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Meanwhile, back to rootkits and DRM...

If Sony is suicidal enough to install hidden rootkits on users' HDs that can still be detected but hardly removable at all, don't you think that means it's planning hardware lock-ins as well in the furute?

The Playstation 3 will probably ship with a HD unit, with a GNU/Linux system preinstalled to provide emulation of PS1 and PS2 games "in software and hardware".
Don't you think this could also mean such rootkits might be present BY DEFAULT on the HD, and any tampering with these could mean lost functionnality for your PS3, as it is the case currently with the XboX (tampering with hardware means your console will be banned from XboX Live FOREVER, even if nothing actually occured)

With hardware lock-ins, it will (most) definitely impossible to remove such a piece of scumware from your HD unit, even for skilled techs...

Dudes, watch out for anything with SONY on it, keep your computers safe, this scheme surely isn't restricted to music CDs, probably doable on anything with a HD (computers, consoles, huh...iPods?)
 

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Player-X said:
You do realise we already said SONY is going to be using GUNU/linux on the PS3 HD and they are the ones who use rootkits on thier own music CDs right? therefore it's more likely they have this kind of crapware copyprotection built in to the PS3 hardware and the PS3 OS, there is a good chance that the ps3 will also have some kind of DRM mechinism that reports back to SONY or some other greedy bastards everytime you play a "personalrightsprotected"(I am making a new term that will hopefully spread around here, it means it stops you from using your right to copy, rip or even play your cds in certain devices) CD/DVD/BRD(Blue Ray Disc)


It could be intergrated into the CPU and other components making it harder to crack than a simple modchip

If the copyprotection system is something like using bad sectors like the PS2 or early securom it's fine by me but if it installs crap like starforce or this SONY copyprotection I am boycotting it

Instead of heavy DRM on each disc, we will undoubtedly have a "feature" similar to XboX's "Chain Of Trust". This stuff checks for hardware IDs+ disc IDs as well and creates a single ID wich can be used to identify if hardware has been tampered with and/or game disc is legitimate. The actual identification process is tamper-proof as it is actually available on distant Microsoft servers. Didn't anyone wonder why the next XboX will feature AT LEAST XboX Live by default (without online gaming capability tough)? Next-generation DVD players might also include MANDATORY broadband connections. You people get the big picture now?

the PS3's Chain of Trust will probably have the same functionnalty as XboX's and XboX 360's. Just a proprietary version of it. It could (i guess WILL) also be used to identify what DVD movies you watch, how often... Once the Chain of Trust is broken (creating weird IDs, sent to the hardware) and your console is online, you willmight lose some gaming/movie playing features as a "sanction" for exercising your fair use rights.

This rootkit/DRM stuff isn't exclusive to Sony. It's only the beginning too.
A good piece of advice for everyone: choose your next-gen home console wisely...

For more information related, see:

http://www.xbox-linux.org/wiki/The_Hidden_Boot_Code_of_the_Xbox

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_rights_management

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_Connect
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SonicStage
for info on Sony's OpenMG new DRM scheme for online music.
Didn't like DRM for Sony's Audio CDs? You won't like it for its MP3s then.


you might want to check www.futureofmusic.org as well
 

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Agreed. Signing EULAs and contracts "just for" listening to music you bought is just unacceptable. Under those circumstances, the situation in wich they put their legit is the following: "cough yer dough and blood, and get no more than the FM radio already gives you".

Surely SONY isn't the only company doing this. It only got our attention because we're expecting their PS3

Folks, we've been ranting all over Sony's rootkit, but back to the gaming sphere, isn't Starforce doing something similar, yet we hear nothing from anyone? Does that means you guys tolerate Starforce on your systems but not Sony's XCP? What about our privacy? Our rights?
 

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I'm glad no one has succesfully DRMed our childhood memories as well.

I don't believe Sony's Vaios computers come with XCP or the likes of it preinstalled, even if they have the chance to do that. I suppose the recent models won't anyway, after all the ruckus and controversy Sony brought up. Sony wouldn't want to bully its customers into buying hardware from competitors.

