A corporate pantomime

This morning’s Observer column

Since this is the time of the year for pantomime, how about one for a corporate audience? It’s called Sony and the Rootkit and it’s a true story.

It tells of how a once-great electronics company fell in with bad company, did some stupid things, was found out by a plucky band of bloggers and now is being pursued through the US courts by some avenging lawyers.

The only thing lacking at the moment is a happy ending for Sony…


Mediamax is the other company Sony called upon for help with DRM. Ed Felten has an interesting post summarising what another blogger found in the prospectus Mediamax filed with the SEC. The Prospectus states, en passant, that “several enhancements have been implemented to make it very difficult to locate and/or remove the device drivers” and that “the software is designed to be completely invisible to users, programs and system components.” Remember that this is their description of their software, not some barbed interpretation by a blogger!