This doesn’t affect me, because I have been on a de facto boycott of RIAA labels for years now and I don’t use a Windows machine in any significant way but now Sony Music has really crossed the line. By installing rootkits on your PC when you insert their music CDs that then corrupt your PC if you try to remove it, they have really and truly screwed the pooch. As I understand it from reading online, their rootkit that is there to ensure you aren’t playing their music without permission does not identify itself as such. If, like any good listener of recent episodes of Security Now, you try to remove this as the malware that it is, it will screw up your machine. You have no way of knowing ahead of time this will happen (unless you are reading blog posts about it), and no redress after the fact. Also, any savvy author of rootkit malware that currently can be removed will probably be buying a copy of the Van Zant Brothers CD and decompiling their rootkit to figure out that technique, increasing the state of the art of rootkit authors everywhere. Thanks Sony.
The line has been crossed. People of conscience should cease today buying Sony Music products of all kinds. Sony obviously doesn’t care about you if they are willing to put your PCs, all your personal or business data at risk in order to prevent you from playing an MP3. Who needs them? Give them what they want, don’t ever play their pirated MP3s but also don’t ever buy their CDs either. There are one million songs out there released free and clear by artists who want your attention and are not going to destroy your computer for listening to them.
As of today, if you buy Sony Music products you are supporting criminal activity.
Addenda: If you look at the original post where this came to light, one of the commentors notes that in the long run, Sony has made it more reasonable for you to download illegal MP3s of their music than buy it, because you don’t put yourself at risk that way. The most basic rule of all business and life for that matter is “incent the behavior you want to happen.” When you screw people for paying you money, you screw yourself in the long run.