I’m sure you’ve heard about Sony’s despicable inclusion of potentially malicious software on recent CDs. My position? I think Wired’s call to boycott Sony is not out of line. I wouldn’t intentionally buy a copy-controlled CD (especially one where I cannot easily transfer tracks to my iPod). However, I did pick up the first holiday CD by Jane Monheit called The Season recently. Only when I got home and opened it did I see the XCP information. Who thinks to look for this when buying a CD? When did compact discs become software where you have to check system requirements? C’mon!
I spent a week just looking at this CD (which isn’t such a bad thing since Jane is easy on the eyes) trying to figure out what to do with it. Obviously I’m not going to install it on my PC. I don’t want hidden, unwelcome programs that send information back to Sony and that virus writers have already exploited. I thought about installing it on my workstation at the office because that machine is crap anyway but can?t remember the secret administrator password. Finally, I came across software that rips the tracks without installing any programs.
Will I be reconsidering Sony purchases in the future? Absolutely. How angry am I about this? I thought about offering The Season‘s MP3s on the site. That would be unfair to Jane, though. I’m still a supporter of musicians and will buy tracks from iTunes (good news for The Bad Plus, whose new release Suspicious Activity? is also XCP).