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Sony, Amazon Detail Rootkit CD Buybacks

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the finally-some-customer-service dept.

Businesses 240

An anonymous reader writes "Washingtonpost.com is reporting that Sony BMG today detailed a program that should allow customers who bought one of the 52 titles known to be tainted with the company's deeply flawed anti-piracy software to exchange them for CDs of the same title, sans rootkit of course. Oddly enough, Sony is offering those who want to return the CDs the chance to download MP3 versions of the discs, but only after Sony has received the returned discs. Amazon.com also is sending out e-mails to customers who bought the discs, offering to replace or refund them at no cost."

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Download mp3s of the albums - Watermarking Test? (5, Insightful)

sehlat (180760) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067486)

And how will we know Sony isn't trying something *ELSE* with their dissatisfied customers as guinea pigs?

Re:Download mp3s of the albums - Watermarking Test (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14067516)

Because they are already in trouble. This is the worst time to test the waters.

Re:Download mp3s of the albums - Watermarking Test (1)

sedyn (880034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067550)

Furthermore, they want to stay out of trouble.

Even if it is a few years down the road, if damage is done to a computer then sony might still be in trouble.

How well does a public recall mitigate resposibility for second-hand owners who bought the product after a recall work? Assuming that a case has been attempted in the past.

Sony and Satan (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067784)

Well the Devil had a brand new plan,
"I don't want any ordinary DRM!"
So he called his boys at Sony Corp,
"I'll make this fast and I'll make it short."

"There's a Limey company, as evil as hell,
They've got a rootkit they're waiting to sell.
So grab some cash, make it quick,
There's a half million networks we just gotta fix."

Now Sony knew the Devil well,
Why these guys were already half way to Hell.
So off they went to England fair,
And bought themselves a rootkit there.

To protect themselves and their evil scheme,
They wrote a EULA that would make you scream.
"No problem," they said, "we can do as we please,
We're all scummy bastards, so what's some more sleaze?"

But not all were asleep when they played Van Zant,
And the racket grew so loud Sony just had to recant.
"We'll take back all those discs, we really were wrong,
Oh, and you Mac users, your turn's coming before long."

nublar (-1, Troll)

doyoulikegoatseeee (930088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067488)

lol

Sans (1)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067489)

sans rootkit of course.

Are you sure or are you just giving them the benefit of the doubt?

Re:Sans (4, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067552)

It'd be easy to tell probably. If the disc lacks a data sector, you can be sure there isn't one. CDs have different kinds of sectors for audio and data. So if it's all audio, there's no possibility of malicious software since there's no software.

Re:Sans (5, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067686)

On the Sony site, they are talking about a secure updater which removes the rootkit:

If you obtain regular security updates from a major anti-virus service, you should receive an update through that process. You may also download the update yourself from http://cp.sonybmg.com/xcp/english/updates.html [sonybmg.com] .

The update its talking about simply removes the rootkit, but does not remove the copy protection portion.

Therefore, I believe these disks will still be executable in format (besides, any with images/videos on will need the media player software as well...)

Just read the home page on the sony site, they still don't get it:

Going forward, we will continue to identify new ways to meet demands for flexibility in how you and other consumers listen to music.

We just want true cds without any bullshit, plain and simple.

spot on, George Orwell style. (2, Insightful)

samjam (256347) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067850)

Going forward, we will continue to identify new ways to meet demands for flexibility in how you and other consumers listen to music.

"meet" means "deny", the problem as Sony see it is that CD's are already too flexible!

Just as the minister for public safety gets to define where public safety ends, so will Sony meeting demands for flexibility define where that flexibility ends.

Sam

Re:Sans (3, Informative)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067822)

Easy, just check that it has the logo "Compact Disc Digital Audio" [wikipedia.org] . If they put that on anything that is not compliant to the Red Book standard - that is, not a pure audio CD - Philips can sue them for trademark infringement.

No Cash? (2, Insightful)

mysqlrocks (783488) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067495)

No option to get cash back? I'd want my money back if I were one of the unfortunate people who had bought one of these CDs.

Re:No Cash? (2, Informative)

the_unknown_soldier (675161) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067557)

Not RTFA is fine. But not even reading the summary? You can get a refund.

