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Sony CEO Proposes "Guardrails For the Internet"

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the red-light-cameras-too dept.

The Internet 708

testadicazzo writes "Micheal Lynton, the guy who said 'I'm a guy who doesn't see anything good having come from the Internet. Period.' has posted an editorial at the Huffington Post titled Guardrails for the Internet, in which he defends his comment, and suggests that just as the interstate system needs guardrails, so too does the information superhighway. The following is pretty indicative of the article: 'Internet users have become used to getting things when they want it and how they want it, and those of us in the entertainment business want to meet that kind of demand as efficiently and effectively as possible. But what has happened online is that if it is 'beyond store hours' and the shop is closed, a lot of people just smash the window and steal what they want. Freedom without restraint is chaos, and if we don't figure out some way to prevent online chaos, the quantity, quality and availability of the kinds of entertainment, literature, art and scholarship we need to have a healthy, vibrant culture will suffer.'"

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I'm a guy (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28093585)

Who doesn't see anything good having come from Sony

Re:I'm a guy (5, Funny)

vintagepc (1388833) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093651)

...Except the fun people had mailing them bricks in pre-paid envelopes when they recalled their DRM-laden music CDs in Spring 2007.

Re:I'm a guy (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093907)

He published in the huffandpuffington post. Are you all that surprised it, like everything else on that site, is just mindless garbage?

I mean, seriously. I have seen not ONE good article there except the stuff they plagiarize. It seems to be a site that exists solely to push stupidity.

For example:

And my point is this: the major content businesses of the world and the most talented creators of that content -- music, newspapers, movies and books -- have all been seriously harmed by the Internet.

Obviously what he really means is that the Internet is stopping the gatekeepers from controlling who can get published. There are more people publishing their own books independently - rather than having to go through, say, Del Rey - than ever before. The comic pages of the newspaper have been replaced by webcomics but that's not necessarily a bad thing either - either you adapt, like Scott Adams, or you don't and you perish.

The Internet has brought people with no regard for the intellectual property of others together with a technology that allows them to easily steal that property and sell or give it away to everyone, with little fear of being caught or prosecuted.

He doesn't give a shit about "theft." He hates the idea of the Internet because it removes the need to keep his dumb ass as the distribution "gatekeeper" and skim money off of the hard work of others.

Prior to bittorrent, there was Samba sharing as enabled by several crawler-search setups. Prior to those, there was Napster. Prior to those, there were a zillion sites running FTP (ratio or otherwise). Prior to "the internet", there were BBS'es all over. Prior to that, there was sneakernet.

Go back ~100 years, and dumbshits like this Sony retard were "protesting" and trying to lobby Congress to forbid municipalities from keeping lending libraries (you know, the public library system we all have the right to use for free) because it would "impede sales if people could simply borrow the book instead."

Re:I'm a guy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28094041)

He doesn't give a shit about "theft." He hates the idea of the Internet because it removes the need to keep his dumb ass as the distribution "gatekeeper" and skim money off of the hard work of others.

And you have proof of this, which unfortunately the margin is too small to contain ...?

Shame for you that his basic premise,

The Internet has brought people with no regard for the intellectual property of others together with a technology that allows them to easily steal that property and sell or give it away to everyone, with little fear of being caught or prosecuted.

is absolutely spot on. This fact is unaffected by your ad hominem.

In the meantime, you're being completely disingenuous yourself. If you really believed that piracy was no worse with sneakernet than it is now, you'd be too stupid to have learned to type.

freedom with restraint is no freedom at all...... (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093589)

Just saying.....

Re:freedom with restraint is no freedom at all.... (1)

ThisIsForReal (897233) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093603)

Queue Godwin's Law.

Re:freedom with restraint is no freedom at all.... (4, Insightful)

Gandalf_Greyhame (44144) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093667)

Hitler...

Ok, done. Now can we just stop giving this dipshit publicity?

Re:freedom with restraint is no freedom at all.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28093815)

Hitler...

Ok, done. Now can we just stop giving this dipshit publicity?

Yes? You rang? What do you want? GTFOMP.

Re:freedom with restraint is no freedom at all.... (5, Funny)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093681)

reedom without restraint is chaos, and if we don't figure out some way to prevent online chaos, the quantity, quality and availability of the kinds of entertainment, literature, art and scholarship we need to have a healthy, vibrant culture will suffer.

