Friday, November 11, 2005

SONY-BMG part duex: Electric Boogaloo

A few items regarding the SONY-BMG dealie, I don't think it was my plagarizing that brought this all to a head, but it's gotten lots of techie press lately, not mainstream press. Why is that? Aren't the average consumer the person who should know about this???

Read about what has to say about it... basically, DRM this, Sony!

Electronic Frontier Foundation ;found some astonishing fine print. For example, if you lose the original CD or it's stolen, you lose the right to any digital copies you've made. You can't keep your music on computers at work. You must delete your songs if you move out of the country or if you file for bankruptcy. The list goes on and on. As for the artists whose names have been sullied by their association with the root kit, it seems that at least some of them didn't give permission to Sony to use the backdoor DRM technology and want no part of it.

Sony decided to pull the technology because supposedly hackers were using the file name structure to spoof entry and cause the malicious issues that people are complaining about.

"As a precautionary measure, Sony BMG is temporarily suspending the manufacture of CDs containing XCP technology," it said in a statement. The decision follows the discovery on Thursday of the first virus that uses Sony BMG's CD copy-protection software to hide on PCs and wreak havoc.

A hacker had mass-mailed e-mail with an attachment, which when clicked on installs malware. The malware hides by using Sony BMG software that is also hidden -- the software would have already been installed on a computer when consumers played Sony's copy-protected music CDs.

apparently because of all this... a class action suit was filed.

Suit labels Sony root of cyber evil
By Jesse Noyes
Friday, November 11, 2005
Celine Dion never seemed so dangerous.

A class action lawsuit filed in a California court against Sony BMG alleges the music publisher included hidden software on a number of music CDs capable of wiping out users’ information and crippling their computers.
The suit, which was filed on Nov. 1 by Alexander William Guevara, claims CDs containing Sony’s new XCP2 anti-piracy program can damage users’ computers. The software, called a "rootkit," automatically installs on computers with Microsoft’s Windows program and hides deep in the computer where it can monitor activity and cause system crashes.
Sony didn’t inform customers that its CDs contained the "rootkit" and it can’t be removed without damaging the infected computer, the suit charges.
Guevara’s lawyer, Alan Himmelfarb, could not be reached for comment.
To date 20 Sony-issued discs have been found with the controversial software, including Celine Dion’s "On ne Change Pas," Switchfoot’s "Nothing is Sound" and Neil Diamond’s "12 Songs."
"Sony BMG is selling music fans a bum set of goods," said Jason Schultz, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation – a San Francisco digital rights organization currently collecting complaints from consumers to bring a case against Sony.
A Sony spokesman didn’t return calls yesterday.
Sony’s software is "totally invisible to the user," said Yankee Group analyst Nintin Gupta. "That’s just wrong. Sony should not be doing that."
"Rootkit" software has quickly become a favorite with hackers to send out viruses. Just yesterday a computer security company in Europe identified a virus using Sony’s piracy protection, according to a Reuters report.
Reportedly another lawsuit aimed at Sony is likely to come this week in New York.


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