Firestorm over Sony DRM continues

So, just what was Sony thinking? Now that the first class-action lawsuit has been filed in California, I’m sure more details on that topic will eventually emerge. Since Sony licenses the software from First 4, it may not have known all of the niceties of just how the software worked. I would not be surprised if First 4 will be required to indemnify Sony from the lawsuits over the use of its software.

So what else has happened since my last post?

  • A trojan is circulating via email that takes advantage of the poorly-written Sony DRM software to hide itself .
  • The uninstaller isn’t perfect. From Marc Russinovich, the first person to write about the software, the following flaws remain:
  • There is no way for customers to find the patch from Sony BMG’s main web page
  • The patch decloaks in an unsafe manner that can crash Windows, despite my warning to the First 4 Internet developers
  • Access to the uninstaller is gated by two forms and an ActiveX control
  • The uninstaller is locked to a single computer, preventing deployment in a corporation
  • The DRM apparently “phones home” to a Sony server, allowing Sony to keep track of exactly what users are playing on their computers. Add this to the list of “features” not disclosed in Sony’s EULA.
  • For a fun look at all of the things Sony’s EULA doesn’t let the user legally do, see Cory Doctorow’s excellent skewering on Boing Boing.
  • According to this article, Microsoft is still analyzing the situation to determine whether its anti-spyware and malware software will detect and remove Sony’s installation.

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