:25:23 am »
What are you saying exactly: Is SecuROM checking the CD/DVD drives when Spore isn't running? Why would it be doing it when it's running when we've been told that we don't need to have the DVD in the drive? And why would it be doing it when it *isn't* running too?

I find both possibilities difficult to believe.


Why would you believe anything EA says? Why would you believe anything from Sony, who made both SecuRom and StarForce, both which are very dumb protection schemes?


Yes SecuRom is pretty easy to get by, but it's still an annoyance that it is at Ring 0. The problem is that anyone can work with the code and exploit it to gain Ring 0 Access to your computer, therefore having complete control over it.

Offline SL

  • Missile Commander
  • **
  • Posts: 245
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #72 on: October 03, 2008, 11:19:38 am »
Why would you believe anything from Sony, who made both SecuRom and StarForce, both which are very dumb protection schemes?

Sony did not make StarForce. This is irritating. Can't anyone get basic details right? Why does that keep happening? Like the "Petition to EA about the new Securerom and the number of times you can use your keygen." WTF? When I actually *read* the petition, it looked like the author of that petition thought a "keygen" was the key printed on the back of the game manual, but before I read it I was expecting that to be just about the most outrageous petition I had ever seen. If I were EA I'd have thrown it out without even reading it! Because someone didn't look up the meaning of 'keygen' to make sure they were right about it before starting a petition to try to influence a massive company? :|

Anyways, getting off that tangent, would someone please link to something which conclusively shows that SecuROM can be abused by ring 3 programs to gain ring 0 access, particularly if the user is a limited (not administrator) user?

Offline superstartran

  • Fire Truck Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #73 on: October 04, 2008, 08:52:07 am »
Why would you believe anything from Sony, who made both SecuRom and StarForce, both which are very dumb protection schemes?

Sony did not make StarForce. This is irritating. Can't anyone get basic details right? Why does that keep happening? Like the "Petition to EA about the new Securerom and the number of times you can use your keygen." WTF? When I actually *read* the petition, it looked like the author of that petition thought a "keygen" was the key printed on the back of the game manual, but before I read it I was expecting that to be just about the most outrageous petition I had ever seen. If I were EA I'd have thrown it out without even reading it! Because someone didn't look up the meaning of 'keygen' to make sure they were right about it before starting a petition to try to influence a massive company? :|

Anyways, getting off that tangent, would someone please link to something which conclusively shows that SecuROM can be abused by ring 3 programs to gain ring 0 access, particularly if the user is a limited (not administrator) user?


Any program with access to Ring 0 can be abused. My bad I confused Sony and StarForce. You seem to be an EA supporter, so no sense in arguing with you.


Also, no one will show you how to conclusively show that SecuRom can be abused to gain access to Ring 0. That would be stupid. Anyone with half a brain would know you don't show how to destroy other people's property or gain unwanted access. Again, you seem to blindly believe that SecuRom can't access anything and do any harm to your computer, when you don't know a lick of programming. Emulation is run in Ring 0 (such as Daemon Tools, Alcohol, and other programs such as Anti-Virus and Firewalls), and the only way to search and prevent it on a consistent basis (which SecuRom does, but there are work arounds) is to have Ring 0 Access. Ring 3 Access would only allow you to search for certain processes, executable names, etc. but when Daemon Tools runs in Stealth Mode, you cannot possibly detect it (because it disguises the processes, etc).


Also, it would be against law to show how to gain access to Ring 0 to somebody's computer (without their knowledge and compliance) through this forum, and GamingSteve board admins would have to report whoever did it to the authorities (most likely the FBI / Local Police). No one wants to go to jail.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2008, 08:53:41 am by superstartran »

Offline Yokto

  • Street Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 6238
  • Do not feed the Giant Gnawling.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #74 on: October 04, 2008, 09:07:33 am »
Would not just be able to run or terminate processes using the program be enough? If you write a virus that starts up other processes or shut them down then you would gain this access right?
Check out my Creatures.
The Æthirans
The Echin
The Jinnivons
Star Citizen Ref code: STAR-JLJP-LRTC
When you singing up use code and get 5000 credits for free ;)

Offline Arachoid

  • Tempest Top Dog
  • ****
  • Posts: 883
  • A new musical revelation...
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over \'Spore\'
« Reply #75 on: October 04, 2008, 09:36:51 am »
... Or if someone could write a \'virus\' that stopped SecuROM processes...
I say NO! to all limits.
Unfortunately, I don't think we're far enough into the Civ stage to have deveoped into the 'Infinite-ghz processing' research tree yet...

