After the consumer outrage over its CD copy protection scheme which involved the installation of rootkits on PCs in which the Extend Copy Protection (XCP) disks were played, and possibly the fear of further lawsuits, Sony today issued an apology and announced that it would temporarily suspend the manufacture of XCP copy-protected CDs and re-examine its digital-rights management strategy.
Sony posted the following notice on its site:
SONY BMG STATEMENT
We are aware that a computer virus is circulating that may affect computers with XCP content protection software. The XCP software is included on a limited number of SONY BMG content protected titles. This potential problem has no effect on the use of these discs in conventional, non-computer-based, CD and DVD players.
In response to these events, SONY BMG has swiftly provided a patch to all major anti-virus companies and to the general public that guards against precisely the type of virus now said to exist. The patch fixes the possible software problem, and still allows CDs to be played on personal computers. It can be downloaded at http://cp.sonybmg.com/xcp/. Starting today, we will also be adding this link to the SONY BMG label and corporate sites. We deeply regret any possible inconvenience this may cause.
We stand by content protection technology as an important tool to protect our intellectual property rights and those of our artists. Nonetheless, as a precautionary measure, SONY BMG is temporarily suspending the manufacture of CDs containing XCP technology. We also intend to re-examine all aspects of our content protection initiative to be sure that it continues to meet our goals of security and ease of consumer use. More information about our content protection initiative can also be found at: http://cp.sonybmg.com/xcp.