PARDON ME, BUT HAS ANYONE SEEN MY BLACK NIGGER? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14067631)

It was around here somewhere...

Re:No Cash? (3, Insightful)

SoCalChris (573049) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067645)

If you bought it from Amazon...

How many people bought them at WalMart, Best Buy, Circuit City, Warehouse, etc...? Are they able to get a refund?

Re:No Cash? (1)

whathappenedtomonday (581634) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067838)

Not RTFA is fine. But not even reading the summary? You can get a refund.

He's probably one of the unfortunate people who had bought one of these CDs. [sonybmg.com] *shudders*

Re:No Cash? (2, Insightful)

zxnos (813588) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067853)

looking at the list of artists, unfortunate would be correct... ...;>

Re:No Cash? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14067893)

I think you should ask for more than your purchase price back. These disks, if not returned for destruction, have the ability to hurt Sony for many years to come, and Sony must know this. The disks have a long lifespan and each one of them could cause damage to multiple computers if it were passed around.

I would offer to sell the disk(s) to Sony for twice the original price, plus (if one of them infected my computer) the cost of a complete professionally-done system and software re-install, plus $5-100/hour for my time.

MP3 files (4, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067497)

I bet that the MP3's will be watermarked with the individual downloader's unique ID, so Sony/RIAA can later sue their customers...

That said, what bitrate, frequency and codec is used for the MP3s?

Regards,
--
*Art

Re:MP3 files (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14067529)

Not watermarking to sue... watermarking to "prove their point" that they need the rootkit stuff because if they distribute mp3s, they will be spread throughout the internet and ruin their revenues.

Re:MP3 files (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067725)

Doubt it will work. The chances are any decent quality first-to-p2p version will be ripped by someone who has a clue.

Re:MP3 files (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14067613)

I better hope that the codec would be "MPEG 2, layer 3"!

It would be really funny if it's a DRM'd WMA file that they just renamed .mp3 !

Re:MP3 files (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14067711)

Funny because such a file would only work on a system where the filetype isn't tied to the extension (i.e. *nix).

In reality they'd probably give out 32kbps mono MP3s after they take the CDs off the paying customers, just to remind them who controls their life.

Re:MP3 files (2, Insightful)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067710)

That said, what bitrate, frequency and codec is used for the MP3s?
It doesn't matter, the sole fact that they're trying to swap CDs with mp3 is a joke already, no matter what the quality is.

Re:MP3 files (5, Funny)

minuszero (922125) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067734)

Judging by their alleged previous use, probably LAME encoded...

although you can bet they'll be DRMed too.

Re:MP3 files (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067832)

Bitrate, OK... frequency, OK... but codec? They're *MP3s*, for goodness' sake. MP3 is not a container format like Ogg, it *is* the codec. I'm sorry, but I'll have to confiscate your geek license now. :)

Lawsuits? (3, Insightful)

r_glen (679664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067499)

A refund isn't enough - I hope to see some lawsuits go forward against Sony, as the very least to scare other companies from trying something like this.

Re:Lawsuits? (1)

FatMacDaddy (878246) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067562)

I read yesterday that a class-action (naturally) lawsuit has been filed in California. I don't have a link handy, but you could probably find it easily yourself. The problem is that these sorts of lawsuits rarely give the companies enough financial discomfort to make any real difference. The lawyers can get rich, of course, but nothing really changes from my experience. (I still have a copy of Bill Lockyer's letter congratulating me on getting my claim share on the record labels' price fixing settlement. And what a difference that has made. NOT!)

Re:Lawsuits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14067575)

A refund isn't enough

Precisely - much as I like some Sony products, they've been gunning for an ass-kicking for quite some time.

Nice to see them bend over & present frankly.

I am INCREDIBLY offended by Sony's actions (4, Interesting)

Work Account (900793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067500)

I have owned Sony Walkmen, Playstation, Playstation 2, etc.

I have owned dozens of Sony CDs.

I have 6 Sony audio components.

I will NEVER buy another Sony product ever again, and I urge ALL of you to do the same.

Re:I am INCREDIBLY offended by Sony's actions (1)

Chr0nik (928538) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067528)

I'm with you. No more sony for me. I thought they were over priced, and lacking the quality that used to justify their prices anyway. I even cancelled my SOE subscription.

