Off Topic Messages

Security Firm: Sony/ BMG CDs Secretly Install Spyware

Wed Nov 09, 2005 7:42 pm

http://www.boston.com/business/technolo ... l_spyware/

Security firm: Sony / BMG CDs secretly install spyware
Company denies it, saying program aims to foil music piracy

By Hiawatha Bray, Boston Globe | November 8, 2005

Sony is spying on thousands of listeners who buy and play its music CDs on their computers, a leading computer security firm said yesterday.

Computer Associates International Inc. said that new anticopying software Sony is using to discourage pirating of its music also secretly collects information from any computer that plays the discs.

One of the world's largest software and information technology companies, Computer Associates is the latest to wade into the growing controversy over Sony's efforts to curb theft and illegal pirating of its music.

The software works only on computers running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system. It limits listeners' ability to copy the music onto their computers, and locks copied files so they cannot be freely distributed over the Internet.

But Computer Associates said the antipirating software also secretly communicates with Sony over the Internet when listeners play the discs on computers that have an Internet connection. The software uses this connection to transmit the name of the CD being played to an office of Sony's music division in Cary, N.C. The software also transmits the IP address of the listener's computer, Computer Associates said, but not the name of the listener. But Sony can still use the data to create a profile of a listener's music collection, according to Computer Associates.

''This is in effect 'phone home' technology, whether its intent is to capture such data or not," said Sam Curry, vice president of Computer Associates' eTrust Security Management unit.

''If you choose to let people know what you're listening to, that's your business. If they do it without your permission, it's an invasion of privacy."

Sony and the British firm that wrote the antipirating code for the music company flatly denied the software snoops on listeners.

''We don't receive any spyware information, any consumer information," said Mathew Gilliat-Smith, chief executive of First 4 Internet Ltd., which makes the software for Sony BMG Music Entertainment.

So far, Sony BMG has installed the software on about 20 titles in its music catalog, including works by jazzman Dexter Gordon, singer Vivian Green, and the new issue by country rockers Van Zant, ''Get Right with the Man."

It was the Van Zant disc that led to the controversy over Sony's new software.

In late October, a well-known Windows computer engineer, Mark Russinovich, stumbled across the Sony software on one of his personal computers while running a security scan. Russinovich had used the computer to play the Van Zant CD, not realizing that it had installed the anticopying program.

When he tried to remove it, Russinovich found that the program lacked the ''uninstall" feature found in most Windows software. Indeed, key components of the software hid themselves deep in his computer by applying the same techniques used by data thieves to conceal their activities. Even a skilled user who identifies the correct files can't safely remove them, said Russinovich.

''Most users that stumble across the cloaked files . . . will cripple their computer if they attempt the obvious step of deleting the cloaked files," he wrote on his technology website, SysInternals.

Computer Associates yesterday concurred with Russinovich's assessment. Curry said Sony has made it so difficult for listeners to uninstall its software that some could lose all their data in the process.

''It can damage the operating system and the operating system's integrity, so it can't reboot at all," Curry said. ''As an expert in security, I can say this is bad behavior."

Indeed, Computer Associates has added the software to its list of spyware programs that collect personal information from computer users without their permission.

Russinovich also said that a patch Sony and First 4 released Friday to stop the software from hiding inside computers malfunctions and can cause an irreparable loss of computer data.

Gilliat-Smith of First 4 said he knows of no case in which this has happened. Sony offers a website where users can obtain a program that uninstalls its software. He said both efforts should prove that Computer Associates and Russinovich's complaints are unfounded.

''In theory there should be no concern," Gilliat-Smith said.

Author Hiawatha Bray can be reached at bray@globe.com.

Thu Nov 10, 2005 1:23 am

They'll stoop at anything. It is just despicable. What's worse is that the people being victimized have already bougt the stinking CDs.

Thu Nov 10, 2005 1:52 am

Greg -

Surely making another copy of your own CD, for use in the car, say, is perfectly legal anyway !

Thu Nov 10, 2005 1:57 am

There have been some CD's I've tried to copy and when it gets to the last track it stops the copy. Then I have tried to copy the disc minus the last track but it stops at the new last track.
But when I disconect from the net the disc will copy properly.


what gives??? :?

8)

Thu Nov 10, 2005 3:47 am

ColinB wrote:Surely making another copy of your own CD, for use in the car, say, is perfectly legal anyway !

