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Sony Music CD's Contain Mac DRM Software Too

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the no-one-is-safe dept.

Sony 399

brjndr writes "A MacInTouch poster has found that certain Sony CD's also contain a smaller extra partition for 'enhanced' content. Running one of the applications found within this partition installs kernel extensions containing DRM software by SunnComm. In Sony's defense you're told what is being installed within a EULA which pops up when the program is loaded. Thankfully we all read our EULAs completely."

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Think different... (5, Interesting)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005593)

[See my journal entry [slashdot.org] for my previous comments on this]

To summarise: it's impossible to protect against truly clueless users without severely inconveniencing everyone else, but Mac OS X at least lets you know something dodgy is going on (a request for administration rights, just to play a CD, say what ? No *other* CD's needed that!) I guess it helps to have gorms, though...

THM: It's a difference in attitude. It *does* make a difference.

Simon

Re:Think different... (3, Insightful)

Andrew Tanenbaum (896883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005602)

After a short while, typing in your password becomes as much of an unconscious acticity as pressing "OK" on a dialog box. I think we need blinking lights, horns, mandatory timers, and permission from your sysadmin before you can do anything stupid.

Re:Think different... (4, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005622)

Maybe there ought to be a question when you set up your mac - "rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 on how good you are with computers, and we'll adjust the system alerts accordingly"...

I'm not *so* sure about the after-a-while thing though - I'm struggling to remember any time I had to type in the sysadmin password when I wasn't installing software. If I equate that action with installing stuff, and all I've done is put a CD in to play the damn thing, I'd be pretty curious as to why... Maybe that's just cynical old me, though...

Simon

Re:Think different... (4, Insightful)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005741)

Maybe there ought to be a question when you set up your mac - "rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 on how good you are with computers, and we'll adjust the system alerts accordingly"...

You'd have to make it more of a quiz. After all, there's a lot of people that think they know everything but who really don't have a clue (Go to your local computer shop if you don't believe me). It could be pretty funny:

(1) what does RAM stand for?
(2) what is 0xF?
...

Re:Think different... (5, Funny)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005786)

2) is obviously a fat little squirrel. I like to draw squirrels a little thinner: 1xf

Re:Think different... (3, Funny)

Nermal6693 (622898) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005872)

I don't know what's funnier: Your post, or that it's moderated Informative.

Memories... (3, Funny)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005748)

Oh christ, you just reminded me of something-- a great recollection....

My original //e had some lame-ass program to "meet the machine", it had routines to deal with typists who cheated by using l's for ones s and o's for zeros... if you did this, it went into this little diatrabe about how "to a computer, a 0 and an o are very different things"
  Snort...

Re:Think different... (4, Insightful)

ryanr (30917) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005767)

I'm struggling to remember any time I had to type in the sysadmin password when I wasn't installing software.

That's the problem. Clueless mac user is probably expecting to be installing software about then. The CD told them they need a player to see the dancing pigs, for example.

Re:Think different... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14005787)

Maybe there ought to be a question when you set up your mac - "rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 on how good you are with computers, and we'll adjust the system alerts accordingly"...

The full details would have to always be readily available, if behind a "Scary Computer Words" button. If novices have a problem, they should be able to give all the information to a sysadmin or tech support, even if they don't understand it.

Re:Think different... (5, Insightful)

josephdrivein (924831) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005889)

"rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 on how good you are with computers, and we'll adjust the system alerts accordingly"...

Think what a hell would become the customer support: everytime something happens the system may respond to the user in 10 different ways.

And if a user logs into another mac (at Internet café, library, university etc..), she well have to know if it's configured for dummies or super-geeks or whatever. I may even add that as she gets used to her mac she will want to try to step to the next level, but the user has to learn again how the system behaves.
And so on.

It has been proposed more than once, but I doubt it will be ever implemented, as it is a usability nightmare.

Re:Think different... (5, Informative)

npietraniec (519210) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005707)

If you use a mac, you'll find that you type in your password far less than you might think you would. I don't do it that often, I don't think I'm that desensitized... I don't do it that often on my linux boxes either. My roommate however tried to set up a non-admin account on his windows computer and found it impossible to get any work done without changing over to admin all the time... Worse yet, things would fail mysteriously without any inidication of what the problem was "why can't I delete my documents on my external harddrive?!?!" He was just complaining about that today.

