There's been quite the furor over Sony's copy-protected audio CDs that install invisible rootkit software that, in a brilliant bit of corporate wisdom, not only bitch-slaps the customers who actually bought Sony CDs by crippling their ability to legally use the music they paid for -- like, for instance, copying the tracks to their iPod -- it also opens a back door for trojan horses and other malware to infect your computer in ways undetectable to virus-protection software. And, despite Sony's claims that this is only a theoretical vulnerability, it took roughly 30 seconds for virus writers to begin circulating malware that specifically targets the Sony-created security hole. And, as an extra-special bonus, attempts to uninstall this copy-protection software from hell usually rendered the user's CD-ROM drive inoperable.
[These "features" are, thankfully, Windows-only (for now) --disturbingly, the Sony CDs in question do contain a hidden Mac OS X installer, but it doesn't self-install and unlike the Windows version, is not required to play or rip the CD on your Mac.]
As I have said before, it's like Sony is begging you to download the tracks illegally. I mean, who the hell would pay to subject themselves to this kind of abuse?
However, in a bit of good news, Sony has announced that they are abandoning this insane customer-raping scheme (no doubt in favor of some yet-to-be-determined fresh new insane customer-raping scheme). And of course, this announcement doesn't necessarily mean that Sony will be releasing DRM-free versions of the affected CDs, so if you want a copy of the new editions of Silver's Blue or Jeru or the latest Bad Plus record that won't affix a virtual "infect me" sign to your hard drive, you will be entirely justified in pursuing "other options."