Mac anti-rip code surfaces on Sony BMG CD

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. macrumors bot

  2. macrumors 68030


    anti-rip would mean to me, i could not create .mp3 or .mp4 files.

    imo, this is going to be another reason for cd sales to go down.
  3. macrumors Penryn


    Wow, I hope it doesn't come down to using an old PC as a Linux box just to rip CD's.

    Then again I don't buy CD's. :D
  4. macrumors G5


    I certainly boycott any CD that's protected or incompatible in any way.

    For the record, this is NOT the same thing Sony has been doing to Windows users (which was my first thought).

    Tat was a highly dangerous rootkit, granting deep access to the OS, that Windows allows to be auto-installed with no warning or indication--and which virus outbreaks are already exploiting. The fact that such a thing is possible is a gaping flaw in Windows, and the fact that Sony would do it is bad as well.

    But the Mac thing is an app he had to hunt around and stumble across on a partition of an enhance CD. It didn't run automatically, and when he ran it manually, he was warned and required to confirm it, like a good OS should do. And it was DRM software--system extensions but not a rootkit granting deep access to the OS.

    And I don't think this stops you from ripping the CD. Unless you choose to install the DRM software manually, I think you can still rip normally on a Mac. (But I'd still boycott on principle.)

    So it's very different from the Windows issue, and may not have affected any Mac users--unlike the Windows rootkit issue which has compromised thousands of PCs.

    More details are welcomed--but that's what I gather.
  5. macrumors 68040


    I'd like some more information about this, honestly. It seems he had to go FIND the thing, and THEN run it, it didn't run automatically, and it can't install those kernel extensions without consent anyway. Just how effective would this be? Could it be coded to run automatically, and if permission wasn't given to eject the CD? Then I'll start caring. Otherwise, I'll just keep ripping CDs like I ought to be able to. I was planning on buying Immi's new album (because it's awesome), but now I'm not so sure. I don't want to endorse this glorious new age of stomping all over my fair use rights.
  6. macrumors G5


    That's my impression too--it's harmless, but I would avoid it on principle.

    Makes you wonder why they put something on the CD at all if it's not automatic (which it can't be in OS X)... maybe there are extra Enhanced CD features that install WITH the DRM, as an incentive to make people choose to install it? The report is too short to tell.

    Or maybe it's an indication of something they started to do, and either couldn't make it work (thankfully) or else didn't finish. Just a "leftover" file that never got deleted from the master?

    I'd like to know more.

    PS, here's a link about the rootkit and "Stinx-E" virus that Microsoft and Sony have allowed to attack Windows music buyers:

    (Honestly, how do Windows users sleep at night, with their personal information and vital files in the hands of Microsoft products? Are you ever SURE you're expert enough to be safe from the next surprise? More expert than the virus-writers? And who wants to have to take the time to stay an expert anyway? Play a music CD, get malware? What next? If my business and personal files were on Windows, I'd have ulcers. Maybe nothing would happen to my files. Maybe nothing would be deleted, and maybe my identity and contacts wouldn't be stolen. Maybe I'd never have to do the labor of cleaning out malware. But I'd live in a LOT more fear of those things than I care to.)
  7. macrumors regular

    Just another pice adding to the growing impression that SONY can't get ANYTHING right these days. It's just *sad*
  8. macrumors Penryn


    Yeah, those enhanced features aren't really worth it for me. When I put a CD in to rip to my iTunes collection. I'm only doing it for the music.
  9. macrumors 601


    Doesn't bode well for the PS3, now, does it? :(
  10. macrumors 68020


    yeah...word on the street was that the PS3 makes like a special log of the disk played in the machine so it cannot be played on multiple PS3s..that wouldn't be such great news for the used-game is really up in this anti-piracy thing these days :p
  11. macrumors 68040


    I doubt that's the case. Unless the machine was networked it couldn't communicate to other PS3s to prevent them from playing a disc. Not to mention that this would eliminate game rentals and the notion of first sale doctrine.
  12. macrumors 68020


    I buy all my music on CDs and I perodically borrow a few from friends and family to rip to ad to my collection. Bugger buying any from Sony if they are going to resort to these sorts of tactics to stop pirating:mad:
  13. macrumors G5


    I blame Sony, but I'd be crazy not to ALSO blame pirates.

    Even those who pirate only a few albums a year. If you like the artist enough to listen, then I say it's worth paying the artist. (And protesting the artist's chosen record deals "for their own good" is misguided at best--and not a true protest unless you make public what you've done. Then you have civil disobedience and an effective statement.)

    If I like an album I borrow, I either buy it or I give it back and do without.

    I don't mean to sound harsh, but I've made the choice to be honest and am paying the price for those who don't, so I wish to share my choice and reasons.
  14. macrumors G3


    Yes, that's exactly how it works on OS X. The enhanced content program is essentially a trojan horse that installs kernel level code. The extensions intercept CD mounts and hide direct access to the CD-DA content on MediaMax-encoded discs. It could be viewed as a "root kit" (a poorly defined term, that one) in that it surreptitiously takes some control away from the user, and the average end user won't know how to find and remove it.

