Sony CD

Sony Music CD’s Played on IBM Computers Install a Program that is Regarded as Spyware-Truth! But Withdrawn!


Summary of eRumor:

This eRumor warns not to play Sony audio CD’s on your IBM type computer because a hidden program is installed that many experts believe is spyware.
The story says that if you try to play a Sony CD on your PC you are prompted to install a special codec, a file that allows you to play the music.  It’s not just a file for playing the music, however.  It’s called the Sony rootkit and it’s part of Sony’s attempt to deal with illegal copying and sharing of music.  The eRumor says, however, that the installation is virtually impossible to remove and has been used by third parties to hide other dangerous programs on your computer.

The Truth:

The Sony rootkit is real and after a furor that erupted over the Internet about it as well as threatened a lawsuit, Sony announced in mid-November that it was going to stop using it.  

The rootkit installed only on Windows-based PC’s.  It did not affect Macs or any of the music players used to listen to music CD’s.

Sony calls it their XCP Content Protection Software.

Sony said it was a part of it’s continuing attempts to protect product from excessive sharing and duplication but critics say the software was installed without the knowledge of the computer owner or full disclosure as to what it was.  Critics also said that the presence of the rootkit exposed the computer to exploit by hackers and crooks who could use it to gain access to a person’s computer.

Microsoft joined the critics by announcing that they regarded the Sony installation to be spyware and offered a tool for removing it.

In announcing that it would cease distributing CD’s with the XCP Content Protection Software, Sony also offered buyers the opportunity to exchange any CD that contained it with a CD that does not have the software on it.  CLICK HERE for details about that.  Sony has also posted a list of questions and answers about the software.  CLICK HERE for those

For a list of the CD’s that included the XCP Content Protection Software, CLICK HERE