All in Sony

J. Alex Halderman and Edward W. Felten have published their "Lessons from the Sony CD DRM Episode" after an open and collaborative publishing and review cycle on their Freedom to Tinker blog. In my review I've tried to hit what I think are the high points. I recommend the entire paper to anyone interested in the complex relationship between the music business and technology given continued erosion of the music CD's market viability.
There are a couple of interesting discussion threads going on over at the Freedom to Tinker blog. One is called Not Just Another Buggy Program, the other CD Copy Protection: The Road to Spyware. I reproduce one of my comments below, but I suggest interested readers check out the entire threads if you're interested in some of the business and strategic aspects of what Sony is doing.
A while back I tried to find out from Sony whether the new Santana album contained the dreaded "rootkit" software.I received an email from SOny today instructing me on how to remove the XCP "rootkit" software. Only problem is, the new Santana album uses Sunncomm copy restrictions software. This may have just been a simple error but I do feel sorry for the people who have to mop up this sad affair.
Perhaps Sony BMG's mistake was that, out of technical ignorance, it let the technology manage its business processes, not the other way around. It sounds like Sony BMG did not understand how to manage those things it thought it had under its direct control (the DRM software in question). This is despite the fact that Sony's other divisions create industry leading consumer and professional technology.
I got an email this morning from Apple announcing the availability of the new Santana album via the Apple music service through iTunes. Since I don't buy through iTunes anymore (I'm concerned about DRM incompatibility and incompatible shifts in the platform in the future) I decided to investigate buying the CD. I know, I've publicly sworn off music CD's due to DRM incompatibility issues, but I've been listening to Santana ever since Woodstock.