No, not really. The allowable use is to make a backup copy to use if the original becomes nonplayable.

On the other hand, as has been mentioned before on the forum, the industry collects fees for all blank media sold presuming that nonallowable use will take place. So it might not be legal but they are getting the payments they requested for that use.

Eileen

Thu Nov 10, 2005 7:43 am

Eileen wrote:
ColinB wrote:Surely making another copy of your own CD, for use in the car, say, is perfectly legal anyway !

No, not really.
The allowable use is to make a backup copy to use if the original becomes nonplayable.

Eileen


Well, my point was that a copy can be legally made !

So rendering CD's so they can't be copied [copying being a perfectly legal act, and one we've paid for to boot] seems all the more incongruous.

But then using that technology to surrepticiously spy on us is beyond the pale !

Thu Nov 10, 2005 9:04 am

This spyware has only been used in cd:s made in USA. The cd:s made in Europe (even if its the same artist) does not contain the spyware.

Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:45 pm

Shades of George Orwell and 1984...Big Brother is watching you :shock: :wink:

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Thu Nov 10, 2005 1:40 pm

ColinB wrote:Well, my point was that a copy can be legally made !

So rendering CD's so they can't be copied [copying being a perfectly legal act, and one we've paid for to boot] seems all the more incongruous.

Yes I agree Colin. Even though there are legal rights to make the backup copy, under the DMCA it is illegal to break or circumvent the copy protection scheme to make your allowable legal copy.

Eileen

Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:52 pm

I'm not as anti-RIAA as LTB (I understand why they
are suing the downloaders), but on the issue
of spyware in general , I go ballistic. :smt097

Thu Nov 10, 2005 7:09 pm

If this happened in Sweden or most of the European countries, it would be considered illegal. It is an unauthorized access to computer systems which is a criminal offense. I have been working with thhis kind of legal issues for more than ten years now, but I really don´t think that Sony would launch such a software. The risks are too high.

Thu Nov 10, 2005 7:15 pm

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:I'm not as anti-RIAA as LTB (I understand why they are suing the downloaders)....

Of course this begs the question.... LTB doesn't understand why they are suing the downloaders, in your opinion? However I'll assume that isn't quite what you meant, instead. ;)

Eileen

Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:19 pm

In effect, yes. :twisted: :D But I'll let him argue that point. (Actually, he's done it many times.)

He doesn't think it's a valid thing to sue the downloaders.

Meanwhile, I can see why they view illicit downloading (or "ripping")
as a theft of property, no matter how dastardly they tend to be themselves.

Fri Nov 11, 2005 12:15 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:In effect, yes. :twisted: :D But I'll let him argue that point. (Actually, he's done it many times.)

He doesn't think it's a valid thing to sue the downloaders.

Meanwhile, I can see why they view illicit downloading (or "ripping")
as a theft of property, no matter how dastardly they tend to be themselves.

Well here I thought I was keeping you off any implied hook and you're busy eating your shoe.

LTB doesn't need to argue the point with me at all. Take my word for it - LTB and I are fully aware of how and why most downloading is considered theft of IP. And we both understand why they are suing the downloaders.

Image

Sat Nov 12, 2005 5:39 am

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

Viruses exploit Sony CD anti-piracy scheme
Hackers use copy-protection software to hide in PCs

Updated: 7:25 p.m. ET Nov. 10, 2005

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A controversial copy-protection program that automatically installs when some Sony BMG audio CDs are played on personal computers is now being targeted by malicious software that exploits the antipiracy technology’s ability to hide files.

The Trojan horse programs — three have so far been identified by anti-virus companies — are named so as to trigger the cloaking feature of Sony’s XCP2 antipiracy technology, security experts said Thursday.

“This could be the advanced guard,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at the security firm Sophos. “We wouldn’t be surprised at all if we saw more malware that exploits what Sony has introduced.”

The copy protection program is included on about 20 popular music titles, including releases by Van Zant and The Bad Plus, and disclosure of its existence has raised the ire of many in the computing community, who consider it to constitute spyware.

Sony BMG Music Entertainment and the company that developed the software, First 4 Internet, have claimed that the technology poses no security threat. Still, Sony posted a patch last week that uncloaks files hidden by the software.

