Ed Felten on the Sony patch

Over at Freedom to Tinker, Ed Felton discusses issues with the EULA for the Sony BMG CDs in question. He also makes what I feel is the more pertinent point:

The companies need to come clean with the public — their customers — about what they did in the first place, and what they are doing now. At the very least, they need to tell us what is in the software update they’re now distributing….

…it’s awfully hard to see how, from a common-sense viewpoint, SonyBMG could be said to have disclosed that they might be installing rootkit-like software. Surely the user’s consent to installing “a small proprietary software program … intended to protect the audio files embodied on the CD” does not give SonyBMG free rein to do absolutely anything they like to the user’s computer.

3 Responses to “Ed Felten on the Sony patch”

  1. eeka Says:

    Sure Sony sucks, but couldn’t you just solve all problems related to stuff installing itself without your permission by using OSX?

  2. Tim Says:

    I do, as a matter of fact, at home.

    But telling people to use a minority OS is no defense in the long run against companies who think that they can control what you do with your computer.

  3. Danny Says:

    Sony have just scored an own goal with this whole rootkit debacle! They have gone down the route of only allowing users to encode in Windows Media and Sony proprietry ATRAC formats (in some instances). Hence isolating the entire worlds population of iPod and other MP3 player users! As a result everyone will have to make a backup copy of their CD, encode the copy into MP3, and then give it to a friend! Well done Sony Sales/2=50% profits drop, and ummmmmm lots of lawsuits for opening up everyones operating system to malicous code writers.

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