As a scholar, I attest that this is absolutely true (boldface mine). If we put our scholarship up for free, the following will happen:

  1. Almost everyone will have access to it! Then my ideas will reach a wider audience, and might make a difference. This is not why I signed up to be a scholar.
  2. The publisher, which makes money on journal subscriptions with my papers, will lose money. Although I will not personally be affected one bit, I can't stand the thought of those nice folks at Elsevier, Wiley and Springer losing money they make off my back, for little to no investment.

So, to hell with this unrestricted Internet thing.

Re:freedom with restraint is no freedom at all.... (4, Insightful)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093873)

No. Freedom without restraint means there's nothing stopping you from murdering me. By the same token, it means there is nothing to stop me from murdering you. Since you consider being murdered a bad outcome, the steps you'll take to reduce the likelihood of it would restrict your freedom - a lot more than having cops who'll arrest you if you murder me.

It's illegal to break into Sony's Web site. It's illegal to copy their material. But I don't recall any law giving potential theft victims a pre-emptive right to search vehicles for stolen goods. If Sony's CEO wants that, he's allowed to wish for it.

I don't buy it (4, Insightful)

jsnipy (913480) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093591)

"Guard Rails" sounds like "Insurance for Commerce". Culture is much more than what you can sell.

Re:I don't buy it (4, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093669)

"Insurance" sounds too innocent. I would say its a government subsidy for commerce. I am pretty sure Sony don't intend to pay for the draconian system of 'rules' they want enforced.

Re:I don't buy it (4, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093805)

I would say its a government subsidy for commerce

Silly Sony. Don't they know they have to first run their business into the ground and ensure that it's all but worthless before they'll receive a government subsidy? ;)

Re:I don't buy it (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093835)

Cut them some slack, they've been working on it for ages. Minidisc recorders with a useless, crippled format, DVDs that put trojans on your computer, they've done everything in the book to alienate their customers and lower their business. Not their fault that they even fail at failing.

Re:I don't buy it (4, Funny)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093911)

I admit, I did buy a minidisc player in the late nineties (I was young an naive). I reckon Sony owe me anyway, so perhaps I should go and pirate some stuff now to make up for it.

Re:I don't buy it (4, Insightful)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093857)

Well yeah. He even says "It's hard to sell a legal DVD when it can be stolen without any repercussions." If the pirates gave away DVDs for free, and Sony charged a reasonable price for DRM-free downloads of new content, then Sony would have a fantastic business model.

DVDs are a pain to store, use and purchase, when compared with a network solution. But the studios stubbornly continue to tie their own hands with their arcane marketing and distribution 'rules'.

Re:I don't buy it (5, Funny)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093763)

Also 'Store times'? Who's time? From what time zone? Sheesh. This guy is stuck in the 1890's.

Re:I don't buy it (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093947)

I think it was meant to be some sort of analogy, but I can't quite see what it is meant to be matching up to. It doesn't really fit in with online file sharing though because I suspect most BitTorrent users often don't try legitimate sources in the first place.

His analogy almost works in my case though - I do try online stores first, and then if I still can't get whatever music I want without paying crazy import prices (or buy the CD and then find out the CD has copy protection - which I can get around of course, but don't want to waste time on), I'll just download it. Still, if the shop's customers are wanting to keep buying stuff at all hours of the day, why not keep it open 24 hours and make more profit? As a CEO you'd expect him to have a bit more business acumen.. of course he probably knows what he is saying is a load of bull, but still wants to try it on in the hopes that people won't notice (as everyone seems to do when they implement DRM measures).

Re:I don't buy it (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093969)

Culture is much more than what you can sell.

That's it exactly. Did Michelangelo lock the doors to the Sistine Chapel and stand outside charging $20 a head (sorry, no cameras or sketchpads allowed) to come in and see his masterpiece? No.

Did Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart charge each symphony that wanted to play his pieces a separate fee for each concert they performed? No.

Did Leonardo Da Vinci hide digital watermarks in Mona Lisa so he could make sure no one was stealing his work? No.

Does Sony think The Fugees are in the same caliber as any one of the above artists in terms of culture?

You see chaos, I see a level playing field (5, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093601)

After this and his other comment, I have decided to not buy anything Sony from now on. A healthy, vibrant culture comes from having low barriers of entry to public discourse, not from having a monopoly on the public discourse held by the rich. Why can't these elitist motherfuckers just die already?

Re:You see chaos, I see a level playing field (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28093775)

Sure? Why not buy a sony walkman 4 gig MP3 player. 40 hrs of high quality audio, ripped from your own personal CD collection of course *wink*.

Actually, buy a Sansa Clip or something. Better quality for the price. My point is that it's not like Sony isn't profiting off of piracy.

