Sony (not a) Rootkit Impact

I just caught wind of an InformationWeek article reporting that the Van Zant album that Mark Russinovich bought has had its rating on Amazon reduced from 3 1/2 stars to 1 1/2 stars. Ratings are an interesting and potentially useful approach for folks opposed to DRM. It is likely to be more useful than the typical protest – the success of the DRM-laden iPod is a good indicator that the mass market doesn’t really care about DRM. It works two fairly obvious ways – first, to convince others directly not to buy it, and second, to strike at the ego of the artist.

Even more interesting in this case is the conflicting interest of World of Warcraft players who can use the stealth capability of Sony’s DRM to hide from WoW’s "DRM" function. So competing priorities will either drive up or down Van Zant’s record sales.

It would be really interesting to know how many albums were bought on either side of the equation – if more albums are bought for the purposes of breaking WoW DRM, then I think that is an indicator that DRM should be used because there are more pirates than benign anti-DRMers. If less are sold, then there are more benign anti-DRMers.