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View Full Version : Sony's DRM: "Protecting" You from Yourself


ScottJohnson
11-07-2005, 08:13 PM
Source (http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=27426)

SONY SCREWED UP WITH its rights removal to protect its profit margins philosophy and there is no way the use of rootkits can be justified.
Caught with its pants down, what did it do? Make things right? Heck no, it blamed the user, and doesn't do anything more than window dressing to deflect what are valid criticisms.

If you read the Sony PR spin masquerading as a FAQ here, the tepid responses it give are laughable. Number one states that the technology is used to prevent copying, but that is true for only Windows boxes, so why the discrimination? It only affects legitimate users. If you want to copy the music, all you need to do is hold down the shift key when inserting it and you are free to copy. That or have a non-Windows computer.

This isn't CG news, but i thought it might be interesting to get artists opinion on this issue. It seems that DRM technology is increasingly becoming more of an issue. I'm all for supporting fellow artists as the next person, but i think DRM is backfiring.

mummey
11-07-2005, 08:46 PM
Links courtesy of Penny Arcade (http://www.penny-arcade.com/index.php):

http://www.sysinternals.com/blog/2005/11/more-on-sony-dangerous-decloaking.html

http://www.sysinternals.com/blog/2005/11/sonys-rootkit-first-4-internet.html

Coliba
11-07-2005, 08:48 PM
Artists will earn 1000% or more than they do now when they realize they don't need big labels anymore for distribution....simple truth. When artists start using the web as their distribution channel it is very likely they can get back almost 100% on every sale, not just 8% they get from their labels now. I think people will feel more inclined to buy a cd when they know the money is going straight to the artist, no need for DRM.

Slurry
11-07-2005, 09:12 PM
Artists will earn 1000% or more than they do now when they realize they don't need big labels anymore for distribution....simple truth. When artists start using the web as their distribution channel it is very likely they can get back almost 100% on every sale, not just 8% they get from their labels now. I think people will feel more inclined to buy a cd when they know the money is going straight to the artist, no need for DRM.

I agree. I think that's why labels are so panicked about mp3 and file sharing. The artist's don't need them for distribution anymore.
Promotion is another issue though. If software similar to iTunes keep popping up and indie artists can get serious recognition from these sources...It'll be interesting to see how things unfold.
I had the idea years ago about creating an indie distubtion site. Download the music and artwork (for creating your own cds) and the money goes into the band's pocket. The big thing was how to control the piracy. I never had the money or resources to actually do it...it was just an idea.
People with capital can do it as Apple is showing.
Interesting times.

Art

parallax
11-08-2005, 09:06 AM
Very true. (digital)Globalization is a double-edged sword for major companies, that's why they want to strangle every technological innovation that empowers people to death. "The people" are starting to realize that this new found independance offers them more then what large companies can sometimes offer.

We're in a make-or-break period.

tozz
11-08-2005, 12:34 PM
Generally speaking artists have to link to the customers, the buyers don't know anything about them, who they are, and most importantly, why they should recive their hard earned cash. I might be way of the map here, but I believe in a more personal "advertising", and the internet is the way to go.
It has already been proven that people love to read about other people, and get involved in their lives, artists should do the same with their music. This also eliminates the need for crappy gossip mags and similar. As I said before, I might be way of, but I rather spend cash knowing it goes directly to the artist, and if I know who the artist really is, and why he/she is doing what he/she does.

Well, how does this relate to DRM. Well, DRM is distancing the artist from the consumer, and this distance will not result in greater sales.

Sorry for being OT :)

halo
11-08-2005, 03:51 PM
labels dont distribute, distributers do that, and they have the record market so very well sown up....try and start a label and see just how far you get when distributers wont distribute your records.

The chain in between the artist and a successful sale is a long and complex one..i dont think there are many examples of web only successes.

DRM is a pain, but then who pays attention to it anyway...there's too many loopholes in it for it to become a real story of importance.

Jokinen
11-08-2005, 07:39 PM
It's definitely interesting to see how things unfold.

We in Finland just got a law that basically made mp3 players illegal. The law goes pretty much like this: You go to the store and buy a music CD and you go home and listen to it in your stereo, after awhile you'd like to rip the CD to put the songs on your MP3 player. That's when it crosses to illegal. If you want to listen to the same songs on your MP3 player you must buy the songs separately from an internet store. So basically you must buy the stuff twise if you want a CD and MP3's

The law is too complicated to be explained with my language skills but the first impression is that it's a bit dumb.

