Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Sony Government The Courts News Your Rights Online

Sony DRM Installed Even When EULA Declined 433

Posted by Zonk
from the damned-if-you-don't dept.
HikingStick writes "News.com is reporting that the Texas attorney general is expanding the allegations against Sony. It seems the software would install even if users declined the EULA. From the article: 'The Texas attorney general said on Wednesday that he added a new claim to a lawsuit charging Sony BMG Music Entertainment with violating the state's laws on deceptive trade practices by hiding 'spyware' on its compact discs ... The new charges brought by Abbott contend that MediaMax software used by Sony BMG to thwart illegal copying of music on CDs violated state laws because it was downloaded even if users rejected a license agreement.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Sony DRM Installed Even When EULA Declined

Comments Filter:
  • Criminal Tresspass (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Renraku (518261) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @12:58PM (#14318636) Homepage
    "Can I come into your house?"

    "Nope."

    "Ok."

    Man turns around to find the stranger at the door has already moved his shit into his house. Does this not constitute tresspassing?
    • by Concern (819622) * on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:21PM (#14318894) Journal
      Imagine if you order a box of catfood to be delivered that's worth about $10. And then the next day a crowd of 15 attorneys in suits arrive at your door with a 20 page contract, and the box. They won't give you the catfood until you agree to their "license." You can either call your own attorneys, if you have any, and spend several weeks evaluating their contract at the cost of several thousand dollars of your own money, or, they say, you can simply agree to the contract by blinking your eyes.

      It turns out that there were worms in the catfood and now your cat is incredibly sick. Amazingly, the attorneys did this on purpose. If you take her to the vet, it will cost you hundreds of dollars to cure her. You don't remember blinking, but they swear you did.

      The government has sent an angry letter to the catfood guys, but no one looks like they have any intention of paying your vet bill - or even sending your cat a get well card.

      In response to the government, the catfood people announce they've "solved" the problem, because they've agreed to temporarily stop shipping worms in catfood. However, they're still shipping spiders, ants, and leeches - and they have "big plans" to expand the practice.

      You don't know exactly how long your cat has left to live, but after watching all this, you get the feeling its days are numbered one way or another.
    • Man turns around to find the stranger at the door has already moved his shit into his house. Does this not constitute tresspassing?

      Not only, in Texas it's an invitation to kill them without further provocation.

      If only it applied to computers too.
  • by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Thursday December 22, 2005 @12:58PM (#14318637) Homepage Journal

    Let's look at the article:

    'The Texas attorney general said on Wednesday that he added a new claim to a lawsuit charging Sony BMG Music Entertainment with violating the state's laws on deceptive trade practices by hiding 'spyware' on its compact discs

    Oh, so the state was hurt, and they're the ones who have to go after Sony?

    The way I see it, Sony breached a contract. This is easily resolved in court, and anyone who had their contract breached by Sony should go ahead and file an independent lawsuit (not a class action lawsuit). You can hire a local attorney and move forward.

    Wait, it is costly to sue a big company? Might that be due to the laws created in your state? Might that be due to the lawyers in control of the operation of the law?

    No matter how often you lose, you will continue to lose. The system isn't by the People for the People any more. We're living in a country where the system is so powerful, only the powerful have rights. Let's ignore the state's concerns in this situation -- they're only going to find themselves stronger. They're going to fight Sony with millions of taxpayer dollars, and if they win, the taxpayers won't see a cent, but a bunch of state lawyers and Sony lawyers will be wealthier.

    Step back. Look at the problem. The problem is that contract law is too complicated, and you can't fight a contract violation in court without a contract lawyer who likely is part of an organization that wrote the law. Ignore Sony, ignore all terribly written contracts. We need to get to the source of the problem and fix it. Let us return to the days when the law was simple to read, and simple to enforce. Let us return to the days when we could walk up to a court clerk, file a grievance and sue the people who violated the contract, just them and us.

    Who is with me in asking for an amendment limiting all laws to one topic, 200 words or less, and only can pass with a signature of the President and a signature of a random person with a 3rd grade education who agrees that even they understand the law?

    What Sony did was bad, but if contract law was written clearly and concisely, we'd have ways to defend ourselves cheaply and efficiently. The law is a mockery of justice today, and there is ZERO way for any individual or small group to win in the long run.

