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Sony Halts Production of Anti-Piracy Software

Sony has agreed to stop producing CDs embedded with spyware that has infuriated computer-savvy music fans. The offending CDs used something called XCP technology to install “rookits,” a sort of active digital footprint, on the end user’s computer. Rookits are said to leave a PC open to virus invasion, slow down the operating system, and even send information back to Sony about the album user. The anti-piracy software also does not allow tracks to be downloaded onto iTunes, though it doesn’t affect Macs adversely. The New York Times reported that 2.1 million albums have already been sold out of 4.7 million that were shipped with the XCP software. While Sony has agreed to stop making CDs with rookits, the company has been less than apologetic to its customers. “We deeply regret any possible inconvenience this may cause,” Sony said in a statement released on November 11. “We stand by content protection technology as an important tool to protect our intellectual property rights and those of our artists.”

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group championing digital rights, compiled this list of CDs out on the market that possess the XCP technology:

Trey Anastasio, Shine (Columbia)
Celine Dion, On Ne Change Pas (Epic)
Neil Diamond, 12 Songs (Columbia)
Our Lady Peace, Healthy in Paranoid Times (Columbia)
Chris Botti, To Love Again (Columbia)
Van Zant, Get Right with the Man(Columbia)
Switchfoot, Nothing Is Sound (Columbia)
The Coral, The Invisible Invasion(Columbia)
Acceptance, Phantoms (Columbia)
Susie Suh, Susie Suh(Epic)
Amerie, Touch(Columbia)
Life of Agony, Broken Valley(Epic)
Horace Silver Quintet, Silver’s Blue (Epic Legacy)
Gerry Mulligan, Jeru (Columbia Legacy)
Dexter Gordon, Manhattan Symphonie (Columbia Legacy)
The Bad Plus, Suspicious Activity (Columbia)
The Dead 60s, The Dead 60s (Epic)
Dion, The Essential Dion (Columbia Legacy)
Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten (Epic)
Ricky Martin, Life (Columbia)

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