Re:Think different... (2, Funny)

boisepunk (764513) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005833)

/me skims parent post
I Agree.

Re:Think different... (4, Informative)

tm2b (42473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005892)

No, it doesn't.

You are not often challenged for your password in Mac OS X. The default installation location is /Applications, which is mode 775 (meaning users can create items in the directory, but not alter files owned by someone else, including root). Most installs you simply drag an item into the Applications folder.

If something's asking you for your password and isn't (a) your security manager wanting to fetch your keychain for a website, or (b) something that should be installing drivers, be very worried and don't type your password until you understand exactly what it's doing. My mother has to type her password so infrequently on Mac OS X that she can never remember what it is.

Even Microsoft Office is a drag-and-drop-to-install application (as well as being a drag), ferchrisakes.

(and mods, please mod parent down for using Andrew Tanenbaum's [wikipedia.org] name).

Why yes, I give my admin password out on request! (3, Insightful)

jx100 (453615) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005594)

I think the fact that it asks for your password on install should throw up *some* sort of red flag. And tosses in a rather easy way to get past the DRM.

Re:Why yes, I give my admin password out on reques (4, Insightful)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005619)

Why yes, I give my admin password out on request!

You would be amazed at what most users will do for music, porn, wallpapers, or screensavers.

Mac OS isn't immune to this kind of crapola - at least not for the average user.

Re:Why yes, I give my admin password out on reques (1)

TCQuad (537187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005822)

You would be amazed at what most users will do for music, porn, wallpapers, or screensavers.

I don't know if I agree with the "most". I'd definitely go with "some", especially new switchers who don't know Mac's standard operating procedure. But if you've put in 50 CDs and never had a prompt, this might give you pause, especially because for some people giving anything but Software Update this sort of power is very scary.

Regardless, even "most" is better than "all, because they were never asked"...

Re:Why yes, I give my admin password out on reques (5, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005647)

should throw up *some* sort of red flag

A client of mine once got an email instructing telling her that a virus had been installed on her system. She was to immediately locate a file (I think it was COMMAND.COM) and delete it, which would remove the hazard.

She forwarded it on to me (just in case I needed it, you see) and then sent me a second email because the person who sent her the message had trashed their system, and she thought I was about to do same.

When it comes to stupidity among users, I will believe anything

Re:Why yes, I give my admin password out on reques (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005830)

That hoax with windows and removing the teddy bear file (some java component IIRC) has made rounds around the office at least twice and not within a short time span either, even the old hoaxes get a new life now and again... Larry

Re:Why yes, I give my admin password out on reques (1)

dogbreathcanada (911482) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005834)

How was she able to send you that email?

Does the DRM software do anything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14005597)

It sounds like the CD can be played without installing the DRM, so why bother to include it anyway?

Admin Privileges (2, Funny)

josephdrivein (924831) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005604)

a request for administration rights Oh, yeah I love to have to be root to play a CD...

Re:Admin Privileges (5, Insightful)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005658)

YOU may not even consider such an idea, but not everyone is so tech-savvy. Think of all the Joe users out there...

Joe user: What's this I see? I have to enter my password to play a music CD? Oh no biggy, its just a music CD. What harm could it do?

That is my concern. The average user sees it comes from Sony, a "trustable" company, and doesn't give it a second thought. A very lethal combo

Re:Admin Privileges (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005912)

A more likely scenario is:

Joe user: What's this I see? I have to enter my password? Ok.

People are just getting around to the idea that random crap mailed to them might contain a virus (although enough people still run them...). It'll be a while yet before they're even the least bit suspicious of stuff on CDs, especially ones they've bought from reputable sources.

I agree that they won't give it a second thought; I just don't think they'll give it a first thought, either.

Re:Admin Privileges (1)

josephdrivein (924831) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005924)

Joe user: What's this I see? I have to enter my password to play a music CD? Oh no biggy, its just a music CD. What harm could it do?

You got your point.

Anyway, you should notice that there's a great difference beetwen the Windows rootkit that installs without you letting you know about it, because Win XP Home has all users by default with admin privileges, and OsX in which you have to type in your admin password.

Well one clear warning sign... (4, Insightful)

radicalskeptic (644346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005607)

According to the comments on the linked page, you have to type in your name/password after agreeing to the EULA. This is really non-standard and hopefully will set off alarms in people's heads when they wonder why they have to do that (OS X doesn't ask for your password often). But something tells me most users will just go ahead and give the app free reign anyway. Not that I blame them, you'd expect to be able to trust Sony, a freaking huge "legitimate" corporation for Pete's sake.

