Thursday, November 3, 2005

Sony vs. their customers

Apparently Sony has been caught selling a CD that will put a trojan program on your computer if you play it on your CD. From the reports, it appears the program was badly written: it uses up 2% of your CPU time, whether you are playing the CD or not. (Two percent isn't so bad. Unless you get a different version of this software each time you put a Sony CD in your drive. Can you imagine 10 different versions of this running at the same time?)

If you try to remove the software, it disables your CD Rom Drive. And worse, it's written in such a way that if anyone else wants to put a virus or spyware on your computer, they can use Sony's software to hide themselves from the spyware removal programs you should be running.

Without question this is incredibly unethical, and it is also most likely illegal. Sony has gone on record (ha! I didn't even mean that pun!) saying that they feel they have the right to do this.

Of course, I use Linux, so this doesn't affect me. Well, at least not until my windows using friends need me to take this off their computer. But until Sony issues a statement apologizing and promising never to do this again, I will never buy any music from them again. Or their computers for that matter. I suggest you seriously think about taking the same stance.

The real pity of this is that the only people inconvenienced by this are the people who purchase Sony's music legally. If you steal this off the net, you won't have any problem---at least, not with Sony's malware. The blots on your soul and other hazards of online theft are yours to keep. But if Sony is so worried about people stealing their music, breaking the computers of people who buy their music legally seems counter-productive somehow. I feel badly for the artists affected by this....

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