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Ontario Technoblog

Ontario Emperor technology blog.

This blog has been superseded by the mrontemp blog
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Location: Ontario, California, United States

Sometime audio artist. Email comments on this blog to the gmail account mrontemp.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Sony Fallout

Here's an update on the previously reported Sony copy protection scheme which some have characterized as malware.

Here's an excerpt from the first of two articles courtesy Security Pipeline:

After two weeks of withering criticism from bloggers and others, Sony BMG Music Entertainment last week found itself forced to stop selling some 50 CD titles with its Extended Copy Protection content-protection software, remove the discs from stores, and offer replacements without copy protection to customers.

Sony issued an apology on its Web site, citing security concerns raised by installation of the XCP software, provided--as Sony was quick to point out--by digital-rights-management vendor First4Internet Ltd.


And here's part of the second article from Security Pipeline:

Sony's controversial copy-protection scheme had been in use for seven months before its cloaking rootkit was discovered, leading one analyst to question the effectiveness of the security industry.
"[For] at least for seven months, Sony BMG Music CD buyers have been installing rootkits on their PCs. Why then did no security software vendor detect a problem and alert customers?" asked Joe Wilcox, an analyst with JupiterResearch.

"Where the failure is, that's the question mark. Is it an indictment of how consumers view security software, that they have a sense of false protection, even when they don't update their anti-virus and anti-spyware software?

"Or is it in how data is collected by security companies and how they're analyzing to catch trends?"


For the record, here is Sony's statement on the matter:

November 18, 2005
To Our Valued Customers:

You may be aware of the recent attention given to the XCP content protection software included on some SONY BMG CDs. This software was provided to us by a third-party vendor, First4Internet. Discussion has centered on security concerns raised about the use of CDs containing this software.

We share the concerns of consumers regarding these discs, and we are instituting a mail-in program that will allow consumers to exchange any CD with XCP software for the same CD without copy protection and receive MP3 files of the same title. 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.

Our new initiatives follow the measures we have already taken, including the voluntary suspension of the manufacture of CDs with the XCP software. In addition, to address security concerns, we provided to major software and anti-virus companies a software update, which also may be downloaded at http://cp.sonybmg.com/xcp/english/updates.html. We will shortly provide a simplified and secure procedure to uninstall the XCP software if it resides on your computer.

Ultimately, the experience of consumers is our primary concern, and our goal is to help bring our artists' music to as broad an audience as possible. Going forward, we will continue to identify new ways to meet demands for flexibility in how you and other consumers listen to music.

Please click here for an FAQ on this topic.


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