Tuesday, November 08, 2005

How the mighty have fallen...

I've been following this story for a week now. The bottom line is: SONY's DRM protected cd's install code on your machine, yeah just like a virus that's hard to detect (that reports information on usage of the content), they get caught, they issue issue a patch that removes the code, then basically say: "this was not malicious code, no worries, everything is OK".
Wow. Do they ever NOT get it.

I was thinking just a few weeks ago that SONY used to (circa 1988) almost completely encircle me in the living room
(TV, DVD, CD, A/V Receiver etc.) Now they are nowhere to be found. Apple has almost completely replaced them on both the Hardware and Software front... then I read this from Molly Wood at CNET News (via EFF):

"So, let's make this a bit more explicit. You buy a CD. You put the CD into your PC in order to enjoy your music. Sony grabs this opportunity to sneak into your house like a virus and set up camp, and it leaves the backdoor open so that Sony or any other enterprising intruder can follow and have the run of the place. If you try to kick Sony out, it trashes the place. And what does this software do once it's on your PC? ... The DRM itself is almost unbelievably restrictive, and some have suggested that the reasoning behind it is part of Sony's ongoing war over digital music supremacy with the decidedly more supreme Apple."

How the mighty have fallen.

Link to list of offending CD's (via EFF)
Link to Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Link to Wired News.

Italian police are investigating and watch for the inevitable class action lawsuits on this one. UPDATE: yup, less than 24 hours after I posted on this... California files a lawsuit.

and if you think all this is insane, check out SONY's End User Licence Agreement for playing a music CD on your computer. Unbelievable.

UPDATE: Link to great Wired News summary of the whole mess.