While over in the US last couple of weeks I bought the latest “The Bad Plus” album “Suspicious Activity”. The band has on my radars screen since I heard their first album and bought it after the first four bars of the album gave me goose bumps. Actually I am very excited that I will be seeing them life comming sunday.
But with the purchase of the album I entered SONY’s DRM hell.
During the trip I ripped the track to my laptoy, its the play-back method of my choice during trips. RIP the new albums and randomly play them, on Mac OSX/iTunes this worked perfectly.
On my home system, a windows XP box I keep the iTunes that I sync with my iPod. And the iPod is my main method for music consumption. I therefore planned to RIP the CD on my windows box too.
Not being sharp after a 24hour trip I did not realize that the install screen was not for some nice add-on but for the propriatary SONY rip tool. And that is even though I frequently read Schneiers blog, that reported about this recently. Besides, ripping the CD with the tool does not help me much since I end up with Windows Media files, those do not work well with iPods.
I now ended up with an uncontrollable piece of software. The uninstall ActiveX template, that can only be obtained after you disclosed your e-mail address (shame! shame! shame!), seemed to have failed. This might be fortunate since according to recent reports the uninstall script leaves an even bigger hole.
I am increadibly frustrated over this. Being honest and supporting good bands by buying their music is punished. And although there are rumours that Sony will recall the CDs that is probably only doable in the US and not for folk that exported the media to Europe. I wonder if I can bill SONY for the consultancy fee for reinstalling XP and all my software $1500 on damages I’d estimate.
The Bad Plus actually recommend against ripping the CD.
The American edition of our recent release, “Suspicious Activity?”, was copy-
protected by Sony/BMG without our prior knowledge. Unfortunately, we are now
further informed that Windows PC users must be advised that any attempts to
remove the anti-piracy software could result in your having to reinstall the operating
system. Mac users are not affected. The European edition of the disc does not
feature this copy-protection software.
While we would love for you to hear “Suspicious Activity?”, we are compelled
to recommend that until a safe protocol is posted on this site that you
think twice before loading the American version of the CD onto your PC–and
we profoundly regret any difficulties that Sony/BMG’s copy protection has
created for any Windows users.
I will wait until there is a sensible uninstall tool for the SONY DRM. There are a couple of blogs that write about this here, here (they posted a quote from the president of SONY BGM’s digital business), and here
I will enjoy Sunday’s concert. If these guys are as good life as in studio I am in for one of the best concerts I’ll ever see. Buy Their Music as soon as it appears without this cruft.