After all the horrible mistakes that Sony BMG has made over the past weeks with the XCP anti piracy technology, it now seems that the firm has also violated the General Public License (GPL).
Sebastian Porst of Germany and Finish Matti Nikki took a good look at the binaries for the software that Sony had included on XCP equipped audio CDs, and found numerous references to functions that were performed by open source (GPL and LGPPL) applications.
If the software contains any GPL code, the GPL license requires that the developer has to release the source code of the new application.
Since Sony and First 4 Internet, the company that developed the technology in the first place, didn't do so, they violated the terms of the GPL. Sony must understand how bad that is but to put it in terms that they understand: it's similar to downloading music of the internet for free.
Sony will probably be able to make the case that it merely purchased the software off First 4 Internet, but is unlikely to get away from this DRM nightmare unharmed.
Why on earth would a commercial company that claims to safeguard copyrights rip off GPL code? For starters because they probably believe they would get away with it. But secondly because this isn't about 'safeguarding copyrights', but all about greed.
First 4 Internet lacked either the time, money or engineering skills to create its technology all by itself (probably all three of those come into play). Security experts already had typified the application as poorly engineered.
Can someone please sue First 4 Internet into oblivion? And before we do so, tattoo the words "incompetent idiot" on the foreheads of each of its employees.
Management schools some day will have a field day picking apart how the company added failure upon failure upon failure. It would be amusing if it wasn't so sad.
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