Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Sony DRM rootkit code (#4) Sony DRM rootkit code (#4)

A recent post to cyberia-l by Drew Lehman discusses the DRM root kit code:
This was sent to a list for a user group I run. Seems this is the talk of the town everywhere.

After further reading at XCP1 Burn Protect - F4i XCP Aurora , it seems that the prerelease material refers to copies for internal use at the studios and should not be distributed publicly anyway. So, Universal, Warner & EMI are well within their rights to put this stuff on CDs that should only ever be run on their own systems.

*Where is XCP being used?*

XCP1 and XCP Red technology is being used by all four of the major Record Labels for the protection of pre release music on internal CDRs. Albums from some of the best known artists have been successfully copy protected in this way to reduce the occurrence of leaks prior to release.

*The Financial Cost Of Pre Release Leaks*

Record Labels regularly suffer the financial consequences of leaked pre release music when internal or promotional CDRs are wrongfully copied and distributed prior to the commercial release date. Many Record Labels are now analysing the effect on sales of new release album sales. Not surprisingly those albums that are successfully protected prior to commercial release achieve significantly higher sales revenue in the first two weeks than those that are not.

It appears that only Sony has taken the slimy dishonest and, most likely, illegal route of allowing this to be installed on their customers' systems. At least so far. The others were probably waiting in the wings to see how far Sony got and whether they would be caught. I wouldn't be surprised if they all agreed to underwrite Sony's legal defense, in return for Sony playing the role of the test rabbit.

So according to this, originally the DRM root kit code was developed to prevent illegal distribution of pre-release music. It appears that other music companies, including Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and EMI are still utilizing it for that purpose. Only Sony has apparently started shipping it with publically released music.

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