Re:I am INCREDIBLY offended by Sony's actions (5, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067534)

I have owned Sony Walkmen, Playstation, Playstation 2, etc.

I have owned dozens of Sony CDs.

I have 6 Sony audio components.

I will NEVER buy another Sony product ever again, and I urge ALL of you to do the same.


Keep in mind that this is Sony/BMG, where Sony only owns 50%, and where BMG were the ones who brought DRM into the picture. Sony on the other hand is selling MP3 players and Vaio PCs with bundled ripping-hadware/software.

Anyhow, heads *should* roll over this in Sony. Instead I fear they will just sue First4Internet and pretend that ignorance is acceptable.

Regards,
--
*Art

Re:I am INCREDIBLY offended by Sony's actions (4, Insightful)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067573)

Could you please point to your source regarding BMG being the ones who brought DRM into the picture? You make it sound like Sony is new to the music game. They've been at it for a very long time, via the Sony Group, Columbia Records, Epic Records, and many imprints that fall under those labels.

Re:I am INCREDIBLY offended by Sony's actions (4, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067745)

Could you please point to your source regarding BMG being the ones who brought DRM into the picture?


Easy enough to google for. One recent entry [usatoday.com] .

Regards,
--
*Art

Re:I am INCREDIBLY offended by Sony's actions (2, Interesting)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067808)

Thanks for the link. However, this was one of a whole 3 articles that comes up for a google news search for "sony bmg rootkit merger". Also, the article doesn't particularly offer a whole lot of proof that it was BMG that brought this along, other than saying that BMG has used DRM in the past. It should be noted that ALL of the (now 4) major labels have used forms of DRM in the past...

Re:I am INCREDIBLY offended by Sony's actions (2, Insightful)

krbvroc1 (725200) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067648)

Keep in mind that this is Sony/BMG, where Sony only owns 50%, and where BMG were the ones who brought DRM into the picture.

Isn't this the same Sony who tried to foist their ATRAC proprietary codec on us which locks us into their hardware and requires their Sonicstage crap? I don't think that is the BMG side.

Re:I am INCREDIBLY offended by Sony's actions (2, Insightful)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067740)

Keep in mind that this is Sony/BMG, where Sony only owns 50%, and where BMG were the ones who brought DRM into the picture. Sony on the other hand is selling MP3 players and Vaio PCs with bundled ripping-hadware/software.

Wanna bet? Sony doesn't give heck about their customers, not only their products are often no more than average, but they want full control over their customers (backers of blu-ray, DRM schemes, ... )

Had you ever played a SoE MMORPG (be it either EverQuest or EverQuest 2), you'd know how Sony does not give a rat's ass about customer satisfaction and has only one desire: fuck said customer until it's ass bleeds.

Re:I am INCREDIBLY offended by Sony's actions (2, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067774)

I never said that Sony excels at customer support. My point was that Sony BMG is not the same as Sony, and that (perhaps especially) with Sony, one hand doesn't know what the other is doing. Thus you had ATRAC3 being pushed at the same time as they sold CD burners, and now you have Vaio ripping stations and MP3 playing Walkman cell phones being sold at the same time as CDs that won't work with either.

Perhaps Sony has become so big that it's time for a split. Sony BMG is obviously not part of Sony itself (they own half of it), and appears to work too independent of the parent company.

As for Sony's history, remember that they started out as Sonitape, making tapes enabling people to copy music. That's been part of their core business for a LONG time, even though it doesn't fit with the business model of some of their new veeps.

Regards,
--
*Art

Re:I am INCREDIBLY offended by Sony's actions (1)

HardCase (14757) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067614)

I will NEVER buy another Sony product ever again, and I urge ALL of you to do the same.

Sony earns royalties from every CD and DVD sold, as well as most of the hardware. Uh oh.

Turn of the tide? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14067504)

Nice of Amazon to do this, since it wasn't really their rootkit (or maybe they're thinking about potential liability, doesn't really matter).

It'd be great if Amazon and other big vendors refused to carry discs with this sort of horrible DRM. That'd probably get the music company's attention a little better than a few geeks organizing a boycott.

