[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Friday, 2005-11-04

Sony illegally hacks customers’ PCs

Filed under: Intellectual Property,Music — bblackmoor @ 11:02

I’ve been saying that things will get worse before they get better. They just got worse.

On Monday, October 31, alert users discovered that Sony BMG is using copy-protected CDs to surreptitiously install its digital rights management technology onto PCs. You don’t have to be ripping the CD, either–just playing it from your CD-ROM drive triggers the installation. The software installs itself as a root kit, which is a set of tools commonly used to make certain files and processes undetectable, and they’re the favored tool of crackers who are, as Wikipedia puts it, attempting to “maintain access to a system for malicious purposes.” In fact, root kits are often classified alongside Trojan horses. And Mark Russinovich, who created a root-kit detection utility and was one of the first to blog about the Sony intrusion, discovered another little gem when he tried to remove the DRM drivers. It broke his computer — disabling his CD drive.

(from CNet, DRM this, Sony!)

Folks, this is illegal (and I’m reporting it to the FBI). But will anyone at Sony be prosecuted for this crime? Don’t hold your breath.

Here’s a tip from me to Sony, RIAA, and the rest of the media robber barons: if you want to compete with services like AllOfMP3.com, do what they do, do it better, and do it cheaper. If you continue to pin your hopes on DRM, you will fail, you will be reviled, and your stockholders will suffer.