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Sony Pulls Controversial Anti-Piracy Software

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the must-have-gotten-tired-of-thrown-eggs dept.

Security 389

An anonymous reader writes "Bowing to public outrage, Sony BMG has temporarily halted the use of its controversial anti-piracy software in all of its music CDs, the company said in a statement today. The move comes just a day after a top Bush administration official chided Sony and the entertainment industry for going too far: according to this story over at Washingtonpost.com, Stewart Baker, the Department of Homeland Security's policy czar warned would-be DRM makers: 'It's very important to remember that it's your intellectual property -- it's not your computer. And in the pursuit of protection of intellectual property, it's important not to defeat or undermine the security measures that people need to adopt in these days.' The Post has the full text and video of his commentary." We've reported on this story previously.

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do we forgive sony now? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14010993)

I sure don't.

No (5, Insightful)

Armour Hotdog (922576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011323)

Check out their full statement (from a Security Focus article [securityfocus.com] ):

We are aware that a computer virus is circulating that may affect computers with XCP content protection software. The XCP software is included on a limited number of SONY BMG content protected titles. This potential problem has no effect on the use of these discs in conventional, non-computer-based, CD and DVD players.

In response to these events, SONY BMG has swiftly provided a patch to all major anti-virus companies and to the general public that guards against precisely the type of virus now said to exist. The patch fixes the possible software problem, and still allows CDs to be played on personal computers. It can be downloaded at http://cp.sonybmg.com/xcp/ [sonybmg.com] . Starting today, we will also be adding this link to the SONY BMG label and corporate sites. We deeply regret any possible inconvenience this may cause.

We stand by content protection technology as an important tool to protect our intellectual property rights and those of our artists. Nonetheless, as a precautionary measure, SONY BMG is temporarily suspending the manufacture of CDs containing XCP technology. We also intend to re-examine all aspects of our content protection initiative to be sure that it continues to meet our goals of security and ease of consumer use. More information about our content protection initiative can also be found at: http://cp.sonybmg.com/xcp [sonybmg.com] .


They're spinning this with all their might. Remember that the patch they so proudly trumpet (look how serious we are about protecting our customers!) doesn't remove the rootkit - it merely disables the cloaking feature. Also note that while they say they are suspending manufacture of these CDs, there is no mention of any effort to remove already manufactured copies from store shelves or the distribution network. Considering that CDs are stamped in large production runs and then kept in inventory, they really haven't committed to anything except to "re-examine all aspects of our content protection initiative to be sure that it continues to meet our goals of security and ease of consumer use." (and note how their goals do not include consumer privacy or control over their own electronic devices).

No, I don't think we forgive them for this for a long time yet.

Quote (0, Offtopic)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011001)

To quote a good song by a good band, Dope: DIE MOTHERFUCKER DIE MOTHERFUCKER DIE!

Re:Quote (1)

say__10 (768448) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011044)

Heh. I just put that in a mix for my drive to work today interesting coincidence with non mainstream band... *cue eerie music*

They'll still be liable though (3, Insightful)

metternich (888601) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011005)

For the damage their program has already caused.
I forsee big lawsuits.

Re:They'll still be liable though (4, Funny)

vidarh (309115) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011053)

Doesn't take a genius to predict that seeing as it had happened before this article was even posted...

Re:They'll still be liable though (0, Redundant)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011109)


Yes...that's hardly 'foresight'...more like 'hindsight'.

At least it's 20/20... ^_^

Re:They'll still be liable though (1)

Viper Daimao (911947) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011082)

You mean, "forsaw" [google.com]

Re:They'll still be liable though (1)

metternich (888601) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011121)

HA! Let me clarify... I suspect that they'll have to pay large settlements. This in no way gets them off the hook.

Re:They'll still be liable though (1)

Viper Daimao (911947) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011201)

I agree. Like sharks, lawyers can smell blood, and Sony just got its hand chopped off and dropped into the ocean.

Re:They'll still be liable though (0)

netkid91 (915818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011084)

The only 'damage' it has caused so far is a nasty torgan using the rootkit, we all hate DRM, but with so much piracy you can't blame them. I agree that Sony went to far and they have realized their mistakes, I hope this will show the other record companies a thing or two, WE WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS!!!

