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Sony, Amazon Detail CD Buyback

Sony BMG has just posted a series of Web pages that should help consumers who have purchased music CDs tainted with its flawed anti-piracy software exchange them for the same titles without the software.

The music company's copy-protection FAQ directs consumers to a page where they can make arrangements through UPS to send the CDs back. Interestingly, Sony BMG appears to be offering customers the choice of a CD exchange and downloadable MP3 copies of the discs, but only after the company has received your returned CD: "You will receive an e-mail with a link to your MP3 downloads upon receipt and verification of your XCP CDs." also is sending out e-mails to customers who bought any of the 50 or so different titles.

The e-mail reads: "Due to security concerns raised about the use of CDs containing this software on PCs, Sony has recalled these CDs and has asked to remove all unsold CDs with XCP software from our store. Since you purchased this CD from, you may return it to us for a full refund regardless of whether the CD is opened or unopened."

Amazon said customers just need to visit this site and indicate that the CD is "defective" as the reason for return.

By Brian Krebs  |  November 18, 2005; 10:35 AM ET
Categories:  Piracy  
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Thanks for this information! Your converage on this issue has been outstanding. Now I get to return two discs and hope that copy protection goes away for the time being.

Posted by: kosmo vinyl | November 18, 2005 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Bob Woodward should join Judith Miller in the unemployment line. US newspapers need to recapture their creditability.

Posted by: David Dwinell | November 18, 2005 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Bob Woodward should join Judith Miller in the unemployment line. US newspapers need to recapture their creditability.

Posted by: David Dwinell | November 18, 2005 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Any word as to whether the replacements will be copy protection free? Has Sony dropped the SunnComm software as well for the time being?

Posted by: kosmo vinyl | November 18, 2005 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The software was not withdrawn because it was flawed, this software is blatant abuse by Sony and is resulting in legal actions across the US.

This is a malicious virus create by Sony that invades the privacy of users and steals private information and sends this to Sony. Additionally the software on the CDs pirates software that is protected under the GPL.

Sony is attempting to protect their rights by trampling on others rights, this is the heart of the matter.

Posted by: James Carlson | November 18, 2005 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Hasn't Sony learned from Microsoft that it's best to be forthcoming about a misdeed? It's been 2 weeks and I'm finally getting a full list (despite my searching) of CD's affected. Shame, shame, shame.

Posted by: Mike | November 18, 2005 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Gee, they can't seem to make up their minds. We've gone from "They don't care, or know what a rootkit is." While I have to spend hours rebuilding my kids computers, to "just indicate it's defective" sweep it under the rug, christmas is coming & we want you to forget it & buy our latest "X". Fat Chance, never again Sony. A lump of coal in their stocking, Merry Christmas!

Posted by: My Machine | November 18, 2005 11:45 AM | Report abuse

The XCP software that Sony BMG have used actually BREAKS copyright itself! Parts of XCP use code from the LAME open-source cross platform MP3 software. Although open-source, the license agreement requires that any user MUST give credits to the LAME software. Sony HAS NOT done this! So in trying to ensure its own copyrights, the have BROKEN someone else's! Well done Sony - shooting yourself in both feet now!

Posted by: Dominic Espadinha | November 18, 2005 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Too later and this list will become the "black list" for your holiday shopping. Sony may want to sell its music business now.

Posted by: Tim | November 18, 2005 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all of the info on this, my son spend his money on this CD's, try to put it on his Pc, and next thing you know we have a virus in the home Pc, I would like to let Sony and all others using this copy protect that at least this family will no longer be buying their products ever.

Posted by: K-OS | November 18, 2005 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Dear Brain,

You have done an outstanding job reporting this Sony fiasco. Your exposition of the technical issues were clear and complete. Thank you!!!! I hope that you can continue to address abuses of the american public's privacy by the practices of large corporations like Sony. Sony is not alone in this matter even thogh they have received most of the attention. Let's make sure the rest of media industry assumes social, technical, legal and financial responsibility for their practices.

