Is your computer infected with DRM?
Tags: sony drm

Recently, viruses and spyware have been continuing to gain media attention and public spotlight. It is obvious why: most computer problems can usually be traced to spyware now. Computer running slow? Seeing ads pop up out of nowhere? You probably have spyware, and should get rid of it.

Now, spyware usually: 1) does something bad to your computer 2) is difficult to remove.

Hmm. OK.

Enter a new face: Digital Rights Management, or DRM.

The purpose of DRM is to control and restrict your enjoyment of music and other digital media. Yes, this is generally evil, but the last 2 weeks have been somewhat spectacular with respect to what has been going on:

  • October 31, 2005 – A security expert find that spyware-like software has been installed on his computer. Shockingly, he traces the source to a Sony Music CD.
  • November 1, 2005 – The Washington Post and other media learns that these Sony CDs are altering customers computer for the purposes of DRM.
  • November 1, 2005 – California files Class Action Suit against Sony for violating three acts: Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Consumer Protection against Computer Spyware Act, and the California Unfair Competition law.
  • November 9, 2005 – EFF releases a list of infected CDs:

    • Trey Anastasio, Shine (Columbia)
    • Celine Dion, On ne Change Pas (Epic)
    • Neil Diamond, 12 Songs (Columbia)
    • Our Lady Peace, Healthy in Paranoid Times (Columbia)
    • Chris Botti, To Love Again (Columbia)
    • Van Zant, Get Right with the Man (Columbia)
    • Switchfoot, Nothing is Sound (Columbia)
    • The Coral, The Invisible Invasion (Columbia)
    • Acceptance, Phantoms (Columbia)
    • Susie Suh, Susie Suh (Epic)
    • Amerie, Touch (Columbia)
    • Life of Agony, Broken Valley (Epic)
    • Horace Silver Quintet, Silver's Blue (Epic Legacy)
    • Gerry Mulligan, Jeru (Columbia Legacy)
    • Dexter Gordon, Manhattan Symphonie (Columbia Legacy)
    • The Bad Plus, Suspicious Activity (Columbia)
    • The Dead 60s, The Dead 60s (Epic)
    • Dion, The Essential Dion (Columbia Legacy)
    • Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten (Epic)

  • November 10, 2005 – A virus that takes advantage of Sony’s DRM is spotted.
  • November 11, 2005 – Sony halts the use of the controversial DRM.
Let’s see what happens next…