Offline Yokto

  • Street Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 6238
  • Do not feed the Giant Gnawling.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #76 on: October 04, 2008, 10:12:42 am »
You do not need to write a virus for that. You just need a process management program. Windows have a simple in build one know as the systems manage. Only problem is that is not that great. Processes may be protect so you can not shut them down for example. For good reasons sometimes as turnings some of them off WILL crash your system. The sad things is that Worms and viruses also use the same trick sometimes to become untouchable. There are tools that are more powerful however that you can get giving you more features and more access.

One thing you may want to get right now is a processor guard. It does not really stop process that is running but can stop processes form starting or changing other processes. This is a great safety measure and can be protect you form password sniffing.

Now that may not solve the problem. If fact it will most likely not. Most DRM scheme are integrated to the program. You could say is a virus in the main program  running at the same time as the main process . Though is not really correct as many times is rather the opposite. The main program is actually encrypted and you run the unlock program to run the main program. But then again there are several different solutions. And that is how the cracking works. It separate the main program form the lock. Lifts it out in the unencrypted form and make a regular exe file of it.

Or at least that is what i have learn form a bit of study. I may be wrong and again i know there are several methods for this. I also know that DRM programs may have other underlying structures running looking for emulators or whatnot but in general you can not disable and still run the unlock program. But there are methods to trick programs like this in to believing that system is set up as the unlock program wants it to be.
Check out my Creatures.
The Æthirans
The Echin
The Jinnivons
Star Citizen Ref code: STAR-JLJP-LRTC
When you singing up use code and get 5000 credits for free ;)

Offline superstartran

  • Fire Truck Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #77 on: October 04, 2008, 10:15:50 am »
Would not just be able to run or terminate processes using the program be enough? If you write a virus that starts up other processes or shut them down then you would gain this access right?


It's a little more complicated then that.


Also, you can't just "terminate" the emulation. If you did that, Windows would go haywire and crash due to the way it recognizes drives. Emulated drives are recognized as actual hard drives or cd/dvd drives. When you terminate them, then Windows all of a sudden can't see it, and it's recognition of drives goes crazy and BOOM, crash.

Offline Yokto

  • Street Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 6238
  • Do not feed the Giant Gnawling.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #78 on: October 04, 2008, 10:21:49 am »
Well i was not talking about a special case. Just the general case. Of course if you terminate a process that is vital for the system then the system will crash. (As mentioned in the post i made after.) But that is not really the issue. The issue is if you can use a unprotected programs or processes that has more access they should to gain control over the system. (And so be able to crash the system if one wanted to.)

My discussion was more in the lines of how hard it would be to do it rather then what you can do with it.
Check out my Creatures.
The Æthirans
The Echin
The Jinnivons
Star Citizen Ref code: STAR-JLJP-LRTC
When you singing up use code and get 5000 credits for free ;)

Offline superstartran

  • Fire Truck Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #79 on: October 04, 2008, 10:34:15 am »
Well i was not talking about a special case. Just the general case. Of course if you terminate a process that is vital for the system then the system will crash. (As mentioned in the post i made after.) But that is not really the issue. The issue is if you can use a unprotected programs or processes that has more access they should to gain control over the system. (And so be able to crash the system if one wanted to.)

My discussion was more in the lines of how hard it would be to do it rather then what you can do with it.