But that's not over folks. The very same Sony is using ANOTHER suspiciously behaving software marketed to "protect our right". Yeah, theirs alright. I see noone brought that up. Grown and Sexy by Babyface is "protected" with this stuff for example. And smaller labels are also using it (MediaMax). Watch out folks, this stuff might spread.

http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/?p=925

What does it do actually?

Like XCP, recent versions of MediaMax engage in spyware-style behavior.

* Is installed onto the computer without meaningful notification or consent an even BEFORE ACTUALLY SIGNING THE ACTUAL EULA, and remains installed even if the license agreement is declined;

* Includes either no uninstall mechanism or an uninstaller that fails to completely remove the program like it claims;

* Sends information to SunnComm about the user’s activities contrary to SunnComm and Sony statements and without any option to disable the transmissions.

Does MediaMax also create security problems as serious as the Sony rootkit’s? Finding out for sure may be difficult, since the license agreement specifically prohibits disassembling the software. However, it certainly causes unnecessary risk. Playing a regular audio CD doesn’t require you to install any new software, so it involves minimal danger. Playing First4Internet or SunnComm discs means not only installing new software but trusting that software with full control of your computer. After last week’s revelations about the Sony rootkit, such trust does not seem well deserved.

Viewed together, the MediaMax and XCP copy protection schemes reveal a pattern of irresponsible behavior on the parts of Sony and its pals, SunnComm and First4Internet. Hopefully Sony’s promised re-examination of its copy protection initiatives will involve a hard look at both technologies.
 

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F-3582 said:
Shouldn't we somehow keep in mind that SONY is a huge corporation with lots of different branches? I mean, I don't think that Sony Computer Entertainment International/Japan/America/Europe has anything to do with SONY-Music/Sony-BMG/Sony-Whatevar. Of course, I share your opinion that Sony developed the Playstation, but too many people seem to think that the name SONY means that those two entirely different cogs in the system were connected in any way.

It's like comparing Budweiser and Budweiser.
-----------------------------------

Yes, but Sony is ONE corporation dealing with hardware/technology (consoles, music players...) and multimedia content (games, music...). Remember, those branches are tighly linked between them. It's not like one Sony division sells computer hardware and the other sells food and vaccines.

The ideas expressed in these posts expressed ressentment towards the upper management's vision about "next-gen content protection", not especially against Sony-BMG employees or anyone in particular because those high-ranked executives have been thinking about it for a while, by performing a "Copyright Vs Fair Use" bargain people didn't appreciate.

That's why people feared this would spread to the PS3 too, wich by the way might lock your games to its hardware, so this could mean no more lending/used games selling. Your games could be played only on your console, and if broken, you would have to buy new copies for all your PS3 games.

Let's hope they'll learn from their mistakes.
 

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Microsoft has strict DRM schemes that cannot stand competition. Of course Microsoft doesn't want this to succeed. Ever heard of TC, Trusted Computing? It will include hardware lockins featured in Intel and AMDs chips (and windows ONLY runs on Intel-compatible chips). It can make computers safer, linux users would benefit from it, but in the hands of microsoft it becomes a lethal weapon, coupled with its DRM universe and software lockins.

there are some nice articles here http://www.aaxnet.com/editor/edit029.html and here for more http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/can-you-trust.html .not over yet: this is a must http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/tcpa-faq.html

software lockins are much more effective when backed by hardware locks. people need to m0dchip their computers in the near future. sigh...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/09/11/where_art_thou_stuckists_intel1/ reaction of the world after the uncovering of Lagrande by Intel.

windows users, don't even think about fleeing to the Mac universe, these will use Intel chips from now on, and IBM is working on a TC enabled Linux.

Unfortunately, if DRM and software lockins become the only way through content, music, movies and games are available, most people will just follow the trend.

Protesting isn't enough. People need to KNOW. But are they even caring?
 

