June 1, 2007

NEWS FLASH! Adobe Hides Customer Information!

While many people believe that Adobe products are DRM-free, did you know that they, in fact, have a "poison tip?"

It's true... when you buy an Adobe product, be it Illustrator or the entire Creative Suite, Adobe brazenly stores important personal information about you right on your hard disk. If you don't believe me, look on your machine at file:///Library/Application%20Support/Adobe/Adobe%20Registration%20Database ... you'll see entries like this:

EPIC_ORG=Delicious Monster Software, LLC
EPIC_NAME=Wil Shipley


I was shocked! Shocked! They didn't even bother to try to disguise it!

I talked to a lawyer from EFF about this, and his comment was, "We feel it is a huge invasion of a consumer's privacy for Adobe to take personal information the user has entered and store it locally on that user's machine, in a file only accessible to the user, right beside all the user's other personal files, where it is protected by passwords and firewalls."

I couldn't agree more, so I called an Adobe PR person, who spoke to me ONLY on the condition that, "if [she] answered my questions I would get off the phone and let [her] do real work."

I put it to her directly: "Are you saying that I am limited to using Adobe products on my machines, and if I illegally give post my copy of CS3 on the internet, I might be sharing my first and last name with the world in addition to violating copyright law and being liable for $50,000 in damages? Because I find this simply unacceptable."

The Adobe flak, in typical PR-speak, tried to spin the story this way: "Well... yah. I mean, uh, duh?"

--

I will be following this story closely in the following days... I've already heard a rumor that in order to pirate DRM-free iTunes Plus tracks I might have to downsample them to MP3 files, but I simply can't believe Apple would engage in such clearly immoral shenanigans. I mean, making it every-so-slightly difficult to pirate DRM-free music kind of defeats the WHOLE PURPOSE of dropping DRM in the first place, doesn't it?

DOESN'T IT?

Labels: ,

24 Comments:

Anonymous Stephan said...

Ha! You criticize Adobe, but you dont mention the fact that MY FULL NAME is written in clear in my Delicious Library licence! Talk about an invasion of my privacy! I will call the EFF right now.

June 01, 2007 2:53 PM

 
Blogger Tristan O'Tierney said...

always hilarious

June 01, 2007 2:58 PM

 
Anonymous Ylan said...

I have not an issue with the above. I might however have an issue with the a. if the system renders the alluded to music file unplayable on my mobile phone (as reported somewhere). For me, the whole point of not buying from the alluded to on-line music vendor, has been to avoid not being able to play my purchased music on my aforementioned mobile phone.

And the point of mayhaps doing so now, would be that I would be able to play my purchased music on my now twice aforementioned mobile phone.

Humbly, Ylan

June 01, 2007 3:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite flip out about this issue is from the Lefsetz Letter:

http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/index.php/archives/2007/05/30/more-itunes-plus/

"Just like Lindsay Lohan can’t cover up the fact that she crashed her car high on coke, Apple and EMI can’t cover up the fact that they’re fucking with us. This is WORSE than restricted/DRM/copy-protected music!"

People are flat out crazy.

June 01, 2007 4:16 PM

 
Blogger Julian said...

"I might however have an issue with the a. if the system renders the alluded to music file unplayable on my mobile phone (as reported somewhere)."

Stuff like this is how crappy rumors get started. Link it.

Are you talking about the EULA saying you are not allowed to use the song as a ringtone? That would definitely be annoying, but that seems like something specific phones would have to enforce. That's also not the same as "unplayable" though.

June 01, 2007 4:22 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

flak?

June 01, 2007 4:58 PM

 
Blogger Rob said...

I see what you did there.

June 01, 2007 4:59 PM

 
Anonymous Travis Bell said...

*lol*

June 01, 2007 6:44 PM

 
Anonymous David McElroy said...

It appears that some people don't recognize clever sarcasm, do they? ;-)

June 01, 2007 9:09 PM

 
Anonymous Ylan said...

' "I might however have an issue with the a. if the system renders the alluded to music file unplayable on my mobile phone (as reported somewhere)."

Stuff like this is how crappy rumors get started. Link it.

Are you talking about the EULA saying you are not allowed to use the song as a ringtone? That would definitely be annoying, but that seems like something specific phones would have to enforce. That's also not the same as "unplayable" though.'

I am not talking about the EULA, and I did read about someone not being able to play their iTunes Plus song on their Nokia. I can't seem to find it though, but found this:
http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20070530080720994

Am trying to verify that the songs are playable on my Sony Ericsson K800i, but the download wont work.

I shall try again later!

