The Inquirer-Home

Sony Rootkits your computer

And you can't get rid of it
Tue Nov 01 2005, 08:25
SONY ROOTKITS SYSTEMS when you put a CD in to play it, a prospect that is both disturbing and scary at the same time.

If you thought the record companies were not evil enough, this should be yet another cold splash of water in your face.

According to Mark Russinovich of Sysinternals, he was testing out his new rootkit scanner when he found one on his machine. A detailed version of the hunt is here, and it is well worth the read.

The parts that worry me are that they are putting uninstallable software that could have serious adverse effects on your system without notice or consent. They are doing this in the name of protecting their content, but for some reason I seem to be the last person on earth who seems to think their tendrils should not extend to places where my rights lie.

This is a very serious thing, if it happens to hose your machine when you try to get rid of it, tough luck. It is undocumented, and can cause problems, as it did to Mark, when you try to free yourself of it, and there is no tech support available that I could find. Oh yeah, it doesn't go away when you take the CD out either, it is there for the duration.

To make matters worse, to play your songs, you simply drop your legally purchased CD in your legally purchased computer, and you are infected with DRM, no choice in the matter. Imagine if you happen to do something as criminal as taking your legally purchased CD to work, where it conflicts with a piece of software. Who is responsible for the cleanup costs?

With any luck, and I can't believe I am saying this, an ambulance chasing scumbag lawyer will take this up and sue Sony into the ground for stupidity on this level. There has to be some letter of the law that was violated as arrogantly as purchaser's rights are.

So, it has finally come down to this, you don't have a choice about DRM, your rights are removed and there is no recourse. All of this to protect the profit margins of Sony Corp, at your expense. If there was ever a good argument for piracy, to me, this is it. No, better yet people, just say no and don't buy this crap, it is the higher ground. µ


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