Re:Well one clear warning sign... (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005702)

Well, there are bound to be users that will do exactly that, but with the recent publicity that Sony's rootkit has received, I think people will more than likely think twice before typing in their password after they pop in a Sony CD to be played. I think the media coverage (not to mention the lawsuit) has made people very wary of Sony and Sony CD's in general. While there's likely a good number of Mac users that switched from Windows to avoid the security problems of the latter, and really are no better than the typical Windows user when it comes to security, they also tend to be more savvy in terms of keeping up with current events, as the really clueless would've probably stuck with Windows, or not be among the demographics at which these Sony CD's are targeted.

Re:Well one clear warning sign... (2, Insightful)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005798)

Recent publicity? You think someone who doesn't read Slashdot will have heard of Sony's rootkit?

Make a fortune (2, Interesting)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005610)

Business idea:

Customers buy DRM CDs and hand them over to you. You give them back a copy of the CD with the DRM removed, for the cost of the blank CD and a small service fee. Hold onto the original CD with customer records as evidence that the customer bought the CD and has the right to copy for personal use.

Not workable?

Re:Make a fortune (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14005645)

The DMCA is specifically targeted at such behavior. No one cares that you have "bought" the CD, you don't have permission to remove copy protection under the law.

Even if you can find a legal loophole you'd get buried in lawsuits. See what happened to mp3.com.

Re:Make a fortune (4, Interesting)

gcatullus (810326) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005653)

Reasonable, yes, but legally workable not really, at least according to Sony. The sony eula says you must destroy any and all fair use copies of the music you possess, if you are no longer in possession of the actual cd. What a concept, your car gets robbed, you get cds stolen and then SONY makes you delete any copies you may have. I'd love to see it in court.

Re:Make a fortune (1)

Mitsoid (837831) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005676)

I only use copy's in my truck... I've had issues with CD playes (in general) eatting/scratchign CD's, especially when in motion (such as in the old days, running with a CD player on you)...

So I keep my 'fair use' backups in my truck... if it gets broken into, I don't loose the 'actual' CD, and thus dont have to destroy them ;-)

and if something is stolen from me, Sony can't hold me responsible if my door was locked, and someone violated multiple laws to steal my property, I don't think the EULA can force me to protect an artist's work with my life, or face paying millions in court...

Re:Make a fortune (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14005689)

So what is the difference between locking the CDs in your house, putting them in a safe deposit box, or giving it to a third party for the express purpose of safeguarding it?

Re:Make a fortune (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005847)

The obvious difference is that you have given up possession of the items. Perhaps if you *Rented* space from the third party in which you store your originals, you could argue that you have no given up possession and as such are entitled to retain your fair use copies.

LK

Re:Make a fortune (1)

SteveAyre (209812) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005760)

Ahhhhh... but in that case you're illegally distributing copies of the original CD. ;o)

Re:Make a fortune (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005778)

It's not just the EULA- it's always been upheld, for all forms of media, that you do not have the right to retain a copy of media you gave up through a commercial transaction. This is a far more reasonable doctrine that would protect you in the car theft example, but you couldn't make a business out of copying CDs as the GP suggested even if the EULA was struck down or not present.

daft... (3, Insightful)

Phil246 (803464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005613)

are sony that determined to bury themselves?
Surely, they realise that its only going to create a backlash against DRM if they continue this nonsense?

Re:daft... (5, Insightful)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005669)

Joe Desktop doesn't care and simply installs whatever malware is needed to listen to the cd.

With luck (3, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005674)

It will not only bury Sony, but also the DMCA (which actually prohibits you from de-installing the DRM code or even detecting that it's there) and will possibly cripple the credibility of the RIAA, who have been the main driving-force for DRM and the DMCA.

Re:With luck (2, Insightful)

Phroggy (441) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005790)

Please explain how the DMCA prohibits removing software from my own computer.

bondage (4, Funny)

heatdeath (217147) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005614)

Man, actually buying online music is starting to look more and more like S&M. I can hardly wait 'till they come out with CDs that come with shackles that have to be worn while listening to the CD.

Re:bondage (1)

ME-iac (867313) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005848)

And ear plugs so others can't hear it for free.

Jesus (4, Insightful)

KingVance (815011) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005620)

Boy it seems like sony is just running around pissing everybody off...