Posted by: David Laurent | November 18, 2005 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Sony's arrogance at first light and it's reluctant turn around have all been too little too late. Sony needs to improve its image in an enormous way if it plans to stay in business much longer. Coupling this recent issue with the dvd blu ray issue, it seems Sony has a lot of PR work to put all this behind them. Let's not condemn Sony for trying to stay profitable and to preserve its rights. However, let's point out that consumer indiference results in a bad market strategy. It now lies with Sony to revolutionize the music industry or fall into obscurity. One solution would be to give away several million CDs as a "gift" to the consumers, or develop a strategy where making less profit per CD is better than no profit at all. Sony must come clean and re-invent itself for the consumer.

Posted by: former sony owner | November 18, 2005 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I bought sony Hi MD walkman a year ago to record lectures in the class. What I did not realize is that there is this funny DRM there too. I can upload my recordings only once on the computer by using their sonic stage software. I made the mistake of doing that on my laptop which does not have a cd burner and was stuck. My own recordings and I cannot even transfer them within my own home network. I am mad and have begun to dislike their products intensely.
No one in our class bought sony after this fiasco.
Off course when I bought the HiMD player I did not see any warning on the box telling me what a nasty surprise is in store for me.
Sony and sonic stage are giving folks a raw deal.

Posted by: sanjay gupta | November 18, 2005 1:49 PM | Report abuse

The Sony DRM story grows and grows.

Sanjay Gupta reported above that he could not use his HiMD player because of Sony's proprietary programming. Now I have run accross and article that the Sony Cybershot DSCP515 will not allow you to share your personal pictures. Please see
It seems that Sony is building a propriety system that will not work with other vendor products. I hope that Brian will be able to have an indepth article on this in the post.

Posted by: Steve | November 18, 2005 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I have owned several Sony TVs, two Sony VCRs, at least 3 Sony Walkmans, a Sony digital camera, and even a couple really old Sony transister radios. After this fiasco, I WILL NO LONGER BUY ANY SONY PRODUCTS. In addition, I WILL NOW GO OUT OF MY WAY TO DISCOURAGE OTHERS from buying Sony products. The thought that a corporation would treat a customer like a criminal without justification is just too much. Good bye Sony, I hope you follow the fate of Enron.

Posted by: Ken | November 18, 2005 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Well, I quoted a spoof article:
The good news is that we can find humor in the situation:)

Posted by: Steve | November 18, 2005 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I too have a very large Sony TV, a Sony recorder for my TV, a Sony USB DVD writer (the best one), a Sony LCD screen for our main computer,three Sony Mavica digital cameras, and several other Sony products plus several dozen Sony CDs and I too will avoid buying their prodeucts and look for others and try to be helpful to them so they don't make the mistake of buying AASony products. Any body who is looking to buy Sony should know how to punish this dasterdly deed by a corporate malfactor. Too bad Sony you ruined your reputation with a buyer of your products. By the way the Sony DVD writer doesn't do a very good job and isn't intutive, the Sony software for my latest two digital cameras was defective out of the box,and I had to return the LCD screen for one that worked. Why did it take me so long to wise up to Sony.

Posted by: Eugene | November 18, 2005 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it nice that Sony will replace the CD's? Now when are they going to reimburse for the costs, $380 worth of software and time, of having my system restored?

Posted by: TIAMET | November 18, 2005 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Sanjay Gupta reported that he had problems transfering files from his Hi MD walkman. Though we are focusing on the immediate concerns raised by the Sony rootkit debacle, there is an underlying question. Are any of the DRM technologies utilizing "dirty tricks" that disable a competitors program? For example, I have heard that one of Sony's DRM implementations disables iTunes. Does anyone know whether companies are using DRM to actually disable other programs?????????

Posted by: Steve | November 19, 2005 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Got to love the US government, be a university student or kid getting some music and youre sued thousands of dollars. But a big company can flaunt the laws, then say oops sorry we will replace the cd for free, and u have to do all the work to replace it. I can make upto 35 dollars in an hour so just in the hassle of buying the cd and then going thru to see if I have one then I have to figure out the logistics of sending it back wow one expensive free replacment. But thank goodness the us government looks after the little people as well as the big guys, just look at how the anti trust rullings stopped Microsoft after it was found guilty... oh sorry bad example, but hey the university students got it good, ah the land of the free and fair ( oh and as a computer tech THANK YOU Sony, ive gotten 14 jobs in the last week cause of this )

Posted by: Canadian Penguin | November 19, 2005 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Before you send them back, I would wait for the outcome of the class action lawsuit. If you don't have the CD when it comes time for Sony to pay up, then you will be outta luck, right?