On Thursday, Sony released a statement “deeply regretting any disruption that this may have caused.” It also said it was working with Symantec and other firms to ensure any content-protection technology “continues to be safe.”

Neither Sony spokesman John McKay nor First 4 Internet CEO Mathew Gilliat-Smith returned messages seeking additional comment.

Windows expert Mark Russinovich discovered the hidden copy-protection technology on Oct. 31 and posted his findings on his Web log. He noted that the license agreement that pops up said a small program would be installed, but it did not specify it would be hidden.

Manual attempts to remove the software can disable the PC’s CD drive. Sony offers an uninstallation program, but consumers must request it by filling out two forms on the Internet.

“What they did was not intentionally malicious,” Cluley said. “If anything, it was slightly inept.”

The copy-protection software, which Sony says is a necessary “speed bump” to limit how many times a CD is copied, only works on Windows-based PCs. Users of Macintosh and Linux computers are not restricted.

The viruses also only target Windows-based machines.

The infection opens up a backdoor, which could be used to steal personal information, launch attacks on other computers and send spam, antivirus companies said.


Sony also is facing legal headaches. On Nov. 1, Alexander Guevara filed suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court seeking class action staus. He claims Sony’s actions constituted fraud, false advertising, trespass and violated state and federal laws barring malware and computer tampering.

His attorney, Alan Himmelfarb, did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

“Entertainment companies often complain that fans refuse to respect their intellectual property rights. Yet tools like this refuse to respect our own personal property rights,” said Jason Schultz, a staff attorney for the Electronic Freedom Foundation. “Sony’s tactics here are hypocritical, in addition to being a security threat.”

© 2005 The Associated Press.

Sat Nov 12, 2005 5:44 am

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10005667/

Sony halts music CDs with anti-piracy scheme
Copy-protection technology can leave computers vulnerable to hackers


Updated: 2:23 p.m. ET Nov. 11, 2005

WASHINGTON - Stung by continuing criticism, the world’s second-largest music label, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, promised Friday to temporarily suspend making music CDs with antipiracy technology that can leave computers vulnerable to hackers.

Sony defended its right to prevent customers from illegally copying music but said it will halt manufacturing CDs with the “XCP” technology as a precautionary measure. “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,” the company said in a statement.

The antipiracy technology, which works only on Windows computers, prevents customers from making more than a few copies of the CD and prevents them from loading the CD’s songs onto Apple Computer’s popular iPod portable music players. Some other music players, which recognize Microsoft’s proprietary music format, would work.

Sony’s announcement came one day after leading security companies disclosed that hackers were distributing malicious programs over the Internet that exploited the antipiracy technology’s ability to avoid detection. Hackers discovered they can effectively render their programs invisible by using names for computer files similar to ones cloaked by the Sony technology.

Sony’s program is included on about 20 popular music titles, including releases by Van Zant and The Bad Plus.

“This is a step they should have taken immediately,” said Mark Russinovich, chief software architect at Internals Software who discovered the hidden copy-protection technology Oct. 31 and posted his findings on his Web log. He said Sony did not admit any wrongdoing, nor did it promise not to use similar techniques in the future.

Security researchers have described Sony’s technology as “spyware,” saying it is difficult to remove, transmits without warning details about what music is playing, and that Sony’s notice to consumers about the technology was inadequate. Sony executives have rejected the description of their technology as spyware.

Some leading antivirus companies updated their protective software this week to detect Sony’s antipiracy program, disable it and prevent it from reinstalling.

After Russinovich criticized Sony, it made available a software patch that removed the technology’s ability to avoid detection. It also made more broadly available its instructions on how to remove the software permanently. Customers who remove the software are unable to listen to the music CD on their computer.

© 2005 The Associated Press

Sat Nov 12, 2005 5:45 am

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004144.php

Are You Infected by Sony-BMG's Rootkit?
November 09, 2005

As we've mentioned before, Sony-BMG has been using copy-protection technology called XCP in its recent CDs. You insert your CD into your Windows PC, click "agree" in the pop up window, and the CD automatically installs software that uses rootkit techniques to cloak itself from you. Sony-BMG has released a "patch" that supposedly "uncloaks" the XCP software, but it creates new problems.

But how do you know whether you've been infected? It turns out Sony-BMG has deployed XCP on a number of titles, in variety of musical genres, on several of its wholly-owned labels.