Re:They'll still be liable though (4, Interesting)

coolgeek (140561) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011266)

You seem to have missed the point that they have also broken several state and federal statutes related to spyware and trespass.

Re:They'll still be liable though (4, Insightful)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011117)

Most of the lawsuits will be class action lawsuits, which sony will be too glad to settle with the lawyers, thus making a few lawyers very rich.

What you may get is a discount of 1$ on an already overpriced 20$ CD.

Sony made a stupid PR mistake, but they are too big a company to really suffer from it so badly, so to completely give up DRM. Come release date of PS3, and all those who critisize sony now, will line up before stall drooling...

Like it or not, fair use will be a thing of past, in the years to come.

It's not about who gets the money. (2, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011200)

Regardless of who gets the money, the end result is that Sony suffers financially. And that may just serve as an example to other companies not to pull a similar stunt, lest they might lose money in a similar fashion.

Re:It's not about who gets the money. (2, Interesting)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011223)

The question is whether they perceive that they've blocked enough piracy with that DRM software that the financial loss is less than they "would have" lost. If all else fails, they can consider it "market research".

It's all about putting the right spin on things.

Re:They'll still be liable though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011302)

You may get a discount of $X on your next purchase of their stuff...

Re:They'll still be liable though (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011341)

HA!!!!!!! no one will have to wait in line for any of sonys gaming products, the fact that you actually know how to use a computer and even mention sonys ps3 as being worthwhile shows that you are a joke, i may be Anonymous coward but at least no one will call me an idiot, idiot

Re:They'll still be liable though (2, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011131)

Stupid Question: Could they be prosecuted/sued under the DMCA for trying to bypass the security in a computer?

It would be sweet to give big corps a taste of their own legislation.

Re:They'll still be liable though (1)

metternich (888601) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011186)

In princple yes, but only if the software they installed in your computer disable some other software you were using to protect files that you had the copywrite to. (ie. If you wrote some word documents and put some encryption on them that Sony's rootkit somehow broke.) Even then, you'd have a weak case.

Re:They'll still be liable though (4, Informative)

max born (739948) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011150)

It's already happened. Sony Slammed with Suits over Rootkit [newsfactor.com]

Among other things, Sony is specifically accused of fraud, false advertising, trespass and violation of state and federal statues prohibiting malware, and unauthorized computer tampering,

Re:They'll still be liable though (2)

altoz (653655) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011185)

I forsee big lawsuits.

Hurry, get your Sony/BMG CD so you can sue!

let me be the first to say: (0)

God'sDuck (837829) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011008)

Nelson: "Ha ha!"

Sony (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011010)

Death

It's only a crime if you get caught (0)

dadioflex (854298) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011011)

Or should that be WHEN? It's not like this will be the last Sony DRM abuse story we see.

Re:It's only a crime if you get caught (1)

KarmaOverDogma (681451) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011091)

"Or should that be WHEN? It's not like this will be the last Sony DRM abuse story we see."

Take out the word "Sony" from that statement, and I'll be even more likely to agree it.

Having said that, DRM is *not* a crime.

It's just often stupid, abusive, and shortsighted.

some animals are more equal than others... (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011319)

Trespass and tampering with computer networks are crimes.

Of course, I doubt we'll see any of the creative accounting used to set damages as was used in cases like AT&T vs Mitnik. Hey, they said they're sorry (they got caught...) what else do you want?

IMPORTANT??!! (-1, Redundant)

SmurfButcher Bob (313810) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011018)

"it's important not to defeat or undermine the security measures..."

ILLEGAL!

Stupid prick.

They're not going to recall their CDs... (3, Insightful)

volpone (551472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011032)

What difference does this statement make? None at all. It's not like Sony will recall the millions of CDs out there with the malware. This is just spin. Move along.

Re:They're not going to recall their CDs... (2, Insightful)

IgLou (732042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011129)

Yeah, I thought the same thing. Lousy bastards, I bet you they won't send out anything to remove that stinking rootkit either. You can imagine that a class action will soon follow; especially without a recall.