    FYI, for other anarchocapitalists out there, my solution is true moderated arbitration mechanisms in a free market, not the law or the courts.
    • by mlong (160620) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:02PM (#14318686)
      The way I see it, Sony breached a contract. This is easily resolved in court, and anyone who had their contract breached by Sony should go ahead and file an independent lawsuit (not a class action lawsuit). You can hire a local attorney and move forward.

      However, since one clicked Disagree/Decline, then they did not enter into any contract. Yet Sony went and installed software anyway. That is trespass and thus the state should be involved since it was illegal activity.

      • by twiddlingbits (707452) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:08PM (#14318759)
        Correct, contracts have to be entered into bilaterally not unilaterally. It is a matter for the State as it is then Fraud to execute a contract not agreed to by both parties. Criminal prosecution IS the domain of the State. If the GP poster can think of a civil tort that was committed by Sony the sue them. Find a good lawyer who will get 40% of what you win and go for it. Or you could go to small claims court. If you win, just how do you think you will enforce the penalty?
      • by dr_dank (472072) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:27PM (#14318956) Homepage Journal
        That is trespass and thus the state should be involved since it was illegal activity.

        Might makes right. A cracker who sends trojans or rootkits may actually see fines or jailtime. A corporation who does the same thing is just protecting its IP or, if suitably backed into a corner, admit they made a mistake and continue doing the same crap with a different name. You'll never see a single indictment for wrongdoing at a large company for this.
    • The way I see it, Sony breached a contract.

      A contract is, by definition, a bilateral agreement. The EULA is a contract offer, and if it is declined, there is NO contract between Sony and the user. What that means is that Sony is forcing a unilateral agreement onto a user who does not have a contract with Sony. That's a criminal case, not a civil case.

      Of course, I'm not a lawyer, so take my comment with a grain of salt. But that's my interpretation of it in a nutshell.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        >>A contract is, by definition, a bilateral agreement.

        Just a slight aside, but California and Michigan courts have actually recognised unilateral contracts, even ones without consideration for the terms. Scares the crap out of me. Guess what states I never want to practice law in?

        -- Third year law student
        • I hope that as a third year law student, you recognize that unilateral contracts are actually very common.

          "I will give you $5 if you mow my lawn," may be interepreted as a unilateral contract, where I am bound to give you $5 if you mow my lawn, but you are not obligated to anything.
      • After all, this is a tactic commonly used by racketeers. We give you a contract, you don't agree to it, and we act like you agreed to it anyways, and either demand/extort money/info from you, or we tear your shit up. In this case, Sony just tears your shit up.
    • by jebell (567579) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:06PM (#14318737) Journal

      While I generally agree with your sentiments regarding pre-existing civil remedies, state Attorneys General routinely file "consumer-protection" type of law suits against big companies in order to spare the consumers from having to litigate matters that would otherwise be too costly.

      While some have criticized over-active Attorneys General, like New York's Eliot Spitzer, for being too litigious, I think this type of action has its place. It's definitely better than the standard class-action suit where the lawyers are made rich and the class members get a coupon for $5 off their next purchase of the product they complained about in the first place. I don't think the "state lawyers" get rich in this type of case, although there are instances (like the tobacco litigation) where the states hired outside lawyers to litigate this stuff.

      Law has always been complicated, believe it or not. Else, why have we had lawyers for so long? At least for the last couple of hundred years, we've actually had laws that are written down in codes and case books.

    • The way I see it, Sony breached a contract. This is easily resolved in court, and anyone who had their contract breached by Sony should go ahead and file an independent lawsuit (not a class action lawsuit). You can hire a local attorney and move forward.

      Yeah, but as is the subject of about half of the postings on Slashdot, those with money can handle suits, those without cannot. Here the state is saying that they have the size to actually take on Sony and stand up for blanket violations against the gener

      • But politicians exist to create laws - it's how they prove that they're actually doing something in Congress (or wherever they are.) So as long as there are politicians, and as long as there are special interests and lobbying, there will be more laws.

        It doesn't take much to moderate this. Get enough good publicity and support for any politician that simplifies laws, cleans obsolete laws off the books, or proposes laws with clearly limited focuses, and they will emphasize such methods instead of making the
    • The way I see it, Sony breached a contract. This is easily resolved in court, and anyone who had their contract breached by Sony should go ahead and file an independent lawsuit (not a class action lawsuit). You can hire a local attorney and move forward.

