Business & Finance
Commentary
12/8/2005
11:33 AM
Commentary
Commentary
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Sony: The Company That Couldn't Shoot Straight


In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Sony: The Company That Couldn't Shoot Straight
2. Today's Top Story
    - New Sony CD Security Issue Needs Patching
Related Stories:
    - Protecting Applications From Hackers
    - Next Sober Attack Slated For Jan. 5
    - Beware Of IM Greeting Cards
    - New Breed Of Malicious IM Bots Gets Interactive
3. Breaking News
    - IE 7 Public Beta Expected Q1 '06
    - Got An Open-Source Problem? Red Hat Wants To Be Your Help Desk
    - U.K. Web Site Explains Games Industry Ratings System
    - Want To Review That E-mail? Take It With You On Your iPod
    - CEA President: CES Is Defining The Market
    - Chambers Outlines Network's Role In Changing Architectures
    - Gartner's Advice: Stop Deploying BlackBerry
    - EU Likely To Approve Data Retention Bill
    - South Korea's Antitrust Watchdog Fines Microsoft Over Unfair Practices
    - Merrill Lynch Sells Its Web Services Vendor A Web Services Tool
    - NBC Programs Now On iTunes
4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web
    - Internet Body Postpones Decision On Sex Domain
    - Microsoft's CEO Will Have To Shop For His Xbox
    - Music Man Cracks DRM Schemes
5. In Depth
    - Microsoft To Invest $1.7 Billion In India
    - Microsoft To Lift Lid On Windows Live Local
    - Review: Windows OneCare Live
6. Voice Of Authority
    - Sun Combativeness, Open-Source Peacekeeping A Good Match?
7. White Papers
    - Infrastructure Management is Not Enough: The New IT Operations Imperative
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."
-- Hunter S. Thompson


1. Editor's Note: Sony: The Company That Couldn't Shoot Straight

Well, it looks like the wacky gang at Sony is at it again. Sony BMG Music Entertainment said it shipped 5.7 million CDs with anti-piracy technology with a security vulnerability that requires a patch.

No, this isn't the same security vulnerability we wrote about weeks ago. This is an entirely new one, involving a different copy-protection technology.

And that's not all. The blog Freedom to Tinker reports that Sony's patch is itself insecure; the blog recommends users avoid the patch. Freedom to Tinker provides details about the vulnerability, noting that you're infected even if you decline Sony's terms of service. Simply putting the CD in your PC opens up the vulnerabilities.

Earlier, Freedom to Tinker took a look at how copy protection helps musical labels and electronics companies create vendor lock-in. If all your music is un-copy protected, you can throw out your iPod tomorrow and go buy a competing music player. But if all your music is copy protected by Apple, you run the risk of losing access to your music library if you switch brands.

Vendor lock-in is, of course, an old, old hazard for enterprise IT managers; now, the media and consumer electronics companies are introducing that risk to the public at large. Thanks, guys.

Sony and the rest of the media companies are doing a great job convincing their customers to stop buying music and instead get pirated versions. The pirated--in other words, stolen--versions are altogether better: They're free of course, and unencumbered by copy protection, which might prevent you from playing your music on any devices other than those approved by the companies that distributed the software. For example, Sony's copy protection doesn't allow its music to be played on iPods, and, likewise, users of the RealNetworks Rhapsody service can't--legally--play their music on iPods, either.

And if you want to play your music on your PC, as many people do, copy-protection technology creates security vulnerabilities.

So we encourage you to keep away from music and video that is protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM) software. Instead, you should only use pirated music and video.

No, I'm not actually serious about that. You shouldn't use pirated music and video because piracy is stealing, and stealing is wrong. Still--DRM advocates are making their products less attractive and stealing more attractive. I don't want you to steal, and the media companies don't want you to steal--but their actions are, nonetheless, driving people to theft.

For more on this subject, see my latest entry on the InformationWeek Weblog, and leave a comment there to let us know what you think of this subject.

Mitch Wagner
mwagner@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

New Sony CD Security Issue Needs Patching
MediaMax Version 5, which Sony uses to restrict how many times a CD can be copied, installs a file folder in the computer that could allow a guest user to gain unauthorized access. A patch is available online.

Related Stories:

Protecting Applications From Hackers
Tools to examine software vulnerability in the design and testing stages have existed for years, but they are now getting easier and more intuitive to use as companies face the evolving landscape of threats.

Next Sober Attack Slated For Jan. 5
A date found embedded in recent variants of the Sober worm provides a clue as to the timing of the next planned attack, a security firm said Wednesday.

Beware Of IM Greeting Cards
A new memory-resident worm is making the rounds disguised as a holiday card. It propagates through an IM network by sending itself to other users listed on the infected user's buddy list.

New Breed Of Malicious IM Bots Gets Interactive
Once a user's system in infected, the bot reportedly sends new messages to the user's buddy list. The messages appear to come from the infected user, instructing the recipients to download the malicious content.


3. Breaking News

IE 7 Public Beta Expected Q1 '06
The browser, which is being developed for both Windows XP and Vista, add new features such as tabs, RSS support, and stronger security.

Got An Open-Source Problem? Red Hat Wants To Be Your Help Desk
Red Hat joins several companies in the business of supporting multiple open-source software packages, freeing IT managers from scouring the Web, newsgroups, and mailing lists to provide in-house support.

U.K. Web Site Explains Games Industry Ratings System
Those who aren't hip to the huge gaming phenomenon in the U.K. have a new resource to help them understand the age-rating system used for Britain's video games.