Humbly, Ylan

June 01, 2007 11:09 PM

 
Anonymous Ylan said...

Did read just now on the page I linked to in my previous post that it works on my SE 800i.

Humbly, Ylan

June 01, 2007 11:23 PM

 
Anonymous Mike said...

Ylan,

You may well have read it here:

http://techdigest.tv/2007/05/what_devices_ca.html

since that page was linked from MacSurfer yesterday, where a lot of mac users go.

I suspect a likely explanation for this is some phones do not support files encoded at that bitrate. Even with specialized digital-audio devices, like the iPod, some formats are only supported by some makers within certain upper and lower bitrate limits.

And after all, it would be kind-of crazy to rip your CDs to 256kbps if you intended to put them on a phone: there's simply not the space to waste on most current phones. The phone makers had no way of foreseeing that Apple would up the bitrate on downloads, because of the EMI deal.

June 02, 2007 6:52 AM

 
Anonymous Jon Hendry said...

That's an invasion of my piracy, that is.

Grumble grumble wah.

June 02, 2007 8:11 AM

 
Anonymous Jon H said...

" For me, the whole point of not buying from the alluded to on-line music vendor, has been to avoid not being able to play my purchased music on my aforementioned mobile phone."

Anyone who wants to play music on a sub-standard player like a phone (let alone as a ringtone) has little reason to complain about the file format interfering. Convert to a format that works. Any resampling error caused by the conversion will be inaudible when played through a cruddy phone speaker or earpiece.

June 02, 2007 8:16 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ylan,

Blame your phone. It won't play because the phone won't support AAC above 128k, and DRM AACs are 256.

June 02, 2007 8:17 AM

 
Blogger hornbeck said...

Always funny, very good sir.

June 02, 2007 9:08 AM

 
Blogger Matt said...

My Nokia can't play the iTunes Plus songs, but I think that's just due to the bitrate. If I have iTunes re-encode the songs to 160 Kbps it works fine.

June 02, 2007 11:05 AM

 
Blogger Tom said...

Oh darn it. I posted a more serious article about the tin-foil hat crowd getting all worked up about these iTunes tracks:

http://thesmallwave.blogspot.com/2007/05/bob-lefsetz-and-itunes-plus-part-ii.html

But your post is better.

Oh, and by the way, yours is the best blog title EVER. :)

June 02, 2007 9:37 PM

 
Anonymous Mike said...

http://thesmallwave.blogspot.com/2007/05/bob-lefsetz-and-itunes-plus-part-ii.html

Gee, a cat wrote that. Damn clever cat.

June 03, 2007 2:34 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

file:///Library/Application%20Support/Adobe/Adobe%20Registration%20Database

is only accessible to the user?

Has Apple recently changed the permissions in /Library/Application Support?

It's accessible to all the user accounts on the OS AFAIK.

Being funny doesn't prevent you from being technically correct.

June 03, 2007 2:48 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Being funny doesn't prevent you from being technically correct.

Apparently it does!

Actually, maybe by "user" I meant "currently logged-in and authorized user", not "user who installed the app."

Or maybe I just overlooked that it was publicly readable. My point still remains, though -- I mean, it's not like you can't easily get the first and last names of other users of the computer you are logged in to.

June 03, 2007 2:52 PM

 
Blogger Davidk said...

I love you Wil Shipley.



Wow, um...

I didn't mean that well...

You amuse me, and you speak the truth. Yeah. That's all I meant, you don't have to get a restraining order or anything.

June 04, 2007 3:09 AM

 
Blogger sjk said...

Holy crap, files on computers can contain personal information that the user didn't explicitly put there!

Yeah… it's hard not to be humored by how shocked and disturbed some people are over this, especially treating it like fresh news.

Re: It's accessible to all the user accounts on the OS AFAIK.

Probably writable by any account, too. The one Photoshop Elements 3.0 created on my system still is anyway:

% ls -l 'Adobe Registration Database'
-rw-rw-rw- 1 sjk admin 200 Jul 20 2005 Adobe Registration Database

It's always been trivial to find globally readable and sometimes writable files/directories on OS X containing "potentially sensitive and exploitable information" (however you want to define that).

June 04, 2007 12:39 PM

 
Anonymous Ylan said...

Anonymous sa...
Ylan,

Blame your phone. It won't play because the phone won't support AAC above 128k, and DRM AACs are 256.


Turns out it actually does! But at the time of my writing my first post, I wasn't able (no doubt due to huge sales) to connect to da Store, and hence could not check.

Humbly, Ylan, who nowadays sports a Sony Ericsson k800i

June 04, 2007 1:25 PM

 

Post a Comment

<< Home