Posted by: Steve | November 19, 2005 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I was considering purchasing a Sony
Digital Camera - No More
Canon, Here I come.

Posted by: DonMc | November 19, 2005 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Amazon ain't the only retailer. My daughter's copy of the Switchfoot CD that she bought at Wal-Mart and listened to on our home computer while doing her homework sent our computer into a tailspin. I have forbidden my children to use the Internet to dowload music for more than a year and boy are they haveing a heyday with me. When I went to Wal-Mart today to get my money back - NONE of the 53 titles had been pulled from the shelves. The merchant insisted (via the scan gun) that the CD had not been recalled.

Posted by: JCarney | November 19, 2005 5:52 PM | Report abuse

At last a sort-of answer to the earlier question: "Where are Time and Newsweek?"

Posted by: JCanada | November 20, 2005 8:10 AM | Report abuse

To Sony Corp--

You blew it big time. My husband and I no longer trust your company and will not
buy ANY Sony product that could interact
with our computer. It's simply not worth a headache of a junked operating system.

How can we ever trust any of your products again?

Outraged, I am SP in Kansas

Posted by: SP in Kansas | November 20, 2005 7:29 PM | Report abuse

The simple solution to all this is don't buy CDs that are labelled as being copy protected from any music company. Sony got caught out but that doesn't mean the others weren't thinking of doing the same thing.
To be honest, anyone from this point on who gets a root-kit phone home piece of spyware or whatever is the next incarnation they think of onto their PC after using a CP labelled CD, has no-one to blame but themselves. Much the same as anyone who takes up smoking nowadays.

Posted by: Boycott CP disks | November 20, 2005 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Google Base launched with security flaw

Google Base, which was launched in beta version on Wednesday, provides users a way to post and classify information. These contents posted by users will also appear at Google's web index, Froogle shopping site and its local business directories.


Posted by: Tracy- SEO Expert | November 21, 2005 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Ahh, so-Sorry, America! You trusted this 'honorable' as many other 'honorable' jap outfits and now you have anoda Pearl Harbor on your PC's! You should also be aware that Japan's Prime Minister, W's 'best friend' is toadying to Former Japanese Veterans of WWII, to 'honor' them. Banzai! They've got us again and will continue to do so! Bless Honda, Toyota, Lexus, and Datsun! Today, they just wiped out 30,000 jobs in GM! We never learn, do we?

Posted by: adrianne2 | November 21, 2005 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Steve said "Before you send them back, I would wait for the outcome of the class action lawsuit. If you don't have the CD when it comes time for Sony to pay up, then you will be outta luck, right?"

No, because Sony sending you a replacement proves by their own admission beyond any doubt that you had the CD.

Posted by: Bob | November 27, 2005 7:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm never buying Sony again.

Posted by: henry | November 28, 2005 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Search or google for "NoDriveAutorun" and "NoDriveTypeAutorun" and modify one of the values. The link I provided at the top should also work.
If you have trouble figuring out the value to use to remove CDs then do this:
Change to scientific mode and set base to the "HEX" position.
Take your existing value of NoDriveTypeAutorun and then "OR" it with the value for the drive type you want to exclude (0x20=CD drives). 0x000000B5 should work if you don't already have a value entered or don't know what "OR" is.
Be aware that this is also a security policy setting so you don't have to use REGEDIT if you're used to using the computer management console.

NoDriveAutorun is a little different...
OR all of the values in this hexidecimal table for the drive letter/s that you are blocking:

An example: 1 or 2 or 4 or 8=F=drives A: to D: have autorun disabled. Note that the OS still detects media changes, but no longer acts on them by itself.
A value for D:, and E: would be 8 or 10=18 in hexidecal. This is 16+8=24 in decimal.

Posted by: Joe Whitehead | December 17, 2005 10:15 PM | Report abuse

why not use dvd copy to copy dvd? it is perfect!

Posted by: cucu | July 5, 2006 2:20 AM | Report abuse

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