      Just for the record, I agree with the rest of your post. However, this isn't a mere violation of contract. You see, a contract was never made. In this case, the user refused to "sign" the "contract" (although I'm not really agreeing that a EULA is a val

      • Just for the record, I agree with the rest of your post. However, this isn't a mere violation of contract. You see, a contract was never made. In this case, the user refused to "sign" the "contract" (although I'm not really agreeing that a EULA is a valid contract...). Despite the fact that the user did not enter into a contract, Sony still "trespassed" on their system. Honestly, this case could be prosecuted in a myriad of ways in a criminal court. It could be considered trespassing, vandalism, espionage,
        • Blaming retailers is a bit like shooting the messenger. Why should we have to go after the middle man when in reality the company who performed the harmful act was the distributor (in this case Sony)?

          Based on your slightly thawed theory, if I purchased item X. Now it is possible that 1 out of every 1,000,000 has a defect that might be potentially harmful. So, if I am the unfortunate individual who gets that one and suffer serious injury the blame is on the retailer not the manufacturer? This makes no
          • Based on your slightly thawed theory, if I purchased item X. Now it is possible that 1 out of every 1,000,000 has a defect that might be potentially harmful. So, if I am the unfortunate individual who gets that one and suffer serious injury the blame is on the retailer not the manufacturer? This makes no sense at all. You, as a retailer, cannot be responsible for testing every unit you sale and you would actually be more likely to get in trouble if people found out because they would say you are selling use
    • by node 3 (115640) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:22PM (#14318899)
      Oh, so the state was hurt, and they're the ones who have to go after Sony?

      The State (in America) is us. It's We The People.

      The way I see it, Sony breached a contract. This is easily resolved in court, and anyone who had their contract breached by Sony should go ahead and file an independent lawsuit (not a class action lawsuit). You can hire a local attorney and move forward.

      That worked so well with the Linux geeks who tried to return Windows per the OEM EULA.

      Oh, wait. No, it didn't.

      But it's worse than that. Let's assume you manage to design a low-cost way for individuals to sue a large corporation, how many people are actually going to sue Sony? Not many. So Sony will just eat the cost of a few lawsuits, and continue as usual.

      Do you really expect people to sue over every little transgression? Do you have the time to be diligent over every EULA, every "implied" contract in your everyday life? Odds are you don't. That's what the State is for (in the US), to look after our collective interests. Doesn't always work out that way, but it does work out better than without the State. There are also Class Action suits, which are not necessarily brought on by a State, but are backed by the State, so the effect(collective power, backed by the State) is the same.

      Who is with me in asking for an amendment limiting all laws to one topic, 200 words or less, and only can pass with a signature of the President and a signature of a random person with a 3rd grade education who agrees that even they understand the law?

      Not I. Your post is more than 200 words. Do you think it's complex enough to cover questions like automobile operation? Building codes?

      Laws can't be as simple as "thou shalt not kill", because sometimes thou shall kill. And sometimes different types of killing are met with differing levels of "shalt not".

      The law is a mockery of justice today, and there is ZERO way for any individual or small group to win in the long run.

      Under the current Republican House, Senate, and Presidency, that's become ever more true. They are systematically removing the rights of the people, and empowering the corporation. It's disgusting.

      FYI, for other anarchocapitalists out there, my solution is true moderated arbitration mechanisms in a free market, not the law or the courts.

      There is no such thing as the Free Market. Laws and Courts are required to prevent Capitalism from reverting to the Law of the Jungle.
    • "Oh, so the state was hurt, and they're the ones who have to go after Sony?"

      Ignoring for the moment the potential harm done to computers owned and operated by the state government, the state, as a republic, is required to represent the interests of the people.

      "The way I see it, Sony breached a contract."

      With whom? The people who declined?

      "This is easily resolved in court, and anyone who had their contract breached by Sony should go ahead and file an independent lawsuit"

      So then you are in favor of Sony play
    • Wait, it is costly to sue a big company? Might that be due to the laws created in your state? Might that be due to the lawyers in control of the operation of the law?

      No, you can take them to court without an attorney.

      The system isn't by the People for the People any more.

      Name me a time and system that truly was by the People for the People? All systems are founded by the wealthy & powerful.

