I stand corrected about this EULA
Posted Nov 16, 2005 4:15 UTC (Wed) by pr1268
In reply to: Sony's rootkit: an update
Parent article: Sony's rootkit: an update
I was wrong earlier; the GPL is indeed a good example of a license vs. a contract.
Furthermore, I found the actual text of Sony's EULA on Mark Russinovich's Web page here.
I read through all the legal-ese (IANAL), and sure enough this EULA does indeed target the "DIGITAL CONTENT" of the disc. Which means pretty much all the content, since a CD is a 5km-long spiral of microscopic pits and plains that represent binary 0's and 1's. How someone might interpret the music to be part of the digital content could be debated; I realize that once you play the CD on a loudspeaker system, it's no longer digital and therefore not subject to the restrictions of the EULA (although it does fall under the jurisdiction of performance restrictions under copyright law, but that's a whole other topic).
Also, I'd like to thank Mark Russinovich for sharing his experiences. Although I do not use MS Windows (I've been "Windows-Free" since August 2004), I feel that we need people like him with incredibly sharp Windows skills and a Blog to make people aware of the consequences of installing closed-source software (and having to agree to a EULA) for which you have no knowledge of what that software's actually doing to your PC.
But that goes for all licensed software. I feel better about running a piece of licensed software on my computers for which somebody is examining the safety, security, and reliability of that software (thus explains one of the many reasons I like open-source). A college professor told me that the legal issues of running licensed software later found to be intentionally (or negligently) malicious will be very seriously examined in the next few years. Perhaps the "Sony DRM Rootkit incident of 2005" is only a preview of what's to come...
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