månadsarkiv: november 2005

Staten Texas stämmer Sony

Via Slashdot hittar jag en artikel om att Texas stämmer Sony för att ha installerat spyware på kundernas datorer.

Texas is seeking civil penalties of $100,000 per violation of the state’s Consumer Protection Against Computer Spyware Act, which was enacted earlier this year.

”Sony has engaged in a technological version of cloak and dagger deceit against consumers by hiding secret files on their computers,” Abbott said.

Jag hittade en intressant kommentar på Slashdot också:

Assuming a computer counts as tangible, movable property, and I do believe the rootkit at least counts as ”criminal mischief”, and the Texas AG has a legal duty to protect people’s computers (or people ask him to), the use of lethal force against Sony BMG would be authorized. 9.43. PROTECTION OF THIRD PERSON’S PROPERTY. A person is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property of a third person if, under the circumstances as he reasonably believes them to be, the actor would be justified under Section 9.41 or 9.42 in using force or deadly force to protect his own land or property and: (1) the actor reasonably believes the unlawful interference constitutes attempted or consummated theft of or criminal mischief to the tangible, movable property; or (2) the actor reasonably believes that: (A) the third person has requested his protection of the land or property; (B) he has a legal duty to protect the third person’s land or property; or (C) the third person whose land or property he uses force or deadly force to protect is the actor’s spouse, parent, or child, resides with the actor, or is under the actor’s care.

Vi får väl se. Det hade varit intressant att pröva. I upphovsrättens namn. Let them go down Texas style.

Mer om Sony

Nu har Sony tillkännagivit att man kommer dra tillbaka 4,7 miljoner cd-skivor med rootkitet på. Detta enligt IDG och CNET.

Sista meningen i IDGs artikel är helt fantastiskt absurd:

Den fjärde november sade Thomas Hesse som är chef för Sony BMGs globala affärsutveckling att eftersom de flesta han känner inte vet vad ett rootkit är så behöver de heller inte oroa sig för det.

Nä, OK. Vet man inte om att det är farligt att köra pålar genom kroppen så kan man inte skadas av det heller. Ignorance is bliss.

Sony bryter mot LGPL?

Enligt en holländsk artikel (via Slashdot) använder Sony kod från mp3-projektet LAME, som distribueras under LGPL. Jag har själv inte kunnat läsa artikeln, eftersom den engelska översättningen blivit slashdottad. Men om det stämmer är det väldigt intressant.
Det är alltså OK för Sony att strunta i licenser och copyright, bara andra inte gör likadant.

Uppdatering: Kolla även hos Magisk, mer info finns här och här.

Uppdatering: Jag lyckades få tag på en cachad översättning av artikeln. Klistrar in den här, eftersom den är svår att få tag på just nu:

”The spyware that Sony installs on the computers of music fans does not even seem to be correct in terms of copyright law.

It turns out that the rootkit contains pieces of code that are identical to LAME, an open source mp3-encoder, and thereby breach the license.

This software is licensed under the so called Lesser Gnu Public License (LGPL). According to this license Sony must comply with a couple of demands. Amongst others, they have to indicate in a copyright notice that they make use of the software. The company must also deliver the source code to the open-source libraries or otherwise make these available. And finally, they must deliver or otherwise make available the in between form between source code and executable code, the so called objectfiles, with which others can make comparable software.

Sony complied with non of these demands, but delivered just an executable program. A computerexpert, whose name is known by the redaction, discovered that the cd ”Get Right With The Man” by ”Van Zant” contains strings from the library version.c of Lame. This can be conluded from the string: ”http://www.mp3dev.org/”, ”0.90”, ”LAME3.95”, ”3.95”, ”3.95 ”.

But the expert has more proof. For example, the executable program go.exe contains a so called array largetbl. This is a part used in the module tables.c of libmp3lame.

This discovery can have far-stretching consequences for the music giant, who claims only to protect copyrights. Previously, judges in Germany already forced various companies to release source code to the public and to deliver the goods necessary for compiling. It is also possible to demand financial compensation for damages.

Meanwhile, Other details are also becoming clear. The Electronic Frontier Foundation complains that the spyware makes the legal listening to the music on iPods impossble. The organisation is busy making a list of cds containing the hidden software and publishes this on her website.

Various calls to SonyBMG remained unanswered despite promises to call back.”