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Sony sued over copy-protected CDs

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62 replies to this topic

#1 of 63 OFFLINE   Mike Graham

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Posted November 10 2005 - 04:58 PM

From the BBC and then from another vnunet.

I bought 3 Sony CDs this year, and was very very angry to find this copy protection non-sense on each disc, and the fact that the software from these CDs could lead to my computer being compromised is infuriating. This is the equivalent of placing those anti-piracy trailers at the beginning of movies: if I've paid for the product, DO NOT tell me about why piracy is so wrong! Posted Image

#2 of 63 OFFLINE   MikeH1



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Posted November 10 2005 - 10:40 PM

Good. I'm tired of Sony's underhanded tricks. I gave up on this company back around 1999 and now you will not find one Sony product in my home. I hope they lose big and realize that the consumer can in fact make or break them.

#3 of 63 OFFLINE   Marc Colella

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Posted November 11 2005 - 12:54 AM

I hope the lawsuit is successful. This is really no different than a virus, and Sony should be treated as a virus creator.

#4 of 63 OFFLINE   Andrew Chong

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Posted November 11 2005 - 01:19 AM

Sadly, Sony has yet to provide a complete list of CDs affected. Thankfully, Electronic Frontier Foundation's Web site has a partial list of CDs containing this devious software:
...go here.

From this list, I have only Sarah McLachlan's Bloom Remix Album and luckily have not played it on any computer. However, I like to play music while I work; I must effectively put this one in permanent quarantine.

#5 of 63 OFFLINE   Craig S

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Posted November 11 2005 - 01:26 AM

Windows users, if you want to avoid this crap being put on your machine in the first place, just disable the AutoPlay function on your CD & DVD drive(s)!!! Without AutoPlay, the copy-protection software never gets installed (unless you do it manually for some reason). Easiest way is probably to download the TweakUI utility, which lets you enable or disable AutoPlay on all CD/DVD drives with one checkbox. Otherwise, just right-click on the drive in question and choose Properties. You'll see an AutoPlay tab which will let you customize the AutoPlay actions for different types of disks. I recommend you select No Action for everything. Now when you insert these discs (assuming you haven't had the copy-protection installed earlier) you can play them with your normal software. For example, I have the Santana CD listed above, and I can play (and rip) it with both WMP and iTunes.
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#6 of 63 OFFLINE   WillG



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Posted November 11 2005 - 01:58 AM

I've also heard you can hold down the Shift key as the CD boots up and that will disable any software being installed on your system. I can't confirm it works, but I have heard it has been known to work.
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#7 of 63 OFFLINE   ElevSkyMovie


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Posted November 11 2005 - 03:17 AM

Will, that's a different (older) scheme. The trick with this scheme is to NOT accept the software license that pops up when you play the cd. If you turn autoplay off on your drive, it won't automatically play the cd and try to install the software. If you have one of these cds, I'd suggest getting exact audio copy (do a google search, it's free to download) and use it to rip the tracks and make yourself a drm free copy of the cd. I do that with cds that have annoying multimedia files on them that start when you load the cd. EAC should be able to rip these copy protected cds. Again, DO NOT AGREE to the message that pops up asking you to install their special "player" to play the disc. It also installs other code that could harm your machine.

#8 of 63 OFFLINE   Tim Hoover

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Posted November 11 2005 - 03:24 AM

Eerily foreshadowing...

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#9 of 63 OFFLINE   Mike Graham

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Posted November 11 2005 - 04:45 AM

The latest Foo Fighters album, and the Sloan Greatest Hits album are also affected.

#10 of 63 OFFLINE   Phil A

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Posted November 11 2005 - 05:35 AM

What's really silly is that it is most likely the people they're targeting would be more probable to look into this stuff and get rid of it. It's like looking for a needle in a hay stack. Why pollute many users when you likely will net none or very little of what you're looking to stop. If they really want to stop illegal copying of software, movies and music, all they have to do is send someone to major train stations in the North East. They have vendors right outside in the street selling plainly pirated stuff. I got off in Newark, NJ several mos. back and Newark Police were asking them when they would get certain movies or music in and buy from them on a regular basis. i asked one police officer if the stuff was good quality and he said he's been buying from the vendor on a regular basis for a couple of yeats.

