Loud ramblings of a Software Artisan

Tuesday 8 November 2005

One more reason to not buy "copy protected" CDs

Some reports tell us that a big music publisher had produced CDs that installed a malware on users' Windows PCs with a cloaking device. They acknowledge the problem and released a fix to remove the cloaking technology (but still keep the malware!). The purpose of that software is to prevent you from exercising the right to private copy that is granted in several countries, including but not limited to: France, Canada, etc. Fortunately the problem is only on MS-Windows, as usual.

Off course, the $BIG_COMPANY don't seem to talk about replacing said defective CDs. It is just one more case of a big brother company willing to remove the rights granted by the country you live in, for a product you purchased. The paradox is even bigger when the same companies lobby governments to collect a tax for blank medias and music players (like the 50EUR tax on iPod Nano in France.

Personaly, I decide that I would not buy a CD that I can't rip to put on my computer. There is no reason why I wouldn't be allowed to do that anymore, mostly because the price hasn't gone down in almost 20 years. And some will argue that the protection can be worked around, I'll just make it a matter of principle.

OS incompatibility

The governement of Canada does not like Linux. They don't let me apply for the unemployement online, as they told me to do after I came at their office to get the information.

They "check" the browser, and the code is voluntarily bogus:

The check the "User Agent" string, find the OS, and set OS_Good to true only if they found Windows or MacOS. Then they never set isGood to true because of that.

See script 1 and script 2. You'll see that they do it on purpose as they already check all the cases for less common platforms.