Well, I for one pledge to no longer purchase any sony products. Nor will I buy online music from sony, purchase any games, or watch any sony movies until they stop being overbearing assholes with their stuff.

Re:Jesus (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005916)

It is enough, to be honest, to put an Xbox 360 on top of my gonna buy list over a PS3. (Of course, I have great hopes for the Revolution!) Sony is, at this point, more evil and more dangerous than MS: they and other **AA bulwarks are willing to go to lawmakers to screw over the consumer; MS largely screws over its competition.

Illustrates why... (5, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005625)

the basic OSX security of "Administrator == sudo rights" as opposed to the Windows approach of "Administrator == anything goes" really does make a difference. In the windows portion, Sony just ignores the user and installs all sorts of crap (using autorun)... but on the Mac side, they have to play nice, or the user will not be "convinced" to enter their password to install the software.

Who knows how evil the DRM is, once the install is made, but jeebus... talk about an issue of trust (just for the installer)!

Episode 3 (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005628)

I know it's off topic but google isn't helping any.

Is there any DRM on the Star wars : episode 3 DVD? I know the movie files are encoded but i mean rootkit type DRM bullshit.

Thanks.

Re:Episode 3 (1)

radicalskeptic (644346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005656)

I'm reasonably sure the answer is "no." If it did, everybody on slashdot would be constantly bitching about how they aren't going to buy it.

Re:Episode 3 (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005904)

You forgot to mention how people would mention that they aren't going to buy it, but then they turn around and buy multiple copies anyways.

Re:Episode 3 (1)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005679)

All DVD's sold are encrypted so yes, there is DRM on all DVD's. Probably no root-kits though. I've seen some DVD's that do try to install their own DVD "player" software which ends up usually just being spyware.

Re:Episode 3 (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005713)

i remember some movies having something called infinity film on them. Obnoxious stuff that tried to autorun in windows

Re:Episode 3 (1)

kg4czo (516374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005728)

LoTR has a "player" that came in it. Autorun would always try to install it, of course I use something else, so it never hit my system, but this kind of thing just sucks. If you have a DVD-ROM/Burner, then more than likely you already have a player. No need in shipping a "player" on any DVD.

Re:Episode 3 (1)

Nermal6693 (622898) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005895)

Hmm, I have all three LOTR movies and there are no third-party players on them. I have the region 4 extended DVDs.

Re:Episode 3 (1)

el_chicano (36361) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005893)

All DVD's sold are encrypted so yes, there is DRM on all DVD's.
If that was true then they would not be playable in regular DVD players. DVDs are encoded, not encrypted...

Even more thankfully (4, Informative)

Have Blue (616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005629)

Autorun is turned off by default on Macs, and there's never a good reason to turn it on. There's no way this could interfere with the usual insert/launch iTunes/click Rip method most people use.

Re:Even more thankfully (4, Informative)

eobanb (823187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005661)

Actually, there IS no autorun on Mac OS X.

Re:Even more thankfully (2, Interesting)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005675)

How does the DVD player auto start then when a DVD movie is put in the disc drive?

Re:Even more thankfully (2, Informative)

protohiro1 (590732) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005694)

The os recognizes it as a movie and plays it. It will not "just run" some executable on a cd.

Re:Even more thankfully (1)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005696)

You are confusing the detection of content and player launch with automatically running a program contained on the CD. Two very different things!

Re:Even more thankfully (1)

mj_1903 (570130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005701)

There are settings in System Preferences that tell the system what do to when certain media is inserted (CDs and DVDs of various types). The system of course has to know that a piece of media has been inserted so it can mount it so I am sure it is just a global system notification being sent off that triggers it.

Re:Even more thankfully (1)

QuaZar666 (164830) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005881)

That is for cd/dvd burning not for anything else.

Re:Even more thankfully (1)

Nermal6693 (622898) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005903)

It's also for automatically opening particular apps (such as iTunes or DVD Player) when you insert a particular type of disc (the options are Music CD, Picture CD, and Video DVD).

Re:Even more thankfully (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005761)

Quicktime did have the option under OS 9. I never noticed it was gone in X, thanks.

At least this means one good thing... (5, Interesting)

fitchmicah (920679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005632)

This is a sign that Mac OS X has a large enough userbase for Sony to worry about Mac users stealing music.