Re:Turn of the tide? (1)

GroeFaZ (850443) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067682)

It's no wonder Amazon plays along nicely. In the end, what company would want a piece of this PR disaster that's currrently all Sony's and first4internet's?

Updates (4, Insightful)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067506)

Why does Sony not simply provide an update for their rootkit? Improved security, expanded DRM, and distinguished keylogging, get it all now with Sony's rootkit 2.0. New and improved.

Always at your service

sincerely yours, Sony.

Re:Updates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14067739)

It's a joke you morons.

New Icon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14067508)

Time for Slashdot to update its icon list methinks.

Everyone with a link for a slashdot "Sony rootkit" icon please post in reply.

After all - we're at a SCO level of /. stories now :-)

Refund them at no cost, eh? (2)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067512)

offering to replace or refund them at no cost

Re:Refund them at no cost, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14067568)

Ekk, I accidentally hit Submit instead of Preview, and it was too late. Anyway, hope you still get the point of my post. :-)

what about uninstall? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14067513)

Sony seems to be in PR-damage control mode but they could care less about the customers. Sony *still* has failed to release any sort of uninstaller that truly cleans up the affected systems. Great move, there.

Re:what about uninstall? (1)

MikoLone (735583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067864)

That's what I'm screaming. So they refund the cd and do nothing about the rootkit? They should get everyones computer cleaned up instead of giving out cds!

what about.. (5, Insightful)

ltwally (313043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067521)

"Sony BMG today detailed a program that should allow customers who bought one of the 52 titles known to be tained with the company's deeply flawed anti-piracy software to exchange them for CDs of the same title, sans rootkit of course."
What about damages incurred to those who unknowingly installed the rootkit? What about the cost of removal? IMHO, it would be in Sony's best interest to offer something beyond just replacing the defective rootkit'd product... As an added incentive to Sony, such an action might look good in their up-coming trials from the lawsuits resulting from their rootkit.

Worst 52 albums ever (1)

IMightB (533307) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067530)

Holy cow! That line up sucks! It reads like a Worst 52 Albums of all time list.

Re:Worst 52 albums ever (1)

nathanh (1214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067671)

Holy cow! That line up sucks! It reads like a Worst 52 Albums of all time list.

G3: Live in Tokyo was performed by Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and John Petrucci. Arguably the greatest rock guitarists of all time. It's a great album. You might not know the names but you'd definitely know their songs; e.g. Surfing With The Alien by Joe Satriani. The G3 series has been awesome with appearances by Eric Johnson and Yngwie Malmsteen.

And Neil Diamond rocks.

Re:Worst 52 albums ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14067793)

Keep smoking you washout.

law-suits do work (1)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067531)

Even if lawyers end up making lots of money from them, law-suits do work. Boycotting is not enough, voting with your wallets is not enough. The best way to stick it to the man is to file law-suits!

Re:law-suits do work (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067705)

This is truly the equal of two evils. If a law were passed that forbid an law firm or attorney from collecting any more than a certain percentage of the overall award, it would help immensely. However, I remember about three years go, when American Express was being sued by a class claiming that Amex had been less than forthcoming about the terms of their travel insurance plan (I think that was it, but I might be wrong). In any event, the proposed settlement was that the class get $15K, and the attorneys walk away with about $4 million. I have no idea what the final ruling was, but I was appalled that some back-assed law firm would have the gall to propose something like this.

Re:law-suits do work (1)

terrymr (316118) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067841)

There's a surprising amount of work that goes into processing class action claims, that is what the fee is for. It's not just collecting a fee and mailing a bunch of checks to class members.

Great Editing, Once Again (1)

repruhsent (672799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067533)

...known to be tained with the company's deeply flawed anti-piracy software...

Luckily for yours truly, none of my CDs are tained with this software.

Hmm (3, Funny)

Trip Ericson (864747) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067541)

Step 1: Buy DRMed CD off a friend cheap.
Step 2: Return to Sony.
Step 3: Download free MP3s.
Step 4: ???
Step 5: PROFIT!

Re:Hmm (1)

GroeFaZ (850443) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067692)

uh...

Step 1: Download free MP3s. Step 2: ??? Step 3: PROFIT!

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14067746)

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....Don't spoil my fun.

