For those of you that do not remember this great story it involved the Sony BMG group selling music CD’s that contained a form of copyright protection.

The music industry euphemistically refers to it as Digital Rights Management. The consumer on the other hand discovers that the DRM is a one way street, the Music industry has the management, and the consumer has no rights!

The Sony BMG fiasco was an interesting one, it involved installing what can be best described as a virus on any computer that the owner of the CD played it on. Of course it did not take very long before there was a hue and cry over this abuse of consumers equipment.

Sony BMG for the most part played the part of the dumb manufacturer that had relied on a subcontractor to write the actual virus for the DRM code. That subcontractor was an English software company “First4Internet”, and the product that was going to make them rich was called XCP-Aurora.

There is nothing on the web, I know because I have spent considerable time searching, to determine the fate of our good virus writing buddies, but a Google of First4Internet lists the website but the web site is unavailable. The web site extolling the virtues of XCP-Aurora seems to have been exorcised as well. It is now just a single screen explaining that they have stopped installing the technology on Sony BMG CD’s.

There is not even any contact information. My educated guess is that having lost their biggest (and rumored) only customer they have gone out of business. Personally I find it hard to feel sad for them.

I would also suspect that the individuals involved will not have an easy time finding a new employer. Having First4Internet on your resume would be right up there with listing under the Hobbies and Interests section ‘member of the Hitler youth’!

If anyone knows more about the fate of First4internet please post a comment.

Simon Barrett  

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