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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  • identicon
    Admiral, 5 Dec 2005 @ 1:55pm

    HUH ???

    Pardon me if I am wrong, but all CDs work with iPods.

    Just pop a CD into the drive of a mac
    Launch iTunes
    Click on Import (get CDDB data first)
    Copy to your iPod

    Voila!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      dave, 5 Dec 2005 @ 1:59pm

      Re: HUH ???

      But they dont want you to have DRM-free music on you r iPod, they want to beable to control the amount of copies you can make, just like songs purchased from ITMS

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Cap'n Jeff, 5 Dec 2005 @ 2:00pm

      Re: HUH ???

      Perhaps he means copy-protected importing of CDs?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2005 @ 2:02pm

      Re: HUH ???

      yeah, but most people dont have macs. those with macs have already sold out to apple, so why should they pay more? well, unless they want fullscreen capabilities in quicktime i guess

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Ben, 5 Dec 2005 @ 2:17pm

      Re: HUH ???

      Some CD's work, but the ones with copy protection dont play import to iTunes or play on an iPod.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Scott Hamilton, 5 Dec 2005 @ 2:22pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 5 Dec 2005 @ 2:50pm

      Re: HUH ???

      Pardon me if I am wrong, but all CDs work with iPods.

      Not so. The ones using copy protection do not -- which is part of the reason there have been so many complaints about them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        zcat, 5 Dec 2005 @ 3:06pm

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Just Joe, 5 Dec 2005 @ 3:10pm

        Re: HUH ???

        Perhaps Apple's reasoning for not allowing those CD's to be played on the iPOD is to further drive sales towards iTunes Music Store.
        ..Can't imagine why they'd do that unless they just wanted to increase their profit$

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ron Allen, 5 Dec 2005 @ 3:54pm

    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)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      aixkami, 5 Dec 2005 @ 5:29pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      alternatives, 6 Dec 2005 @ 1:42am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        jim jim, 6 Dec 2005 @ 9:39am

        Re: Corporate Hell

        damn right...i have not bought a cd in years and i have never used itunes....cuz none of it is worth it.....not only that but every band i like isnt even sold in my area AT ALL!
        so i stick to my cable bill and my bit torrent,and other P2P
        its cheaper anyways

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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