Business Week has more details on the Sony BMG root kit settlement, with more details on Sony’s future DRM plans. To answer our own perhaps perfunctory question: yes, Sony BMG jolly well do intend to continue installing DRM on your machines, thank you very much.
Sony BMG will do rigorous testing to ensure that future copy-protection technologies don’t expose purchasers’ PCs to viruses and worms. It will conspicuously label copy-protected disks, as well as translate its end-user licensing agreement — the box of mind-dulling fine print demanding that consumers click “I Accept” before a CD can be installed on a computer — into plain English. The record company also will abandon the XCP and MediaMax digital-rights management technologies that came under fire.
Sony will also bring in an independent audit team to supervise DRM in their products, which is interesting. Does anyone know if anything like an FDA overseeing DRM has been seriously proposed? The DRM battle, being a hopeless one, is simply going to escalate, and with so much technology driven and linked today, I suspect this rootkit fiasco is going to look like a light kick to consumers’ shins compared to the cannonball headbutt to the crotches we’re all going to experience in a few years without a neutral party vigorously overseeing what corporate DRM can and can’t do to our computers and our media.