-JJ

pgp_protector
11-09-2005, 10:21 PM
http://www.sysinternals.com/blog/20...want-to_09.html (http://www.sysinternals.com/blog/2005/11/sony-you-dont-reeeeaaaally-want-to_09.html)

Now Sony wants to make consumer jump through hoops to uninstall their rootkit.

EDIT:
I love that they want to now install an ActiveX Program before allowing you to download there "uninstaller"

Andyman
11-09-2005, 11:47 PM
Hmm hmm hmm... this just gets muckier by the minute.

Antonbomb22
11-10-2005, 05:54 AM
why doesnt someone just sue them and solve this already.

JeroenDStout
11-10-2005, 12:45 PM
why doesnt someone just sue them and solve this already.
Like so:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4424254.stm

parallax
11-10-2005, 10:06 PM
You want murky? Now it seems the rootkit is violation LAME's LGPL.

Looking for a English link.

ysvry
11-11-2005, 04:44 AM
Viruses exploit Sony CD anti-piracy scheme

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9991596/

PhantomDesign
11-11-2005, 08:31 AM
Let me see if I have this straight... This software is on music CDs & automatically/invisibly installs itself when inserted into a PC, hiding all its files. Unless youre a rather advanced computer user or have seen the news, youd probably never know it was there. In some ways, it is coded like an advanced virus, deeply imbedding itself into core system files, drivers, and registries.

EDIT: Here's a partail list of DRM protected CDs.
Trey Anastasio - Shine
Celine Dion - On ne Change Pas
Neil Diamond - 12 Songs
Our Lady Peace - Healthy in Paranoid Times
Chris Botti - To Love Again
Van Zant - Get Right with the Man
Switchfoot - Nothing is Sound
The Coral - The Invisible Invasion
Acceptance - Phantoms
Susie Suh - Susie Suh
Amerie - Touch
Life of Agony - Broken Valley
Horace Silver Quintet - Silver's Blue
Gerry Mulligan - Jeru
Dexter Gordon - Manhattan Symphonie
The Bad Plus - Suspicious Activity
The Dead 60s - The Dead 60s
Dion - The Essential Dion
Natasha Bedingfield - Unwritten
Ricky Martin - Life

Trident_2K5
11-11-2005, 11:48 AM
Let me see if I have this straight... This software is on music CDs & automatically/invisibly installs itself when inserted into a PC,

No, AFAIK there's warning that program is about to be installed but information in that warning is misleading. So, misleading info during install+no readily available means of uninstalling+adverse effects on system security and performance=obvious malware.

Terrell
11-11-2005, 05:04 PM
DRM is one of the most anti-consumer thing I've ever seen, and that includes Microsoft's DRM. That's why I laughed when Gates whined of Blu-Ray being anti-consumer. Hey Bill, meet the pot. You're the kettle. Nobody that I know of likes DRM period, because it's a pain in the ass to law-abiding users who don't wish to do anythin wrong. When I buy something, like a membership, it should have no restrictions on it whatsoever once I own it.

Trident_2K5
11-11-2005, 05:19 PM
When I buy something, like a membership, it should have no restrictions on it whatsoever once I own it.
This is not _quite_ true. However, that First 4 Internet and Sony did wrong is not even DRM. It's doing DRM incompetently and irresponsibly. Using cloaking as a part of their "security" framework was incompetent. (That's written in every book on security and crypto worth reading.)
They wrote very low-level system code and didn't care to optimise it. That is irresponsibility.
Furthermore, they so relied on assumption that their stupid little trick would never be discovered that they did not introduce any means of protrection from hackers using that $sys$ trick. That's both.

Whatever is my opinion on DRM anyone doing it THAT way deserves being put out of business.

mummey
11-11-2005, 05:30 PM
DRM is one of the most anti-consumer thing I've ever seen, and that includes Microsoft's DRM. That's why I laughed when Gates whined of Blu-Ray being anti-consumer. Hey Bill, meet the pot. You're the kettle. Nobody that I know of likes DRM period, because it's a pain in the ass to law-abiding users who don't wish to do anythin wrong. When I buy something, like a membership, it should have no restrictions on it whatsoever once I own it.

