Sony may have withdrawn its XCP protected CDs from the market—temporarily—but there’s still plenty of work to be done if we are to achieve our goal of being treated like the music lovers we are rather than the criminals that Sony’s DRM assumes us to be.
For starters, there’s Sony’s other DRM. Remember, the XCP protected discs were deployed by Sony BMG—the joint venture formed when Sony purchased a stake in Bertelsmann Music Group. So much of the brouhaha has actually been around labels that BMG brought to the party. But Sony has its own set of labels, including big ones like Columbia and Epic, as well as smaller labels distributed through Sony like ATO (home of My Morning Jacket and Mike Doughty). And those releases have a different DRM scheme—the Sunncomm scheme I wrote about a few days ago.
And Sunncomm’s MediaMax software has its own problems, as Alex Halderman writes on the Freedom to Tinker blog—namely spyware-like behavior including
…install[ing] software without meaningful consent or notification, they include either no means of uninstalling the software or an uninstaller that claims to remove the entire program but doesn’t, and they transmit information about user activities to SunnComm despite statements to the contrary in the end user license agreement and on SunnComm’s web site.
Read the full post. If you thought XCP was bad, MediaMax sounds even worse. And it’s still on the market.