The Spore DRM copy-protection backlash won't be happening to The Sims 3, given the news that broke just minutes ago. EA has announced that The Sims 3 will only use serial-number copy protection. Buy the game, input the serial number that comes with the game, and you're good to go.
From the blog of Rod Humble, head of EA's Sims and Casual division:
"The game will have disc-based copy protection – there is a Serial Code just like The Sims 2. To play the game there will not be any online authentication needed.
We feel like this is a good, time-proven solution that makes it easy for you to play the game without DRM methods that feel overly invasive or leave you concerned about authorization server access in the distant future."