Maybe Sony's Strategy Is To Convince You To Never Use A CD In A Computer

from the oh,-sorry-about-that dept

The Sony rootkit saga continues. While the company released a patch that only took off the cloaking ability, but didn’t actually help uninstall the software they surreptitiously installed, it seems that there are plenty of other problems with the “patch” as well. Ed Felten noted yesterday that there’s a lot of other stuff in the patch, which Sony doesn’t bother to tell anyone about. And, obviously, at this point, hearing Sony say “trust us, it’s fine” isn’t particularly reassuring. On top of that, the original researcher who discovered the rootkit has found that the patch could crash Windows on some computers. The chances are apparently pretty small, but they’re there. The other thing he discovered is that, once again just like spyware products, the copy protection phones home to Sony, potentially passing on information, such as your IP address. To be fair, it doesn’t look like it’s doing anything bad when it phones home (just checking for updated lyrics and album art), but Sony certainly doesn’t reveal anywhere that this action is happening, which should only raise more questions about why anyone should ever feel safe using a SonyBMG CD again. Of course, maybe that’s the point. The record labels have regretted for years that CDs now play on computers (it was an afterthought to them), because that’s what opened up this whole file sharing concept in the first place — and, so now they’re trying to make people think that CDs don’t belong in your CD-ROM drive, and delivering sneaky malware might just be one way to get that point across.

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Comments on “Maybe Sony's Strategy Is To Convince You To Never Use A CD In A Computer”

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crytsal_tech says:

Re: No Subject Given--Plus workaround for you lame

more than likely.. just rip the music in linux and copy to windows and poof drm free music. any linux will do just install the bare min on an old computer and rip to it or straight to your network drive share with a wireless or crossover. you don’t need a powerful computer to run linux and rip cds. hell you could use unix or mac in some cases.

Stinky Old Fart says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given--Plus workaround for you lame

That is right, every body has the skills to install linux, and it is just so easy on an old computer. Good thing everybody has that second box laying around to do that with.

hhmmm. I think I’m going to call my broker and invest in KVM switches… Those are going to be HOT this Christmas

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: No Subject Given--Plus workaround for you lame

Hah. Nah, man, set up your main box as a dual-boot system. That’s how my mom plays Doom 3 without having to shell out for XP.

No KVMs required. And yeah, actually, installation can be very easy. Some of them will do the repartitioning for you, safely, and have a ‘minimal’ option; others are just a CD you boot with, and require no install at all.

There are options before you, if you’ll let yourself see them.

Having said that, I do have a whack of old stuff here, and a KVM, so that’s what I’ll be using, but only because I develop on Linux and had the machine set up already.

TP says:

Re: No Subject Given

Yes–you are spot on. Sony has corrupted the concept of a meeting of minds by a willing buyer and and a willing seller. While hiding behind entertainment’s skirts they are selling the public a snake-oil f***ing.

Shame on them, but shame on us for thinking we are better if we employ a “work-around” that makes our property useable.

John (user link) says:

Sony is killing themselves

I believe what everybody is missing here, that seems kind of strange to me, is that sony is basicly penalizing everyone who legitimately buys a SonyBMG CD. Hence, they are actually demanding that their customers steal from them.

Email users are trained to not open attachments from people they don’t know. Now, music lovers will be trained to download songs from Sony’s catalog of artists instead of buying the cds and inflicting harm on their PC.

slap maxwell says:

Re: Sony is killing themselves

Sony is penalising themselves, plain and simple. They aren’t hurting me, since I’ll just refuse to do business with them (and likely any of their subsidiaries where possible) and actually seek out illegal downloads of Sony material. Why not? If they can behave in criminal behaviour, so can I….

In fact, this weekend I purchased a competitor’s Plasma TV over a Sony, just in principle. Screw ’em.

Betamax says:

No Subject Given

Hit them where it HURTS. The only way to get through to companies is by giving them a nice punch to the wallet. Write them emails and tell them you’re not buying their new ps3 or anything else they might put out. Even if it’s not true, they don’t know that. Thousands of angry customers makes for a miserable business

Joshua Moore says:

comment on sony spyware

This is just a question, I have no experience with this, so I’d like to know how this works, what it is. Does it install only if you click a button saying “trust me, it’s ok to install me”? Or is it enough to insert the cd into the rom drive? If that is the case, is there a way you can tell windows never to install anything from CDs, except for if you approve of it? If there is such a way, could you post how that is done, as a call of protest?

Adrian Cobon says:

Re: comment on sony spyware

I will be blunt – It is possible for a big company like SONY to work out a contract with Microsoft so that if you load the CD in with Windows Media Player the software will install automatically. So like everyone was saying up above – USE LINUX, or if you must use windows use a utility that is not developed by microsoft directly to listen to it.

Adrian Cobon says:

Re: Re: Re: comment on sony spyware

Because, silly, Microsoft was at the right spot at the right time. They make a vaporware product that cannot be trusted to be secure even a small fraction of the time. My first PC, a Windows XP Home, had first gone online the day before a major worm had hit the net. My anti-virus software could not handle it, so my computer was trashed. Mind you, I was using a limited user account, so it should not have been possible if Microsoft had designed its system properly. Linux, while some may claim only appears invulnerable, is actually better than Windows on the security front. If you are not Root, forget about it. Microsoft bid lower than all existing competitors for the initial contract for their OS, and used this advantage to force themselves upon the OEM industry ever since. BTW, Some companies are offering a linux alternative. Dell anyone?

If Linux sucks then obviously you are not mature enough to use it! Either that or not smart enough to spend some time with it and experiment!

Martyn Compton says:

why should they need to anyway?

i dont get why companys like sony bother with this anyway surely after we buy a cd it is our property to do as we please, we shouldnt really have to work around these damn DRMs if i want to listen to mp3s of my CDs because i dont want to have to insert a cd every time i want to listen to some music and whant a shuffle setup for every song i have ever owned then i should damn well be able to!!

Keyser Soze says:

Class action?

This action by Sony (and Microsoft to a lesser extent) is a complete violation of privacy. Hackers have been arrested for doing a lot less. Instead of jumping through hoops, it is time to organize a class action lawsuit. That will get those millionaire shareholders to back down on their ridiculous crusade against the consumer.

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