EFF has confirmed the presence of XCP on the following titles (each has a data session, easily read on a Macintosh, that includes a file called "VERSION.DAT" that announces what version of XCP it is using). If you have one of these CDs, and you have a Windows PC (Macs are totally immune, as usual), you may have caught the XCP bug.

Trey Anastasio, Shine (Columbia)
Celine Dion, On ne Change Pas (Epic)
Neil Diamond, 12 Songs (Columbia)
Our Lady Peace, Healthy in Paranoid Times (Columbia)
Chris Botti, To Love Again (Columbia)
Van Zant, Get Right with the Man (Columbia)
Switchfoot, Nothing is Sound (Columbia)
The Coral, The Invisible Invasion (Columbia)
Acceptance, Phantoms (Columbia)
Susie Suh, Susie Suh (Epic)
Amerie, Touch (Columbia)
Life of Agony, Broken Valley (Epic)
Horace Silver Quintet, Silver's Blue (Epic Legacy)
Gerry Mulligan, Jeru (Columbia Legacy)
Dexter Gordon, Manhattan Symphonie (Columbia Legacy)
The Bad Plus, Suspicious Activity (Columbia)
The Dead 60s, The Dead 60s (Epic)
Dion, The Essential Dion (Columbia Legacy)
Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten (Epic)
Ricky Martin, Life (Columbia) (labeled as XCP, but, oddly, our disc had no protection)

Several other Sony-BMG CDs are protected with a different copy-protection technology, sourced from SunnComm, including:

My Morning Jacket, Z
Santana, All That I Am
Sarah McLachlan, Bloom Remix Album

This is not a complete list. So how do you recognize other XCP-laden CDs in the wild?

Tip-off #1: on the front of the CD, at the left-most edge, in the transparent "spine", you'll see "CONTENT PROTECTED" along with the IFPI copy-protection logo. A few photos make this clearer.

Image

Tip-off #2: on the back of the CD, on the bottom or right side, there will be a "Compatible with" disclosure box. Along with compatibility information, the box also includes a URL where you can get help. The URL has a telltale admission buried in it: cp.sonybmg.com/xcp. That lets you know that XCP is on this disc (discs protected with SunnComm have a different URL that includes "sunncomm").

Image

If you haven't been infected yet, to protect yourself from XCP in the future, disable "autorun" on your Windows PC. Once you have done so, however, these CDs may not be accessible under Windows unless you have specialized ripping software installed; these CDs are encoded in a way that intentionally confuses standard Windows CD drivers. For a smarter audio grabber for Windows, you may want to consider using Exact Audio Copy, which reportedly can read these CDs if you have turned off autorun and avoided infection by XCP.

all thanks to the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:57 am

Sony BMG pulls CD protection software
Saturday Nov 12 09:03 AEST
Music publisher Sony BMG said it would stop making CDs that use a controversial technology to protect its music against illegal copying.

"As a precautionary measure, Sony BMG is temporarily suspending the manufacture of CDs containing XCP technology," it said in a statement.

The decision follows the discovery of the first virus that uses Sony BMG's CD copy-protection software to hide on PCs and wreak havoc.

A hacker had mass-mailed email with an attachment, which when clicked on installs malware. The malware hides by using Sony BMG software that is also hidden - the software would have already been installed on a computer when consumers played Sony's copy-protected music CDs.




The malware, a trojan program which appears desirable but actually contains something harmful, tears down a computer's firewall and gives hackers access to a PC.

Sony BMG provided a patch to protect computers against the virus, which is available on its Web site.

"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," Sony BMG added.

The firm provided software to remove the "cloaking element", which enables the virus to hide inside the computer, but the patch does not disable the copy protection itself.

The music publishing venture of Japanese electronics conglomerate Sony Corp and Germany's Bertelsmann AG is distributing the copy-protection software on a range of recent music compact disks (CDs) from artists such as Celine Dion and Sarah McLachlan, according to user groups on the Web.

Sony BMG did not say which CDs or how many CDs were equipped with its software. "The XCP software is included on a limited number of Sony BMG content-protected titles," it said.

The Sony copy-protection software does not install itself on Macintosh computers or ordinary CD and DVD players.

When the CD is played on a Windows personal computer, the software first installs itself and then limits the usage rights of a consumer. It only allows playback with Sony software.

