Friday, November 11, 2005

Sony to suspend manufacture of CDs with its stupid DRM

Security Focus is reporting that Sony BMG is temporarily (yes, “temporarily” the word used in the article) suspending the manufacture of CDs with the copy protection that I’ve been posting about here, here, and here. Sony is actually responding to the criticism of their DRM scheme. Here’s the full statement from Sony:

We are aware that a computer virus is circulating that may affect computers with XCP content protection software. The XCP software is included on a limited number of SONY BMG content protected titles. This potential problem has no effect on the use of these discs in conventional, non-computer-based, CD and DVD players.

In response to these events, SONY BMG has swiftly provided a patch to all major anti-virus companies and to the general public that guards against precisely the type of virus now said to exist. The patch fixes the possible software problem, and still allows CDs to be played on personal computers. It can be downloaded at Starting today, we will also be adding this link to the SONY BMG label and corporate sites. We deeply regret any possible inconvenience this may cause.

We stand by content protection technology as an important tool to protect our intellectual property rights and those of our artists. Nonetheless, as a precautionary measure, SONY BMG is temporarily suspending the manufacture of CDs containing XCP technology. We also intend to re-examine all aspects of our content protection initiative to be sure that it continues to meet our goals of security and ease of consumer use. More information about our content protection initiative can also be found at:

I think that it’s going to be hard for Sony to unring the bell on their DRM. Lots of bloggers are proposing a boycott of Sony products in general in response to the DRM — I’m not currently looking to purchase any Sony products, but I think it would make me think twice. Certainly I will be monitoring activity of any CDs that I put into my computer very closely as Sony’s move has made me suspicious of all CD manufacturers — remember that it was a consumer that noted the installation, not a statement from Sony that they were enacting installed DRM protection that got this whole thing rolling.


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