It depends on how well written the program is. Anti-Virus and Firewalls which have Ring 0 Access are usually programmed with alot of safety checks, so they are much harder to exploit (although it has been done before). Emulation tools such as Daemon Tools, Alcohol 120, and a few other things can be exploited rather easily though. SecuRom has potential to be even worse, because you can send data to the computer with SecuRom installed to do a certain action (this was seen with BioShock, I'll have to look it up). They can disable/enable certain features of SecuRom on the fly essentially. You could potentially exploit it. Sure, it may be a pain in the ass, but SecuRom has access to pretty much everything (with the ability to kill processes, prevent them from running, among many other things).



I highly doubt however that Sony thought anyone would discover that SecuRom had Ring 0 access (god knows why, hackers are plentiful, especially script kiddies). They probably didn't put any protection on the exploitation of SecuRom. I'm sure someone's already developing a way of abusing it as we speak (just to prove a point to EA, Sony, etc.)
« Last Edit: October 04, 2008, 10:39:25 am by superstartran »

Offline Yokto

  • Street Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 6238
  • Do not feed the Giant Gnawling.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #80 on: October 04, 2008, 10:46:29 am »
I am pretty sure that security was not a issue for them. At least not the security of you systems integrity. For a Firewall or a Anti-Virus program this is the main issue.
Check out my Creatures.
The Æthirans
The Echin
The Jinnivons
Star Citizen Ref code: STAR-JLJP-LRTC
When you singing up use code and get 5000 credits for free ;)

Offline Bellum

  • Pac-Man Maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 273
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #81 on: October 04, 2008, 02:51:47 pm »
Quote
I'm sure someone's already developing a way of abusing it as we speak (just to prove a point to EA, Sony, etc.)

I can't stand people who are willing to screw up my system to play games with somebody else.  :(

Offline SL

  • Missile Commander
  • **
  • Posts: 245
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #82 on: October 04, 2008, 06:14:14 pm »
You seem to be an EA supporter, so no sense in arguing with you.
Eh, no, not really. I like Spore, but I'm not any kind of rabid EA fan. I've just gotten fed up with people (not necessarily you) elsewhere making wild unfounded claims (like saying Spore came with a rootkit), or omitting facts to make better FUD (stating the 3 install limit but omitting that EA has said that they will give you more if you ask). The one-month-until-presidential-election here probably doesn't help either, especially since I've been following it closely. :P

But I would rather see some kind of proof than something effectively saying "I don't need to show proof because you wouldn't believe it." Mind you, often I'd err on the side of "if it MIGHT be harmful, I'd rather avoid it," but ... Eh. I don't know. How do you know so much about SecuROM? It's illegal, isn't it, to reverse-engineer it? Oh wait, you never agreed to an EULA on it because they installed it surreptitiously, eh? :P

Also, no one will show you how to conclusively show that SecuRom can be abused to gain access to Ring 0. That would be stupid. Anyone with half a brain would know you don't show how to destroy other people's property or gain unwanted access.
I did not ask you to show HOW to do it. I don't WANT to know how to do it (and I would hope that you don't know how to do it either). I just want a link to an article on a site which lists security bulletins or the like, or any reputable news site, which says that ring 3 programs can abuse SecuROM to obtain ring 0 access (which is what we were talking about, is it not?).

Personally, I know c++, and x86 assembly language, among several other programming languages, and you probably don't care about my unrelated experience, but have never looked into how device drivers are made, have no experience with how operating systems work, and have not poked securom or tried to dissect how it works (what with that probably being illegal), and have not tried to dissect spore's exe either (that being against the EULA).

From what I learned about x86 assembly language and such, I know that ring 0 has more permissions (except that I've forgotten what they are, heh) than the other rings. Again, if the user is running as an administrator, I don't see how being able to get to ring 0 is a risk considering whatever's abusing SecuROM already has to be on their computer anyways. If they're running as a user, however, and if SecuROM has a security flaw that allows an escalation to ring 0 from user-mode which enables doing admin-level stuff then that's a serious problem, no? (I'm picturing it going from a limited user on ring 3 to SYSTEM on ring 0, rather)

How much do you know about rings and operating system stuff and so on?

