The Sony saga just keeps getting better. Firstly, Sony finally owned up to distributing harmful software on their music CDs in pursuance of their rampantly paranoid corporate aim to prevent music piracy. Perhaps they have finally realised that all they are really succeeding at is alienating their paying customers by limiting what they can do with the product they actually paid for, whilst having zero affect on dedicated music pirates. I doubt it though, based on their track record the Sony upper management appear to see nothing beyond their own navel. But, at least they’ve realised they have to recall all the XCP protected CDs in order to save some face for a gargantuan cock-up.
But, even better is that even whilst justifying such draconian measures in copy protection with bizarrely inflated claims of rampant music copyright infringement (hmm, then why are music profits still increasing year on year then Sony?), Sony were in fact infringing copyright themselves, by including open source (LGPL) software in the very DRM software designed to prevent copying and failing to respect the terms of the license. Not only that, but parts of that software were written by “DVD Jon” Johansen, the man the MPAA tried (and failed) to get convicted for bypassing DRM software on DVDs just so he could watch films he legitimately owned on his Linux machine. It’s rare to find such pure forms of both irony and hypocrisy combined.
So, lets recap. Sony wants to protect its copyright - so much so, that it’s willing to blatantly infringe the copyright of others, and to expose customers devices to malicious attack, all in the name of protecting its own interests. Does this sound like a company you want to be a customer of? One that justifies making their customers lives harder by saying it’s to keep unlawful behaviour under control, whilst all the while they are committing the exact same crime they say they’re trying to prevent. And at what a scale - upwards of 4 million counts of copyright infringement have allegedly been committed by Sony since this is the number of CDs they distributed with the license-breaking code on it.
I hope they throw the book at Sony and the muppets at First4Internet who wrote XCP (and I use ‘wrote’ in the broadest sense since they appear to have stolen at least some of it) - between them they’ve made a staggering number of incredibly poor decisions, and shown a brazen disregard for everyone elses rights, consumer and software developers alike. They deserve to be hauled over the coals for this one, even just to make the point that this kind of behaviour is absolutely not acceptable.