Thinking about that though, does it matter if they recall the CD's if the DRM rootkits are already out there installed on computers?

Re:They're not going to recall their CDs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011336)

What difference does this statement make? None at all. It's not like Sony will recall the millions of CDs out there with the malware. This is just spin. Move along.

I agree, this is just a "I'm sorry we got caught" response to a growing concern.

When is the US population going to get off their collective asses and demand the extradition of the CEO of Sony Corp? I'm sure that after he is imprissoned for hacking, it might show the CEOs of other corporations that there are actually consequences to their actions and policies.

Dept of Homeland Security? (2, Insightful)

keraneuology (760918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011034)

Stewart Baker, recently appointed by President Bush as the Department of Homeland Security's assistant secretary for policy, made a comment that suggested that some anti-piracy efforts introduced by the industry could have profound and unexpected effects on the security of the nation's critical infrastructures.

Other than the concern that a nation filled with Spears, Timberlake and Dion worshippers would be unable to defend the nation against an invasion by Canada or Luxembourg I fail to grasp the connection between Homeland Security and a moronic VP at Sony who is trying to render 1/2 of his company's music player division worthless.

Re:Dept of Homeland Security? (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011049)

I was amazed to find myself agreeing with, and considering insightful, something stated by "Stewart Baker, the Department of Homeland Security's policy czar". What is this world coming to?

Re:Dept of Homeland Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011238)

Most of the time people will let you down, but every once in a while they'll say something that makes it worthwhile to not kill them.

Re:Dept of Homeland Security? (4, Funny)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011293)

I think the sony root kit is causing problems with something called $sys$magic_lantern

Re:Dept of Homeland Security? (3, Insightful)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011054)

Come on - you're on Slashdot and you can't figure out the implications of a large population of easily infected machines with a common point of entry?

Re:Dept of Homeland Security? (2, Funny)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011072)

Hey, give the Canadian army some credit.

They have some tough flying squirrels.

In other news.. (4, Funny)

DigitalReverend (901909) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011137)

The Canadian Government agreed to provied 4000 army troops, a squadron of jets and a naval fleet to the U.S. in it's war on terror.

After the exchange rates, it came out to 4 canoes, 3 flying squirrels, and a 2 Canadian mounties.

Re:In other news.. (1)

MrTheBunny (728979) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011280)

Oh boy I haven't laughed like that for a while... (and I AM Canadian) Sorry I don't have MOD points!

Re:Dept of Homeland Security? (2, Informative)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011097)

I believe US-CERT [us-cert.gov] falls under DHS [dhs.gov]

Homeland Security (4, Informative)

QuaintRealist (905302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011103)

The dept of Homeland Security has been worried for some time about the possibility of foreign nationals creating botnets which might allow them to ddos critical online national assets. That's what has them interested (and wierdly on the right side) in this case.

So now, can Sony be pursued for violation of the USA/Patriot act? /me gets migraine from wishing ill on everyone involved

Re:Homeland Security (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011213)

Unfortunatly, the only people to benefit from all that would be the lawyers.

-Rick

Re:Homeland Security (4, Insightful)

keraneuology (760918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011255)

The dept of Homeland Security has been worried for some time about the possibility of foreign nationals creating botnets which might allow them to ddos critical online national assets.

Fair enough, but the millions of zombies hosted by comcast, bellsouth.net, or SBC doesn't interest them, the massive security flaws that allow any Microsoft machine to become a zombie just by connecting it to the internet and going for a pizza don't interest them, but a Van Zant (and other) CDs elicit a response from the tier 1 level?

Pardon my cynicism but I suspect that -this- received the attention because no matter what people will always buy broadband internet and people will always buy Microsoft but the paranoid with the amplifying tinfoil hats just might start to demand oversight of DRM technologies to the point where the major congressional donors of the RIAA/MPAA might suffer an induced case of the fidgets.

(Not that there's much danger of that... at this moment the #1 selling album on amazon is 12 Songs [Content/Copy-Protected CD] by Neil Diamond).

Re:Dept of Homeland Security? (4, Informative)

cagle_.25 (715952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011180)

FTFA,

"If we have an avian flu outbreak here and it is even half as bad as the 1918 flu epidemic, we will be enormously dependent on being able to get remote access for a large number of people, and keeping the infrastructure functioning is a matter of life and death and we take it very seriously."

