A new CD offering by Sony will secretly install a program (a “rootkit“) on your Windows PC if you install the software that comes with the CD. The secret program basically hijacks the CD drive and rewrites a chunk of Windows code, so the files running it are hidden from the system. The files are also hidden from any virus scanners out there. Taking that fact a little further, a virus writer could exploit that and create a nasty little virus to wreak havoc on any PC out there, thanks to Sony and it’s anti-piracy efforts. Removing the software (if you can) makes the CD drive inoperable. Nice touch there.
That pretty much does it for me and Sony. I’ll no longer do any business with them, and support these unethical and likely illegal activities. They have no right to install software on my PC without my knowledge, and they certainly have no right to hack the operating system like this.
For (much) more detailed info, see the article that started the whole controversy for yourself.