Digital "Rights" Management, Digital Restrictions Management, Dishonest Relationship Misinformation

This is a generic acronym used to describe a system of software, often including technical measures, used by copyright holders who "claim" that this stops or reduces copyright infringement. DRM in fact does not affect those engaged in unlawful activities, and can only impose hidden digitally encoded contract terms on law abiding citizens.

Please see: Alphabet soup of acronyms: TPM, DRM, TCPA, RMS, RMI, Protecting property rights in a digital world.

Perspective: Sony BMG faces the music

This CNet news.com article by by Eric J. Sinrod is a good summary of the legal cases against Sony-BMG for their deliberate circumvention of computer security contained within their so-called "Copy Control" CDs. It should be remembered that "Copy Control" is snake-oil, and what these "technical measures" were intended to do is enforce already controversial and largely secret contractual/licensing terms which monitor, meter and/or control the private activities of citizens.

During this election we need to ask candidates whether they supported Bill C-60, or like some Bloc members wanted to extend it. If they agreed with it we need to ask why they want to protect harmful behaviour which should be clearly illegal.

Michael's Minute: Five Reasons Why Sony Rootkit Is Good For You

This article by Michael Robertson includes:

Now, you may be wondering if you misread the title claiming this is "Good For You". Of course Sony's tactics are despicable and if you're one of the estimated 568,200 infected users, you should rightly be unhappy. But instead of piling on to the "Sony is bad" bandwagon, I'd like to look at the positives that will come from this event.

BuisinessWeek Online poll indicates that 77% suggest avoiding Sony products

An online poll on the Technology homepage for BusinessWeek asks, "Sony is recalling millions of CDs with a copyright protection program that leaves PC users prone to viruses. How should consumers respond?"

Results as of 18:50 EST this evening:

  • Avoid Sony CDs from now on 77.0 %
  • Sony took copyright protection too far. But the company is now doing the right thing 15.8 %
  • Sony should embed copyright protections on its CDs. Now the company just has to make its programs virus-proof 5.3 %
  • Not sure 2.0 %

Total votes: 2,146

EFF Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Sony BMG

A Featured News article from EFF includes:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), along with two leading national class action law firms, today filed a lawsuit against Sony BMG, demanding that the company repair the damage done by the First4Internet XCP and SunnComm MediaMax software it included on over 24 million music CDs.

See also: SonyBMG Litigation and Rootkit Info

Who has the right to control your PC?

An article by John Borland, Staff Writer, CNET News.com includes:

The controversy over Sony's copy protection highlights two ideas of property that are clashing as the technology and entertainment worlds converge.
But if some computer owners have shown a lack of respect for intellectual property rights, Sony's invasive content protection tools displayed a similarly tone-deaf attitude to consumers' sense of ownership over their own PCs, critics say.

My answer to the question: It is *MY* personal computer (PC), and I should have the right to control it. Any software which controls my computer should require my informed consent, with any other software being clearly unlawful. If the entertainment industry does not wish to respect my property rights they are free to not sell to me (regulated by various laws such as competition law), but are not free to unlawfully attack my property rights.

Texas sues Sony BMG over alleged spyware

This Reuters article includes:

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a civil lawsuit on Monday against Sony BMG Music Entertainment for allegedly including spyware on its media player designed to thwart music copying.

An Associated press article includes:

"People buy these CDs to listen to music," Abbott said. "What they don't bargain for is the consumer invasion that is unleashed by Sony BMG."

Sony incident a reminder that anti-virus companies don't have customers interests at heart.

A few articles have started to ask why Anti-Spyware and Anti-virus vendors were letting the Sony malware infect their systems once they detected it.

New Sony CD risk identified (SunnComm Technologies)

Reminding us that this is a general problem with "copy control" and not something unique to the First 4 Internet malware, John Borland, Staff Writer with CNET News.com wrote:

Computer researchers uncovered a new security risk Friday related to Sony BMG Music Entertainment copy-protected CDs, which could expose several hundred computers to attack.
The latest risk is from an uninstaller program distributed by SunnComm Technologies, a company that provides copy protection on other Sony BMG releases.

Geist: Sony incident wake-up call for regulators

Michael Geist's regular Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, Freely available version , p2pnet, BBC News) examines the long-term impact of the Sony rootkit security issue, which he likens to the Tylenol and Perrier cases of years ago as major public relations nightmares. The column argues that the case has alerted millions of consumers to the potential for TPM misuse, highlighted how the technology can be employed to limit the use of lawfully-acquired personal property to the consternation of high courts in Canada and Australia, and is likely to galvanize privacy, security, and competition regulators.

Copy-protected CDs turning music fans off record buying: retailers

This Canadian Press article by Angela Pacienza includes:

The culprit is copy-protected or copy-controlled CDs - something many Canadian music retailers say they would like to see pulled from store shelves.

"This is just another really, really ridiculous way of telling our customers, 'We don't want your business,' " said Tim Baker of Sunrise Records, which has 31 shops in southern Ontario

I sent the following Letter to the Editor of the National Post.

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