<<Lots of what IF but, the intent was not to make spyware but to prevent music piracy. Ergo Napster, KAZZAR and Peer to Peer sharing amongst PCs. Its not SNE fault if - Hackers have perverted this so called rootkit beyond SNE intentions. Just as the saying goes - its people who kill people - not the gun. Let them file suit and let the market decide. >>
Sorry to point this out, but you're WRONG (as usual) on two counts!
1. The intent of the software was NOT to prevent music piracy (Yar!) but rather to impede consumers' lawful right to listen to their music on the portable mp3 player of their choice. The malware made it very difficult to transfer music to iPods and in fact encouraged consumers to complain to Apple. Sony's proprietary mp3 player with its proprietary file format, battery and memory stick, of course, was not affected by the malware. This whole music piracy (Yar!) nonsense is nothing but a smokescreen.
2. The Sony malware acts like malware and spyware even BEFORE any hackers use it to piggyback their viruses. Some security companies are even labeling it as a trojan. It degrades computer performance, it shortens the life of critical components like the hard drive, it can cause applications or even the operating system to crash, it can prevent applications from performing normally, it adds noise to mp3 files ripped from non-Sony CDs, it can disable the CD drive (especially if the computer's owner attempts to remove the malware himself), it tracks the music you listen to and reports this information along with your computer IP address to Sony, it hides itself and is extremely difficult to remove, before this fiasco hit the news Sony made it almost impossible to obtain an uninstaller -- you had to beg them for it and disclose all kinds of personal information and they still wouldn't provide an uninstaller. In what way does the Sony malware not meet the standard definitions of malware and spyware?!?!? Let's call a duck a duck.