Sony backs down – a teensy bit

Sony has said they will stop using the XCP copy protection software so derided for its sneaky (but clumsy) cloaking mechanism. But they haven’t said they’ll offer replacement CDs to those who’ve got lumbered with it. Apparently it was only ever applied to CDs sold in the USA, though some of these may have gone to other parts of the world courtesy of Amazon and the like.

As for Sony’s uninstallerEd Felten is about to reveal why that too is flawed.

Meanwhile Microsoft has set XCP in its sights, and (quite rightly) said their Anti-Spyware package will remove it.

As if the rootkit sneakery wasn’t bad enough, the EFF has studied the EULA and notes the protected CDs have a licence precluding copying the music onto business computers (eg computers not owned by you). It also requires you to delete the copied music if your CD is stolen, or if you file for bankcruptcy!

And the chorus of people calling for an all-out Sony boycott continues to grow.

I stand by what I said. Pack of evil bastards.

PS. The flaw in the uninstaller is revealed: Sony uses an ActiveX control (known as “CodeSupport”) as part of the process, which is marked “Safe for scripting” and left on your computer, leaving it wide open to attack from dodgy web sites. What a pack of idiots.

They are, however, recalling the affected CDs.