While ideally this may be ok. In practical sense you CAN have DRM that doesn't p*** off the consumers. Apple has proven this with iTunes.

eliseu gouveia
11-11-2005, 06:39 PM
Im surprised this isnt generating more heat, by now there should be thousands of protestors in the streets.

How long before CNN picks up on this?

Nazgul
11-11-2005, 07:23 PM
interesting article about Sony's new hobby...it might involve the PS3 in the long term.

http://www.pfff.co.uk/weblog/archives/2005/11/falling_axes.html

EtherDragn
11-11-2005, 07:27 PM
Let em know what you think!


http://www.sonymusic.com/about/feedback.cgi

pgp_protector
11-11-2005, 07:40 PM
Sony's Waking UP

Sony to Stop Controversial CD Software


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051111/ap_on_hi_te/sony_copy_protection;_ylt=AlKOSEohCdjJClxeVx3qeP0jtBAF;_ylu=X3oDMTA5aHJvMDdwBHNlYwN5bmNhdA--


Now what will they do about all the CDs that were Sold ?

pgp_protector
11-11-2005, 08:24 PM
interesting article about Sony's new hobby...it might involve the PS3 in the long term.

http://www.pfff.co.uk/weblog/archives/2005/11/falling_axes.html

So
No Renting PS3 Games, or going to your buddies house to play the new game you got.

Cross the PS3 of the shopping list.

Trident_2K5
11-11-2005, 08:45 PM
http://cp.sonybmg.com/xcp/english/faq.html

6. I have heard that the protection software is really malware/spyware. Could this be true?

Of course not. The protection software simply acts to prevent unlimited copying and ripping from discs featuring this protection solution. It is otherwise inactive. The software does not collect any personal information nor is it designed to be intrusive to your computer system. Also, the protection components are never installed without the consumer first accepting the End User License Agreement.

If at some point you wish to remove the software from your machine simply contact customer service through this link. You will, though, be unable to use the disc on your computer once you uninstall the components.

Our technology vendors are constantly looking to improve the product as well as respond to any critical software issues found. Please check here for upgrades to address any known issues

"accepting the End User License Agreement." And Limited Warranty, of course. On the one hand it is needed, sorry, made software, have my own personal graveyard of horrible bugs. But knowingly abusing it is different thing altogether. :(

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

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.


:applause: to Sony. Telling with a straight face that real security hole is "non-existent" and "potential" is... is... Something that even certain well-known OS manufacturer does only rarely.

pgp_protector
11-11-2005, 09:27 PM
http://cp.sonybmg.com/xcp/english/faq.html

"accepting the End User License Agreement." And Limited Warranty, of course. On the one hand it is needed, sorry, made software, have my own personal graveyard of horrible bugs. But knowingly abusing it is different thing altogether. :(

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


:applause: to Sony. Telling with a straight face that real security hole is "non-existent" and "potential" is... is... Something that even certain well-known OS manufacturer does only rarely.

But what about the Network Traces that show it sending Information over your network connection Every time they played a "protected" CD ?

And about it not compermising Security, if a user dosn't know about the software being installed, and they get the already relised virus that Hides using the $sys$Filename hiding, that's not compermising security ?

Artbot
11-11-2005, 11:00 PM
While ideally this may be ok. In practical sense you CAN have DRM that doesn't p*** off the consumers. Apple has proven this with iTunes.

It pissed off this consumer to the point I will never buy anything through iTunes again. Not being able to convert or burn CDs of the music that I purchased totally blows. Why should it be different than if I bought the CD at the store? By preventing people from being able to copy or transfer to any other manufacturer's player, Apple is essentially creating a market where only Apple hardware will play or transport Apple media. This is like buying a car that only lets you drive to one, pre-approved place. Apple is also being sued over this - you just don't hear much about it these days.



And for nervous giggles, this "plain english" version of the Sony End User License Agreement really delivers. It is pasted here from the EFF (via boingboing.net):

Sony's EULA is worse than their rootkit

If you're unfortunate enough to buy music from Sony, you may think that the worst thing they'll do to you is screw you by infecting your computer with malicious rootkit software. Not so! Rootkits are only the beginning. If you want to see how Sony really gives its customers the shaft, have a look at these conditions in the license you have to agree to when you put a Sony music CD in your computer:1. If your house gets burgled, you have to delete all your music from your laptop when you get home. That's because the EULA says that your rights to any copies terminate as soon as you no longer possess the original CD. 2. You can't keep your music on any computers at work. The EULA only gives you the right to put copies on a "personal home computer system owned by you."

