Victory? Sony backs down on rootkit DRM

Why does all big news break on a Friday afternoon when I’m away from the Net? Sony BMG announced today that it had temporarily suspended production on music CDs bearing XCP, Sony’s rootkit-like DRM. More info at the Washington Post’s Security Fix.

Thanks to Greg for the tip, who also points out that no less than the Department of Homeland Security weighed in on the brouhaha yesterday, saying: “in the pursuit of protection of intellectual property, it’s important not to defeat or undermine the security measures that people need to adopt…” You know, so the terrorists don’t win. He even tied in avian flu!

So, is this Victory? I don’t think so. But it is a victory. Yes, music listeners are still being treated like criminals by the music industry; yes, our rights are still being infringed by increasingly draconian DRM.

But, apparently, a line in the sand has been drawn. It’s OK to restrict our rights but not to break our computers to do it. Yay, he said listlessly.

Is the boycott off? Let’s see what happens when the titles come back on the market. Will they still bear DRM—just a less virulent kind? If so, I strongly urge everyone to keep it up.

9 Responses to “Victory? Sony backs down on rootkit DRM”

  1. Ryan Says:

    i say continue the boycott. they aren’t stopping anything, only suspending it for the short term. i think we need to show sony the consumers mean business and we’ll keep the pressure on until we get compensation for our losses, an apology, and a promise that they will never again try to install software on our computers without our consent.

  2. Brock Says:

    I know this will not matter but I feel better to relay it. Because of the issues with Sony/BMG and the software it installs I will never buy another Sony product. I have always purchased Sony TV’s, Audio Equipment, CD’s etc… I feel that Sony as a corporation has lost my trust. If a company will install and hide software on my computer who knows what they might be capable of.

  3. Tim Says:

    Of course it matters, Brock. Never think that your decisions as a customer don’t matter. That’s kind of the point about this whole thing, really. We’re all more than consumers. We have the power, and the corporations are scared to death of that. That’s why DRM exists, and why it’s doomed to fail.

  4. Ryan Says:

    heres the link to the Department of Homeland Security’s speech. im still not sure how it ties into avian flu but im game if he says sony could be making us unprepared for an outbreak (hoping it works, couldnt figure out how to get the actual file)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/mmedia/player/player.swf?whichMode=normal&justify=left&playad=no&mediatype=stream&postdir=technology&postvideo=111105-6v&cuesfile=none&autoplay=no&starttime=0&endtime=0&largerver=none&image=none

  5. Bruce Says:

    If the only way consumers can have a voice in the corporatocracy is to stop buying bad products, it goes without saying that Sony/BMG and the entire recording industry needs to be taught a lesson in “consumer democracy”. I, for one, don’t plan on buying any Sony/BMG music for a long time, and I too have purchased many Sony products in the past. BTW, follow this link to find out about all the nasty things this Sony trojan has been doing to people (in addition to providing a piggyback ride for viruses): http://www3.ca.com/securityadvisor/pest/pest.aspx?id=453096362

  6. Robin Says:

    “Suspending manufacture” is nowhere close to removing all of the millions of infected copies of Sony CD’s that are already in the stores! End the boycott my you-know-what!

  7. Matthew Says:

    It’s interesting that Sony say that have a right to stop people copying music that Sony own the copyright to - I would be interested to see that stand up in court in the UK.

    As far as I am aware, it is the act of copying that is illegal, not having the means to do so. There is a fine distinction between actively preventing someone from copying and punishing those that do copy.

    Under Sony’s rules, should we all be locked up as a preventative measure so that none of us has a chance to commit a crime?

  8. BizzyBlog.com » Piracy Prevention Turns into PR Nightmare Says:

    […] Speaking of the Sony Boycott Blog, the blog’s author is semi-pleased: So, is this Victory? I don’t think so. But it is a victory. Yes, music listeners are still being treated like criminals by the music industry; yes, our rights are still being infringed by increasingly draconian DRM. […]

  9. Overcast 32 Says:

    Sony can have whatever right they want to “protect thier content”. It worked, it’s 100% protected against me buying any of it.

    So it’s all their’s as far as I’m concerned. They can have it - don’t even want a copy.

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