Friday, November 11, 2005

Adios, Sony

Well, it turns out that the Sony rootkit malware on purchased CD's also corrupts Macs.

You know, during the big Napster days, I was one of the "good" people from the music exec's standpoint. I didn't rip or download a single track I hadn't paid for, which wasn't offered free by its owners, or which I didn't create myself. And I did not offer any of my music for others to download using Napster or other P2P applications.

In short, I've been a good consumer and customer.

Apparently, that's irrelevant, though. It's not enough that the RIAA brands me as a criminal. It's not enough that they bought legislators to criminalize me even having the capability to engage in "fair use" use of music, let alone engage in criticism, commentary, or satire with the song.

Now they're actively trying to infect my machine with malware even though I have done nothing wrong, and they have no reason to believe that I may start.

Being cast in such gross strokes as a criminal really pisses me off, so I'm no longer going to purchase any music from Sony Music. Yes, there are lists out there showing which CD's are infected with the malware, but I'm not going to accept that burden being put on me. I'm going to assume that every Sony Music CD is likely to have malware, whether it's the already-detected rootkit or something that hasn't been detected yet.

Their behavior is outrageous, it's unethical, and it needs to be unpopular so that Sony Music takes a hit on sales from this move. I've always been skeptical of the argument that file sharing hurt their profits. I think they're counting each song downloaded as a loss of revenue, when the reality is that you'll download for free a lot of songs that you would never consider paying for, so that's hardly loss of revenue.

But now they have concrete evidence of something that does hurt their profits. Infecting my machine has caused them to lose me as a paying customer. Adios, Sony.


Anonymous said...

The people have spoken!

I guess Sony didn't want to lose any more customers. When is the record industry going to learn that you can't win by punishing your customers for the "fair-use" of their product?

CC said...

Wow, I didn't think they'd react so quickly to my post. The blogosphere does have power. Heh.

But seriously, if you read that article, it says that Sony will temporarily remove the DRM. In other words, they're still planning on installing DRM on your machine; they're just holding off until the current media storm blows over. And next time, it may be harder to detect.

I'm really starting to get fed up with how tight copyright holders want to lock everything down. Their right to make money on copyrighted works shouldn't trump the benefit of having a society that can engage in reasonable creative and social use of copyrighted works in the "fair use" realm. Nor do I think it is fair to just treat us all like criminals so they don't have to go after the individuals that really are engaging in massive, chronic theft. Sure, it may cost a lot of money, and take a lot of time, but ultimately, that's their problem. They shouldn't be allowed to make it our problem just to save a few bucks on legal bills.

Daniel Lopez said...

Hey CC,

The solution is simple: Don't buy any CDs any more. I don't think I have bought a CD in at least two or three years. Ever since we got XM radio, we haven't had a need for any CD purchases. Even Genesis (who is starting to become a music obessed teenager) listens to XM. When there is a song she just has to have, she goes to itunes or musicmatch and purchases that one song....