To summarize, MediaMax software:
* Is installed onto the computer without meaningful notification or consent, and remains installed even if the license agreement is declined;
* Includes either no uninstall mechanism or an uninstaller that fails to completely remove the program like it claims;
* Sends information to SunnComm about the user’s activities contrary to SunnComm and Sony statements and without any option to disable the transmissions.
Does MediaMax also create security problems as serious as the Sony rootkit’s? Finding out for sure may be difficult, since the license agreement specifically prohibits disassembling the software. However, it certainly causes unnecessary risk. Playing a regular audio CD doesn’t require you to install any new software, so it involves minimal danger. Playing First4Internet or SunnComm discs means not only installing new software but trusting that software with full control of your computer. After last week’s revelations about the Sony rootkit, such trust does not seem well deserved.
Okay, so I’m starting to sound like a broken record on this subject, but better a skipping piece of vinyl than a CD that sends out personal data on your listening habits to the copyright owner. This DRM thing is a snowball; every time someone lifts a rock, something damp and slimy with ‘Sony’ stamped on it seems to materialise. Personally I think it’s important to know wether there is spyware on your computer. There are simple instructions in the linked page you can use to find out if you’ve been infected by this rubbish. Use it right away.