SonyBMG’s copy protection nightmare has turned into a textbook example of what can go wrong in trying to make electronic content pirate-proof. Last week, the music company replaced the first patch for its CD copy protection software after a Princeton University researcher found a security flaw in the update.
Sony took another embarrassing hit when it announced that a new risk had been found with a batch of 27 of its compact discs — those that automatically install antipiracy software on computer hard drives.
Part two of the fiasco came after Princeton computer science professor Ed Felten wrote in his blog last week that the Sony patch itself could open computers to attack by hackers. Sony executives responded that they were working as closely as possible with security professionals to address the issues identified by Felten and would have a new patch available by week’s end, CNET News reported.
Sony’s continuing problems with copy protection software highlighted the difficulty media content companies are having in balancing their desire to protect media assets against using new technology that can be intrusive and backfire in unknown ways.