Sony's DRM supplier XCP ripped off a free software project so that it could defeat Apple iTunes.
Remember when Sony got nailed for including code an open-source crack for iTunes in its rootkit DRM? Princeton researcher Alex Halderman has been patiently teasing apart the rootkit, looking for an explanation. — Read the rest
First4Internet ripped off code from at least two free/open source software projects for the malicious rootkit program they supplied to Sony. Yesterday, I posted some old mailing list and newsgroup messages from First4Internet programmers where they were seeking advice on breaking peoples' computers. — Read the rest
An old email thread shows the early efforts of the authors of Sony's infamous rootkit. In 2003, Ceri Coburn (to whom first4internet.com is registered) appeared as a novice programmer in a technical mailing list, asking questions about how to cripple CD drives. — Read the rest
18 days after the revelation that Sony's CDs contain dangerous rootkits, Sony still has live web-pages advising its customers to go ahead and install their software (This is still the case as of Nov 22!).
Amazon has not only pulled all of Sony's rootkit-infected CDs from its catalog, they're also contacting everyong who bought a rootkit CD and offering a full refunds, whether or not the CD has been opened.
Now this is a textbook example of how retailers should be responding to the news that Sony tricked them into selling CDs that screwed up their customers' computers. — Read the rest
Ernie Smith's Motherboard article on the early years of DRM gets into some fascinating stories about things like IBM's Cryptolope and Xerox PARC's Contentguard (which became a patent troll), Intertrust's belief that it is "developing the basis for a civil society in cyberspace" and the DeCSS fight.
Oct 31 2005: Security researcher Mark Russinovich blows the whistle on Sony-BMG, whose latest "audio CDs" were actually multi-session data-discs, deliberately designed to covertly infect Windows computers when inserted into their optical drives.
The business opposition to Canada's anti-spam and spyware legislation has added an unlikely supporter: the Canadian Recording Industry Association, now known as Music Canada. The organization has launched an advocacy campaign against the law, claiming that it "will particularly hurt indie labels, start-ups, and bands struggling to build a base and a career."
A coalition of Canadian industry groups, including the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Marketing Association, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association and the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, are demanding legalized spyware for private enforcement purposes. The demand comes as part of a review of anti-spam and spyware legislation in Canada.
Make magazine's Phil Torrone has had enough of Sony. Provoked by Sony's lawsuits and raids against makers who reverse engineered the Playstation 3, Phil has composed a top-seven list of Sony's most egregious and corrupt uses of the law to fight makers. — Read the rest
In Denmark, it's legal to make copies of commercial videos for backup or other private purposes. It's also illegal to break the DRM that restricts copying of DVDs. Deciding to find out which law mattered, Henrik Anderson reported himself for 100 violations of the DRM-breaking law (he ripped his DVD collection to his computer) and demanded that the Danish anti-piracy Antipiratgruppen do something about. — Read the rest
Warner Music has announced that it will begin to sell non-DRM'ed MP3 music files on Amazon, making it the third (of four) major labels to sign up for DRM-free distribution of their music, Universal and EMI being the other two. Only Sony BMG have held out — and that's the same label that gave us the infamous Sony Rootkit, a dangerous hacker-tool that Sony infected millions of PCs with in a failed bid to prevent copying of its music. — Read the rest
Hallelujah! Apple and EMI just announced that they will be selling DRM-free Apple songs through the iTunes Music Store. The songs will cost 130 percent of the price of the existing crippled songs, and you'll get to choose. Weirdly, Apple seems to have sold this move to EMI by saying that the DRM-free version will be a "premium" offering for audiophiles who want higher-quality music. — Read the rest