Yet Another Sony DRM Debacle

People who create copyrighted work have a right and obligation
to ensure that their works are protected. However, no law is absolute and few if any laws or rights
operate in a vacuum. That is, there are usually competing rights.
For example, my right to throw my fist ends at your right to keep
me from injuring you. One right trumps the other.

Similarly, although authors have a right to protect their
works, that does not mean that right trumps all other rights.

J. Alex
Halderman of the “Freedom to Tinker” website
is reporting
that the recent Sony rootkit debacle isn’t the only Sony DRM in
the wild. It seems Sony is also using something called MediaMax
(it is reportedly also used by other music labels).

Mr. Halderman is saying

MediaMax phones home whenever you play a protected CD,
automatically installs over 12 MB of software before even
displaying an End User License Agreement, and fails to include an
uninstaller.

Part of the software that MediaMax installs is a driver meant
to interfere with ripping and copying from protected discs. I had
believed that MediaMax didn’t permanently activate this
driver-set it to run whenever the computer starts-unless the user
accepted the license agreement. As it turns out, this belief was
wrong, and things are even worse that I had thought.

You can read the rest of the gory details at his site but it
is becoming clear that certain companies wish to own your PC and
don’t take into consideration competing rights. All I can say is
vote with your pocketbook by avoiding these companies and by
spending your money on people who treat you and all the laws with
respect. YMMV. IANAL. Insert disclaimer here.

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