Spore has been rife with controversy from well before release, both in and out of the context of gaming. When it comes to gamers in particular, there was a lot of negative feedback given to EA over their DRM. They responded, but not in kind, and it seems that despite all the heavy locking they attempted to do on the game it is being very heavily pirated. In fact, it seems that at the moment there are more pirated copies of Spore running than legal copies.
With the budget it took to create Spore, including development and marketing, has EA shot themselves in the foot by being a stick in the mud with DRM? It used to be that DRM was one of those things people just dealt with. Sure, there were complainers, but by and large you just put up with it. Spore may represent a change in that attitude, and may be an indication of what sort of reaction game publishers can expect if they try to artificially restrict how people can use the games, from account restriction to obsessive activation.
One could say that EA and Maxis should have seen this coming. After all, a former developer for Maxis outright said that this DRM would be a total failure, not only contributing to loss of sales but also not preventing piracy in the first place.