3. If you move out of the country, you have to delete all your music. The EULA specifically forbids "export" outside the country where you reside.

4. You must install any and all updates, or else lose the music on your computer. The EULA immediately terminates if you fail to install any update. No more holding out on those hobble-ware downgrades masquerading as updates.

5. Sony-BMG can install and use backdoors in the copy protection software or media player to "enforce their rights" against you, at any time, without notice. And Sony-BMG disclaims any liability if this "self help" crashes your computer, exposes you to security risks, or any other harm.

6. The EULA says Sony-BMG will never be liable to you for more than $5.00. That's right, no matter what happens, you can't even get back what you paid for the CD.

7. If you file for bankruptcy, you have to delete all the music on your computer. Seriously.

8. You have no right to transfer the music on your computer, even along with the original CD.

9. Forget about using the music as a soundtrack for your latest family photo slideshow, or mash-ups, or sampling. The EULA forbids changing, altering, or make derivative works from the music on your computer.

Someone tried to tell me the other week that the iTunes Music Store's days were numbered, because the music industry would shortly begin selling tracks directly to the public. Oh. Really. Does a company that makes you agree to terms like these, a company that infects your computer with malicious software, seem competent to offer a service directly to the public? The music companies are like high-strung obnoxious rock-stars -- they need a buffer, like an agent or a retailer, to sit between them and the people who pay them. If we were to have to deal with the music oligarchs directly, the experience would be so toxic that 100 percent of the world would turn into Kazaa downloaders in 30 days.

Linky goodness:
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004145.php

Trident_2K5
11-12-2005, 01:01 AM
Compare this:
http://66.249.93.104/search?q=cache:hDmbqX5yahgJ:www.osronline.com/showThread.cfm
and this:
http://www.xcp-aurora.com/
Got it? Lead developer had no previous expirience with Windows kernel, that effectively means that nobody else did either. I understand that everybody should start with somethhing, but certainly not with the program that would be installed on millions of computers. And Sony still had bought it! I wish our company had a such good sales staff :) "Lame, lame, lame, lame!" (c)

Edit: Found an interesting data in the original blog comments:

First4Internet, eh?... let's see... according to public records, they were incorporated 24/11/1999. In 2004 they had a turnover of 709,941 and operating expenses of 1,301,546 -- meaning an operating loss of 591,605. In the last five years they have, on average, lost 541,067 a year. For 2004, their credit rating is "HIGH RISK" (complete with capitalisation). Meanwhile, the four directors share annual renumeration of 224,413 between them (average 56,103 each).

One of the directors, Nicholas Bingham, (appointed in 2002) was director of "Sony pictures home entertainment Ltd." from 1989 to 1997, and director of "Sony pictures television production UK Ltd." from 1996 to 2000, and director of "Sony digital radio europe Ltd." from 1994 to 2000.
No comments.

-Vormav-
11-12-2005, 03:33 AM
"It's very important to remember that it's your intellectual property, it's not your computer," Baker said at a trade conference on piracy.
Oh, how I wish more people would take on this view...

Trident_2K5
11-12-2005, 06:08 AM
SonyBMG DRM Customer Survival Kit
Friday November 11, 2005 by Ed Felten
http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/?p=924

You read that correctly — SonyBMG, which is willing to surreptitiously install a rootkit on your computer in the name of retarding copying of their music, will send, to anyone who asks, detailed instructions for making an unprotected copy of that same music.
And they really do so. This is psychotic, to say the least...

mummey
11-12-2005, 03:21 PM
It pissed off this consumer to the point I will never buy anything through iTunes again. Not being able to convert or burn CDs of the music that I purchased totally blows. Why should it be different than if I bought the CD at the store? By preventing people from being able to copy or transfer to any other manufacturer's player, Apple is essentially creating a market where only Apple hardware will play or transport Apple media. This is like buying a car that only lets you drive to one, pre-approved place. Apple is also being sued over this - you just don't hear much about it these days.

Ummm... I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you CAN burn CDs from songs purchased on iTunes. This is why the iTunes program has the ability to burn CDs.

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