      The system isn't by the People for the People any more.

      Simple to read makes it more difficult to enforce
    • by Politburo (640618) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:36PM (#14319051)
      Who is with me in asking for an amendment limiting all laws to one topic, 200 words or less, and only can pass with a signature of the President and a signature of a random person with a 3rd grade education who agrees that even they understand the law?

      I smacked you yesterday about these ridiculously stupid legislative ideas.. and here you are again. The system in place has worked for 200+ years. That's practically an eternity in government terms (excluding Iceland).

      Why do you think a rule or amendment limiting bill length will do anything? What cannot be done with one bill will simply be done with two, three, or a hundred. Germanity rules are way too difficult to enforce, especially when you get into spending bills.

      Now, as to your ridiculous statement regarding a random person with a 3rd grade education.. how exactly does that method fit in with the idea of a Representative elected government? That's right, it doesn't, because it's a fucking stupid idea.
    • The courts do not have time to fuckin' hear 10,000 cases every time some dipshit corporate sleazeoid does something stupid. It is simply a waste of taxpayers money. It has nothing to do with too many lawyers, or complex legal systems. It only has to do with shit for brains trying to manipulate current laws so they can engage in activities that any reasonble person would deem illegal.

      Sony violated the laws of Texas. In fact they violate the law of reaon. There is no cause for every person in texas who

    • by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @02:15PM (#14319530) Homepage
      This is easily resolved in court, and anyone who had their contract breached by Sony should go ahead and file an independent lawsuit (not a class action lawsuit).

      Why? Class actions are efficient. In this case, everyone would be alleging the same thing against the same defendant. It's far better to have that go to court once, rather than have everyone litigate the same thing, which wastes their time and money and clogs up the courts.

      If you have a tortfeasor that harms a lot of people, but where the harm to any one person is slight, you still want to have them cure the harm they caused and to punish them so that they don't do this again in the future. This is not practical if everyone has to sue independently, since many people will not bother (and thus go uncured) and the tortfeasor will not be significantly deterred from doing it again. A class action is an efficient pooling of resources (even if each person harmed is only awarded $1, they only are paying 33 cents for the lawyer -- that's a good deal, really) and can actually deter future tortfeasors.

      Wait, it is costly to sue a big company? Might that be due to the laws created in your state? Might that be due to the lawyers in control of the operation of the law?

      No. It's costly because, in the interests of justice, you have to do a competent job proving that the company did something wrong. Most people do not know how to do this. Complaining that the system is complicated is as silly as complaining that people can't build moon rockets in their backyards -- some diciplines are inherently complicated. Actual justice is hard.

      but a bunch of state lawyers ... will be wealthier.

      State lawyers are just employees. They get a fixed salary like other state employees. It's sole practicioners and partners at firms that get shares of the damages. So if the state wins, the money probably ends up in the state's general fund.

      The problem is that contract law is too complicated, and you can't fight a contract violation in court without a contract lawyer who likely is part of an organization that wrote the law.

      All lawyers get trained in contracts, and since most lawyers deal with contracts no matter what else their specialties are, we all can generally deal with them. Also, most contract law is common law, and has been created by the courts in the US and England over the last thousand years or so. Most of the people who wrote contract law are long dead, and were never particularly organized.

      Let us return to the days when the law was simple to read

      That's never been true, unless you want to go back to an eye for an eye. Law is inherently complex. There is no magical set of laws -- laws being rules for a good, stable, working society -- that is simple and will function. You're looking for a utopia, and those don't exist.

  • Heh. (Score:5, Funny)

    by jacobcaz (91509) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @12:58PM (#14318640) Homepage
    By clicking "Agree" below, you agree to the terms of this EULA. By clicking "Decline" below, you agree to the terms of this EULA.

    [ AGREE ] [ DECLINE ]
  • by cez (539085) <(moc.yadretseygn ... sih) (ta) (ofni)> on Thursday December 22, 2005 @12:59PM (#14318646) Homepage
    Shouldn't these charges also be mirrored by the feds seeing how Sony is an international company who's crossed state lines with malicious code?
    • by Concern (819622) * on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:11PM (#14318789) Journal
      If it were me who tried to install spyware on people's PC's using music CDs, the answer would be yes.