Makes reasonable sense to me.

Re:Dept of Homeland Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011230)

> I fail to grasp the connection between Homeland Security and a moronic VP

Because Homeland Security has a vested interest in the security of private and corporate computers? I'm surprised Homeland security isn't providing more help to corporate and private computer owners secure their machines. Yeah NSA puts out some good security guides, but they keep the really good tools and information to themselves.

The next real war (not like the seriously one-sided invasion of Iraq) will start with information and computer warfare. It makes sense that a capable enemy would target our key information systems and create mayhem before starting any physical attack. Imagine the panic when our power plants start shutting down or when Walmarts shipping systems go haywire and folks can't buy their cheap chinese made crap. Or even worse, when they discover those cheap Chinese made Dells all have back doors in their software. Kinda scary when you realize how vulnerable our IT infrastructure really is and the damage a real attacker could cause.

Re:Dept of Homeland Security? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011233)

I fail to grasp the connection between Homeland Security and a moronic VP at Sony who is trying to render 1/2 of his company's music player division worthless.

The problem is that the DHS has to charge Sony with computer crimes or not. If they do, they're going to upset the people who keep them in cigars and hookers. If they don't, they are establishing a very dangerous legal precedent. So the compromise is to publically chide them while actually not doing anything.

Re:Dept of Homeland Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011354)

a nation filled with Spears, Timberlake and Dion worshippers would be unable to defend the nation against an invasion by Canada

Dion worshippers? I'd say we've already invaded. But just to make sure, we'll send over Roch Voisine.

Keep up the pressure (4, Insightful)

nuggz (69912) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011038)

Good, now keep up the pressure. Unless Sony feels real pain for going too far it will encourage others to keep pushing the envelope on what is acceptable.

This is why punative damages for "bad behaviour" exist, to make the company take notice and change their behaviour.

Don't let them get off easy.

Re:Keep up the pressure (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011179)

This is why punative damages for "bad behaviour" exist, to make the company take notice and change their behaviour.

Don't let them get off easy.


Agreed. What Sony needs is not public pressure, but a "bitchslap".

Bush Administration (3, Insightful)

jbellows_20 (913680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011040)

Man, what to say? They said something right for a change.

$sys$Here's the reason: (5, Funny)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011042)







lol (1)

Mancat (831487) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011157)

Very clever. Where's it at? Who knows? It's hidden!

Re:$sys$Here's the reason: (2, Funny)

tehshen (794722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011343)

John Cage, is that you?

What about the people who already got it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011043)

What about the people who already got it? Is Sony going to release a good removal tool?

Who will "trust" them next time? (5, Interesting)

Gerk (14824) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011048)

I for one am boycotting all Sony music from here on if it comes on CD. Windows root-kit, OSX kernel extensions ... how can you trust them? The RIAA and big record companies are getting very long in the tooth and I would love nothing more than to see them get taken down. They have all but destroyed the industry over the years and turned it into something worse than politics.

The most talented musicians I know are waiters, bus boys and taxi drivers, thanks to the recording industry.

Can't wait for someone to shake it all apart by releasing their works without the industry influences (and the industry taking their piece of the pie).

Bush administration coming to our aid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011051)

Imagine that. Guess I probably won't be reading about that over at CNN.com.

I wonder . . . (5, Interesting)

harley_frog (650488) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011052)

Are the people who purchased the DRM/spyware CDs due a replacement copy without the DRM/spyware?

Re:I wonder . . . (2, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011111)

Not yet, but the class action lawsuit will likely change that. However, they are primarily due a lesson in holding down the shift key the first time they insert a CD from Sony Music.

Byeee DRM? (5, Interesting)

rilister (316428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011057)

Wonderful to watch this going south in a big way, dragging the whole concept of DRM with it. We all owe Sony a debt of thanks, really.

I particularly enjoyed this quote from First4Internet's website from their director of Sales & Marketing:
"We're not denying people access to the music," Macdonald said. "We're just trying to help them manage their access."

http://www.xcp-aurora.com/press_article.aspx?art=x cp_art10 [xcp-aurora.com]

Please! Please, Mr. MacDonald! Help me manage my access to my media by installing a rootkit!

