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Sony’s Big Blunder

Tuesday, November 8, 2005  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

I did three segments of today’s show on the Sony software that downloads onto personal computers when playing new Sony CDs, and I could have given the entire show over to it. People are very upset. One example from the pile of e-mail:

Sony CEO George Orwell said today…

Hugh, there is nothing he could say. There are no words to excuse what they have done. I don’t buy CDs/DVDs of music in any case (almost deaf) and I don’t steal. Never have.

But, this clown is prepared to destroy 20+ years of academic work and
unique datasets if I should make the mistake of buying a Sony product? And you think an apology will suffice? This is the first time I have ever wondered if we are on different planets. Hugh, lefties do words; we do deeds. There are no words to excuse this behavior.

Sorry, bucko, the death penalty. Nothing from Sony will be in my house. Ever. Again.

Bob M____

And this:

Nor is the fact that they’re sending the information like your IP in the issue. The issue is the rootkit. All programs, including anti-virus programs have to trust that the operating system is telling the truth about what programs are on disk and what programs are running in memory. If a rootkit is used to hid a program, it’s nigh impossible to detect much less remove it without going to drastic measures. This means that the Sony rootkit opens up a big hole for anyone who wants to cause some trouble, but doesn’t have the skill or opportunity to do it.

There’s tons of DRM out there that not only limits use, but also observes buying patterns (iTunes and it’s DRM’ed AAC format are good examples), but Sony went way beyond that by forcefully and secretly installing a program that hacks windows. By all definitions Sony’s rootkit is a virus, and it’s unacceptable that they’re spreading something that can so easily break Windows and give those that intend much more evil an easy in.

And this:

Dear Hugh, thank you for bringing this to my attention. I was considering the purchase of a Sony brand DVD burner for my computer (to back up my computer files). Now I will definitely be looking at other brands. Thank you for the best radio show ever! William.

It is a New Coke moment for Sony. How will management react?

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