      On the other hand, if it were a wealthy multinational corporation who did so, the answer would be... perhaps we can find a discrete settlement to avoid any discomfort to our most valued citizens.
    • Sony is a member of both the MPAA and the RIAA, and therefore has Congress in their back pocket. There is little, however, the state legislatures can do for them, so they don't have any lobbying industry in place in Austin to stop this sort of thing.
    • You are assuming that the DOJ is willing to go after corportations that audaciously break the law. They're too busy sending college students to prison for file sharing, modders for installing mod chips, 'etc. The administration clearly has a corporation-friendly agenda and has no intention of filing such a case.
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:40PM (#14319104) Homepage
      you forget who owns the federal government

      Sony,BMG,RIAA,MPAA big corperations all bought and paid for that shiny government we have here.

      What you are asking is the same as asking an attack dog that is trying to eat your face to attack it's owner.

      It is not going to happen.
  • Just speculation, but if the software is installed even if the EULA is rejected, could not one point to that and say, hey, you installed the software even after we said no to the license, so I guess you think the license doesn't mean anything, eh?
  • by Concern (819622) * on Thursday December 22, 2005 @12:59PM (#14318652) Journal
    ...this is a bit ridiculous on its face. Sure the spyware is illegal in about a dozen different ways (depending on your state) but... this all hinges on whether or not we accept or decline a EULA? How does that make sense?

    That kind of reasoning by implication gives EULAs legitimacy which THEY DO NOT HAVE.

    Since when under common law do we have such outrageously elaborate and suprising binding legal agreements by parties without equal representation?

    Since when can agreement be given by pressing a mouse button or removing shrinkwrap?

    The EULA itself is an ugly audacious legal fiction... this is why they needed UCITA to attempt to legitimize them after the fact.
    • How does that make sense?

      If the software can be installed without agreement, then the EULA can't be binding. If the EULA is binding, then Sony are in violation of the EULA. Either way, they're screwed.

      (Disclaimer: IANAL, etc)
    • No real challenge is made to these. I'll compare it to a medical model (While I know there are differences in how one can consent to things in medical and legal basis).
      Medically you need
      -Of legal age (This would apply... how many people have their kids install software on their computer because they cant or dont know how).
      -Mentally Competent (Eh... too easy)
      -Free of drugs or alcohol, etc. (Again too easy)
      -In terms they can understand (Im not a lawyer, i might be able to understand that contract if i h
    • by LexNaturalis (895838) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:10PM (#14318783)
      I think it's just another straw in the pile. This just adds another charge against the company that they will have to defend themselves against. The other charges don't hinge on the EULA issue at all; the rootkit is still illegal. This is simply ANOTHER thing they are adding. So even if the rootkit is found to be legal, they can still be nailed with this charge.

      From my law classes, my lawyer professors told me that a favorite trick of lawyers is to allege as many possible crimes/violations as possible so as to make the other side more likely to either plea bargain or settle as well as to raise the chances of successfully arguing at least ONE of the charges/torts.

      (Disclaimer: IANAL, just had some law classes)
      • Yes, in some cases the lawyers like to throw as many possible crimes at the defendant to make them cry uncle.

        On the other hand, it isn't always a good idea.

        If you have to go before a jury, you don't want them to have to sift through a dozen charges, some of which may be of marginal merit.

        In this case, throw the book at them and it won't bother anyone, but in criminal cases involving a living breathing defendant, it isn't always the best idea.
    • Thank you for your voice of reason in this sea of insanity.
    • Sure, I don't think EULA's actually should carry legal weight. But you know what, I don't care either way. The problem here is that we haven't 100% decided if they are or are not legally binding contracts.

      If they aren't, we win.

      If they are, we also win. Nobody reads the damn things. We can just start putting EULAs on software that have outrageous things like agreeing to give money, technology, property, sexual favors and other things to the developers (us).

      It doesn't matter which way, as long as they pick a
  • It's only fair (Score:5, Insightful)

    by goombah99 (560566) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @12:59PM (#14318656)
    I click through EULAs because I dont think they have any legal weight. Sony in turn ignores my requests not to install since they don't think EULA's have any legal weight. In sshort the 'A' in EULA is not an agreement, meeting of minds, or a legal contract. I'm fine with that I guess. Those privacy rights were unenforcable anyhow so I lose nothing.
    • I click through EULAs because I dont think they have any legal weight.