The software last week sparked a class action lawsuit in California against Sony, which claimed that Sony had not informed consumers that it installs software directly into the "root" of their computer systems with rootkit software, which cloaks all associated files and is dangerous to remove.

British anti-virus company Sophos offered a tool to disable the copy protection software. ZoneAlarm, a product of Check Point, also protects against the software.

Sony BMG said it stands by content protection technology "as an important tool to protect our intellectual property rights and those of our artists".


©AAP 2005

Tue Nov 15, 2005 2:04 am

Eileen wrote:
Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:In effect, yes. :twisted: :D But I'll let him argue that point. (Actually, he's done it many times.)

He doesn't think it's a valid thing to sue the downloaders.

Meanwhile, I can see why they view illicit downloading (or "ripping")
as a theft of property, no matter how dastardly they tend to be themselves.

Well here I thought I was keeping you off any implied hook and you're busy eating your shoe.

LTB doesn't need to argue the point with me at all. Take my word for it - LTB and I are fully aware of how and why most downloading is considered theft of IP. And we both understand why they are suing the downloaders.

Image



Play English teacher with me all you want, but I still don't agree that either
one of you truly "understand" why it is considered theft. If you did,
you'd know that from a law and order perspective, it is
theft of property and therefore merits our support - assuming,
of course, that you actually consider our justice system legitimate.
If you're against "the man," then that's another thing. :wink:

Chomp, chomp. :smt023

Tue Nov 15, 2005 11:58 pm

Fallout from Sony CD flap getting worse
Researchers says software removal scheme aggravates security hole


The Associated Press
Updated: 2:30 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2005

BOSTON - The fallout from a hidden copy-protection program that Sony BMG Music Entertainment put on some CDs is only getting worse. Sony’s suggested method for removing the program actually widens the security hole the original software created, researchers say.

Sony apparently has moved to recall the discs in question, but music fans who have listened to them on their computers or tried to remove the dangerous software they deposited could still be vulnerable.

“This is a surprisingly bad design from a security standpoint,” said Ed Felten, a Princeton University computer science professor who explored the removal program with a graduate student, J. Alex Halderman. “It endangers users in several ways.”

The “XCP” copy-protection program was included on at least 20 CDs, including releases by Van Zant, The Bad Plus, Neil Diamond and Celine Dion.

When the discs were put into a PC — a necessary step for transferring music to iPods and other portable music players — the CD automatically installed a program that restricted how many times the discs’ tracks could be copied, and made it extremely inconvenient to transfer songs into the format used by iPods.

That antipiracy software — which works only on Windows PCs — came with a cloaking feature that allowed it to hide files on users’ computers. Security researchers classified the program as “spyware,” saying it secretly transmits details about what music the PC is playing. Manual attempts to remove the software can disable the PC’s CD drive.

The program also gave virus writers an easy tool for hiding their malicious software. Last week, virus-like “Trojan horse” programs emerged that took advantage of the cloaking feature to enter computers undetected, antivirus companies said. Trojans are typically used to steal personal information, launch attacks on other computers and send spam.

Stung by the controversy, Sony BMG and the company that developed the antipiracy software, First 4 Internet Ltd. of Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, released a program that uninstalls XCP.

But the uninstaller has created a new set of problems.

To get the uninstall program, users have to request it by filling out online forms. Once submitted, the forms themselves download and install a program designed to ready the PC for the fix. Essentially, it makes the PC open to downloading and installing code from the Internet.

According to the Princeton analysis, the program fails to make the computer confirm that such code should come only from Sony or First 4 Internet.

“The consequences of the flaw are severe,” Felten and Halderman wrote in a blog posting Tuesday. “It allows any Web page you visit to download, install, and run any code it likes on your computer. Any Web page can seize control of your computer; then it can do anything it likes. That’s about as serious as a security flaw can get.”

Sony BMG spokesman John McKay did not return calls seeking comment. First 4 Internet was not making any comment, according to Lynette Riley, the office manager who answered the company’s phone Tuesday evening in England.


Mark Russinovich, the security researcher who first discovered the hidden Sony software, is advising users who played one of the CDs on their computer to wait for the companies to release a stand-alone uninstall program that doesn’t require filling out the online form.

“There’s absolutely no excuse for Sony not to make one immediately available,” he wrote in an e-mail Tuesday.