Re:You see chaos, I see a level playing field (1, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093839)

With 4 gigs, you have to pirate. At £1 per song from Amazon (on average), and 4 meg per mp3 (conservatively) - that adds up to £1000 to fill up the device.

Re:You see chaos, I see a level playing field (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093865)

You needed THIS comment to decide that Sony isn't what you want to buy?

Frankly, Sony has a MTBFIM (mean time between foot-in-mouth) of about 2 years, either you're new or young.

Re:You see chaos, I see a level playing field (2, Interesting)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093981)

More that I've been out of the consumer loop a while; I lived frugally and worked less for a couple of years so choosing which greedy corporation to buy electronics and media from.

Having a bit more money is a burden in many ways; so many of the things I end up spending it on are from corporations so overtly nasty they make me feel dirty associating with them.

Re:You see chaos, I see a level playing field (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093867)

Sony has for decades now been one of the handful of big media companies that basically controlled the kingdom of all media. During that time, they came to regard that kingdom as their birthright. Then the internet came along, and fewer and fewer peasants were coming around with their tax payments and deference for the king. So now they want to take back their kingdom by force. I think that's a much better analogy than "guardrails on the information superhighway."

Let them eat DRM (4, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#28094035)

I like that metaphor. Especially because of the ultimate fate of such overtly greedy monarchies has been well documented throughout history :)

Re:You see chaos, I see a level playing field (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28093925)

well said

sony reality check (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28093609)

the cat's out the bag dude. you're either too late, or your business model is fucked.
move along, nothing to see here...

Give the People What They Want (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28093613)

I'm glad people are stealing your shit, Sony.

Either let us pay for DRM-Free content, or watch us steal it.

Re:Give the People What They Want (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093639)

Go buy your DRM free content from Amazon MP3 store, Wal-Mart MP3 store or iTunes.

Oh wait, you are talking about video content (TV and movies), right?

Re:Give the People What They Want (2, Insightful)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#28094033)

I doubt I'm alone in being disappointed by Hulu and the other network TV streaming sites. NBC has awfully annoying commercial pop-ups, and most shows have only the 4 most-recent episodes available, if at all. I would watch full length commercial breaks in order to catch up on old episodes of any show that I had missed. At that point, they would have to be making more money from me than they do by my watching the same shows on Netflix, right? Heck, if the service was good enough and prices lower than cable, I might even pay a monthly rate for the convenience.

I don't need to own it, just give me the option to watch what I want, when I want it. It's not hard to be more convenient than the alternatives, just find a mildly non-invasive way to monetize.

can't see buyiong much from Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28093625)

I can't see me buying much from Sony as long as this ass hat is working for them.

sounds like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28093627)

bleeding revenue?
Business model outdated?
lack of forward vision?

regulate the intardnet!

profit !

24/7 anyone? (1)

vintagepc (1388833) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093635)

Interesting how some people think that the internet shuts down when they're not looking... Analogy FAIL.

Imagine that (5, Insightful)

Dolohov (114209) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093663)

"Internet users have become used to getting things when they want it and how they want it"

Not at all like rich CEOs, no.

Giving people what they want (4, Insightful)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093913)

Internet users have become used to getting things when they want it and how they want it

Natural effect of Capitalism. If Sony's CEO would rather live in a Communist economy, I heard Cuba is still accepting immigrants. He might have to take a cut in salary and status, though.

Re:Imagine that (5, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093953)

Yes, we did. Yes, we got used to instant delivery of digital content to our PCs. We got used to being able to use the content to display on multi purpose machines (like, say, PCs) instead of having to buy a few dozen different boxes to achive the same results. We got used to ease of storage, being able to put hundreds if not thousands of songs, movies, books and other content on a single hard drive, taking up the room a single book or two CDs in jewel cases would.

Now some bozo comes in and says you can't have that. My only response is "why?". Why not? Because you don't want me to have it? You can't always get what you want, I, for one, would want people to have a clue before they're allowed to open their mouth.

But then we wouldn't ever have heard that gem from the Sony CEO. Which would be a shame. I dare say it has the potential to become about as powerful as the 'internet tubes' meme.

Re:Imagine that (2, Insightful)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 4 years ago | (#28094051)

But that's how it's supposed to work in a world created by the elite for the elite. The little people are scum who exist to toil and sweat for peanuts making the elite richer. Scum are not supposed to be allowed to get things for free, they are there to have what little they do earn claimed back in the form of mass market goods via slick psychologist advised PR campaigns. This is the natural order of things.

We don't need Sony though! (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093671)

If you can't provide what we want, someone else will. Capitalism fills these niches.