      You should be careful about this philosophy, because courts have held that, in general, there is nothing wrong with EULAs. In specific cases, though, such as shrink-wrap EULAs, where the person has to buy the software before getting to read the EULA, and has no recourse if they decline the agreement; or click-past EULAs, where the person isn't actually required to consent to the EULA before they get to use the product; or particular EULA
  • Normally, I don't like to see stories like this go on ad-nauseum, but in this case, I relish seeing Sony getting repeatedly pummeled in the news and across the blog landscape.

    The longer this trainwreck of a DRM debacle goes on, the happier I get. I know... it's kind of like a disease.
  • If only... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:00PM (#14318661)
    Now if only the death penalty in Texas applied to corporations...
    • Re:If only... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by afidel (530433)
      Actually there is a legal remedy which is commonly refered to as the corporate death penalty. The specifics are a revocation of the companies charter and a forced disolution of its assets. It is very infrequently applied, especially in the last half century, which is probably a reason that you see so much white collar crime, there is little or no penalty for it, either to the individual or the company.
  • Indie Music (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jhouserizer (616566) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:01PM (#14318667) Homepage
    Sure am glad I've only purchased indie cd's in the last few years! Apparently not only do the big companies cram crappy music down your ears, but they also cram crappy software into your computer.
  • Is anyone surprised?

    *Wind howling*
    *Dogs barking in the distance*
    *Tumbleweed passes*
    *Chuch bell tolls in the next town*

    No I didn't think so either.
  • Oh let the lawsuits start a rolling. I would be very disappointed if ever state did not take action here. This is clearly illegal, and the government needs to take action to demonstrate this is not acceptable and that proper punishment is handed out (I wouldnt mind having a couple people go to jail to)
  • by EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:02PM (#14318682) Journal
    For example, I was planning on buying a new widescreen tv and a psp, but because of the rootkit etc I decided against a Sony tv and i'm probably going to buy either a Nintendo DS or the GPX2.

    I wonder, if Sony has lost any sales because of this. Just how much in cash it has cost them?
  • by kawika (87069) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:03PM (#14318696)
    This is the original blog [freedom-to-tinker.com] that revealed the SunnComm DRM installed despite the user declining the EULA. Whereas the XCP DRM could hide behind the EULA excuse, I don't see how SunnComm has any legal fig leaf here (though IANAL).

    Supposedly there is about ten times [com.com] more SunnComm DRM in the wild than XCP DRM, so maybe Sony felt they couldn't sacrifice holiday sales despite the legal exposure.
  • Lawsuit (Score:5, Funny)

    by Council (514577) <rmunroe@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:03PM (#14318703) Homepage
    Sony is complaining that although they declined the offer to be sued, the Texas AG is still pursuing the case.
  • Not a Virus? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DeanFox (729620) * <spam.mynameNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:07PM (#14318746)

    FTA: "The creator of the copy-protection software, a British company called First 4 Internet, said the cloaking mechanism was not a risk. The company's team has worked regularly with big antivirus companies to ensure the safety of its software, and to make sure it is not picked up as a virus, he said."

    First of all, I would like to know who these "big antivirus" companies are so I can stop using their product (assuming I might be). That or to make sure I never use or recommend them to others'.

    We are in trouble when antivirus companies are in backroom negotiations with virus makers, I assume for profit, not to detect one virus in favor of another.

    How can I trust they haven't negotiated other backroom deals with virus/spyware writers that let other viruses and spyware on my machine?

    I want to know who these "anti" virus companies are!
  • Each time I think I Sony could not have made this any worst, something like this comes up. I fully expect to hear that if you run the software backwards it says something satanic.
  • by FreeBSD evangelist (873412) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:17PM (#14318851)
    I have an RCA Victor (one of Sony/BMG's brands) with MediaMax. It absolutely installs software on your computer, even =before= the EULA response box pops up.
  • Corporate Anarchy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Beerden (874601) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:18PM (#14318856)
    We live in the age of Corporate Anarchy. A Corporation has had, in the past, essentially the same rights as an individual human. Now, however, individual rights have been taken away, yet the Corporation is free to do what it pleases. Corporations like SONY feel they are above the law, and are now testing to see how far they can go. After Corporate Anarchy comes Corporate Rule. I would not shed a tear if the Individuals were to blow up Corporate buildings, clean out Corporate bank accounts, and fight in a [very bloody] Revolution against Government and Corporation (war against Facism, in other words). Civil war, if you could call it that, but more like the French Revolution. I think there is no other way around it, because History shows us that it will happen.
    • Tyler? Is that you?