Press page (1)

zrq (794138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011166)

In light of recent coverage, I think they need to update the press page on their website.
http://www.xcp-aurora.com/press_related.aspx/ [xcp-aurora.com]
Methinks they might need to dedicate a whole page just for Oct 2005 alone ;-)

Exactly - the same way jail is "managing freedom" (1)

toby (759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011190)

"We're not denying people access to the music," Macdonald said. "We're just trying to help them manage their access."

One day people will wake up and realise that DRM, DeActivation, Treacherous Computing - are all entirely concerned with taking things away.

Re:Exactly - the same way jail is "managing freedo (1)

ozydingo (922211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011330)

Turns out [theregister.co.uk] jailtime might just end up "managing" a more related type of freedom...

Sony's anti-piracy software in violation of LGPL? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011065)

Check this out:

http://www.webwereld.nl/articles/38285 [webwereld.nl]

Someone in the Netherlands claims to have found certain strings from Lame's source code in Sony's app. Did Sony steal LGPL'd code?

Can anyone translate? (1)

Sterling Christensen (694675) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011277)

I speak only English :(

Re:Sony's anti-piracy software in violation of LGP (5, Informative)

Arend (170998) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011279)

English translation at
http://dewinter.com/modules.php?name=News&file=art icle&sid=215 [dewinter.com]

"A computerexpert, whose name is known by the redaction, discovered that the cd "Get Right With The Man" by "Van Zant" contains strings from the library version.c of Lame. This can be conluded from the string: "http://www.mp3dev.org/", "0.90", "LAME3.95", "3.95", "3.95 ".

But the expert has more proof. For example, the executable program go.exe contains a so called array largetbl. This is a part used in the module tables.c of libmp3lame."

Re:Sony's anti-piracy software in violation of LGP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011300)

For the non-Nederlanders, the Fish [altavista.com] took care of this article quite nicely:

Spyware Sony seem violate copyright

Thursday 10 November 2005, 09.59 - the spyware which Sony on the computers of muziekfans install do not seem not only technical, but even also copyright in the hook.

In the rootkit pieces code appear sit which is identical to LAME, open source mp3-encoder. The licentie is exceeded.

Concerning software exercises the copyright with the so-called Lesser Gnu Public License (LGPL). According to this licentie Sony must satisfy requirements to a number of. Thus they must tell that they use software in a copyright notice. Also the company the source code of open-sourcelibraries must provide or available to make. Finally the tussenvorm between must make source code and feasible code, the so-calledobject traffic-jams, meeleveren or available, with which others can make similar software.

Sony have only satisfied to none of these requirements, but provide a feasible programme. A computer expert, of whom the name is confessed at the redactie, discovered that on the cd Get Right With The man of Van Zant strings from the library version.c of Lame sits. This is make up from the string: "http://www.mp3dev.org/", "0.90", "LAME3.95", "3.95", "3.95".

But the expert has more proof. This way there so-called array largetbl sit at a place in the programme go.exe. This is a part that is used in the module tables.c of libmp3lame.

The discovery is possible far-reaching consequences has on the muziekgigant, which themselves claim only protect the copyrights. Rather judges in Germany forced several companies already make the source code public and the required spullen for compiling to provide. Also it is possible claim damageses.

Meanwhile details also other become clearly and this way complain the Electronic frontier foundation which the spyware make also legal listening music on iPods impossible. The organisation is busy with a list of cd's which publishes hidden programmatuur meeleveren to make and these on the Internet site.

Wouter Rutten of the NVPI emphasise that the commotie for Dutch a 'meaningless tale' is because the aware cd's are only in the United States and in Mexico available. The organisation offers information on the beveiliging of First 4 Internet to Cdlogo.nl by means of the site, however.

Several phone calls to SonyBMG continued call back in spite of promises to unanswered.

Still no word on Sony's Mac DRM (5, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011068)

Macintouch reports [macintouch.com] that Sony is also putting Macintosh DRM on some of its disks. No word if these kernel extensions - PhoenixNub1.kext and PhoenixNub12.kext - are a rootkit or not, and no word if Sony is suspending their use or not.