#11 of 63 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted November 11 2005 - 05:53 AM

SONY has also given hackers (remember them?) their best weapon against the man in years: The corruptable RootKit. Now some punk in Sweden can crash your hard-drive, and if you remove the RootKit virus, you totally screw-up your OS and have to manually reinstall everything again! Yay Sony! Seriously dudes, cut back to WEGA Tvs and Playstation, everything else you've touched has bit you right on the ass.
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#12 of 63 OFFLINE   Matt Butler

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Posted November 11 2005 - 10:07 AM

I just bought Neil Diamond 12 Songs a couple days ago! GRRR! Posted Image
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#13 of 63 OFFLINE   Rob Gillespie

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Posted November 11 2005 - 11:46 AM

Once again, this only makes life unpleasant for legitimate, legal customers of Sony. Pirates will EASILY get around the 'protection' and give the music out to all and sunder. Sony, I hope this is a mistake that costs you dear.
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#14 of 63 OFFLINE   Ari


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Posted November 11 2005 - 11:56 AM

Jane Monheit's "The Season" also has it. Popped it in my PC and the warning pops up....put it in my iBook and no problems!!

#15 of 63 OFFLINE   Marc Colella

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Posted November 11 2005 - 12:10 PM

This scummy and moronic move by Sony is really biting them in the ass already. The press that this is getting is pretty bad, and there's a lot of bad press. Some companies are telling their employees to avoid playing Sony CDs on their computers. Our company is debating whether to communicate that to our users now, but it seems like everyone knows about it already anyways. Just when you think Sony couldn't do anything more stupid, they do something to top themselves.

#16 of 63 ONLINE   dpippel


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Posted November 12 2005 - 01:44 AM

Couldn't agree more! What makes the whole Rootkit DRM thing even more of a farce is that it ONLY affects the Windows operating system. I guess Sony doesn't care about those "pirates" who use Macs or run Linux. How idiotic. And it's getting better:

Sony to Suspend Making Antipiracy CDs

I was going to pick up Neil Diamond's new CD for my wife (a big fan), but not after learning about this fiasco. I DO NOT want spyware installed on my computer. I DO want to make copies of purchased CDs for my own use. I DO want to rip tracks from purchased CDs to MP3 (or other digital format) files to play on my DAP. If I cannot do these things then I will NOT be buying. It's that simple Sony.

Didn't ANYONE in this industry learn ANYTHING from DIVX? Apparently not. Orwellian DRM copy protection/distribution policies don't work. All it does is piss off and incovenience legitimate customers. I don't think there's a single digital content protection scheme that hasn't been cracked by hackers within a few months of its release.

One way we can send a message to the music industry to let them know that this kind of invasive, restrictive copy protection is not acceptable is to boycott affected products. Sorry Sony BMG, but there's one sale you've lost. If the upcoming 3-disc 30th Anniversary release of Bruce Springsteen's Born To Run contains Rootkit DRM CP, there's another $30 that won't be going into your annual report. Wake up.

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#17 of 63 OFFLINE   KevinJ


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Posted November 12 2005 - 02:48 AM

I read today in the Chicago Tribune that Sony's going to stop making the copy protected cds for at least a while.

#18 of 63 ONLINE   dpippel


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Posted November 12 2005 - 03:02 AM

I included a link the Associated Press article regarding this in the post above yours Kevin.

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#19 of 63 OFFLINE   Rachael B

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Posted November 12 2005 - 05:27 AM

I'd love to see Sony have to or be forced to divest itself of Columbia/Epic. I'm just sick of 'em!Posted Image
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#20 of 63 OFFLINE   Thomas Newton

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Posted November 12 2005 - 09:41 AM

Another Web report:

DRM this, Sony! -- CNET.com

By the way, Sony may be using another form of DRM that runs on both Macs and PCs. A Macintouch reader wrote that a "CD" distributed by Sony/BMG had a partition with a program called Start.app. When run, this program allegedly prompted for the Administrator password; then installed two kernel extensions.

This suggests the possibility that a person who was careful to avoid "CD"s known to contain the rootkit could still get "CDs" afflicted with this other form of DRM.

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