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.