Again, you seem to blindly believe that SecuRom can't access anything and do any harm to your computer
I don't believe I said that. It can access pretty much anything it wants, if it installs device-driver-level crap. Kindly try not to put words in my mouth.

when you don't know a lick of programming
You are forgiven since I don't know anything about programming device drivers or anything else which would run in ring 0, or about undocumented functions or how to find them, or about hardware with updateable BIOSes, or about cracking, or about where to look if I were to want to find out more about those.

My belief about what SecuROM actually does chiefly comes from reasoning and hoping that EA isn't lying about what they say it does, as opposed to FUD, e.g. would it do such and such? "They say that it won't do a CD check, therefore it shouldn't wreck DVD drives! I hope! D:" Of course Sony could have made it do something bizarre and stupid (like still checking the drives for the DVD), that wouldn't necessarily be unlikely, companies (and people) do bizarre and stupid things all the time. But I'd rather not just believe the first person to make a wild claim. What I have to go on, since I haven't done any illegal disassembling or analysis of SecuROM or Spore's exe or the paul.dll included with it, is only what Sony and EA has said, and what evidence people have presented that I've seen (and if there are sporum threads on it, I've generally not read them because they move too fast).

But even so, I've been believing what people (such as yourself) have been saying, that it has both a ring 0 component and a ring 3 component, and so on - although I just found out (see the end of this post) that the SecuROM website specifically says that it does NOT have anything running in ring 0, and that it only runs in ring 3. Hmmm. I don't particularly like Sony, but that FAQ basically denies that all of the problems that have ever been blamed on SecuROM have existed, when it's pretty likely that some of them were due to it at one point, yes?

Anyways, if someone HAD figured out that there was a security flaw in it, I would expect them to, first, try to notify sony so they could fix it, and then submit a report to whoever takes those kinds of things after a while if there wasn't any action. I kind of expect sony would ignore it until the public noticed. (Do you know if SecuROM is auto-updated surreptitiously in addition to being installed surreptitiously?)

Also, it would be against law to show how to gain access to Ring 0 to somebody's computer (without their knowledge and compliance) through this forum, and GamingSteve board admins would have to report whoever did it to the authorities (most likely the FBI / Local Police). No one wants to go to jail.
I never asked for anything like that, you know, and you're almost making it sound like you could magically surf through the intertron to h4x into someone's boxen because they have spore installed, and gain ring 0 access from your living room, and use it to give them a wedgie.</sarcasm and words that I would normally never use :P> If you can't tell, I'm a bit incredulous at this point.

I mean... So far it's been "SecuROM's ring 3 component can talk to its ring 0 component, therefore other programs can get ring 0 access D:" but nobody's shown a link to an article reporting a security flaw like that. (Except that you posted something more detailed after I started writing this post)

I did a bit of googling, by the way, and found a couple articles (not security bulletins):

One said that there was an undocumented function in windows NT 3.51 and 4 which could be used to get ring 0 access, and provided source code and example code and such.

Another was about windows XP and was more of a hacking/cracking site, wherein the author of the post basically said "okay so you've gotten into ring 0 and anything you try to do crashes because you don't have access to ring 3 API functions now! haha." and blabbed for a bit and then exclaimed some advice to resolve that.

Didn't find any security bulletins, but I don't know the names of websites where those would be.

P.S. I'm of the opinion that there are some kinds of knowledge that are dangerous to have. I have refrained from learning them (I don't mean operating system and device driver stuff - I've just never been able to find documentation for them online) - specifically hacking or cracking things.

SecuRom has potential to be even worse, because you can send data to the computer with SecuRom installed to do a certain action (this was seen with BioShock, I'll have to look it up).

Wait, WHAT? You're saying you really CAN exploit SecuROM remotely? D:


.. Okay, hmm, one last thing then.

I went to the SecuROM website, and they have a FAQ at http://www.securom.com/support_faq.asp

Besides denying that it touches your emulators or disables any of your hardware, and saying that they took pains to make it very compatible with everything, it says that it does not install anything or run any processes at the kernel or ring 0 level, all its stuff runs in ring 3, and after that, it says...
Quote
35. Does SecuROM™ install anything at the kernel level or Ring 0 of my PC?

