|The World According to Nick|
|My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.|
Friday, November 11, 2005
For those who haven't heard yet, Sony BMG had been beat up lately in the news (and rightfully so) for including a "rootkit" in many of their music CDs as part of an anti piracy effort. For those who are unaware, a rootkit is basically a set of software that is able to hook undetected into the operating system (in this case Windows, though there are also Linux rootkits) and do... well anything. In this case, not only did they try to do things like prevent you from illegally distributing their music, they also made it impossible to uninstall (without breaking drivers on your machine), and also makes your computer more vulnerable to new viruses. You can read the details here.
Today, Sony announced that they will stop using the rootkit, at least temporarily. And in this Washington Post story, the Bush Administration, through the Dept. of Homeland Security has chastised Sony for their use of the rootkit. Wait... the Dept. of Homeland Security? Yep... you read that right:
So does the Bush Administration consider Sony to be a terrorist organization? Or is it just that the Dept. of Homeland Security is actually in charge of pretty much everything in Washington? Enquiring minds want to know.
Update: And if you thought the rootkit was bad, just take a look at some of the things that the EULA demands:
The list goes on... go check them all out. I won't be buying anything from Sony until this changes.
Sony does so many things that drive me crazy. A number of the security features they've developed have caused their products or equipment they are used on to fail.
What I really don't understand, is why they develop really cool technologies; like MiniDisc or Betamax and sit on the copyright. They don't seem to allow others to latch on to these technologies, and they don't gain popularity.
Now that Microsoft says they are going to update the Malicious Software Removal Tool to remove Sony's rootkit, will Sony sue them for violating the DMCA?
Technically they good. My understanding is that with how the DMCA is written, even Sharpie could be sued because you could use one to get around an earlier Sony copyright method that put a garbage track on the outside of the CD to screw up computers if you tried to rip the CD.... not that Sony ever tried.
Which brings up the interesting question of: Could a company win a DMCA lawsuit if they came up with a copyright protection scheme for the sole purpose of suing a successful company because their pre-existing product could be used to violate 1201.2(c) of the DMCA?
Well... I'm not an expert in Copyright Law, so I really can't say. I guess it would boil down to how the DMCA view intent. Obviously if a product was pre-existing, and there were no copyright schemes that it broke at the time, then there could be no intent to violate the copyright.Post a Comment
Also, if a company developed a product for the sole purpose of entrapping another into being sued, at the very least that would be a bad faith use of DMCA and would have a hard time in court in my view... though people have been able to pull of worse things.
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States
I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.
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