November 16, 2005
If you bought recent CD releases from Sony BMG, it could be some great music...along with a nasty bit of software that could damage your computer. WILL's resident consumer electronics guru Rich Warren reports that in the name of copy protection, Sony BMG is now including on many of its CDs a program called a rootkit to monitor your computer activity and prevent you from making copies of the CD, even for your own fair use. The software can lead to computer crashes and loss of data, all in the name of protecting a large music corporation from a theoretical loss of CD sales caused by you making a copy of a CD you already paid for. Or putting it on your iPod, you selfish music lover you. Here's more if you want the sordid details. Personally I think if we believe in free markets, based on the notion of informed consumer choice, Sony BMG is likely to lose CD sales as consumers are informed about what they're buying. We love music, so we're happy to help that educational process.