      You KNOW you just broke the first two rules, right?
  • Personally, I think EULAs are completely unenforcable; I bought some piece of software, I should be allowed to use that piece of software without agreeing to anything else. In my view, software should install without any problem if I choose to decline the EULA.

    Now of course this is a rootkit, not something you bought, nobody wants on their computer and so on, but then sue them for that. I'd rather see some software maker sued because their software didn't install when the user declined the EULA, than the o

  • Sony DRM Installed Even When EULA Declined

    And you're surprised because...?

    No one would agree to having this put on their computer if they actually knew what it was. So Sony has to sneak it on when you're not looking.

    I would like the settlement for this make their recent $10M payola penality look like peanuts -- or Bill Gate's pocket change.

    Sony needs to go down!

  • by Zebadias (861722) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:29PM (#14318977)
    What I want to know - when is someone going to go after Sony for the infringment of the GPL! That is the greater offence in my mind!
  • by dbucowboy (891058) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:31PM (#14318998) Homepage
    I found this online, it's a list of CD's that have the DRM... don't remember where and I don't know if it's totally accurate but I think it serves as a good list of CD's to be suspicious of. Foo Fighters - In Your Honour Van Zant - Get Right with the Man Ricky Martin - Life Sarah McLachlan - Bloom Remix Album Celine Dion - On Ne Change Pas Neil Diamond - 12 Songs Natasha Bedingfield - Unwritten Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak Santana - All That I Am Chris Botti - To Love Again Switchfoot - Nothing Is Sound Patty Loveless - Dreamin' My Dreams Montgomery Gentry - Something To Be Proud Of: The Best of 1999-2005 Mary Mary - Mary Mary My Morning Jacket - Z David Gray - Life In Slow Motion Bob Brookmeyer - Bob Brookmeyer & Friends Shelly Fairchild - Ride Kasabian - Kasbian Pete Seeger - The Essential Pete Seeger The Bad Plus - Suspicious Activity Elkland - Golden Susie Suh - Susie Suh Buddy Jewel - Times Like These Chayanne - Cautivo A Static Lullaby - Faso Latido Our Lady Peace - Healthy In Paranoid Times The Coral - The Invisible Invasion Dexter Gordon - Manhattan Symphonie Acceptance - Phantoms Dion - The Essential Dion The Dead 60s - The Dead 60s Goapele - Change It All Los Lonely Boys - TBD Life of Agony - Broken Valley George Jones - My Very Special Guests Horace Silver - Silver's Blue Amici Forever - Defined Ahmed Jamal - The Legendary Okeh and Epic Recordings Anna Nalick - Wreck of the Day Hitch - Soundtrack Charlotte Martin - On Your Shore Vivian Green - Vivian Raheem DeVaughn - The Love Experience Amerie - Touch Nivea - Complicated Mario - Turning Point G3 - Live In Tokyo
  • Sony pwnage (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mulletproof (513805) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:35PM (#14319036) Homepage Journal
    "'The Texas attorney general said on Wednesday that he added a new claim to a lawsuit charging Sony BMG Music Entertainment with violating the state's laws on deceptive trade practices by hiding 'spyware' on its compact discs"

    Anybody else making the connection between this DRM tactic and those of the PSP, where Sony has plans to continuously update the DRM of the PSP with every new game release whether you like it or not. I'm sensing a disturbing trend- actually, it's been going on for quite some time now -in Sony's insistance on reguulating the hardware you already own contrary to your wishes.

