After weeks of its XCP software being discovered and promising to take the flawed product of shelves, it looks like Sony still doesn't have an answer for its attempt at playing Big Brother and despite promising, the CDs containing the virus-prone software can still be found in Barnes and Nobles and other shopping spots. Here's the latest article from USAToday.
for those that don't know about this here's the basic idea:
Sony created a program that when you play the purchased CD on a Windows machine, it writes itself at the very root level of your system and controls how many times you can copy a CD for yourself. This takes place without you knowing or without your control. It's a way they decided to take charge of keeping people from making more copies from a distribution and giving it over freely to others or distributing it freely like on the web or the like. Yeaaaah... if you don't have a problem with this yet, just wait.
SO, personal rights aside at first the big problem is that the software is known to be susceptable to viruses. That's right, they put out an invasive piece of software which you never really agree to and this thing resides on the root level. Okay again, for those that don't know what this means- things that run on root or system level pretty much can do whatever they want to the rest of the machine. They even run pretty much invisibly in many cases to most users. So it can run and do what its supposed to do without you really knowing, report things, make changes, lock you out of files, etc... BUT, the damned thing is flawed and we know that viruses can easily be written to look for it and take over your PC at system level... WTF? Can we say Rootkit?
In their agressive zeal to take back control of their profits from the consumer it seems Sony has just put out a huge security flaw, in the most George Orwell 1984 kind of manner. I'm just thinking of people like my Mom and Dad that go home put their new Neil Diamond CD in their seven year old Windows 98 PC and don't know what the hell they just got themselves into. People like my parents don't even update their virus definitions or patch software unless I go to their house every 3 - 6 months to visit and do it for them. They sure aren't going to know how to get to the site and download and install the app to fix and uninstall this exploit Sony so graciously has provided us with. They DO however know how to do online banking and taxes, as well, I have no doubt, save info like this on their machines thinking that they are safe to keep this stuff from prying eyes or Sony's idiocy.
Okay and I'm going to keep this next part short, since if I don't I won't stop...
So what really, really, oh and I do mean REALLY chaps me is for a company's blatant disregard and just to have the STONES to put something like that on someone's system without any real informed CONSENT. I think one of the things we really keep in high regard in our country is an idea that we self-govern ourselves and what we do in our own homes is our business. Who the hell cares if I have a copy of The Rolling Stones greatest hits on my laptop, and my downstairs machine, and one in my workout room across the house? It's MINE for chrissake. It's behind my door and the idea that someone can try to govern and limit me INSIDE my own DOMAIN, is just godamned un-AMERICAN.
Now, I know that what Sony, BMG, and the RIAA (and others) is really trying to do is to keep people from widely distributing music and movies across the networks with what Lars Ulrich of Metallica termed "Napster Machines". They also make money everytime your old CD is too scratched to play anymore, and if you can just rip it again, it really bites into their pocketbooks over time. Of course, they say its to "protect the artist." Like Sony gives a shit about how much money their new breakout artist makes on a deal. Just ask most new-signs how much they make on their first album deal...
Personally, I hope the courts investigating these actions have the stones to find wrongdoing and press charges. Sue em. Companies with that kind of disregard for the public need to be reminded where their money comes from. Further, it makes me want to ban the purchase on their products until their sore pocketbooks causes them to act in a more consumer-friendly manner. The execs responsible for those decisions should be promtly fired and held personally accountable for damages that might occur due to those actions (Identity theft?)What a bunch of wankers these guys are...
Of course, that's just me.