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Sony BMG exchanges CDs with content-protection software



After several complaints from infuriated customers, a
massive criticism from bloggers, and a class-action lawsuit filed, Sony BMG
announced a mail-in exchange program for the CDs containing the XCP copy
protection software.




Extended Copy Protection (XCP) is a CD copy protection
technology released by Sony BMG on 52 of their music CD titles. The problem is
that XCP has virus like capabilities like hiding files, processes and registry
keys and values. No uninstall procedures were available but due to the several
complains, Sony BMG initially posted an uninstall request page on their
homepage which turned into another nightmare due to potential security holes of
the uninstall process that could be exploited by malicious attacker.




We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause our
customers and we are committed to making this situation right. the company
said in their exchange program announcement page.




The CD exchange program is a big change in Sony BMGs
handling of their disastrous attempt to protect music copyrights. XCP,
developed by First4Internet Ltd., was released by Sony BMG in May without any
announcement. When Mark Russinovich discovered that the Sony BMGs music CDs surreptitiously
installed digital right management software based on rootkit (software often
synonymous with spyware), he posted his findings on his blog and initiated a
large public complaints against Sony BMGs unethical and possibly illegal
behavior.





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