Hidden Open Source Code In XCP Designed To Make CDs Work With iPods?

from the the-plot-thickens dept

Just as the whole Sony BMG/First4Internet rootkit fiasco story was first breaking, there was another story making the rounds about how Sony BMG was specifically using the copy protection not to protect, but to try to pressure Apple into opening up their own copy protection scheme. Lots of people had complained about how Apple doesn’t open up their copy protection, so no one else can create copy protected songs that go on the iPod. Apparently, the story goes a bit deeper than that. Alex Halderman has been digging into the illegally used GPL code found in First4Internet’s XCP technology and discovered that it’s designed to add a clone of Apple’s copy protection to the music, so that it could play on iPods. However, the code isn’t used. It’s there, and it’s functional — but it’s hidden away. So, either Sony hoped to be able to “turn it on” at some point in the future, if Apple ever agreed to do a deal, or they freaked out when they realized that First4Internet was using GPL code without obeying the license, and asked them to kill the “feature.”


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Comments on “Hidden Open Source Code In XCP Designed To Make CDs Work With iPods?”

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14 Comments
Scott Hamilton says:

Re: HUH ???

Voila? I wish! For example, another Sony (Fony!) protected CD– though with different DRM– is In Your Honor (FF). Plays on Fony’s proprietary and included player. With some hacking, it plays/imports for Windows Media Player. But iTunes? NFW. And when I wrote to Sony about it, they sent me the notorious instructions to remove the rootkit (which this CD doesn’t use) which would have exposed my, um, “stuff” and left me more vulnerable than if I did have the damn rootkit. These guys need a clue.

zcat (user link) says:

Re: Re: HUH ???

XCP CD’s only infect Windows just like almost every other piece of malware, because only Windows has a default policy of “trust everyone and try to run everything automatically”

If you put them in a Mac they appear as just an ordinary CD, and you can import the tracks into iTunes just like any other CD. Although f4i did write some anti-ripping code for the Mac it doesn’t get run automatically. You have to go looking for it.

If you put them in a Linux box, they also appear as just an ordinary CD. There’s no anti-ripping code for Linux, but even if there was Linux still does not try to install and/or run programs as soon as a CD is inserted.

Ron Allen says:

Corporate Hell

It isn?t any surprise with corporations taking every last cent in music and entertainment with fees at the ticket box ? or the ?convenience fee? you pay for ordering the tickets online or over the phone that now they are subversively implementing yet another way to take away our choices.

If they charged $0.50 per track and had better ways to search and actually turned out music that was worth buying an entire CD none of this would be an issue.

Anyone ever considered this to be a violation of the home securities act and subversive actions against the US- especially considering these copy ?protection? programs have opened countless computers to hackers. It is all too convenient that a corporation this large would create software with such obvious holes.

They need to be brought down with as much ferocity as they went after Napster? and pay everyone back the 75% they owe on all those CDs that cost so much and only had a little good music on it.

Make it affordable, make it work and I will buy more of it. Cheat me and the law should come after you just as hard as it would come after the little guy who gave you competition (eg. Napster)

aixkami says:

Re: Corporate Hell

Here, here! The whole RIAA schtick makes me sick. They put out less music per year, and make more money per release, but cry poor me (i.e. intellectual property theft) when you want to move music *you* purchased to your portable player. Another perfect example of how the market system *can* work if left to self-regulate. Put a bunch of highly paid corporate lawyer pigs into the mix and you get 12 year olds being sued for copyright infringement. Disgusting.

alternatives says:

Re: Corporate Hell

corporations taking….they charged….They need….

Rather than spending time worrying about what these ‘nasty’ corps are doing, why not spend that time ignoring them and NOT buying anything from em.

Money is their blood supply – cut off that supply. Once that happens, see how quickly ‘the customer’ becomes important.

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