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Thread: Bush Administration to Sony

  1. #1

    Bush Administration to Sony

    http://www.mp3newswire.net/stories/5002/admonish.html


    "It's your intellectual property -- it's not your computer"


    Sony knew they were dead in the water when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) admonished them on the CD rootkit scandal - at a Chamber of Commerce event on combating intellectual-property theft. According to Briand Krebs of the Washington Post the Department of Homeland Security's assistant secretary for policy, Stewart Baker, made at the event "a remark clearly aimed directly at Sony and other labels":

    "It's very important to remember that it's your intellectual property -- it's not your computer. And in the pursuit of protection of intellectual property, it's important not to defeat or undermine the security measures that people need to adopt in these days.

    The 4GB iPod Nano is available on Amazon

    The Recording Industry Association of America's CEO Mitch Bainwol was in attendance and you knew that these words had to run a shiver down his spine. He is spending quite a bit of time on the beltway these days pushing several new bills to give Hollywood control of how consumers use future electronic products. But, it is hard to call certain activities illegal when one of your members spreads what security pundits called malicious code to millions of home computers. It just undermines his argument, especially when a senior Bush official looks him straight in the eye and says he agrees with the pundits.

    Bainwol has another big worry. The controversy from the Sony scandal has the potential to go beyond Sony by tainting the CD format itself in the eyes of consumers. This could kill the format, though it is not clear yet what effect, if any, this will have on record sales. The word-of-mouth building on the Net looks ominous right now. The industry is now looking to lay low and hope this passes.

    That's why Sony backed down yesterday and declared that they would remove this particular DRM from all of their products...temporarily. Sony and the industry as a whole are in damage control mode. So far they have not done a very good job as recent comments by senior Sony exec Thomas Hesse only inflamed animosity on the blogosphere. Sony is also unapologetic about their tactic, which in itself is playing very badly in the press.

    One thing is for sure, the industry will not give up on installing DRM tools on their wares. In the end, as more artists continue to use file sharing as a promotional tool, DRM may just become a costly solution looking for a problem.

  2. #2
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    with some singers even selling single tracks of their CD's via their websites for a few bucks a song, doesn't that also "cut into profits" for the record lable?
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    SG Enthusiast Joel's Avatar
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    Sony really screwed themselves.

    I think it's funny.

  4. #4
    Elite Member Jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel
    Sony really screwed themselves.
    99+% of the population either doesn't know, or doesn't care about this. This will cause almost no PR hit to Sony from Joe Six-Pack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel
    Sony really screwed themselves.

    I think it's funny.
    - Reps for being a smartass.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim
    99+% of the population either doesn't know, or doesn't care about this. This will cause almost no PR hit to Sony from Joe Six-Pack.
    Then the several class-action lawsuits that are building should remina small - it made the local news on every channel ~

    Everyone has heard of spyware - whether they understand anything technically is another story. Stripping the Sony = spyware image will be HARDER for Joe Sixpack, IMO. Things like this stick. Like the finger in Wendy's chili (which was disproven).
    anything is possible - nothing is free


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim
    99+% of the population either doesn't know, or doesn't care about this. This will cause almost no PR hit to Sony from Joe Six-Pack.
    People will find out or know some how or another.. its just like the above post.. its on all local news channels and papers along with various articals on the net including this Thread that talks about it. Its time the industry just backs off consumers before they really kill themselves let alone screw themselves. RIAA needs another hobbie!!

    Long live the MP3 and P2P!!!

  8. #8
    Elite Member Jim's Avatar
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    As far as I've seen, coverage on this topic by the traditional news media (11 o'clock news, newspaper, etc.) has been sparse, at best. Techies like us and your average blogger know all about it, but I don't know too many others who have even heard of it or know what it really means.

    People will feign concern over this, but I believe things will return to normal soon enough. As bad as it is, I don't see this making a significant dent in the sales of any Sony-owned media product. People will still buy their BMG cds, their Columbia DVDs, and their SCEA PS2 games.

    Conversely, another group of people will encourage Sony to continue such tactics with comments like "lolz see this iz y i havent baughten cdz in yaers!! kno spiwear on my 500gb mp3 driev! i stuk it 2 tha man!" Remember, Sony has been releasing some discs with this code for over six months. In their mind, the error wasn't the act, just that they got caught. Next time, they won't make the same mistake.

