Amazon users campaign against Sony's copy-restriction technology

Amazon users campaign against Sony's copy-restriction technology

Summary: 'I won't buy media that treats me like a criminal', says one Amazon customer. Others are calling for a boycott of Sony

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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Customers of Amazon.com have launched an informal campaign against Sony's decision to use a particular type of DRM on a music CD.

Over the last three days over 50 people have posted reviews on the Amazon.com Web site warning people against buying a Van Zant CD, called "Get Right with the Man".

"Don't put this in your PC," warned one reviewer. "Will damage your computer, may cost hundreds of dollars to repair," said another. "I won't buy media when [I'm] treated like a criminal," a third declared.

Amazon reviewer Chris Petersen explained that the software installed by the CD cannot easily be uninstalled.

"This CD will install dangerous software on your computer that is very, very difficult to remove. This software will reduce the performance of your computer even when you are not playing this CD," said Petersen.

Some postings called on Amazon customers to stop buying Sony products altogether, to discourage them from putting such software in future CDs.

"BOYCOTT SONY. This CD will destroy your computer, and it won't even play in a lot of car and stereo CD players because of this horrible DRM," said R. Johnson.

Mikko Hyppönen, the director of antivirus research at F-Secure, which has been researching potential security issues arising from this copy-restricted CD, told ZDNet UK that Sony's strategy could drive customers towards music download services, including illegal sites.

[? /*CMS poll(20003927) */ ?]"I think the outcome of this is that Sony might be alienating more and more customers from buying CDs. For example, I know someone who always buys CDs and owns close to 1,000 CDs, but this has changed his mind. He has now started downloading music files from BitTorrent and P2P sites. He said to me, 'What's the points of buying a CD if you get extra grief.'"

The copy-restriction technologies on the Van Zant CD have not only been criticised for being difficult to remove, but could pose a security risk to computers, according to researchers. On Wednesday, Sony BMG's technology partner, First 4 Internet, said it has released a patch to antivirus companies to tackle this potential security problem.

Topic: Tech Industry

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10 comments
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  • A patch sent too antivirus companies?

    Talk about a bandaid on a gunshot wound.
    anonymous
  • Gah! The end of this article discusses a patch without mentioning that it DOES NOT FIX OR REMOVE THE SOFTWARE, only makes it visible. ZDNet - please don't let your readership believe that the patch is a good solution!
    anonymous
  • What Sony have done is called hacking and virus creation all in ones. Hacking and veius creation is a very serious federal crime all over the world. So go to nearest police station and put charges at them.

    If your company have been infected by this 'virus'. Contact your loyer and sue them. You may be allowed to have >100 000$ back + all time and cost to repeair all your damaged computers.

    So what conclusion can we draw from this.
    One easyone ofcource. First DRM don't work.
    Second , the music industry want to die quicker then the rest.
    anonymous
  • Oh and where does SONY get its money from, which other companies do this, none except the big players. I bet these people who are moaning are the ones who buy SONY good, I think their suckers!!!
    anonymous
  • Its not just their CD's. I don't buy sony DVD's anymore as they don't play on my Sharpe DVD player. Sony DVD's are the only ones I have this problem with.
    anonymous
  • I will not be buying ANY Sony products until they acknowledge this as unacceptable, and commit to not doing it again.
    This punishes people who PAY for their music, not the pirates and hackers.
    anonymous
  • I also refuse to buy music distributed by any label/company that stops you from being able to do what you want with your own music.

    Sony are not the only culprits, EMI are another. I bought Athlete's CD album, 'Tourist' at the beginning of last summer, went to copy it on my hard disk but was prevented from doing so.

    This is not the only CD from EMI that I have had this problem with. When I say problem, I don't mean a minor one either!

    I am currently going through a process of putting all of my media on my computer, having purchased a Media Center PC. Needless to say, my digital collection is now incomplete, despite having spent my 'hard earned' on an overpriced CD album.

    Surely this kind of in-excusable behaviour on behalf of the faceless corporations that call themselves record companies is just going to push people into the very direction that the bespoke companies want to avoid...............the illegal download!

    While I appreciate that we are moving into a digital era, and of course you can 'buy' music for download, why on earth should I have to line the companies pockets further when I have just spent a small fortune on the CD?!?!

    After all, you used to be able to put a vinyl album onto tape e.g. for listening to your car, so long as it is for your own listening pleasure then you are not in breach of any copyright laws and the same applies in this circumstance. Many people simply want to be able to re-format the music they have purchased.

    I, in future, will not be spending my cash on CDs produced by any company that prevents me from doing this.

    Regards

    John, Essex
    anonymous
  • I won't be buying any more Sony CDs...this is unbelievable.
    anonymous
  • At least in Holland you can't illegally download music for personal use because that's not illegal under such circumstances. What is illegal however is to distribute music without proper approval (which many peer-to-peer share programs would like you to do but usually you can select a 'do not share' option somewhere or choose not to share anything that's copyrighted).

    Also, there's an additional 'tax' placed on various blank media (such as CD-R) to compensate respective rights holders for 'their loss of income'. At least in Holland.

    In short, downloaded music under the described conditions above is perfectly legal in Holland, of excellent quality, can be copied (for personal use) on anything you want until you're blue in the face and is basicly already payed for.

    Nevertheless the respective rights holders would like you to purchase music electronicly anyway (with what kind of insurances that they'll protect your credit card details, privacy info, etc?), usually force you to use a certain media player and/or force you to use a certain web browser that only works on a certain OS which isn't cheap either and comes with its own set of headaches, force you to install DRM software that comes with license terms and maintenance you might not like, limit you to the number of devices you can play your music on, might even restrict what you can and can't do with your music, don't mind if you can't restore what's needed should your system crash, listen to their FUD campaigns that don't exactly make you aware of all your rights, hardly mention the risk you run and take, bombard you with commercials (usually banners, e-mails, etc) to "come use our music download manager", etc, etc..

    This all has been happening for months and months already but the only thing people get steamed about is the Sony DRM rootkit?

    Excuse me but you mean to tell me that you are completely aware of all of the above and are perfectly happy about paying for something you don't need paying for (at least in Holland) while restricting your rights at the same time and setting yourself up for who knows what kind of problems and frustrations later on but a rootkit (which is thankfully used by plenty of malware and spyware spreaders for who knows how long without any action to speak of from Microsoft and various anti-virus vendors; guess we like spyware) installed by Sony is the only thing that really upsets people and even enough to single out Sony?

    Well, think of Sony what you will but I would say that the Sony rootkit is the least of your problems should you care to look at the greater picture.
    anonymous
  • I have over a thousand cds and have paid hundreds of dollars downloading music from ITunes. I bought the recent Rolling Stones cd and I cannot put it on my computer or into ITunes. I cannot burn it as an mp3 to put into a mix for personal use. This is the last cd I will buy from the Stones' record label. I may even buy the vinyl version next time. With a bit of effort I can tape it or convert to mp3 on my computer. For the record, I buy over $1000 worth of music of all types each year. This practice sucks!
    anonymous