    Thankfully, their foothold on the PC industry is far less pervasive than it is in the console industry.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:42PM (#14319122)
    New York, NY - December 22, 2005 -- Sony Corporation of America announced today that Tim Schaaff has been appointed to the newly-created position of Senior Vice President of Software Development, effective immediately. Mr. Schaaff reports to Keiji Kimura, EVP and Officer in Charge of Technology Strategy of Sony Corporation.

    http://www.sony.com/SCA/press/051222.shtml [sony.com]

    Hmm someone get fired?
  • by MECC (8478) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @02:19PM (#14319569)
    EULA: End User Loses Always
  • by merc (115854) <slashdot@upt.org> on Thursday December 22, 2005 @02:26PM (#14319675) Homepage
    When will we see CRIMINAL charges brought against Sony?
  • by TooOldForIT (940820) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @02:29PM (#14319717)
    John McCormick makes some interesting observations at the following Tech Republic link:

    http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-1009_11-5991769.h tml?tag=nl.e101 [com.com]

    Quoting from his article:

    ---- Begin Quote ---
    "The latest Sony debacle shows once again that you can't be too paranoid. A month ago, I personally would have never given a second thought to playing a new brand-name music CD in an office computer--now I wouldn't even duplicate one for personal backup.

    And isn't that interesting? Could it be that Sony planned this whole thing just to stop people from making backups of their favorite CDs by scaring them out of even putting CDs in their PCs?

    Even those users who only made backups and ignored DRM threats will now be extremely cautious about putting any Sony CD in their PC. Could there be something even more sinister to this story than mere incompetence?"
    --- End of Quote ---

    Hmmmm....... sort of makes one think, eh?

    This whole situation with DRM, RIAA, big record companies is really starting to bug me. I just happen to believe that if I pay good money for a CD, a vinyl record, or any piece of music, that I should be allowed to convert it and play it on whatever technology is available to me, as long as I don't give it away to everyone else in the world!
  • by Guspaz (556486) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @02:47PM (#14319982)
    I take issue with this comment: "used by Sony BMG to thwart illegal copying of music on CDs"

    Since when was it illegal to copy a music CD to put it on ones iPod? Doing so with regular music CDs doesn't violate the DMCA since there is no protection circumvention or reverse engineering going on, so this SHOULD still be legal in the US.

    Of course, IANAA (I Am Not An American), so I may have it wrong.
  • by cpuffer_hammer (31542) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @03:32PM (#14320598) Homepage
    If I do not agree to the EULA and the software is installed anyway. Then I have not agreed to not reverse engineer it and a lot of other things? Copyright still applies but non of the EULA terms that go byond Copyright.
  • by WCMI92 (592436) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @04:29PM (#14321350) Homepage
    Why?

    Because anyone who would "decline" a EULA is obviously a PIRATE and thus, Sony was justified in pushing their malware through anyway ;)

    It's an argument only a SCO lawyer could make, but the RIAA seems full of them :)
  • FUCK SONY. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by millennial (830897) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @10:03PM (#14324004) Journal
    When my dad discovered he had the Sony DRM on his computer, he asked me to remove it. Knowing that using Sony's tool to do so would simply open more security holes (turning on automatic program installation in IE, for one), I decided to go through and remove it manually.

    After uninstalling the services, deleting the hidden $sys$ files, and removing the related registry entries, my parents' computer refuses to boot. I get a very uninforative BSOD. If I go into Safe Mode, the boot process halts after loading mup.sys (thus telling me the problem is with the next driver, whatever that is), then gives me a BSOD. They have an HP Pavilion, which came with an on-disk recovery tool. Unfortunately, all that is is the Windows Recovery Console, like the one on the installation CD. The CD we do not own, because HP did not give us one. Yes, that's right - we paid for a Windows license, and received no form of installation utility whatsoever.

    Before I could even GET to the Recovery Console, I had another problem to figure out. When I tried to boot it, I got the good ol' "NTLDR is compressed" error. I checked - it was not compressed.

    To boot into the Recovery Console, I had to boot BartPE, copy the NTLDR file from the Windows partition to the recovery partition, and reboot.

    I've done everything I can think of to fix this. I've reset the BIOS and CMOS, cleared the ESCD, disconnected every piece of hardware other than hard drive, processor, and memory, changed various settings in the BIOS... to no avail.

    Now we had to pay $24 for HP to ship us a recovery CD so we can get the damn machine working again. Not only that, but everything I've read on the Web says that reinstalling XP does not fix this issue, and that it's hardware-related.

    Before this problem showed up, I couldn't burn CDs at all. Before the DRM was installed, I had no trouble doing this. I'm beginning to wonder if the DRM altered my burner's firmware.

    Here's a big fuck you to Sony, and a slightly smaller one to HP. You are completely inept.

"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world." -- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS

Working...