Sony DRM spelled backwards is EVIL

Actually, it would be MRDS, which didn’t really spell anything… Anyhoo…

For those of you who haven’t heard, Sony has released it’s new digital rights management software into the wild… and you may already have it on your computer. The CDs, when inserted, install what is known in the hacker world as a “rootkit” which is a special piece of software that runs in the background on your machine without letting you know about it. Even more alarming, is that this software is incredibly difficult to remove as it hides itself from even administrator level permissions.

Currently, the following CDs have been detected to have installed the rootkit software.

  • Trey Anastasio, Shine (Columbia)
  • Celine Dion, On ne Change Pas (Epic)
  • Neil Diamond, 12 Songs (Columbia)
  • Our Lady Peace, Healthy in Paranoid Times (Columbia)
  • Chris Botti, To Love Again (Columbia)
  • Van Zant, Get Right with the Man (Columbia)
  • Switchfoot, Nothing is Sound (Columbia)
  • The Coral, The Invisible Invasion (Columbia)
  • Acceptance, Phantoms (Columbia)
  • Susie Suh, Susie Suh (Epic)
  • Amerie, Touch (Columbia)
  • Life of Agony, Broken Valley (Epic)
  • Horace Silver Quintet, Silver’s Blue (Epic Legacy)
  • Gerry Mulligan, Jeru (Columbia Legacy)
  • Dexter Gordon, Manhattan Symphonie (Columbia Legacy)
  • The Bad Plus, Suspicious Activity (Columbia)
  • The Dead 60s, The Dead 60s (Epic)
  • Dion, The Essential Dion (Columbia Legacy)
  • Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten (Epic)

If you have put one of these CDs in your computer recently, it would be wise to consult Google for removal instructions. But beware! Early pioneers in this field of work have mentioned that sometimes it will cause your CD player to CEASE WORKING!

Now, I understand that DRM is a necessary evil in our day and age, but this seems to be crossing lines of a different sort. In an effort to reduce theft of Sony’s copyrighted content, Sony sees no problem with potentially damaging its customer’s computers. Early reports have been made already of viruses that can piggyback on Sony’s rootkit software and use them to cripple computer systems and enjoy the rootkit’s property of being difficult to remove.

Let’s just say that I won’t be buying another Sony CD until this garbage has been removed.

PS – Is it just me, or are more than half of these CDs targeted at the wrong demographic for countering file sharing?

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2 Responses to “Sony DRM spelled backwards is EVIL”

  1. Pie Man Says:

    I heard that the rootkit also breaks your Windows installation. I don’t know.

    *sigh* I don’t think it’ll get much better in the future, as more and more record labels will probably opt for some kind of DEM tech (whether it’s the unreadable CD, or this, or something else). And yeah, most of those CDs are in fact not really “popular” stuff. Except for switchfoot. Thankfully, I tried it at school, before I found out it was DRM’d. I downloaded the album when I got home.

    You could buy an album, store it, and then download it if you want to listen.

  2. Jay Says:

    found this news story about how sony apprently wants to put an end to it too….

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11/12/sony_suspends_rootkit_drm/


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