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apart from what lockins can do to consumers (copy protect music, games, movies), Microsoft just wants to control what CAN be installed on its OSes. Since Vista doesnt include all the features it wanted, we'll probably see that starting with Blackcomb (successor of Vista).

Of course universal hard locking on consumers PCs wont happen. It will just force them to use a new generation of software. What people view as untolerable today, will be widely accepted tomorrow. As Sony, Microsoft wants to secure its customer base, by discouraging people to use competitiors' products. Oh, and microsoft wants to move from a licencing to a monthly-yearly subscription scheme, but perhaps this is out of topic...
 

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For ALL DUDES who bought XCP DRM'd SONY-BMG music from AMAZON

Amazon is offering refunds to customers who bought Sony BMG CDs that use the controversial XCP anti-copy system. The offer has been made in an e-mail sent to Amazon customers known to have bought a CD by one of the 52 Sony which contained the XCP software.

Customers can get the refund by sending back the CD, even if they have not used the disc in their computers. At the same time Sony BMG has released details of how customers can get XCP-free versions of CDs.

Let's hope those 'XCP-free' don't come with time limits or other tricks. At least people won't need to pay twice for the same stuff, as a 'privilege' from Sony.
 

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I'll say it once: Control. They want a way to force more people to buy from them, by stopping people from sharing music. But thanks to the knowing few who warned us about it, it will hopefully stop.

Unfortunately, that's not the last time we'll hear about DRM. Its main challenge is to provide both conveniency AND CONTROL to consumers. Its about an unbalanced fight between the media industry and the consumers, lost for the latter since the DMCA was drafted.

Once upon a time, people casually relinquished the right to copy (ie books, vinyl discs...) to the industry because it required a tiresome effort only the industry at that time could produce. Copyright used to limit copying to the companies authorized. Recently it has been used as a way to restrict everything.

Remember, copyright is an industry regulation. It should not apply to 'consumers'.
But in the current age we live in, since it became easier and easier to copy content (either books or music i.e), people are no longer willing to give up the right to copy for private/personnal uses.

For everyone's notice, I say that copyright is supposed to ensure both the sharing of knowledge and the rewarding of innovation. There is no room for excessive greed there.

READ THIS FOR MORE:

- http://www.toad.com/gnu/whatswrong.html

- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4348970.stm COPYRIGHT FOR THE DIGITAL AGE

DRM has essentially these uses for companies:

- Competing products are driven off the market because of incompatible DRM. The most popular wins.

- Competition is prevented

- Abuse of "copyright protection" rewards monopolies. Remember Microsoft's. They're at it too, not only Sony is.

- Copyright's balance of benefits is definitely lost.

- Beneficiaries are a tiny fraction of society
 

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Sony obviously is in trouble. However, I wonder if people will prefer to have their 'value-substracted' audio CDs replaced, or sue Sony for more compensation.

Fair-play from companies smells nice. Sneaking rootkits and defending these sure is a PR mistake.

I can bet my DRM'd CDs that in the near future, the only thing from Sony in my home will have 'Playstation 2' on it.

BDA's (who Sony is a member of) next-gen Bluray disc format seems to have trouble convincing the movie industry lately:
More expensive than HD-DVD and require all-new, special pressing machines. Who knows what new DRM schemes might be 'sneaked in'?

SONY'S DRM FIASCO
http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/nov2005/tc20051122_343542.htm?campaign_id=rss_tech
 

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Sony's DRM scheme was out since a long time. No details were disclosed to the public, and it lasted for months until someone (the MAN from sysinternals) discovered it BY CHANCE (and a lot of knowledge in security). Those stuck with this rootkit can say 'thanks' to this dude.

I wonder: what if he hasn't discovered it?
 

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The Bluray Disc Association. I focused on Sony because they're the ones most commited to Bluray (obviously because of the Playstation 3). There's an interesting article here about the disc format and specs here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc

"Once you can play it, you can copy it."
Too bad Sony's XCP rootkit installs before it plays.
 
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