Thursday, November 10, 2005

One more reason to never buy a CD again

Those of you in the tech world have without a doubt been following the Sony DRM Rootkit fiasco. For those who aren't, you really need to know this:

Basically, any new CD's published by Sony BMG contain DRM (Digital Rights Management) protections designed to prevent you from copying the CD and sharing it online. Or at least that's what their PR says. Practically speaking, they're designed to preserve the multi-billion dollar profits of media companies, which just happen to prevent you from using your music they way you want to. Metaphorically, they're not just selling you a pen, they're selling you a pen that only you can use, in one room of your house, with only a certain kind of paper. Forget about taking that pen to work, letting a friend borrow it, or using it to scribble your number on a cocktail napkin. I'm omitting a lot of the nitty, gritty evil that DRM represents, but you get the idea. (right?)

Aside from just being a terrible, stupid idea designed only to protect corporate profits, it also breaks your computer! That's right, if you pop that DRM protected CD into your computer, it installs software that takes over your computer. Once installed, Sony effectively owns your PC. There are already reports of viruses using this DRM software to infect computers.

Class action suits have already been filed in California.

The EFF has a list of affected (infected) CD's as well.

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