Sony Retreats – Still Unrepentant

November 11, 2005 at 9:55 pm | Posted in Rants, Technology | Leave a comment

It is often said that any publicity is good publicity. Not true. Mike Russinovich discovered the Sony/BMG DRM rootkit in early November. After 11 days of denial, excuses, backtracking, and half-assed solutions, Sony Music has finally announced that they will (temporarily) stop the production of copy-protected CDs.

There is a quote in the link above by DHS secretary Baker that I think is very important, as it hints of a possible limit beyond which companies like Sony and the RIAA Gestapo should not cross in trying to protect their intellectual property. In fact, it’s very similar to the saying that “your rights end where mine begins”:

“It’s very important to remember that it’s your intellectual property, [but] it’s not your computer,”

Let’s hope that as digital law is defined the idea expressed above is embodied in a legal framework, an “Intellectual Property Bill of Rights” for both consumer and IP owners.

Despite Sony doing the right thing above, it is not enough.

I urge everyone reading this to boycott all Sony products for the rest of the year. I mean all Sony products, not just SonyMusic CDs. Do not buy Playstations, Trinitrons/WEGAs. Do not buy their movies and UMD discs. Do not use your SonyStyle credit card. Either buy another product or wait until 2006.

I want the total destruction of their holiday revenue stream.

As for Sony, what they have done to date is not enough. They should do the following:

  1. Apologize for distributing the rootkit in question
  2. Announce and distribute a program to remove the rootkit. Now. No more bullshit and mealy-mouthed excuses.
  3. Announce the permanent removal of similar scheme from all current and future products. If DRM is to be included, it must be revealed before the customer buys the CD
  4. Give refunds to all those who have bought affected CDs.

A full-page ad in major newspapers with all the above should do it quite nicely and cheaply. Hopefully, the loss of such revenue will force Sony shareholders to take further action.

On another note, I have said to all my friends that I would rather buy a Sony Playstation over a Microsoft Xbox no matter how good the Xbox is, simply because I don’t approve of MS business practices. As of today, I hereby retract that statement. If I were to buy a console next year, I’m more likely to buy the Xbox 360 than the PS3.

I’m also offering to any Sony official the opportunity to buy my Playstation Portable and 2 UMD titles. $300 firm; I’ll eat the sales tax. Just make a comment on this blog entry.

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