List of Sony/BMG sub labels (1)

marvy666 (215740) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005640)

Anyone have a list, so i know which labels to boycott.

That's the last Sony CD I ever buy (2, Interesting)

Deep Fried Geekboy (807607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005649)

Fuck 'em. Really. In the ass. With a chili pepper.

In the past I've made a point of buying stuff I liked, either on CD or from an online retailer (iTunes).

Well, Sony just lost my business. And fuck them if they think I am going to subsidize this bullshit.

Goodbye Sony. Hello allofmp3.com.

If you walk the corridors of Sony Music right now all you can hear is the sound of a toilet flushing.

Re:That's the last Sony CD I ever buy (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005743)

Well if your going to get music online, I see no difference between getting it for free off of bittorrent or paying for it from allofmp3.com.
Either way the Music execs get nothing (nor the artists ) and it is fairly unofficial.

I don't think I will ever buy another Sony CD again .I want to pay for music, I don't however want to spend my time removing kernel extensions , My time costs money .Sure right now I could rip it with Linux or FreeBSD, but it is only a matter of time before they try something there as well.

At least I am not nailed to the wall with any of the DMCA's viscera.

Re:That's the last Sony CD I ever buy (1)

TCQuad (537187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005808)

Well if your going to get music online, I see no difference between getting it for free off of bittorrent or paying for it from allofmp3.com.

BitTorrent is illegal for that purpose and trackable.

However, from what I've read, allofmp3.com is legal in the sense a monopoly is legal. Basically, allofmp3.com is legal in Russia. Now, you're not allowed to import copyrighted material, but there is an exception for single copies for personal use. So, like monopolies, as long as you're not doing anything harmful to the market (like selling bootlegs or having concerts or doing anything beyond personal use), you should be good legally.

Re:That's the last Sony CD I ever buy (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005870)

However, from what I've read, allofmp3.com is legal

It is legal. That doesn't mean it's any more ethical to use it than to just bootleg the tracks off of p2p.

Re:That's the last Sony CD I ever buy (2, Insightful)

TCQuad (537187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005788)

Goodbye Sony. Hello allofmp3.com.

Ah, yes... Giving credit card numbers to (essentially) unknown foreign agencies that claim to be completely legal. I'm curious if there's a middle ground in there. Perhaps VISA gift cards? Set spending limit, so if they steal your number, they only get your $25 music money? Would that work?

Now that this sort of thing is coming to the Mac, I'll start to think about it more seriously... Given the lax attitude some of us Mac fanatics take to antivirus, one rootkit and one trojan could destroy Apple forever.

Re:That's the last Sony CD I ever buy (1)

Ender_Wiggin (180793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005853)

Sony doesn't sell their music via iTunes, they offer their own music store to compete.

Looking forward (2, Funny)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005651)

So, when is Sony finally getting that HURD module running?

Throwing out the baby with the bath water (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14005655)

So, in effect, your computer is at less risk if you download Sony published music from peer to peer networks than if you try to play your Sony CD on your computer. Where's the value proposition?

Re:Throwing out the baby with the bath water (2, Interesting)

TCQuad (537187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005869)

So, in effect, your computer is at less risk if you download Sony published music from peer to peer networks than if you try to play your Sony CD on your computer.

OK, here are the options you have.

Sony CD: Contains very poorly written DRM that may forever screw up your machine.
P2P: Spend days sifting through partial, corrupted and poorly named files to get the CD you want, risking viruses, lawsuits and your entire Saturday afternoon.
Online music stores (iTMS, allofmp3): Cheaper than a CD, quicker and safer than P2P, DRMed but easily circumvented in under an hour, if that.

Maybe Sony's subconsciously trying to elminate CDs in favor of complete on-line distribution.

autorun (4, Informative)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005673)

the summary fails to mention that OSX has no autorun. There is no way it can install something behind your back like windows does.

EULA (3, Informative)

speeDDemon (nw) (643987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005678)

We may not all read our EULA's. However I have found the following software EULAlyzer [javacoolsoftware.com] really handy in highlighting important items in the EULA.

Its not a substitute for truelly reading the whole EULA, however I find it good at helping me and my customers identify 'dodgy' software.

There's an easier way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14005712)

Just look for the "Sony" or "Microsoft" on the packaging....

Oh thank God... (-1, Flamebait)

darkitecture (627408) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005700)


You know, I'm not a Microsoft fan by any stretch of the imagination (I have more than my fair share of Mac equipment for video editing) and I abhor sneaky DRM as much as the next Slashdot geek... but I must confess part of me is secretly glad that Mac users weren't entirely immune to this crap.