    Don't get me wrong, this is a big problem, and one that people SHOULD be outraged at. But I only see a vocal minority who is willing to educate others, and I doubt they will suffer any major penalty, save for a few fines. Chances are, they'll write off any small dip in sales, due to this fiasco, to increasing piracy on the internet.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim
    As far as I've seen, coverage on this topic by the traditional news media (11 o'clock news, newspaper, etc.) has been sparse, at best. Techies like us and your average blogger know all about it, but I don't know too many others who have even heard of it or know what it really means.
    .
    I guess it depends on which outlets you call traditional

    Washington Post has had 6 articles on this - http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp...?keywords=sony (registration may be required)

    It's all over Reuters and AP - which is where most news organizations get their stuff from.

    MS is even advertising the removal tool they plan for the next update. The Dept Homeland Security has weighed in - and when Chertoff sneezes people freak out.

    Viruii scare people and fear sells papers - that's why deaths and accidents (and politics ) take up most of the newspaper and * o'clock news.
    anything is possible - nothing is free


    Quote Originally Posted by Blisster
    It *would* be brokeback bay if I in fact went and hung out with Skye and co (did I mention he is teh hotness?)

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    Update - the cure is worse than the disease...

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051116/...NlYwN5bmNhdA--

    To get the uninstall program, users have to request it by filling out online forms. Once submitted, the forms themselves download and install a program designed to ready the PC for the fix. Essentially, it makes the PC open to downloading and installing code from the Internet.

    According to the Princeton analysis, the program fails to make the computer confirm that such code should come only from Sony or First 4 Internet.

    "The consequences of the flaw are severe," Felten and Halderman wrote in a blog posting Tuesday. "It allows any Web page you visit to download, install, and run any code it likes on your computer. Any Web page can seize control of your computer; then it can do anything it likes. That's about as serious as a security flaw can get."
    Oopsie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blisster
    It *would* be brokeback bay if I in fact went and hung out with Skye and co (did I mention he is teh hotness?)

  11. #11
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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051122/...NlYwN5bmNhdA--

    Got serious - the state of texas is litigating. There are class action suits (at least one in Cali) over this as well.

    Folks are also investigating whether gpl/lgpl code was used without license - ironic that a software outfit will soon be suing a record label for infringement
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051118/...N5bnN1YmNhdA--
    anything is possible - nothing is free


    Quote Originally Posted by Blisster
    It *would* be brokeback bay if I in fact went and hung out with Skye and co (did I mention he is teh hotness?)

  12. #12
    ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ downhill's Avatar
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    Sony is a big outfit. There is money to be made...for the lawyers. For those hurt? They'll be lucky to get a buck or two out of it and it'll probably be measured in cents.

    In the meantime, Sony has recalled all affected CD's. If you look on Amazon, they even have a list of all titles.

  13. #13
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by downhill
    If you look on Amazon, they even have a list of all titles.

    Link?


    EDIT: nm found it right in the music section.
    Last edited by YARDofSTUF; 11-22-05 at 11:38 AM.

  14. #14
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    Texas and California are Filing Class action lawsuits. Texas is seeking 100,000 per person that was affected. New York is soon to follow.



    The Attorney General for the state of Texas filed a lawsuit against Sony BMG Music Entertainment on Monday, calling the media giant's copy-protection technology "illegal spyware".

    The complaint alleges that Sony BMG violated the Texas Consumer Protection Against Computer Spyware (CPACS) Act, which includes provisions that punish those who hide software from a computer's owner. The focus of the legal action is a copy-protection program created by software firm First 4 Internet and used by Sony BMG to guard 52 CD titles.

    The Extended Copy Protection (XCP) software hides itself and controls basic functions of the Windows operating system - tactics employed by the rootkits commonly used by online attackers. The software was included on some 4.7 million discs produced by Sony BMG, of which about 2.1 million were sold.

    "Sony has engaged in a technological version of cloak and dagger deceit against consumers by hiding secret files on their computers," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a statement. "Consumers who purchased a Sony CD thought they were buying music. Instead, they received spyware that can damage a computer, subject it to viruses and expose the consumer to possible identity crime."

    With the lawsuit, Texas becomes the first state in the nation to sue Sony BMG for the company's role in installing the surreptitious copy-protection program on PCs. Following the discovery of the software three weeks ago, security experts, consumers and digital-rights advocates have taken the media giant to task, saying that Sony BMG's software makes computers insecure, does not adequately inform the user as to its function and cannot be uninstalled easily.

    Sony BMG did not answer requests for comment on Monday.