MP3 poisoning howto (4, Informative)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067544)

Let customers download the MP3s via a server side script which quietly puts their customer number for tracking and a hash for non-repudiation into the ID3 tags, which'll survive most transcoding. Then if it appears on a P2P network (not likely, unless it's not already there), they'll know who did it.

Re:MP3 poisoning howto (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14067582)

I guess 5 seconds after the two first guys have downloaded their mp3's (they are obviously die-hard hackers) they have run diff on those files, and if the files are not equal after 10 minutes we'll learn what kind of tracker Sony has put there...

Re:MP3 poisoning howto (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067637)

Anyone who publicly shares Celine Dion tracks deserves to be publically ridiculed anyway, so bring it on I say :)

Merely a slap on the wrist, but the future is bad (5, Interesting)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067551)

Recalling the CD's is merely a slap on the wrist. It doesn't cost Sony as nearly as much money as a lawsuit, costs Amazon money, and it does not repair the damage to numerous artists names by this rootkit.

If Sony actually would own up to their stupid mistake, the artists wouldn't be impacted so much. Look at Van Dant's CD on Amazon. 1.5 stars, 300 reviews, most mentioning the rootkit. Do you think that he'll fare so well in the future.

I have lost faith in Sony. Propietary formats and other things were a little odd, but I accepted them. But rootkits, a patent for games that only play on the console they were originally put in...seems like a ridiculous infringement on user rights.

Rather than losing money to pirates, people will turn to better solutions and Sony will be the loser.

Re:Merely a slap on the wrist, but the future is b (2, Funny)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067757)

seems like a ridiculous infringement on user rights.

You're a bit confused here. A Sony user does not have rights. A Sony user should feel that the heavens themselves allowed him to use Sony software and hardware, and be in eternal debt to Sony for it.

Re:Merely a slap on the wrist, but the future is b (1)

kc32 (879357) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067765)

I'm surprised none of the artists have sued Sony yet for killing their record sales.

Re:Merely a slap on the wrist, but the future is b (3, Insightful)

terrymr (316118) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067807)

The best part is that that sony will charge the recall costs against the artists royalties so sony won't be out a penny and the artists get ripped off.

Re:Merely a slap on the wrist, but the future is b (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067836)

What's the point? Even if they moved to some other record company, you don't they're not going to try to pull the same stunt.

Lawmakers around the world have sent a message to Sony and its ilk. Your computer isn't yours any more. They're free to invade your machine, make it vulnerable or run in a faulty fashion, but that's just fine in the name of piracy.

Re:Merely a slap on the wrist, but the future is b (1)

thogard (43403) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067866)

Is it a slap on the writs? I've banned Sony/BMG CDs from work. Its a security threat and that can get you removed from the job so don't even dare to bring in a Sony or BMG cd until the rules get changed.
If an artist is stupid enough to sign with these idiots or stay signed, they get what they deserve.

They can buy the rootkits back (1)

ardchoille (912260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067560)

..but they'll never live this fiasco down.

It is a start... (0, Troll)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067571)

This is good news I guess.
Yet, I think they still need to change their policy/behaivor regarding these-but-not-limited-to items for me to like them:

-Support for non-Sony flash media in digital cameras and other products.

-Standard power jacks: How hard could that be???? OK this one applies to almost every company.

-And CSI Miami sucks...

Re:It is a start... (1)

Aldric (642394) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067726)

"-Standard power jacks: How hard could that be???? OK this one applies to almost every company."

Amen! I'm so sick of having to keep half a dozen chargers around when nearly all of it needs the same 12 volt DC.

Whew... (4, Funny)

GmAz (916505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067598)

Dodged a bullet there. I thought they would be popular titles people would auctually buy. I sure feel sorry for those couple hundred people that have the rootkit on their system from buying the CD.

WHAT??? (2, Funny)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067609)

They, for once, were doing the right thing preventing that music from infesting your favourite p2p network!!!

Who would buy these? (3, Interesting)

affliction (242524) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067620)

6. Bette Midler - Sings the Peggy Lee Songbook

Who in their right mind would subject themselves to such torture. And, what's more, someone paid for the privlege.