Why?

Because there are only a few things in this world more annoying than a bunch of Mac zealots chanting "I don't care because I don't run Windows! Ha-ha!"

Mac users (you too, Linux users) seem to have repeated their "Ha-ha, it doesn't affect us!" mantra so often, a lot have convinced themselves that they're invulnerable; as if not running Windows was like their own version of God mode. Just because you're not the average target demographic doesn't mean you're invincible. Expect more of these ludicrous steps in the future. Mac and Linux users still may not be the most common demographic and you might be able to hurdle over this somewhat inert attempt because it asks for admin rights, but this just goes to show they're putting in the man-hours trying to think of a way to screw you over too.

Your coffee break of naivete is over. Time to lift up your skirt, grab your balls and help fight this stupidity.

Re:Oh thank God... (1)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005725)

Yeah, Sony definitely wants to support all the 30+ platforms outthere.

Re:Oh thank God... (3, Insightful)

darkitecture (627408) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005802)

Yeah, Sony definitely wants to support all the 30+ platforms outthere.

See, it's that sort of naivete that I'm talking about. If Sony put all their information through their Supercalculamotron 4000(TM) and somehow came to the conclusion that it would be in their own interests to invest millions upon millions on fundamentally flawed DRM methods using dubious moral standards, what makes you think that they won't suddenly wake up one morning and think, "Holy shit! Linux users are getting a free lunch! Let's fuck them over somehow! Get First4Internet on the phone, I'm sure they'll be able to come up with something!" If that happened, then the very best you could expect would be a putrid aborted foetus of a DRM clusterfuck. Heaven forbid that a company like First4Internet actually do the job right. Knowing their competency, they'd just manage to send your mp3s to /dev/null or something.

Obviously *nix is a much more difficult problem for them to deal with... but you're just asking for it by sitting around lazily thinking it could never happen to you.

Re:Oh thank God... (1)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005849)

Obviously *nix is a much more difficult problem for them to deal with... but you're just asking for it by sitting around lazily thinking it could never happen to you.

Even if that day arrives, it's still a user problem, and can hardly be solved by software, apart from not running anything without the user's consent, sandboxing, and maybe trying to analyse the expected behaviour of the software to run.

Unix already does the job of inhibiting software from automatically running, or doing bad things. If you have more ideas to protect the user from malware, then make them public.

Re:Oh thank God... (4, Interesting)

tm2b (42473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005777)

Ummm..."Ha ha, it doesn't affect us!" At least, none of us who don't type in the administrator password without understanding why we're doing it.

Ha ha, only serious. Seriously, this isn't an "any computer" issue. This is an issue with the only "modern" OS that have been specifically engineered to run arbitrary binaries with privileges without challenging the user. It's isn't a matter of Mac OS X or Linux (or VMS or Solaris or SunOS or VM/CMS) being better, it's a matter of Windows being worse .

This isn't even a matter of Windows' original design, as Dave Cutler's original security model was solid and included a good separation of privileges away from the desktop user, drawing on the last half a century of computing experience. This is a matter of Microsoft Management specifically and intentionally deciding to screw you. They will say it was necessary to make a desktop OS usable by novices - Mac OS X does give the lie to such horseshit (and that is the only place Mac OS X specifically figures in this topic).

Yes, Sony deserves a lot of the blame. But Microsoft deserves just as much. You can start to "fight this stupidity" by not using Windows.

Re:Oh thank God... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005866)

Yes, Sony deserves a lot of the blame. But Microsoft deserves just as much. You can start to "fight this stupidity" by not using Windows.

What does the engineering of Windows have anything to do with this?
Does a defenseless girl excuse the actions of a rapist too?

Like Sony assaults Windows because it let them to, doesn't make it more right to assault someone just because you could, not even slightly.

Re:Oh thank God... (1)

tm2b (42473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005886)

It's more like, does someone leaving their front door wide open and placing a sign out front reading "premises not monitored and we'll be back in a week" bear some blame if their house is looted?

And the answer to that is, "Yes. Yes, they do."

Re:Oh thank God... (2, Insightful)

darkitecture (627408) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005919)

You can start to "fight this stupidity" by not using Windows.