According to the Macintouch article, the Mac DRM is on Imogen Heap's Speak for Yourself, an RCA CD distributed by Sony/BMG.

I suspect that CD-makers won't be able to keep a stunt like this secret for 8 months next time, because their customers will be watching for such shenannigans.

Now we wait for Sony to issue a recall.

"All your replacement CDs are belong to us" - Sony's customers.

Idiots (1)

external400kdiskette (930221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011074)

The ironic thing is they could've achieved the same spying functionality from more traditional/subtle methods with software like Blizzard's anti-cheating software. They were inevitably going to get fried because they incorporated it into a rootkit which is blatantly a trojan and what's worse disabling it could fry your drive.

Remember Gator/Claria manufactors spyware and is on the government privacy board as I recall. Sony spyware is delivered through a rootkit instead and their admonished by the same administration... They could've used a different way to deliver and got away with it so they are just idiots at the end of the day.

New DRM Free Discs? (1)

Rainbird98 (186939) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011085)

There is one major item missing from Sony's statement on this matter. When are you RECALL these DRM discs and reissue new ones to your customers?

Big lawsuit series should follow (2, Interesting)

kyshtock (608605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011089)

I hope that they sue Sony for really big damages. People should be able to trust the software vendors.

On the other hand, I also hope that the DMCA will be really shaken by this event. After all, according to DMCA, Sony rootkit is protected software. Hit them in the wallet, me says!

Re:Big lawsuit series should follow (1)

tktk (540564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011148)

I hope that they sue Sony for really big damages.

If a class action lawsuit appeared, I'd buy one of those tainted CD's just to join in on it. Nevermind that I'd probably spend $16 for the CD and get back $0.02 on the settlement.

I'm Sony's bitch. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011093)

it's your intellectual property -- it's not your computer

Actually, I use a Vaio [sony.com] , so it actually is their computer. I feel _so_ f*cking pwned right now.

What? (2, Interesting)

Yurka (468420) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011108)

A Homeland Security honcho saying that all our computer are not belong to them?! Wow. Just... wow. Was Baker somehow shown the right end of a cluestick, or is this a temporary fluctuation in the collective subconscious?

Re:What? (1)

geniusj (140174) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011219)


"Remember that the computer does not belong to you, Sony. It belongs to us. Thank you" -Department of Homeland Security

Stop making or recall from stores? (3, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011134)

There's a huge difference between just saying they'll stop going forward, and going to the effort of a recall, complete with replacement of discs people have ALREADY bought in addition to promptly pulling all CD's from stores that have this DRM on them.

I have afeeling they are doing neither though, I'd love to see a class action suit that demands all CD's sold are to be replaced with DRM-free versions on Sony's dime. Then perhaps it would sink home they'd done something a little wrong.

I wonder how liable the company that came up with the DRM in the first place is, perhaps Sony can shift all blame to them.

You know you've gone to far... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011135)

...when the creators of the USA PATRIOT Act are on your case about in violating people's rights.

Re:You know you've gone to far... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011289)

They're not concerned about violating rights. They're conerned that the rootkit makes it a little easier to make a botnet that can be used to DDOS.

OMG... Overload!!! (4, Funny)

dan_sdot (721837) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011161)

Slashdot Hive Mind overload!!!! Bush administration evil... but... music industry evil.... can't side with Bush... but can't side with Sony..... aaaghhh!!!
segmentation fault (core dump).

Thank God It's Temporary (2, Funny)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011165)

I don't know what I'd do if they removed the stuff PERMANENTLY!

Wait a while (1)

external400kdiskette (930221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011197)

next time they try something like this the public outrage will be more muted and eventually they'll get what they want even if it takes a few years, people will lose interest and it'll become as widespread as claria

Why am I not surprised? (4, Insightful)

Cl1mh4224rd (265427) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011175)

The move comes just a day after a top Bush administration official chided Sony and the entertainment industry for going too far [...]
Months of potential and prior customers crying foul and Sony's response is, "Meh. It's not that bad, but here's a half-assed patch and some hoops to jump through."

