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Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

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Copyfight

« Felten's Four-Step Recovery Program for DRM Abusers | Main | Reining In Schroeder »

November 3, 2005

Sony/BMG Still Not Coming Clean About Rootkit DRM

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Posted by

Ed Felten, tracking Sony/BMG's attempts to get back on the security wagon in the wake of the rootkit DRM scandal [emphasis, mine]:


Yesterday, the companies released a software update that they say “removes the cloaking technology component that has been recently discussed in a number of articles”. Reading that statement, and the press statements by company representitives, you might think that that’s all the update does. It’s not.

The update is more than 3.5 megabytes in size, and it appears to contain new versions of almost all the files included in the initial installation of the entire DRM system, as well as creating some new files. In short, they’re not just taking away the rootkit-like function — they’re almost certainly adding things to the system as well. And once again, they’re not disclosing what they’re doing.


Speaking of disclosure, Felten also responds to law professor Eric Goldman, who argues that regardless of how people feel about DRM, Sony/BMG's EULA appears to cross all the t's and dot the i's. Writes Felten [emphasis, mine]:

While the legal question is beyond my expertise, it’s awfully hard to see how, from a common-sense viewpoint, SonyBMG could be said to have disclosed that they might be installing rootkit-like software. Surely the user’s consent to installing “a small proprietary software program … intended to protect the audio files embodied on the CD” does not give SonyBMG free rein to do absolutely anything they like to the user’s computer.

Surely not. And that's where (much of) the anger and outrage is coming from.

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (1) | Category: Tech


COMMENTS

1. Hemmo Kemilainen on November 3, 2005 12:35 PM writes...

This is even worse.

I did play the CD in a machine that has no internet connection. Ther is no way I can remove the program! I contacted Sony and here is what they said:

'Thank you for contacting Sony BMG Online.

Although a non-ActiveX uninstall process is already in development, at this time
the online process is your ONLY removal option. Should you prefer to wait for
the next uninstall version, it is due to be released later this month at:

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

Thank you for the opportunity to be of assistance.

The Sony BMG Online Support Team
CC2X
John'

Permalink to Comment

2. Wonderbread on November 12, 2005 5:21 PM writes...

Email BMG Chairman Andrew Lack!

andrew.lack@sonybmg.com

Permalink to Comment

TRACKBACKS

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Sony/BMG Still Not Coming Clean About Rootkit DRM:

SonyBMG spyware discoveries (previously reported at SonyBMG Invades Your Computer and SonyBMG Invasion Even Uglier), continue. Even US Homeland Security advises people never to install any software from a music CD. Here is a list of currently found da... [Read More]

Tracked on November 18, 2005 3:55 AM

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