Artist cops backlash over Sony DRM

The ripples caused by the recent revelations over SonyBMG shipping copy-protected CDs that install ‘rootkit’ code have reached the publisher’s artists, resulting in a slew of negative reviews based on consumer reaction to the technology alone.

Artist cops backlash over Sony DRM

Get Right with the Man by Van Zant is currently wallowing under a one-and-half star rating on, based purely on negative user reviews of the copy-protection technology.

One user writes: ‘I can’t imagine ever buying a Sony product again after this fundamentally stupid breach of trust. People issue warnings about illegal downloads and the risk of picking up something nasty.’

The issue came to light when experts at and F-Secure unearthed rootkit-type code that was installed on computers when they were first played. The code is invisible through Windows and the user would only know of its presence if they had rootkit detection security software. A bug in the code allowed any files beginning with $sys$ to be hidden, creating a massive security risk. Furthermore, removal of the code was troublesome and had to be done through the Sony website.

The company behind the technology has since said it has updated the software to fix the bug and make the software visible – although this may take some time to reach CDs on sale. It has also issued patches to security vendors to enable them to detect the code.

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