Better yet, don’t even buy them until Sony stops a whole bunch of bad behavior:
the EULA does not disclose the software’s use of cloaking or the fact that it comes with no uninstall facility. An end user is not only installing software when they agree to the EULA, they are losing control of part of the computer, which has both reliability and security implications. There’s no way to ensure that you have up-to-date security patches for software you don’t know you have and there’s no way to remove, update or even identify hidden software that’s crashing your computer.
The EULA also makes no reference to any “phone home” behavior, and Sony executives are claiming that the software never contacts Sony and that no information is communicated that could track user behavior. However, a user asserted in a comment on the previous post that they monitored the Sony CD Player network interactions and that it establishes a connection with Sony’s site and sends the site an ID associated with the CD.
I decided to investigate so I downloaded a free network tracing tool, Ethereal, to a computer on which the player was installed and captured network traffic during the Player’s startup. A quick look through the trace log confirmed the users comment: the Player does send an ID to a Sony web site.
….. (go to above link to see screen shots)
I dug a little deeper and it appears the Player is automatically checking to see if there are updates for the album art and lyrics for the album it’s displaying. This behavior would be welcome under most circumstances,…
Let’s see: hidden software, no easy way to uninstall, lying about how the software works, and,well, there may be more that we don’t know about yet. I do think no purchase is the right action: Boycott Sony music CDs!
And, I disagree with mark’s assertion that checking for album art and lyric updates “would be welcome under most circumstances.” It should only be welcome if the system owner specifically asks for it to happen and given the extremely limited value of this information on a day to day basis such requests should be very rare.
Via MU at Running Scared.