SecuROM™ does not install any components or perform any processes at the kernel or ring 0 level. All SecuROM™ components and processes occur at the normal application level or ring 3.

...

37. How do I remove SecuROM™ from my machine?
To remove all SecuROM™ related files please follow the instructions below. Before you start the uninstallation, close all programs which are running in the background.


The link below contains a tool which removes SecuROM:

http://www.securom.com/support/SecuROM_Uninstaller.zip

Please follow these steps:


    * Download the ZIP file
    * Extract the application into a temporary folder
    * Launch the application and follow the instructions.
      A dialog box will appear. To start the SecuROM uninstallation, press the <Yes> button.
      Note that you need administrator rights to run this uninstallation utility.



This uninstallation process will not remove the SecuROM DRM license information. Removing the license information would result in a lost activation. This uninstall process allows you to remove SecuROM-related files without losing a purchased software activation.

Good news for folks who want to get rid of it, eh?
« Last Edit: October 04, 2008, 06:20:56 pm by SL »

Offline Yokto

  • Street Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 6238
  • Do not feed the Giant Gnawling.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #83 on: October 04, 2008, 06:32:05 pm »
Well is it not illegal in American law (The DMCA) to circumvent or reverser engineer or decrypt copy protection?
Check out my Creatures.
The Æthirans
The Echin
The Jinnivons
Star Citizen Ref code: STAR-JLJP-LRTC
When you singing up use code and get 5000 credits for free ;)

Offline superstartran

  • Fire Truck Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #84 on: October 05, 2008, 11:12:04 pm »
SL, SecuRom runs with Ring 0 Access. Daemon Tools and Alcohol all run within Ring 0. I think you of all people should know that emulation of a drive cannot be killed / prevented in Stealth Mode (which is pretty good might I add) unless you have Ring 0 Access (on a consistent basis anyways). Try making a 1:1 Copy and trying to run the game that has SecuRom in it. It'll prevent you from running it. If you want more information, I suggest you look around on the R-Force forums. There are plenty of knowledgeable "hackers" (or computer geeks with no lives if you want to call them that) that can tell you what SecuRom is capable of at R-Force.


Since you have some knowledge about programming, sorry. But, I will have to admit I have argued with non-programming people who don't know what Ring 0/1/2/3 are.



Yes, SecuRom autoupdates without telling you. That means it sends it does (secretly without telling the user) information back and forth between Sony. Now tell me that cannot be exploited. It uses OpenSSL (conveniently tucked away in the corner of the manual me thinks)



Here are a few issues with SecuRom (provided by R-Force.org)

SecuROM issues include:

- long disc authentication checks with each new gaming session
- black screen, lasting several minutes in some cases
- conflicts with virtual drives; blacklisting
- conflicts with Process Explorer (Microsoft Tool)
- issues with Nero Drive Image (Nero 6)
- defective discs cause authentication errors, making the game unplayable
- unexpected game crashes, freezes, lockups
- some Microsoft patches cause conflicts, additional patching is needed
- UAService7 installed without authorization (not used anymore?)
- leaves behind registry entries, which require special tools to remove
- also leaves hidden folders in the User's account
- probing your hardware and Windows software before each gaming session
- not all issues can be resolved
- unconfirmed reports of BIOS resets


If it was a Ring 3 program, it would cause serious conflicts when trying to prevent emulation (a.k.a. starting the game up with a emulated ISO). Windows Security wouldn't even let you do that as far as I remember, as a Ring 3 Program does not have the authority to access Hardware. Also, it has been known to see and blacklist older versions of Daemon Tools when detected. A normal Ring 3 program does not have access to do such a thing. A Ring 3 program can SEE what is going on (well, it shouldn't be able to see a Ring 0 Program like Daemon Tools running in Stealth Mode), but it cannot terminate or prevent a program from running. That is an administrative or higher user privilege, and that of course is Ring 0 Access (Which SecuRom has).
« Last Edit: October 05, 2008, 11:29:03 pm by superstartran »

Offline superstartran

  • Fire Truck Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #85 on: October 05, 2008, 11:32:36 pm »
This is from 13thHour from R-Force Forums for convenience since we're discussing it here.