Whose IP are they protecting here? (0, Flamebait)

jimson (516491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067625)

Billy Holiday, Rosanne Cash, Louis Armstring, Frank Sinatra. Why are these CD's getting the rootkiit treatment? I'm drawing a blank here....

Re:Whose IP are they protecting here? (2)

old7 (564621) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067670)

Because they were just testing the water.

Re:Whose IP are they protecting here? (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067805)

and it is f*cking hot..... realllll hot

you know like bathing in H2SO4

number 7: "Billy Holiday"? (2, Informative)

holden caufield (111364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067628)

This is on her own damn label and they can't get Lady Day's name right?

Unbelieveable. They could have at least looked at the CD cover.

Sony. Where do you want to go today? (4, Insightful)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067643)

Sony BMG today detailed a program that should allow customers who bought one of the 52 titles known to be tained with the company's deeply flawed anti-piracy software to exchange them for CDs of the same title, sans rootkit of course.

No no no! They got it all wrong. They should do what my friend's landlord did when he kept complaining that the dishwasher didn't work: They came, turned it on, and when it made noise, they said, "It works fine." And of course, it didn't: First, it smelled disgusting in there, like there was rotten food inside the machine. Second, just because it sprayed (dirty smelling) water doesn't mean it "works fine." Third, if you put a dish in there that was clean to begin with, it came out dirty. And I believe that such a dishwasher makes a perfect analogy for compact discs that contain defective software.

So what Sony should do is this: They should publicly offer customers who bought one of the flawed CDs to exchange them for identical ones! As if we're talking about workmanship in the production of the compact disc proper and not the contents. Hey, just act like you don't know a darn thing about technology when it comes to this type of thing! And when the customer complains that the replacement still contains the rootkit, just say, "It works fine."

Sony. Where do you want to go today? (Hell, they almost make Microsoft look good in comparison. Almost.)

ISO's too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14067646)

I had to have all the Bette Midler and Celine Dion albums so I downloaded them and now got their stupid R007k17. Are they going to post clean copies since my rights have been violated?!?!?!

Re:ISO's too? (3, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067666)

Son, if you're into Celine Dion and Bette Midler, your rights aren't the only things being violated.

I spent 5 hours trying to get rid of this Rootkit (4, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067658)

... 2 weeks waiting for my replacement disc, and when I opened my "Suspicious Activity" CD again, I just didn't really feel like listening to it any more.

With 20/20 hindsight... (1)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067881)

Dude! You bought "Suspicious Activity?" by "The Bad Plus", and got pwn3d.
You can't say they didn't warn you.

It's a little bit like Wacko Jacko's early albums, "Thriller", "Bad", and "Dangerous". Perhaps he was trying to tell us something?

Ahoy! (2, Funny)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067660)

Sony is offering those who want to return the CDs the chance to download MP3 versions of the discs

Too late ya bastards, I already ripped me music off ye DRM'd cd. Yarrr!

Re:Ahoy! (2, Insightful)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067677)

And on a serious note, does anyone find it comical that now they are offering MP3 downloads? Seems like Sony realized that it's a CHEAPER and more EFFICIENT way of distributing music. Too bad the music companies aren't realizing this sooner.

Hmm... (2, Insightful)

Now.Imperfect (917684) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067661)

I don't really like that they are giving you mp3s. 90% of the reason I buy the actual disc is because i like to have it as a hard copy.

Yay Amazon
Nay Sony

Where's the root? (1)

TallMatthew (919136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067664)

Shouldn't it be called AdminKit?

Seems to me they are afraid... (2, Interesting)

gweihir (88907) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067665)

And well they should be! In many countries what they did is criminal and should land the decision makers in prison. Both the computer sabotage and the code theft are an issue. Even if Sony can claim they trusted the vendor of the rootkit, then people there should go to prison and Sony would not look that much better.

Covers XCP, but what about MediaMax? (3, Interesting)

SpammersAreScum (697628) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067679)

The article seems to indicate the offers cover CDs with First4Internet's XCP crap, but that's it. There's apparently similar ugliness with CDs using Sunncomm's MediaMaz copy protection (see http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/?p=925 [freedom-to-tinker.com] ) which is not covered. I guess that one hasn't gotten enough mainstream media coverage yet...

