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Thread: Spyware from our music

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003

    Spyware from our music

    Okay, well, the original article I found is here:

    Here's another short post on FurdLog about it:

    And some angry users:

    Here's a register article about the same topic:

    First off, it looks like the thing works through the AutoRun feature present in windows explorer, I can't imagine how else it would 'silently start upon insertion of CD'. So, they mutilated the first track of the audio CD and put executable code in it, that's nothing new. But, it angers me that we're at the point now that the music industry is now installing software onto machines without explicit user permission and without a clear opt-out agreement. And, they haven't achieved ANY protection through this. I mean, seriously, it's not that hard to rip a CD from a portable at pretty decent quality, I even have a short tutorial on my site about the topic ( http://cypherpunk.8bit.co.uk/philes/cdprot.txt ). If anything, this will deter people from buying legitimate CDs due to fear that something will be installed on their system without their knowledge or consent. I know I wouldn't buy music CDs if I knew they had that kind of stuff.

    However, I'm more fortunate and run GeoShell (which doesn't have AutoRun), so I can examine the CD at my leisure and take recordings all I want. And I'm not a music pirate, I believe that artists should be paid for their work. However, I also believe that I have a right to buy MUSIC without SOFTWARE being installed on my machine. It looks like Solaris/*nix/*bsd users won't have any problems cutting the tracks anyways, so, a lot of good that DRM work did.
    Is there a sum of an inifinite geometric series? Well, that all depends on what you consider a negligible amount.

  2. #2
    Regal Making Handler
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    A Gf of mine asked me to copy a cd for her resently, as it would not play in her car. It worked on her home hifi and in a walkman. Just would not in her car.

    Anyway i took alook for her and came up against some pretty good copy protection. When you inserted the disk it would autostart as you would expect, but you were asked to install a plugin for media player. If you declined. You could not play the music nor could you view the music files. No other media player i tried would work with it also. So i let the plugin install. Listened to a few tracks . Then did a bit of research.

    I then found that if i used an app like soundrecorder pro and played the tracks with the plugin that i could record the tracks straight from the sound card. So i had effectively defeated the copy protection with no trouble at all.

    So as for copy protection. It's an absolute waist of time and money. If it can be played on a pc it can be copied.

    I would point out at this time, that i did not copy the cd, having found a way to. I returned the cd to her and told her to take it back for a refund. She did and also let everyone in the shop no what she thought of it. Wish i had been there to see it, she's one tuff Lady.
    What happens if a big asteroid hits the Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. - Dave Barry

  3. #3
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington

    I know that I am paranoid, but this one is a bit too rich, even for me?........ I mostly play music on one of the several music systems kicking about the house, I do use PC equipment sometimes, and have a couple of excellent Altec Lansing systems...

    But those are so you can savour the screams of dying aliens, aren't they?

    Thanks for the heads up, I agree that this is one to keep an eye on.

    OK I am from the era of bakealite/vinyl, reel to reel..........I guess I cannot get a modern virus to run on my 286/386 collection?

    Damn! these people have no respect? haven't they heard of backwards compatibility?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    As a Solaris/IRIX/HP-UX/BSD user I feel sorry for PC/Mac users everytime I hear about this kind of thing, especially when it is something the person paid for.

    The sad thing is that the next step is probably some kind of hardware dongle (e.g. USB key, impractical I think), or some spin off of the FlexLM style license manager users of high end apps like SoftImage XSI are probably familiar with. I also pay for all of my music and DVD's, and expect to have my privacy and property (which includes decisions about what gets installed on my computers) respected for my trouble.

    I am curious what kind of torture it will cost you to try to enjoy a CD you purchase five years from now....

    -- spurious
    Get OpenSolaris http://www.opensolaris.org/

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