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LIS-PUB-LIBS  December 2005

LIS-PUB-LIBS December 2005

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Subject:

Re: Sony CD copy-protection problem

From:

Michael Maxwell <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Michael Maxwell <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 9 Dec 2005 08:43:42 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (219 lines)

Hello Viv,
I haven't experienced any problems personally, but Leicester City Council's ICT Security Manager has advised PC users not to use ANY Sony manufactured music CDs in their computers. Apparently the Sony XPC software is designed to restrict users' ability to make copies of Sony's CDs and installs itself automatically from the CD without the user being aware that the installation has taken place. The software is installed using what are essentially hacking tools that open up serious security vulnerabilities on the PC. Additionally, removing the software is very risky because in doing so Windows may become unusable, resulting in the PC having to be rebuilt. Exercise great caution!
Michael


Michael Maxwell
Quality & Development Manager
Leicester City Libraries
Tel: 0116 252 7334


>>> "Watkins, Viv (C&LL)" <[log in to unmask]> 12/08/05 3:03 pm >>>
Hello everyone

Has anyone else had any problems with Sony copy-protected CDs?  I include
emails from my colleague Andrew Baker and our customer which give more info.
There is a list of CDs on the Sony site -
http://cp.sonybmg.com/xcp/english/titles.html 
<http://cp.sonybmg.com/xcp/english/titles.html>   Not encouraging as it
doesn't include the one we have had problems with!

Best wishes
Viv.

		-----Original Message-----
		From: Baker, Andrew J (C&LL) 
		Sent: 07 December 2005 14:26
		To: Libraries; Library Staff
		Subject: CD copy protection problem
		Importance: High

		This seems to be problem with a specific CD - "Contraband"
by Velvet Revolver. If you try to play it on a PC it makes the PC download
security software which then stops the PC copying MP3s  - amongst other
things. A very detailed note below. I have asked to have a warning placed on
the catalogue record but I feel borrowers might blame us for damage so I
would rather gather all the copies in. Could you find them, or request them
and send them to me please.

		-----Original Message-----
		From: Greg Morley [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
<mailto:[mailto:[log in to unmask]]>  
		Sent: 07 December 2005 12:17
		To: [log in to unmask] 
		Cc <mailto:[log in to unmask]> :
[log in to unmask] 
		Subject <mailto:[log in to unmask]> : Note
to library staff: Damaging music CD
		 
		To Whom It May Concern,
		
		On Saturday I returned a selection of CD's that I'd borrowed
from the Lichfield library. I mentioned to the lady at the Returns desk
(upstairs) that I would send an email to the library about damage that one
of the CD's had done to my PC, as I feel other borrowers will benefit from
the information (forewarned = forearmed). 
		
		The CD in question was the "Contraband" album by Velvet
Revolver. When I borrowed the CD, I was aware that the logo on the back of
the case showed that it was a copy-protected CD. I don't have a problem with
this, as I don't copy CD's. However, one evening I wished to play the CD
over my headphones whilst working on my computer at home, as my family was
watching the TV in the same room. On loading the CD, my CD-R drive was
crippled - this without warning or any prompts from the software on the CD. 
		
		I spent considerable time on the Internet researching the
problem and discovered that the CD had been copy-protected by Sony-BMG with
technology that has recently caused much controversy around the world. In
fact, various entities have launched class-action lawsuits against Sony as a
direct result of this, including the state of Texas, the EFF (Electronic
Frontier Foundation) and various others are considering class-action
lawsuits, including the state of New York. 
		
		Not only does Sony's copy-protection software cripple CD
drives, it also installs a hidden "rootkit" (malicious software) on
computers, which in turn exposes the infected computers to further security
problems. 
		