    At least a half dozen legal actions have already been filed or will be filed in the coming weeks, said sources at the firms involved in the cases. The same day as the Texas lawsuit, two law firms joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights advocacy group, to file a case in California court on Monday.

    A lawyer in Los Angeles filed a class action lawsuit against Sony in citing three violations of consumer and business codes. Later that week, Italian digital rights group Associazione per la Libertá nella Comunicazione Elettronica Interattiva (ALCEI) filed a criminal complaint in the country to investigate whether Italian consumers were affected by the Sony BMG cloaking technology. Chicago-based law firm Cirignani Heller Harman & Lynch plans to file a lawsuit against Sony to recover damages caused to consumers by the media giant's copy protection scheme, an attorney with the firm said.

    While the functionality and intent of Sony BMG's copy protection are at the heart of the lawsuits, they cases will also test whether consumers can give a company broad permission to install possibly detrimental programs on their systems. Moreover, the media giant constructed a number of hurdles to removing the program, including a privacy-invasive registration and the need to wait for a special identification number.

    New York attorney Scott Kamber, who filed a class-action lawsuit against Sony BMG in a U.S. District Court in New York City last week, said that Sony BMG damaged consumers' computer systems with its code.
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11...sues_sony_bmg/
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    Quote Originally Posted by downhill
    Sony is a big outfit. There is money to be made...for the lawyers. For those hurt? They'll be lucky to get a buck or two out of it and it'll probably be measured in cents.

    In the meantime, Sony has recalled all affected CD's. If you look on Amazon, they even have a list of all titles.

    I'll be interested to see if the RIAA will defend Sony when they are charged by the FSF (on behalf of LAME) with copyright infringement ~
    anything is possible - nothing is free


    Quote Originally Posted by Blisster
    It *would* be brokeback bay if I in fact went and hung out with Skye and co (did I mention he is teh hotness?)

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    ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ downhill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberskye
    I'll be interested to see if the RIAA will defend Sony when they are charged by the FSF (on behalf of LAME) with copyright infringement ~
    Good question. The RIAA was all for the root kit idea earlier. I wonder if they are changing their minds?

  17. #17
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    On behalf of LAME? whats that about?

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    ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ downhill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YARDofSTUF
    On behalf of LAME? whats that about?
    Not sure why LAME is involved but FSF is Free Software Foundation.

    http://www.fsf.org/

    They represent LAME.

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    Thread killer DaddyLongLeg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim
    99+% of the population either doesn't know, or doesn't care about this. This will cause almost no PR hit to Sony from Joe Six-Pack.

    I guess I'm one of the 99%, too much reading. I couldn't finish the article
    http://members.speedguide.net/daddylongleg/speedguidesig.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by downhill
    Not sure why LAME is involved but FSF is Free Software Foundation.

    http://www.fsf.org/

    They represent LAME.
    Correct.

    "Software writers spot open source in Sony BMG CDs":
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051118/...N5bnN1YmNhdA--

    From the linked article:
    "
    This music player contains components from an open source project, an MP3 player called LAME, it emerged.

    "Multiple software components on the CD have references to the LAME open source MP3 code," Finnish software developer Matti Nikki said in an e-mail.

    After unraveling the code, others found similar evidence.

    "We can confirm that at least 5 functions in the XCP software are identical to functions in LAME," said Thomas Dullien at security software firm Saber Security in Bochum, Germany, which specializes in the analysis of complex software.

    Open source software, if used, needs to be identified as such, so that it can be freely shared with others. Developers on Slashdot.org and other Internet bulletin boards could not find an open source reference in the copy-protection software.

    THE RULES OF THE GAME

    If open source software is tightly integrated into a single executable program, the whole application has to become open source software, even open source software such as LAME whose MP3 encoder is licensed under the more relaxed Lesser General Public License (LGPL), a lawyer said.
    "
    EDIT - where it says that "Developers from Slashdot couldn't find references..." they mean that OS sw was used, but was not credited in the EULA, etc. That is copyright infringement. This trojan sw was meant to protect against copright infringement. SONY/BMG just shot themselves in the foot - legally speaking. The committed the same violations that they accuse others of, all in hte name of protecting against what they, themselves, did.
    Last edited by cyberskye; 11-22-05 at 09:32 PM.
    anything is possible - nothing is free


    Quote Originally Posted by Blisster
    It *would* be brokeback bay if I in fact went and hung out with Skye and co (did I mention he is teh hotness?)

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