Mid just sent me a copy if the readme that can be found in a hidden directory under your username.

On XP C:\Documents and Settings\XXXXX\Application Data\Roaming\SecuROM , where XXXXX is your username.


readme.txt

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PLEASE DO NOT DELETE THE FILES IN THIS FOLDER BECAUSE YOU MIGHT LOOSE ESSENTIAL DIGITAL RIGHTS.
READ BELOW
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Technical Information for the PC Administrator:

The files securom_v7_01.dat and securom_v7_01.bak have been created during the installation of a SecuROM protected application.
It guarantees more user convenience because the original disc does not have to be in the local drive at all times anymore.
It is necessary for copy protected CDs, demo versions and protected software downloaded from the Internet.
The file contains your licences for all products which are SecuROM protected, therefore it will not be deleted automatically.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PLEASE DO NOT DELETE THE FILE BECAUSE YOU MIGHT LOOSE ESSENTIAL DIGITAL RIGHTS.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The information contained in securom_v7_01.dat will not be transferred to any other computer without your permission.

This security system is connected with a MS Windows Service called "SecuROM User Access Service".
This module is started automatically when launching a protected application if the user is logged in with Windows administrator rights.
In case users do not have administrator rights we recommend to keep it running.

See www.securom.com for further information

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following text is reproduced here to comply with OpenSSL license terms:

====================================================================
Copyright (c) 1998-2005 The OpenSSL Project. All rights reserved.

Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
are met:

1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in
the documentation and/or other materials provided with the
distribution.

3. All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this
software must display the following acknowledgment:
"This product includes software developed by the OpenSSL Project
for use in the OpenSSL Toolkit. (http://www.openssl.org/)"

4. The names "OpenSSL Toolkit" and "OpenSSL Project" must not be used to
endorse or promote products derived from this software without
prior written permission. For written permission, please contact
openssl-core@openssl.org.

5. Products derived from this software may not be called "OpenSSL"
nor may "OpenSSL" appear in their names without prior written
permission of the OpenSSL Project.

6. Redistributions of any form whatsoever must retain the following
acknowledgment:
"This product includes software developed by the OpenSSL Project
for use in the OpenSSL Toolkit (http://www.openssl.org/)"

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE OpenSSL PROJECT ``AS IS'' AND ANY
EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE
IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR
PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE OpenSSL PROJECT OR
ITS CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL,
SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT
NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES;
LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION)
HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT,
STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE)
ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED
OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
====================================================================

This product includes cryptographic software written by Eric Young
(eay@cryptsoft.com). This product includes software written by Tim
Hudson (tjh@cryptsoft.com).
====================================================================


Basically they have remote access to SecuRom on your computer.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2008, 11:36:21 pm by superstartran »

Offline superstartran

  • Fire Truck Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #86 on: October 05, 2008, 11:35:02 pm »
Well is it not illegal in American law (The DMCA) to circumvent or reverser engineer or decrypt copy protection?


Yes but it's not illegal to see what a program is doing to your computer. That is perfectly within your rights. Plenty of programs will allow you to see what SecuRom does (although it takes some programming knowledge).


Of course, having knowledge about how the copy protection scheme works isn't illegal. I mean, they can't exactly prove how you got the information. :) That's one way of circumventing it.



As far as I know how the law works, there are a few things that help prevent abuses like this happening. You can somewhat apply the FTC Telemarketing Laws to this.

Basically the jist is you cannot misrepresent the product you are selling, you have to disclose EVERYTHING CLEARLY, and you cannot misrepresent the cost. This not only applies to Telemarketing, but it also applies to pretty much everything else that is sold, whether it is a video game, clothes, etc.