Other programs that knock out the original software are also likely to emerge. Microsoft Corp. says the next version of its tool for removing malicious software, which is automatically sent to PCs via Windows Update each month, will yank the cloaking feature in XCP.

Sony BMG said Friday it would halt production of CDs with XCP technology and pledged to “re-examine all aspects of our content protection initiative.” On Monday night, USA Today’s Web site reported that Sony BMG would recall the CDs in question.

© 2005 The Associated Press.
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10053831/

Thu Nov 17, 2005 9:41 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:Play English teacher with me all you want, but I still don't agree that either one of you truly "understand" why it is considered theft. If you did, you'd know that from a law and order perspective, it is theft of property and therefore merits our support - assuming, of course, that you actually consider our justice system legitimate. If you're against "the man," then that's another thing. :wink:

Hi Greg. I had thought you were joking to imply that LTB (and I) didn't understand the law or why it's considered theft. However you seem clear here in saying that you weren't kidding. In my opinion LTB and I have in the past posted quite a few times, and at length, on related laws and practices going back decades, indicated we have read and mostly understand them IMO, discussed the history and purpose of copyright, Supreme Court decisions and statements, etc. I'm not sure why you think we don't understand - I think we do and have illustrated this.

I don't agree that all laws as they exist and are applied in a given moment deserve my support. It isn't about "the man", it's about each particular law and how it is being applied. Laws are regularly found to be poorly written and/or unconstitutional and/or applied in abusive or unconstitutional ways. I don't feel obligated to support anything and everything the moment a piece of paper is stamped and filed. Or I might support something in theory but not as written, or support a law as written and believe it is being misapplied or misused. LTB may feel the same.

I'm not even sure that I understand why you mean by "merits our support". Merits our support such that you actually follow copyright law? From your posts it seems you dont, starting with most of the jpgs in your messages. I'm not sure your point then in pounding the gavel this way about laws you perhaps don't fully understand or follow yourself. I don't say that to be snarky or ah-ha 'caught you' - it's a point of confusion for me about your comments.

Eileen

Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:00 am

Misc on the Sony issue for those interested:

Timeline of Sony Debacle

Sony 100% Rootkit Plan ----- Sony's Nov 1st response to customer complaint:

Thank you for contacting Sony BMG Online.

By the end of fiscal 2005, 100% of Sony BMG titles released will contain this content
protection technology. Please assume every one of our CDs are protected in this fashion.

Sony Rootkit Code Infringes Copyrights

Close examination of Sony's audio cd rootkit has revealed that their malicious software is built on code that infringes on copyright.

It's Not Just the Rootkit. Sony Still Making CDs With SunComm Spyware

CNET Editor says "DRM this, Sony!"

I'm truly sorry that there are, out there in the world, mass-production piracy operations that are digging into your bottom line, but you know what? I'm not one of them. Neither are most of the people who will be laboring under the nasty little flags, Trojan horses, and FairPlay/Plays For Sure doublespeak that you see fit to slap on the stuff we legitimately purchased.

And you know who's not going to labor under those restrictions? You know who's not even going to notice? The mass-production piracy operations, that's who. You know it, and I know it. So why are you engaged in this nickel-and-dime, small-time thrust-and-parry with me and my friends?

How Many Crippled CDs Because of the Sony-SunComm-Apple War? And Did The Artists Consent?

Sony Uninstaller Creates Security Hole

Sony Pulls Dangerous Uninstaller
We currently are working on a new tool to uninstall First4Internet XCP software. In the meantime, we have temporarily suspended distribution of the existing uninstall tool for this software. We encourage you to return to this site over the next few days. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Sony BMG's EULA ----- Your digital world according to Sony-BMG:

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:36 pm

I'm just joshing you both a little, but really,
I think it'll be an uphill
battle for anyone to ever convince the system that
it's not theft of property to say, burn discs or,
(and we'll see) download product that someone paid for to retail themselves.
I think they're getting agressive because
they have to be, no matter how absurd some of it is.

And besides, if one wants to truly own a hard-copy,
for now, one can.

I think energy is wasted by some in attempting to
justify some trangressions like those who bootleg 50 Cent's
latest movie or album. Some thing are on order with
jaywalking but other things are going to be considered
theft of property today and 100 years from now. The RIAA
may have brought it on with their past greed, but they
are still a business and I know they are panicky and are
calling in their chips.