Want To Review That E-mail? Take It With You On Your iPod
MagneticTime software allows you to convert E-mails and Word documents into audio files.

CEA President: CES Is Defining The Market
Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, the producer of CES, which has emerged as far more than a consumer electronics show over the last few years, recently spoke with Digital Connect editor Jeff O'Heir about this year's show and trends affecting the industry.

Chambers Outlines Network's Role In Changing Architectures
Cisco CEO John Chambers outlined for security analysts how the networking company will tap into the trend toward service-oriented architectures.

Gartner's Advice: Stop Deploying BlackBerry
In addition, Gartner urges enterprises to demand that Research In Motion, which has been struggling in a patent action brought against it by NTP, publicly detail its plans for a workaround should it lose its suit.

EU Likely To Approve Data Retention Bill
Next week's vote in the European Parliament is expected to bring back tougher rules requiring telecom companies to keep phone and E-mail data, officials say.

South Korea's Antitrust Watchdog Fines Microsoft Over Unfair Practices
The commission also ordered Microsoft to offer two versions of Windows in South Korea within 180 days; Microsoft says it will appeal.

Merrill Lynch Sells Its Web Services Vendor A Web Services Tool
SOA Software will market a Merrill Lynch tool that exposes CICS transactions as Web services.

NBC Programs Now On iTunes
The lineup of available prime-time shows includes "Law & Order," "The Office" and "Surface." Classic TV programs and late-night shows are also being offered.

All our latest news
http://www.informationweek.com/news


4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web

Internet Body Postpones Decision On Sex Domain (Reuters)
The group that oversees Internet domain sites has again postponed a decision on a controversial ".xxx" domain for sex sites, the head of the organization said on Monday.

Microsoft's CEO Will Have To Shop For His Xbox (Reuters)
Steve Ballmer will have to shop around for an Xbox 360 game console this holiday season just like the rest of us--it doesn't come with his job.

Music Man Cracks DRM Schemes (Wired News)
A computer-science grad student with a flair for reverse engineering matches wits with the recording industry, seeking out bugs and security holes whenever the industry releases a new copy-protection scheme. He's keeping Sony on the run.


----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

Help Choose the Best Independent Tech Blog of 2005
The nominations came fast and furious. We've winnowed down the list to 10 blogs. It's time to let your voice be heard. Cast your vote for the top Independent Tech Blog. The winner will be announced around Dec. 16 and will receive a $500 Starbucks Coffee Card.

A Week's Worth Of Dailies--All In One Place
Have you missed an issue or two of the InformationWeek Daily? Or do you want to check out some recent quotes of the day? Go to our all-new Daily newsletter archive page and get caught up quickly.

Subscribe To Your Favorite Authors
Are you a fan of Fred Langa? Are there other InformationWeek authors that you view as must-reads? Then check out our all-new authors directory; each author has his or her own page as well as his or her own RSS feed.

Protecting the Corporate Network
Examine the security practices of over 2,500 U.S. companies in InformationWeek Research's 2005 Global Information Security Survey report. In addition to spotlighting security best practices and near-term investment plans, the study also documents recent security incidents. Use the report to help fine tune your company's security procedures.

-----------------------------------------


5. In Depth

Microsoft To Invest $1.7 Billion In India
Speaking in New Delhi on Wednesday, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said the company’s expansion in India would be limited only by the ability to hire engineering talent and put management structures in place.

Microsoft To Lift Lid On Windows Live Local
The new online offering, which attempts to go Google one better, combines local search with Microsoft's Virtual Earth aerial-imaging service.

Review: Windows OneCare Live
Live from Redmond, it's Microsoft's new security, optimization, and backup suite--and it's looking good.


6. Voice Of Authority

Sun Combativeness, Open-Source Peacekeeping A Good Match?
Sun Microsystems took the plunge Nov. 30 and committed itself to converting much of its software product line to open-source code. Sun will give you its software ... if only you'll use it. As a statement of business strategy, the move sums up multiple past failures, but maybe, just maybe, this time its approach will work, predicts Charles Babcock.


7. White Papers

Infrastructure Management is Not Enough: The New IT Operations Imperative
Application management transforms system management from a bottom-up, technology-focused task to a business-centric, end-user-focused practice. Mercury offers the only end-to-end application life-cycle solution that ensures service performance/availability throughout testing and production. Read why smart IT executives are investing in BTO software.


8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

Try InformationWeek's RSS Feed

Discover all InformationWeek's sites and newsletters

Recommend This Newsletter To A Friend
Do you have friends or colleagues who might enjoy this newsletter? Please forward it to them and point out the subscription page.


9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

You are subscribed as #emailaddr#. To unsubscribe from, subscribe to, or change your E-mail address for this newsletter, please visit the InformationWeek Subscription Center.

Note: To change your E-mail address, please subscribe your new address and unsubscribe your old one.

Keep Getting This Newsletter
Don't let future editions of InformationWeek Daily go missing. Take a moment to add the newsletter's address to your anti-spam white list:
InfoWeek@update.informationweek.com

If you're not sure how to do that, ask your administrator or ISP. Or check your anti-spam utility's documentation. Thanks.

We take your privacy very seriously. Please review our Privacy Policy.

InformationWeek Daily Newsletter
A free service of InformationWeek and the TechWeb Network.
Copyright (c) 2005 CMP Media LLC
600 Community Drive
Manhasset, N.Y. 11030

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - July 22, 2014
Sophisticated attacks demand real-time risk management and continuous monitoring. Here's how federal agencies are meeting that challenge.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.