EA did not fully disclose SecuRom, how it works, etc. They tacked on very vaguely in the EULA that they have a protection scheme (DRM) near the end (meaning you would have to read over 30-40 pages to even find it). The OpenSSL is in there, but it's hidden away where most people wouldn't find it, and the method which SecuRom uses to install itself (and the protection methods it uses) are borderline illegal. There's alot of things going against EA, and you cannot simply say that just because you agreed to the EULA, that EA is bulletproof.


The EULA is a Civil Contract between the Company and the Consumer. Yes the Company has rights, but if the Judge feels that the Company misrepresented or used illegal methods, they can declare the EULA null and void, and thus declare the case in favor of the plaintiff. It will be a tough one of course, but even high paying lawyers have it cut out for them. I'm sure there are many disgruntled programmers in the United States willing to testify against EA, about how SecuRom works, etc.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2008, 11:55:23 pm by superstartran »

Offline Yokto

  • Street Fighter
  • *****
  • Posts: 6238
  • Do not feed the Giant Gnawling.
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #87 on: October 06, 2008, 05:49:34 am »
Yeah well. Just be careful if you live in USA. the DMCA have been used for all sorts of wacky stuff. I know many Cryptography researchers ether refuse to publish there work or refuse to travel to USA due to the DMCA.
Check out my Creatures.
The Æthirans
The Echin
The Jinnivons
Star Citizen Ref code: STAR-JLJP-LRTC
When you singing up use code and get 5000 credits for free ;)

Offline SL

  • Missile Commander
  • **
  • Posts: 245
    • View Profile
Re: EA hit with class action suit over 'Spore'
« Reply #88 on: October 06, 2008, 09:31:56 pm »
SL, SecuRom runs with Ring 0 Access. Daemon Tools and Alcohol all run within Ring 0. I think you of all people should know that emulation of a drive cannot be killed / prevented in Stealth Mode (which is pretty good might I add) unless you have Ring 0 Access (on a consistent basis anyways). Try making a 1:1 Copy and trying to run the game that has SecuRom in it. It'll prevent you from running it. If you want more information, I suggest you look around on the R-Force forums. There are plenty of knowledgeable "hackers" (or computer geeks with no lives if you want to call them that) that can tell you what SecuRom is capable of at R-Force.

I looked at some of the posts on those forums today, and the first couple pages of the securom issues thread, and the last page or two, so far.

The emulation of the drive doesn't need to be killed/prevented, it just needs to be detected, and then SecuROM would refuse to run the game like it does whenever it detects anything else it doesn't like. (What version of Daemon Tools has a "Stealth Mode?" I have 4.06HE, and there doesn't appear to be a "Stealth Mode" option - But SecuROM doesn't notice it anyways, so you'd think maybe it's always on and that's why, except that really there are at least half a dozen obvious places where it could be detected by a ring 3 program (more later in the post). It has a "Secure Mode" though.)

SecuROM issues include:

- conflicts with Process Explorer (Microsoft Tool)

On Process Explorer, Process Monitor, FileMon, etc, what happens is that if you run those, once you have run them, even if you close them after you are done with them, (and even if you open them, close them, and only then try to run Spore) you won't be able to start Spore or any other SecuROM-protected program anymore (you get a cryptic "protection failed to initialize" or somesuch error) until you restart your computer. I tried those personally myself. Basically these load something that SecuROM thinks could be used to spy on it. I read about it a month or two ago also when I tried to use Process Monitor to see whether it was trying to open a nonexistant .txt file that one of the txt files inside the game data package referred to, but I've forgotten whether it was a dll or a sys file (ring 0, da?).

It doesn't seem to kill Process Explorer or anything, just... refuses to run anything protected.

- conflicts with virtual drives; blacklisting
- issues with Nero Drive Image (Nero 6)

So as I said, SecuRom seems to be completely unable to detect Daemon Tools on my computer. Wikipedia's entry says DT uses a rootkit, the Daemon Tools developers are not happy with that kind of statement but have used registry key hiding techniques, and not put their uninstaller in add/remove programs (I don't know if they've used any other rootkit-like techniques) - a thread where they've posted about this in response to a blog post elsewhere is here: linky. The blog post that's in response to no longer seems to exist. I'm still using Daemon Tools 4.06 HE, myself, and I don't know when they began using the rootkit-like measures.