		Rather than going into too much detail here, I would ask you
to read about the problem at the site below, the author of which (Mark
Russinovich) is a Windows security expert who alerted the media to this
particular problem: 
		
		<http://www.sysinternals.com/Blog/ 
<http://www.sysinternals.com/Blog/> >
		
		The above is probably the best source of information on the
problem, but there are many other websites writing about it. Some news today
about additional problems: 
		
	
<http://news.com.com/New+Sony+CD+security+risk+found/2100-1002_3-5984764.htm 
l
<http://news.com.com/New+Sony+CD+security+risk+found/2100-1002_3-5984764.htm 
l> >
		
		Further below my email is a copy of an email thread I've had
with a representative of someone from Sony, Joyce Okuya, who offered to
replace the CD in question with one that did not have any copy protection.
However, as you can see from my emails to Joyce, firstly I am not in a
position to swap a library CD with Sony, and secondly a replacement CD will
not fix my CD-R drive. I've not any reply from Sony following the last item
in the thread, but if anything constructive comes back to me, I'll be sure
to forward it to Lichfield Library. 
		
		Obviously I am disappointed by the problems caused, but my
finger is pointed firmly at Sony, not Lichfield Library. I hope this email
will serve as the basis for informing other borrowers about potential
problems. 
		
		Kind regards,
		Greg Morley.
		
		
		---------- Forwarded message ----------
		From: Greg Morley < [log in to unmask] 
<mailto:[log in to unmask]>  <mailto:[log in to unmask] 
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> >>
		Date: Nov 16, 2005 2:45 PM
		Subject: Re: FW: www.bmgcopycontrol.com 
<http://www.bmgcopycontrol.com>  <http://www.bmgcopycontrol.com 
<http://www.bmgcopycontrol.com> >
		To: "[log in to unmask] 
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> <mailto:[log in to unmask] 
<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> " <[log in to unmask] 
<mailto:[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask] 
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> >>
		
		Dear Joyce,
		
		Thank you for your offer. However, this does not address the
issue which I raised, namely that my CD drive has been disabled by the
Velvet Revolver "Contraband" CD. 
		
		To repeat my original request, please can you provide me
with a means to fully remove the effects of the copy-protection software.
The CD has disabled my computer's CD drive without my permission and I wish
to have my CD drive returned to its original state. 
		
		Kind regards,
		Greg.



		On 11/15/05, [log in to unmask] 
<mailto:[log in to unmask]>  <mailto:[log in to unmask] 
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> > < [log in to unmask] 
<mailto:[log in to unmask]>  <mailto:[log in to unmask] 
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> >> wrote:
		Dear Greg,
		
		Many thanks for taking the time to write to SonyBMG. 
		
		I have a version of this disc that will play in your system
so could you
		please send me your full postal address and I will arrange
for a prepaid
		envelope to be sent out to you.  If you could then return me
the disc, 
		and proof of purchase and we will send you a new version
that should
		meet your requirements.  If you have no proof of purchase we
will check
		the disc is a valid BMG UK version before sending you the
new disc.
		
		
		Kind regards
		
		Joyce Okuya
		
		
		
		Name: Greg Morley
		Adresse:
		Mobil:
		Email: [log in to unmask] 
<mailto:[log in to unmask]>  <mailto:[log in to unmask] 
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> >
		Bemerkung: To Whom It May Concern, 
		
		Listening to a copy of Velvet Revolver\'s \"Contraband\" CD
on my hi-fi
		works as expected.
		
		However, listening to the same CD on my computer not only
failed to
		work, but it has disabled my CD-writer to the extent that my
CD-writer 
		can no longer even recognise the presence of any CD, be it
music or
		data.
		
		I am running Windows XP.
		
		In light of the recent news about Sony\'s \"rootkit\"
copy-protection,
		please can you provide me with a means to fully remove the
effects of 
		the copy-protection software that was on the abovementioned
CD. Bear in
		mind that no EULA, media player or application ran at all
when the CD
		was placed in my computer.
		
		I look forward to your prompt response. 
		
		Kind regards,
		Greg.



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