One of the most talked about aspects of the computer game Spore is the digital rights management (DRM) software being used to prevent unauthorized copying. The SecureROM software restricts each copy to being installed on a maximum of 3 computers. Beyond that, you can call Electronic Arts and beg them to let you install it more times. Given that hardware upgrades can make your computer count as a ‘new’ one, this might happen to a lot of people.
As DRM software goes, this really isn’t that bad. It doesn’t run an annoying program in the background, like the awful Steam system that accompanied Half Life 2. It also lets you play the game without the DVD inserted.
Arguably, the key to this issue is the following: somebody is always going to crack the DRM and release pirated copies of the game without it online. As such, DRM does not stop unauthorized copying, but does inconvenience the people who actually shell out the money for the game. As such, DRM is both useless and unfair to legitimate customers. As the Sony DRM debacle demonstrates, it can also open massive security holes on the computers of those who run it.
P.S. I will write a full review of Spore once I finish it. My first impressions are quite positive. One major suggestion to anyone trying it: play a very aggressive species for the first four stages (basically winning by killing everyone). Then, start a new game at the space stage with a blank state species. If you bring your hyper-aggressive species out into the galaxy, you will spend all of your time manually defending each of your planets from attack. It is infinitely less frustrating to build an empire based on trade and teraforming, earn lots of badges, make alliances, buy some awesome weapons, and then start busting people up if desired.