A day after someone in the government goes, "Naughty, naughty," Sony's suddenly pulling their DRM, if even "temporarily".

It can't be anymore obvious what Sony thinks of their customers...

Huh? (1)

MadJo (674225) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011178)

I have here [webwereld.nl] an article which specifically stated that the discs with the rootkit on it from Sony will be in store in The Netherlands in 2006. (sorry it's in Dutch)

Does this mean that NL again misses out on an opportunity? :)

No seriously, I think that this is a good decision, but just a tad too late. And I hope that the lawsuits continue, otherwise they will never learn from this.

Let this be an example to the media maffia.

Re:Huh? (1)

Arend (170998) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011337)

They seem to have based themselves on an article [www.nrc.nl] (Dutch) by the well known Dutch internet journalist Herbert Blankesteijn, which contains the following line:

"Nonetheless, the spokesmen of Sony BMG Nederland says that Xcp will be introduced in Europe, and therefore also in the Netherlands, in 2006."

The article further contains no less then 17 dubious features of the Sony software, basically the same ones as circulated the news lately. However, number 15 is interesting. Blankesteijn claims he received spam after entering his e-mail adres in the request form for the Xcp removal software:

"15. Not only is this [filling in a form] in-necessary complicated and time consuming, Beet (the magazine) immediately received spam from Sony BMG containing an advertisement for their multimedia software. It turns out somewhere along the road you could have clicked on a link to Sony MBG's privacy policy [sonybmg.com] . There it says your mail address can be added to marketing lists. But is very well possible that the user will not notice this link. In any way, nowhere is asked for permission to do this, which will make this way of handling illegal in many countries."

Virus Writers using it already according to BBC (2, Interesting)

akbek (930428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011192)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4427606.stm

So for DRM to work, what should they do? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011196)

DRM must be implemented at the hardware level to be effective. The media and the players must match up in terms of technology and techniques used. DVD is a pretty good example of this -- it was brought to market imposing all sort of attrocities from the git-go. CD audio did not have DRM in mind when it was created and any attempts to retrofit the format seems to fail miserably on all counts... so far anyway. They'll just have to create a brand new audio media format and get the public to love it and then move over to it.

This situation tells me something I didn't want to believe. I didn't want to believe that these people who are backing DRM and content protection schemes are really as stupid as they appear to be. Sony has showed me that perhaps they really ARE as stupid as they appear to be. It's rather disappointing to have an enemy that is SO incredibly stupid. Yes, I said 'enemy.' They are an enemy to anyone who enjoys the rights they currently have since it is all too clear they are willing to restrict your life in order to profit from it. To me, that's an enemy.

Thankfully, there will always be smart kids who don't know any better than to break laws and push limits on a continual basis. Without those 'pioneers' we wouldn't have anything to fight back with.

Flu epidemic - warning to malware writers (4, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011204)

From the Washington Post article [washingtonpost.com] :

[Stewart Baker, Homeland Security's assistant secretary for policy, said:]
"If we have an avian flu outbreak here and it is even half as bad as the 1918 flu epidemic, we will be enormously dependent on being able to get remote access for a large number of people, and keeping the infrastructure functioning is a matter of life and death and we take it very seriously."


Does this mean if malware keeps people from getting medical help the authors can be convicted of manslaughter?

Jury: We find the defendant guilty on each of the 100 million counts of computer tampering and 2 million counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Judge: I hereby sentence you to 10 million sentences of 2 years of probation and 2 million sentences of 6 months in jail followed by 5 years probation. Due to the outrageous nature of your conduct, sentences are to be served consecutively. You should be out in time to watch the sun swallow the earth.

Delicious!!!!!!!

What about removal? (2, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011208)

Will sony give removal instructions? Their downloadable "patch" only updates their rootkit, but doesn't uninstall it.

Lets cut the Bush BS.. (1)

shareme (897587) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011210)

It is in fact illegal to do what Sony did with DRM under the current computer laws passed by the Bush administration.. Now lets hold breath and see if Bush actually brings SOny o justice.. Anybody want to swet the reocrd for holding breath at 3 years?

