Sony DRM protection actually infringes copyright (allegedly)

This has to be one of the most ironic technical news stories ever.

There’s been plenty of news coverage about the suicidal attempt by Sony to take over your PC by way of a rootkit. Well, they’ve capitulated and are recalling the infected CDs from circulation but things are just going from bad to worse for the Japanese firm.

It turns out that the company that wrote this abortion of a program that protected their CDs seems to have committed a bit of copyright theft themselves, by incorporating some code from a LGPL project without then releasing their own code under the LGPL conditions.

Even more ironically, this LGPL code was actually co-written by anti-DRM stalwart “DVD Jon” Johansen, the guy that was sued by all and sundry for writing software that circumvented DRM software. He prevailed there and now appears to have the moral high ground against Sony here too.

Sebastian Porst discovered code from the LAME project, mpglib and VideoLAN in the XCP copy restriction which has caused Sony so much grief. Jon Johansen is a contributor to the VideoLAN project…

“I just want to mention that the function that can be found at virtual offset 0x10089E00 in ECDPlayerControl.ocx is the function DoShuffle from a GPL-ed file called drms.c written by Jon Lech Johansen and Sam Hocevar (Google for it),” notes Sebastian.

The thieves! So, Sony have employed a firm that have allegedly stolen code from someone that writes anti-DRM code in order to attempt to enforce DRM? This whole saga is turning into a right mess.

How those Sony executives must be crying into their saki!

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