Pacifying me with mp3's not good enough... (1)

gg3po (724025) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067689)

...I need replacement that is CD quality or better, not to mention $$$ for any damages suffered by my computer and jailtime for the offending execs. Nothing less will suffice.

Pete Seeger???! (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067731)

40. Pete Seeger The Essential Pete Seeger CK92835 827969283523
They applied DRM to a disc by Pete Seeger [harvardsquarelibrary.org] ?
Man, I don't know where to begin with THAT one!

Re:Pete Seeger???! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14067824)

Even a blind man could see this is a total scam

Who keeps changing your mind? (3, Informative)

bosewicht (805330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067796)

lmao Before
Most people, I think, don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?
After
We share the concerns of consumers regarding these discs, and we are instituting a program that will allow consumers to exchange any CD with XCP software for the same CD without copy protection. We also have asked our retail partners to remove all unsold CDs with XCP software from their store shelves and inventory. Please click here for exchange program details. We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause our customers and we are committed to making this situation right. It is important to note that the issues regarding these discs exist only when they are played on computers, not on conventional, non-computer-based CD and/or DVD players.

People don't fall for this (0, Troll)

eadint (156250) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067816)

/crazy rant
Never forgive never forget, boycot SONY until their bankrupt, don't gove Sony any money until thaey do the fillowing
1) Replace all of the CD's
2) Publicly apologize for abusing Americans rights on NBC, ABC, and CBS and admit that all DRM is wrong.
3) admit that Sony is a group of lying lechoris sleazbags that deserve to be spat on and scorned.
4) a SONY exec need to show up at my house, CLEAN it, and let me kick them a couple of times.
5) all Sony executives need to be imprisioned with manatory ass rapping by 400 pound black men. /Crazy rant.

It dosent matter what Sony does, in their eyes they did nothing wrong and they will just be craftier next time.

Ah, the irony (1, Interesting)

stuffman64 (208233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067835)

I just love the fact that when my friend put the Natasha Bedingfield CD to listen to it, I told him I wouldn't be suprised if his computer broke (or at least got mad at him) by putting that crappy excuse for music in there. Seems I was right- his attempt to remove the rootkit totally borked his XP to the point it no longer boots. Guess he should have read the article [theregister.co.uk] at the Register first.

I really wanted to buy the NW-A3000 [engadget.com] MP3 player when it's released here (everyone and their mom has an iPod... literally). iPods are nice and all, but I'd like something a bit different. Now that I don't know if I can trust Sony, where am I to turn? That thing was so cool looking too.

What about compensation for damages? (2, Insightful)

size1one (630807) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067858)

Sony is just trying to get people to agree to a settlement before they can be found guilty.

Getting your money back is not enough.
The bad press sony is feeling is not enough

I don't doubt that sony will try this again only they will dump money in so it isn't a half assed rootkit. They will make sure the EULA covers all actions and potential damages. A court ruling sets precedent and will deter future attempts. Accept the payoff and you're only taking a step closer to the confined world of DRM.

Sony Sucks (3, Insightful)

sabre307 (451605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067859)

Even without the root kit, Sony is being obnoxious with the DRM shit. I got a copy of Chevelle's new album and couldn't even rip it into MP3 without installing some damn proprietary Sony software, and then it would only rip into locked down WMA format. The CD was so screwed up that an older car CD player of mine wouldn't play it, Linux wouldn't recognize it, Windows kept trying to autorun it, but wouldn't recognize the audio side of it. Mac was the only one that would, for some reason, play it just fine. I finally got pissed off and downloaded the whole album via P2P. It was more file sharing than I've done in the last year. Congratulations Sony, now you're going to insent the legitimate people into sharing the files! To me, a CD I can't get into MP3 is useless and defective. I only listen to music on my car stereo in MP3 format, or on my computer in MP3 format, or on my Zen in MP3 format. The original CDs get stored away for safe keeping. I only have two words for Sony... BITE ME!!!

MP3 is probably for the artists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14067879)

Does anyone else think that releasing the MP3's is sort of an odd move? Does this qualify as a positive move towards making amends with their customers?

The fans that were dedicated enough to go out and buy their albums were the ones that were screwed over. So I think the mp3 move is for the artists that are pissed off because their names were attached to this software which directly effected their most dedicated base.
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