Re:Lets cut the Bush BS.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011322)

"Anybody want to swet the reocrd for holding breath at 3 years?"

I am unsure what this is asking... but Bush has been holding his breath for 5 years and doesn't look like he is about to let up.

Seriously, Sony is big business... and Bush won't touch it. The statement was a PR attempt, otherwise it would have been connected to action.

Since you are positive laws were broken on fed level, post them so we can have more ammo. I am unsure what all laws was broken at what level (state or fed), so maybe nothing can be done on that level.

Bush doesn't tolerate this crap (1)

tomcres (925786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011344)

Sony will pay! Just like Martha Stewart!

Re:Hidden posts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011212)

For example, nobody with the rootkit installed would be able to read this post

Crap. It's just a normal post like all the others.

Why DRM won't work (5, Informative)

Arend (170998) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011221)

An interesting read at: http://www.changethis.com/4.drm [changethis.com] :

"DRM punishes honest people!" ... "Without DRM, people will steal and artists won't get paid!" ... Usage of Digital Rights Management (DRM) has been hotly debated since a college student threatened to put an entire industry out of business with a little application he built in his spare time, Napster. In this transcript of a speech he gave at Microsoft's campus, Cory explains why DRM doesn't work, why DRM is bad for society, bad for business, bad for artists, and a bad move for Microsoft.

Using Sony and Apple as examples of companies that are using DRM to *punish* consumers, he suggests Microsoft use the opportunity to once again champion users' rights. To follow our current path, Cory argues, is to stifle innovation and contradict the purpose of American copyright law: to promote the useful arts and sciences."

I always find it very remarkable that the content industry treats the people who pay for their products -- in other industries also known as customers -- as criminals. People don't buy cd's because they want to screw the people who made them and make a zillion copies. Those people buy the damn things because they do *not* want to wast their time on copying!

And I also don't think the way customers are treated is in the interest of the artists, in whose name this whole mess is being created. Take a look at an excellent article by Janis Ian, a respectable musician:

http://www.janisian.com/article-internet_debacle.h tml [janisian.com]

"They told me downloads were "destroying sales", "ruining the music industry", and "costing you money".

Costing me money? I don't pretend to be an expert on intellectual property law, but I do know one thing. If a music industry executive claims I should agree with their agenda because it will make me more money, I put my hand on my wallet...and check it after they leave, just to make sure nothing's missing."

For what it's worth: this is a women who made more then 25 albums and wrote some very well known songs for other artists. One of her most known songs is "At seventeen", which can be downloaded for free, just like some other songs of her:

http://www.individualidade.com.br/janisian/mp3/jan isian_atseventeen.zip [individualidade.com.br]
http://www.janisian.com/mp3_downloads.html [janisian.com]

See how seriously they take the US. gov (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011235)

From the Sony Statement: "As a precautionary measure, Sony BMG is temporarily suspending the manufacture of CDs containing XCP technology,"

Notice the word "Temporarily" in there?

Replace my DRM CDs! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011265)

I think that Sony should replace my CDs that contain their DRM software free of charge. I do have to say that when I bought the Kings of Leon CD 5 months ago, I was a little angered by the copy protection and have tried to stray from buying CDs that had similar labels since then, but when you really like an artist, you have to plug your nose and go for it. Needless to say, I didn't put any of the subsequent CDs in my computer's CD-ROM drive.

A one word spec (1)

FishandChips (695645) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011288)

All they really needed was one word: Sorry. No one really needs reams of technobabble instead from which there does not emerge an undertaking to supply a removal tool, nb. Perhaps they aren't sorry then, just sony. Sigh.

It's not Sony's computer (4, Funny)

remahl (698283) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011297)

It belongs to Microsoft.

On the double standards of IP enforcement (1)

Haiku 4 U (580059) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011327)

Great! Yet my brow is
still upturned. Why is this? It's
going to get worse. [hollywoodreporter.com]

So when should we... (2, Funny)

JumperCable (673155) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011331)

...expect Sony to announce their monthly patch cycle for CDs? That's going to be a real bitch.

Re-Do (1)

jeffphil (461483) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011334)

>> Bowing to public outrage

More like bowing to the fact they are about to get their pants sued off.

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