DIGITAL MUSIC NEWS - WEEK IN REVIEW
Sony BMG "Temporarily" Stops Pressing CD's "Protected" By Rootkit

At Least 19 Sony BMG Titles Including Trey Anastasio And Our Lady Peace "Protected" By Controversial Rootkit Software

Cd_12News that some Sony-BMG music CDs install secret rootkit software on their owners' computers has angered many music fans and is the talk of the net.  Further fanning the flames is Sony's refusal to publicly list which CDs contain the software and to provide a way for music fans to delete it.

Now, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has confirmed that the stealth program is deployed on at least 19 CDs listed below:

  • 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)

If you have listened to a CD with the XCP software on your Windows PC, your computer is likely Cd_many_1 already infected. The software, created by First 4 Internet and known as XCP2  attempts to "protects" the music from illegal copying. But it alos appears to block a number of legal uses-like listening to songs on your iPod. The software also reportedly slows down your computer and makes it more susceptible to crashes and third-party attacks. And since the program is designed to hide itself, users may have trouble diagnosing the problem.

"Entertainment companies often complain that fans refuse to respect their intellectual property rights. Yet tools like this refuse to respect our own personal property rights," said EFF staff attorney Jason Schultz. "Sony's tactics here are hypocritical, in addition to being a security threat."

For more tips on keeping your computer uninfected click here.

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