Tuesday, December 27, 2005

New Windows AntiSpyware released - Removes Sony's Rootkit

Changes in the new beta are very subtle, with one exception. This release supports the removal of the Sony DRM rootkit.

read more | digg story

This is actually a rather old story, first broke about a month ago, but I figured it was a good spot to start off on. As hopefully you have heard, Sony BMG had come up with a way to fight piracy and protect their CD's via a new tool, a root kit. Now there has been a lot of press on this but, a root kit is not a virus that spreads from user to user, rather its a program that sets itself outside of Windows and hides from the user. This program would be installed if someone put a CD with "content protected" in the clear spine of the CD case. A full list of infected codes can be found here. On top of being underhanded and malicious (originally removing the root kit damaged the CD driver, and rendered it unworkable) Sony has opened the door for those who wish to do more harm. The first viruses have popped up that use the root kit as a method to hide themselves. Basic point is this, Record labels need to stop fighting the writing on the wall, and start working with it. Its the whole VHS recording fight all over again, but this time they are fighting back on a higher scale and inflicting punishment on the individual. Piracy via internet is practically inevitable, there will always those who would rather not pay for something, but current CD prices have been overblown since the beginning. When they first came out, CD costs were less than cassettes, but the record labels priced them at a premium because they could. Paying $15-18 for one or two songs was a premium most people felt was way to much, as is shown by the large success of iTunes and the $1 per song price point. Even now Record Companies complain that they should be able to charge $1.50 for the more popular songs. I think the backlash to Sony for these tactics will be strong and painful, hopefully other companies will take note. Times have changed, and time for the record company to change their tune too.

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