CBC: Thousands of recalled Sony CDs sold in Canada

This CBC News update includes:

About 120,000 recalled Sony BMG CDs that create security glitches were sold in Canada, the company said Friday.

The discs contain XCP software, which is used to stop music piracy. But it leaves behind spyware, making computers that play the disc susceptible to hackers and viruses.

I sent the following as feedback:

It is a myth promoted by marketing people that Sony-BMG's dangerous malware was "used to stop music piracy". The fact that they likely infringed the copyright of many software authors as part of this software is clear indication that this wasn't about protecting copyright.

Non-Microsoft computers, such as those using Linux, were unaffected by this malware and could access (and "rip" if they wanted to) the music without problem. Microsoft Windows users who properly configured the security settings on their computer, did not install Sony-BMGs software, and used alternatives to Microsoft's CD player software were also not affected.

"Copy protection" is snake-oil. Any technical person who wants to infringe copyright can easily get around this minor "speed bump", and any less technical person can receive it the same way as they would if the so-called "copy protection" didn't exist. The only people that "copy protection" regulates is law abiding citizens who would not otherwise infringe copyright.

These technologies also infringe on more rights than they claim to protect -- attacking our communications and property rights by attacking the security of our computers. Stewart Baker, recently appointed as the Department of Homeland Security's assistant secretary for policy, stated:

"It's very important to remember that it's your intellectual property -- it's not your computer. And in the pursuit of protection of intellectual property, it's important not to defeat or undermine the security measures that people need to adopt in these days."

Any technology that takes over control of communications technology without the informed consent of the owner should be understood as illegal. Unfortunately parliament does not understand the importance of computer security in our modern technological world, and is instead pushing forward with Bill C-60 which gives legal protection to "technical measures" abused by large corporate copyright holders which attack the security of our computers.

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