Monday, November 14, 2005

Sony, First4Internet Named in Lawsuit

Sony's ill-conceived anti-piracy software that effectively acts as spyware continues to cause nothing but problems for the music company. Both Sony and the makers of the software, First4Internet, were named in yet another class action suit filed on behalf of angry consumers. (Washington Post: Sony Faces Another Class-Action Suit).

At issue is software loaded on music CDs produced and marketed by Sony BMG. As part of their anti-piracy campaign, Sony loads a rootkit on the unsuspecting user's PC that prevents the CD from being copied. The problem is that the rootkit embeds itself in key operating system components and is hidden from anti-virus and anti-spyware software. This allows hackers to exploit the rootkit by tagging parasitic code in the same fashion. Any attempt to remove the Sony rootkit has the potential to render the user's CD/ROM drive useless.

While Sony has agreed to temporarily stop including the software on music CDs, it will likely take a court order or legislation to prevent them from resuming this unscrupulous practice once the lawsuits are settled. First4Internet also has no intentions of stopping production, and they are as guilty of spreading this virus as is Sony.

The best way to hit Sony, however, is in the pocketbook. Consumers need to be aware of what Sony is doing. They need to be aware that Sony is illegally placing code on a user's PC without that user's knowledge. Armed with that information, the consumer must refuse to purchase Sony products. Only when Sony - and other music companies watching on the sidelines to see how this plays out - gets the message that consumers will not tolerate this type of blatant abuse will they stop pushing this type of code on the public.

Yes, this is an outright call to boycott Sony products. I have absolutely no use for the scum that write and distribute adware, spyware, and viruses. (Yes, I lump them all in that same category). Now Sony has moved to the top of that list. They need to be taught a harsh financial lesson.

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1 comment :

Alan Fraser said...

100% agreement. This blitheringly stupid move on Sony's part has taken a highly-trusted brand name and moved it right next to Microsoft. In fact, Microsoft looks better than Sony as it has classified the Sony code as spyware and will release a patch to root it out of Windows.

The net effect of what Sony has done is that hackers will go all out to crack whatever protection Sony builds in the future just as they do with Microsoft.

I expect we'll soon see lawsuits from artists for loss of sales. Van Zant is getting slammed on Amazon as that's been the most visible name known to be on a poisoned disc.