    I don't think that the standard Mac anti-malware software will look for these extensions, but perhaps it should.
  15. macrumors 603


    Simple. Some of us know how to enable security in Windows. I’m a Window user of 12 years and I’ve had one virus back in 93. Bootsector virus of all things. Got it off a floppy. Since then NOTHING. No viruses, no spyware, no adware. Nothing.
    I was actually going to completely pass up your previous comment on the rootkit and how it "automatically" installs. There has been a LOT of FUD being put out about this rootkit. Some of it legit. Some of it not so much. First off. The package DOES NOT automatically install as in drop in the CD and bam. You are screwed. You have to click yes to the EULA and let an installer programs install the player interface and in the background the rootkit. That being said from the standpoint of not showing any signs of the software being installed. I agree. It’s BS.
    Also for those of us who KNOW how to manage Windows we can secure it from **** like this. Its simply (Or not so simply for the average user.) a matter of adding the user to Power Users group, resetting the file rights on the system disk, and tweaking the registry so Power Users have limited rights. All this boils down to skills. Something that that average user does not, and frankly should not, know how to do.
    This is why I evangelize OS X and Macs to users. You can get the same rough security out of Windows but do you really want to spend all that time tinkering or would you rather get down to using your computer? I personally am a geek. I hex edit files, decompile files, and generally love to tinker with my computer so for me. *shrugs* Not a big deal. For others. Big ‘o freaking deal.
  16. macrumors newbie


    Now we know who we can thank for DRM. :rolleyes: :mad: Thanks!
  17. macrumors 6502a

    I'd like to say a big thanks. Piracy has brought us lower CD prices, forced a shake up of a price fixing, monopolistic industry and it has spawned great services such as iTMS.

    DRM, in an industry that exists solely on the basis of control of information, was always on the cards, but it is the pirates who are working hard to ensure that you can still enjoy your music unencumbered by such annoyances.

    Go and buy the CD and when you get home point your web browser at [site name removed] to get the music. Wouldn't want to risk that nice shiny disc getting damaged, would we?
  18. macrumors 68020

    Three counter-arguments:

    1) EULAs are generally regarded as click-throughs and people tend to not even realize they "agreed" to something. Yes, the observant few out there actually read the EULAs because many companies "agree" that you owe them your left testicle and firstborn child, but for the vast majority of computer users, they are as meaningful as the fine print on the bottom of a car ad on TV. They just stand in the way of you and the software you just bought and need to use, or, in this case, between you and the music you want to listen to.

    2) The EULA, from my understanding, is highly deceptive. For one thing, it states that the software can easily be uninstalled at any time, which is both patently false and actively disproven in that Sony has "upgraded" their software when an uninstallation procedure was devised, to make it even harder to remove. For another, it certainly doesn't explain the details of what a root kit is or how it operates (by not just hiding ITS files, but ANY file starting with "$sys$" ... brilliant!)

    3) If you don't agree to the EULA, the CD is ejected and music made unavailable. This is par for the course with EULAs, but it essentially forces anyone wanting to listen to the disk on their machine to either educate themselves in how to circumvent the Sony DRM or to agree to it and all its insecure consequences.
  19. macrumors G5


    An important detail that hasn't been reported much. Noted!
  20. macrumors 604


  21. macrumors newbie

    Of course, not buying their crap, and doing without would have done the same thing. But, we American's feel entitled to fulfill our wants.

    "Annoyances" such as paying for someone's intellectual property. It really bothers me that we are raising an entire generation that feels they don't have to pay for anything if it can be found for free.
  22. macrumors 68040


    And unless you live in a state that signed the brain-dead UCITA bill into law (MD and VA), click-thru/shrinkwrap licenses are not legally binding.
    Of course, "circumvent" can be as simple as holding down the SHIFT key on disk insertion or disabling auto-run (assuming the malware hasn't already been installed, of course.)
  23. macrumors 6502a


    God, what is the big problem with ripping a cd to your computer? I mean, it's one thing to give a copy to everyone who can find you on Limewire, but I feel like it's well within my rights to put the music that I buy on iTunes to play in my iPod. Considering my apartment isn't big enough for a huge stereo, I just listen to music through my computer. I'd stop buying cds entirely if I couldn't do this.

    This thing gets me so angry, just because I buy my music and I want to do what I want with it. I know it's not a threat yet, but look what they're doing to millions of Windows users. And they wonder why the market is crap...
  24. macrumors G3


    That would not be a good assumption to make. See for example Mortgage Plus v DocMagic. Clickwrap appears to be valid.
  25. macrumors member

    Who does Sony think they are, really?? I am so sick of the music industry today. They blame consumers because they can't come up with a viable business model for the internet age. Even now, ten years after mp3's, they still can't figure it out. Apple has...and go figure, they still want to go muck with that and mess it all up (diff. pricing, for example).

    Sucks when the consumer becomes informed and you can't walk all over them anymore?

    I hate the RIAA and everything it stands for. I will gladly continue my complete lack of support for them and their artists.

    If you like an artist, go see them live. That's how they make there money...

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