So now that everyone knows that putting a Sony BMG copy-protected CD into your PC could harm your computer (Macs are safe so far), Sony is attempting to right its wrong.
Some CDs released by Sony BMG since June 2004 have been copy-protected. These CDs, when put into your PC, install a form of spyware called a rootkit which spies on what you're doing on your computer, takes up your hard drive space, and can potentially damage your computer if you try to remove it.
Almost five million CDs have the copy protection, and over two million have already been sold. As of now Sony has indefinitely stopped putting this technology on its new CDs. Discs containing the rootkit are also being pulled from shelves, and if you've already got one, you can return it for a replacement. No details yet on how the replacement will work or how long it will take.
"We deeply regret any possible inconvenience this may cause," Sony has said in a statement. "We stand by content protection technology as an important tool to protect our intellectual property rights and those of our artists."
It's now being reported that even the patch that Sony has on its website to remove the software doesn't really do the job, and a procedure that does remove the software is long, complicated, and could still damage your computer.
So your best bet right now is to keep these CDs away from your PC. The nice folks at Electronic Frontier Foundation have put together a list of these infected discs and some other good info on their website, http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004144.php.
These are the CDs they say are affected:
Switchfoot, Nothing is Sound (Columbia)
Trey Anastasio, Shine (Columbia)
Celine Dion, On ne Change Pas (Epic)
Neil Diamond, 12 Songs (Columbia)
Our Lady Peace, Healthy in Paranoid Times (Columbia)
Chris Botti, To Love Again (Columbia)
Van Zant, Get Right with the Man (Columbia)
The Coral, The Invisible Invasion (Columbia)
Acceptance, Phantoms (Columbia)
Susie Suh, Susie Suh (Epic)
Amerie, Touch (Columbia)
Life of Agony, Broken Valley (Epic)
Horace Silver Quintet, Silver's Blue (Epic Legacy)
Gerry Mulligan, Jeru (Columbia Legacy)
Dexter Gordon, Manhattan Symphonie (Columbia Legacy)
The Bad Plus, Suspicious Activity (Columbia)
The Dead 60s, The Dead 60s (Epic)
Dion, The Essential Dion (Columbia Legacy)
Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten (Epic)
Ricky Martin, Life (Columbia) (labeled as XCP, but, oddly, our disc had no protection)
My Morning Jacket, Z
Santana, All That I Am
Sarah McLachlan, Bloom Remix Album
Writer: Michelle Garcia