Also, I just tried Nero ImageDrive with Spore, since I've got Nero 6. I fired up Nero and made a DVD image of some mp4s and then loaded Nero ImageDrive, enabled one virtual drive in it, and loaded said new DVD image and began playing the mp4s in VLC. I let them play for a while and then started Spore, and it continued to work fine. SecuROM had no complaints.

Also, it has been known to see and blacklist older versions of Daemon Tools when detected. A normal Ring 3 program does not have access to do such a thing. A Ring 3 program can SEE what is going on (well, it shouldn't be able to see a Ring 0 Program like Daemon Tools running in Stealth Mode), but it cannot terminate or prevent a program from running. That is an administrative or higher user privilege, and that of course is Ring 0 Access (Which SecuRom has).

By blacklist, would you mean stop SecuRom-protected games from running, or something else?

I can come up with several ways to detect a program from ring 3 off the top of my head. For instance, there are a variety of places in the registry which can point at a program or its DLLs, especially if it installs device drivers. Or, look for the uninstall entry. Daemon Tools' developers stated that they had to remove the add/remove programs uninstall entry because some DRMs were actually looking for the uninstall entries as a sign of DT's presence. You can look around in the registry with windows API functions as a normal administrator, which is just ring 3, has nothing to do with ring 0.

Or... This is brilliant. Daemon Tools added itself to the file associations for .cue, .iso files, .mds files, etc. NICE WAY TO STAY STEALTHY, GUYS.

And there's HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/ShellNoRoam/MUICache, which likes to remember what programs you've run.

And the entry that makes the system tray icon start when windows starts, and so on.

Another on that note, in order to have a system tray icon, a program has to have a window. You can't see it, but it still has to exist. If the DT programmers had been completely paranoid they'd probably give it a random class name and a random window title every time the computer booted up. I guess they weren't (at least not *completely*) because it stands out with the version of DT I have installed (Daemon Tools 4.06 HE), although maybe that's changed with the newer versions, who knows. I'm seeing a title of "Virtual DAEMON Manager V4.06HE" and class of "19659239224e364682fa4baf72c53ea4", and the class name I'm getting is still the same after restarting the computer a couple times.

If they've got a service running and can talk to it from a user level account, they could be piping registry checks or file checks or other administrator-level crap that you don't want them doing through that service, if it exists and if it's running (I haven't checked to see if it gets installed if I try running spore as a limited user, or if it just refuses to run, or what), but that doesn't mean they're doing anything in ring 0 - administrator isn't inherently ring 0. (And services would be running as SYSTEM, IIRC)

I wonder if SecuROM's developers gave up for some reason, because by all rights SecuROM should have been able to find Daemon Tools (at least this version) in any number of ways with normal ring 3 windows API functions. Daemon Tools wasn't hiding registry keys referring to its exe from regedit, although I didn't try accessing them with API functions, and it had a very obvious text string on its window which SecuROM could have picked up despite not having a human-readable string for its class name.

Or maybe they were ordered by their bosses to NOT go any further? Other DRMs, like StarForce, may still have been a worsening problem that Daemon Tools' developers may have felt the need to combat... Of course I'm just speculating.

If DT plugged all the things I saw by using rootkit-like techniques to hide the registry keys, and disguising the window, and hiding the other things I didn't mention that aren't in the registry, then a hypothetical uber-DRM would indeed need ring 0 to detect it. But considering it isn't even detecting it with these visible signs... unless it's actually polite and will only complain if it realizes someone's trying to use a secuROM protected disc in an emulator? I was assuming it would just be rude and say NO EMULATOR FOR YOU if it saw an emulator, but what if they decided to take a slightly softer approach to alienate less people? (if that's what they were trying to do, it was completely missed since nobody believes their FAQ or anything :P)