It's not like the RIAA doesn't give us enough clubs to
beat them over the head with.
There's plenty to sink our teeth into about the record industry
without getting caught up in defending college kids who
download hours and hours of music that someone
paid to promote and sell for profit - to
feed their families, in essence.
(Did you ever notice
it's mainly the super-obscure acts that occasionally
champion the download thing, with a few key exceptions?)
That is, most working musicians with a a record contract
don't all seem that down on the RIAA defending this turf.

Maybe if I bought into the computer / MP-3/ download thing,
I'd be in your camp. I am retrograde in actually being willing
to pay for my music and to prefer a hard-copy. I'm a record
and CD collector / music lover. I rather hate the I-pod 'generation'
which is really my age and down. I mourn anything that
ends the delight of going into a record store, and the whole
"buying" of music in a public place, so you can "own" it and enjoy
the artwork,etc. As much as I post here, I rather dislike computers
and prefer CDs and vinyl anyday. I also fear that companies
like BMG will no longer have a market to reissue great music
of the past with, say, a rare cuts and liner notes, etc. (That is,
on paper that you can hold in your hands and touch. :lol: )


I freely admit this my bias. :oops: Where would put yourself on that, Eileen?

Fri Nov 18, 2005 5:10 pm

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:I'm just joshing you both a little, but really, I think it'll be an uphill battle for anyone to ever convince the system that it's not theft of property to say, burn discs or, (and we'll see) download product that someone paid for to retail themselves.

If that's your argument then it isn't with me (or LTB I'd guess). Neither of us have ever promoted that as a legal goal, nor am I aware of a mainstream organization, website, etc. that promotes it as a legal goal. I think the rest of your post is moot then?

The exceptions I can think of are supporting Fair Use as it's been historically defined (which I do) and supporting the rights of music owners to make compilations for personal and individual DJ use (which I do), however I don't think that's what you meant.

I also believe there needs to be fair, settled rights for the creation of transformative works (sampling, mixes, mashups) that balance cultural progress with the rights of copyright owners consistent with the intent expressed in Article I of the Constitution.

I think US copyright extensions have become unconstitutional and the CTEA (Bono) and much of the DMCA should be repealed. I believe orphan works should be public domain. I believe if I buy a piece of music or a book or video or game or software I should be able to resell it, listen to it, read it, watch it, play it, use it as I wish in those ways historically and commonly considered personal use and consistent with the intent expressed in Article I of the Constitution.

Eileen

Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:04 pm

Eileen wrote:
Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:I'm just joshing you both a little, but really, I think it'll be an uphill battle for anyone to ever convince the system that it's not theft of property to say, burn discs or, (and we'll see) download product that someone paid for to retail themselves.

If that's your argument then it isn't with me (or LTB I'd guess). Neither of us have ever promoted that as a legal goal, nor am I aware of a mainstream organization, website, etc. that promotes it as a legal goal. I think the rest of your post is moot then?

Moot, no. And I'm glad you are no longer defending stores like the one that openly sold Britney and 50 Cent knock-offs. And many "mainstream" college kids (and sites like rockrap.com continually pose as if all burning and downloading is just
"sharing." Please.


The exceptions I can think of are supporting Fair Use as it's been historically defined (which I do) and supporting the rights of music owners to make compilations for personal and individual DJ use (which I do), however I don't think that's what you meant.

I generally dislike US copyright laws and like the FAIR USE idea
especially on older catalog items. I'm not that far off from you both on this.


I also believe there needs to be fair, settled rights for the creation of transformative works (sampling, mixes, mashups) that balance cultural progress with the rights of copyright owners consistent with the intent expressed in Article I of the Constitution.

One person's sampling is another person's thievery but I guess as long
as it's paid for, as James Brown insisted. I 'm less sure that samplers
have anything to do with our cultural progress. (A turntable ain't an
instrument. :twisted: )


I think US copyright extensions have become unconstitutional and the CTEA (Bono) and much of the DMCA should be repealed. I believe orphan works should be public domain.

I agree on the Bono thing.
I believe if I buy a piece of music or a book or video or game or software I should be able to resell it, listen to it, read it, watch it, play it, use it as I wish in those ways historically and commonly considered personal use and consistent with the intent expressed in Article I of the Constitution.

Eileen


I'm less attached to that idea, in the short term, anyway.
Long term, I do agree that all culture goes "back to the people" or should.