Well, I managed to dodge the Sony Rootkit by pretty much never purchasing anything but digital music nowadays. But now I have fallen victim to another nasty piece of intrusive software delivered via the copy protection scheme used on some computer games.
Basically, there’s a copy protection program called Starforce that is being installed on computers along with some retail computer games. The purpose of the software is to prevent people from copying the game disc for the purpose of distributing the game to others — something called piracy in most circles.
The software has been reported to cause issues with CD/DVD ROM drives that could perhaps eventually cause damage to the drives. It has also been reported that the software opens security holes in the PCs of people who have the software installed — something I would call maliciousness through carelessness. You can read more information about the reports here. The link also has a list of the game programs that contain the software, which will give you an idea which programs could be detrimental to your system. You can get a removal tool here.
Someday, hopefully, consumers will begin to realize that pirating content is a bad thing, since it means there is less money for the development of new content. Someday, companies will realize that it is wrong to install software on a user’s PC that impedes the function of the PC or spies on the user.