See, that's the thing. It's easy to say those three words, "Don't use Windows." But it's just not that simple. Hell, it's not even practical. Perhaps it's a bad analogy but it would be like saying to people who are complaining about gas prices, "Don't drive cars that run on gas." It's not as simple as just flicking a fucking switch and bam, you're home free. A lot of people know a thing or two about internal combustion engines and like to tinker around under the hood, but who would know the first fucking thing about a hybrid engine or a hydrogen-powered engine? If you have a problem with your car, you take it to your local friendly mechanic; how far do you have to go to find a mechanic who knows how a hydrogen fuel cell works? Perhaps you need your car to drive to work; what if your workplace doesn't allow you to drive a hybrid car onto the grounds? I used to be a manager at a shipping port and the only vehicles that were allowed on the premises ran on diesel. If your car wasn't a diesel, you weren't allowed within a hundred yards of the port due to safety concerns (tanker refuelling and the transportation of dangerous chemicals were common).

Perhaps I may have gone overboard, but the purpose of the analogy was to demonstrate that there are a plethora of reasons why "not using Windows" just isn't a very likely option. A lot of people find it hard enough trying to understand that there are different browser options out there other than "the blue 'e'", yet alone that they could replace their entire operating system. I've played around with a dozen flavors of Linux, UNIX, IRIX and all those others and I'd like to think I'm fairly competent in the field, but that doesn't mean I *like* having to dick around with the stuff. Most people don't look at computers the same way we do and I don't blame them for not wanting to be 'adventurous' when it comes to their PC. Unless you actually enjoying the tinkering, it can seem like a colossal waste of time.

And even if they did, trying to find a good quality source of support for insert-name-of-nix-platform-here is nowhere near as likely as Windows support. Sure, that nephew of the neighbor next door or your friend Bob's brother who's the assistant manager at Costco might not be the greatest person to turn to for Windows advice, but at least it's something tangible to lean on; not just a link to a FAQ from some obscure no-name blog.

Sometimes the environment dictates what OS to use. I've liaised with countless businesses that maintain a Windows-only environment for numerous justifiable reasons. Employees have to use company computers because connecting non-company PCs can cause a security issue, a compliancy issue, even a legal issue. Sometimes such a rule is enforced because management got stuck with the bill of having to hire contractors to provide support for additional platforms. Why pay someone else a premium rate just because you have a couple of cowboys who want to use their G4 Powerbooks at work? Fact is, a LOT of people spend a LOT of their time in front of computers which they DON'T own and therefore do not have the final say in how it is configured. They might be allowed to install iTunes or Winamp or maybe even their own choice of email client... but it's wishful thinking if you think that the operating system could be considered a variable.

Don't get me wrong, I agree with pretty much everything you say... but you had me until the final sentence. Sometimes it's just not that simple.

Re:Oh thank God... (4, Informative)

dreamer-of-rules (794070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005785)

Because of OS X default security, even when running as the administrator, you still need to click to run the program, then type in your password. Deceptive, but not really secretive or automatic, thanks to the default Mac security.

In Windows, you just insert the CD. Maybe into someone else's system when their back is turned. Windows OS trusts external content much more than the user sitting at the desk. "Do me", it says.

Unfortunately, people are still stupid enough to follow these ludicrous steps. Remember the teddy bear "virus" in Windows? Consisted only of an email, the instructions to delete a standard Windows exe file, and a directive to resend the email to all of your friends.

PS. Join us... you know you want to. ;)

McCarthyism doesn't sound so bad now... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14005721)

Why not find the names of the individual programmers who coded these rootkits, and make sure they're unable to ever get a job ever again? It was perfectly reasonable to keep Communist sympathizers out of Hollywood and government when Senator McCarthy went on his crusade -- why not keep DRM sympathizers out of the programming industry? Treat them like shit, refuse to hire them anywhere, and make them unable to ever afford food and shelter ever again without humiliating welfare subsidies.

Of course, criminals will always hire criminals; a thief will always have a chance at getting hired by the Mafia, so I don't expect this will completely work. Computer companies that have overgrown beyond their event horizon of personal responsibility such as Sony and Microsoft will always be a haven for crooks and guttersnipes. But every responsible company still around should outright refuse to hire anyone who's ever knowingly developed anything related to DRM; conduct background checks on every potential employee's employment history and slam the door in the face of any DRM sympathizer looking for a job.

