Journal: News & Comment

Monday, November 07, 2005
# 4:48:00 PM:

Why I'm now avoiding Sony

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I'm with Todd from Geek News Central, who is now refusing to buy any Sony products. The cause? Well, it's a bit of a technical tale.

Last week, the enterprising Mark Russinovich discovered that a audio CD that he had bought required him to install an included Sony Windows application to play the songs on his computer (i.e. in order to try to foil him from copying the songs, a regular player like iTunes or Windows Media Player will not play the CD). Mark then found out that not only did the CD have digital restrictions management (DRM) included, but also that the required player program installed hidden monitoring software, known in geek-speak as a rootkit, on his machine.

Further, the is not only a potential security compromise, it could make Windows computers unstable. And Sony and "First 4 Internet"—the companies responsible for installing undisclosed, hidden, potentially damaging software on people's computers without asking them—don't think they've done anything wrong.

This is yet another, severe manifestation of the problem with today's music industry: it treats its customers as the enemy. Well, okay, Sony, I'll take that up. You're my enemy too. And it's just as well I bought a competitor's headphones last week. I'll keep my old 1992 Sony CD changer, and 2002 Sony headphones, and our 1980s-era Sony boomboxes, but I'm not buying any more Sony hardware, movies, or music for now, till you smarten up. Okay?


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