EA, BioWare Under Fire for Dragon Age II DRM

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It seems EA and BioWare failed to disclose anti-piracy features in the PC version of Dragon Age II, and anti-DRM groups are pitching a fit.

Reports of DRM-related Dragon Age II issues are so far nil, but it looks like EA may have used SecuROM-like (or related) technology in the recently released fantasy roleplaying game. The rub? Everyone hates SecuROM for fiddling with your fair use rights, and EA/Bioware may have fibbed to consumers and anti-DRM watchdog groups about their use of it in the game.

Reclaim Your Game (RYG) first brought it up a few weeks ago, upbraiding EA and BioWare for effectively dancing around DRM questions and claiming repeatedly that Dragon Age II didn't use SecuROM.

According to RYG, that's a lie.

Let's be clear: RYG's not talking about SecuROM in full, but lopped off pieces of it detected in the game, including a "release date check" that prevented Dragon Age II from activating prior to a set launch time. The actual authentication process is handled by something different called Sony Release Control (though reportedly designed by the SecuROM people). According to BioWare, once you've authenticated, Release Control "self-destructs," disappears, and "is never used again." The exclusion includes future downloads, and means no lingering processes.

Dishonesty warrants rebuke, sure, but are we getting too tetchy about DRM that's appears to support fair use? As long as it's not forcing you to stay online or authenticate every three seconds or ransoming your first, second, and third-born, do you care if the technology's present, so long as it doesn't collect or transmit anything it shouldn't, and disappears upon activation?

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