Re:McCarthyism doesn't sound so bad now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14005775)

Right, except that the majority of the industry is interested in implementing these features, so those engineers with experience in the technology will be in demand.

But you just keep stabbing [penny-arcade.com] , little man!

Re:McCarthyism doesn't sound so bad now... (2, Funny)

dreamer-of-rules (794070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005796)

They could go work at Diebold. /ducks

Linux port? (4, Funny)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005735)

When can we expect Linux support? I'd like to think that Linux is big enough now to demand proper support from Sony, just like Windows and OSX.

Re:Linux port? (1)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005762)

Yes, it looks like they're simply ignoring us. This is so unfair! I am still awaiting the day where I can laugh my ass of about some sony sillyware trying to run its IA32 binary on a mips.

Re:Linux port? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14005780)

I second this! I want to be able to mount the CD with execute enabled and install the rootkit on my computer as well!

Re:Linux port? (1)

Ender_Wiggin (180793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005859)

the auto execute isn't enabled in MacOS X

I was wondering... (1)

YA_Python_dev (885173) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005752)

I was wondering when we will have our daily Sony DRM story!

Re:I was wondering... (1)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005811)

Well, one genuine story per week is enough for that purpose. Thanks to the slashdot autodupe feature, it is then being reposted the 6 following days, with slightly varied titles.

Await next Sony story anytime now.

So long as there is Red Book Audio.... (1)

Landak (798221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005791)

...then I will be able to rip it. I'm willing to bet money that just plonking that disc in (on my mac) will automatically open iTunes up nicely (NOT autorun, by the way- it's a preference set in system preferences to 'Open all Audio CDs with ...') and then automatically rip and eject. Considering Start.app doesn't seem to do anything other than install two kexts (kextunload, anyone? Tad easier than removing XCP!) I really don't think people would open it by default....

Re:So long as there is Red Book Audio.... (1)

Ender_Wiggin (180793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005879)

iTunes will open as usual, but you will also see a Mac partition mounted as well, with a file or files. It's part of their enhanced CD, maybe they'll add a Music video or something

Sony just lost ~5000 euros (5, Interesting)

Ripper (26784) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005816)

I just renewed my living-room home-entertainment system for almost 5000 euros. The two finalists were a all Sony set vs. Panasonic + Harman Kardon + Infinity. Guess which finalist got my money after reading up on the Sony DRM scheme... Yep, I'm a happy Panasonic+HK+Infinty owner. Added a One-for-All remote and the functionality is pretty much the same as using a complete set from the same vendor.

And this was definitely the last time I even consider Sony. Forget the new Playstation, if I have to choose from the two bad options M$ vs. Sony my money goes to M$ in this case.

As big a fan as I am of the Van Zant brothers, I just can't think of buying the album after all this. Luckily it was available without DRM somewhere else. It's a shame for the artists though, they didn't get thei $0.50 or whatever they make per sold CD.

I know my 5000 doesn't bankrupt Sony but if more of us start voting with our wallets maybe they will realize they can't keep on shafting customers every chance they get.

Re:Sony just lost ~5000 euros (1)

Phil246 (803464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005829)

You've got more choices in the ps3/xbox360 'wars' then you realise. you can choose to have neither and thus hurt them both equally :)

Re:Sony just lost ~5000 euros (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14005928)

Just mail them a check for $0.50.
Or you could even double it! Take that, DRM! :)

At first, it seemed like a bad idea... (5, Interesting)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005865)

...but maybe Apple's right on the money with their "tamper-resistant software." Forget about hackers and pirates; I don't want $ony taking over my machine.

It may sound paranoid, but once they start messing with the kernel, you really don't know what they're going to do...

I love how they lie (3, Interesting)

dtd33inc (857957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005875)

"November 8, 2005 - This Service Pack removes the cloaking technology component that has been recently discussed in a number of articles published regarding the XCP Technology used on SONY BMG content protected CDs. This component is not malicious and does not compromise security. However to alleviate any concerns that users may have about the program posing potential security vulnerabilities, this update has been released to enable users to remove this component from their computers. Please note, Service Pack 2a is a maintenance release designed to reduce the file size of Service Pack 2. It includes all previous fixes found in Service Pack 1 and Service Pack 2."

http://cp.sonybmg.com/xcp/english/updates.html [sonybmg.com]

HMM it does not compromise security? It installs a root kit, then it lets people hide a trojan on your computer. Who needs sony anyway, I have my game cube and X-box.
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