Wolverine was leaked. Maybe it did reduce its potential sales, but it certainly didn't make it impossible to sell tickets for it. The movie industry seems to be able to survive pretty well. Hell, Amazon seems to be doing okay with its mp3 store, even though it's easy to get everything they sell for free.

I'm happy for regulation to exist that enables you to have a profitable business providing things that consumers need. But I'm only willing to allow that much. We have no obligation to maximise your potential profits.

great example of sony thinking (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28093683)

Great example of why sony hasn't been doing well. As opposed to changing or modifying their business model to meet the demand "after store hours" the customer should change for sony, not sony for the customer.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28093685)

Actually, they are called "Guide rails." I believe PENNDOT got sued a while ago for using the term Guardrails and when they did not guard a car from flipping off the highway they had to change the name.

Michael Lynton, CEO Troll (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093687)

So you justify your statement that "nothing good has come from the Internet. Period." with

And my point is this: the major content businesses of the world and the most talented creators of that content -- music, newspapers, movies and books -- have all been seriously harmed by the Internet.

This is the equivalent of a shock statement followed by "Now that I have your attention ..." and is only appropriate when trying to address an auditorium full of teenagers.

I respect you no more than I would respect someone saying

The entire world is burning. Everyone is going to die soon. Period.

Now that I have your attention, I would like to discuss the occasional forest fires that threaten many homes in my state.

Piracy is a problem but it's your problem, not mine. And it's not on the scale you make of it. I am in no way a party to it so I don't want to hear you bashing the greatest communications tool to date nor do I want to hear suggestions of curbing the freedom I enjoy daily on said communications tool.

You had to pack up your home DVD stores in South Korea? Do you think that your supposed "guard rails" will be readily implemented world wide and embraced? I'm sorry, go ahead and sue the whole country or pressure the government to crack down on it or stop releasing Korean dubbed movies or--horrors of all horrors--lower your prices to something people are willing to pay? You effectively prevent me from owning any of your DVDs when the technology to digitally duplicate them is readily available and dirt cheap. That's your choice and you're free to opt for that.

Your comparison to the Interstate Highway System is laughable. Please, do me one favor. In the future, when you draw comparisons of physical theft and huge undertakings like the Interstate Highway System to file sharing and "the Internet" do not confuse physical materials with information! There are major differences--for example: information can be freely replicated with no transfer of resources between the two parties involved! You draw a poor analogy and then *wave of the hands* we need protections like this. What "guard rails" do you suggest for the internet? I mean specifically, what do you have in mind? Have you thought this out at all? I'm sure you don't know but your engineers could suggest a small program from Sony that every internet user has to install on their computer to access the internet that has access to kernel space and ... yeah, I think we've been down this road.

Re:Michael Lynton, CEO Troll (3, Informative)

jbolden (176878) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093895)

About 8 years ago the CEO of Fox Media gave a keynote at Comdex on this topic. What they wanted was something like the trusted computing initiative. Moreover what he wanted was a partnership with IT and broad support from the developer / hardware communities. He realizes that the IT people by and large support the free exchange of information and thus undermine this partnership.

His feeling was that there were potentially hundreds of thousands to millions of jobs in IT supporting a massive customized entertainment system, that could exist if and only if the medium was relatively safe.

I'm not sure that with Web 2.0 another alternative, the return of the amateur, isn't the direction we are heading in instead.

That horse has bolted (5, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093693)

Not only has that horse bolted from the stable already, but it is now married with 10-year old kids. Trying to stop it now will work about as well as prohibition did back in the 20's, which was ill-founded for the same reason: EVERYONE was already doing the thing you're wanting to make illegal!

Open 24 Hours (2, Insightful)

vodevil (856500) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093699)

What he doesn't seem to understand is the little shop that is the internet is open 24 hours.

The interstate has guardrails? (3, Insightful)

liquidsunshine (1312821) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093701)

Only on bridges and other places where they are specifically needed to protect the well-being of the motorists. The internet already has these; they're called firewalls.

Why doesn't he go to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28093703)

...frakk himself, instead of attacking the biggest anti-elitist tool mankind has ever created?

Who else smashes windows? (5, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093705)

The RIAA and MPAA, who smash our home windows and front doors to come and riffle through our things looking for evidence that we're all bandits out to rob them blind so they can sue us for hundreds of thousands the moment they find a single downloaded song. Oh, the irony.

Sony saying this? (4, Interesting)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093709)

Isn't this the company that is losing billions of dollars, that is notorious for cheating their customers, installing rootkits, running their MMORPG's in an unethical manner? This is a company that for 15 years has been living off their name and the fact that it used to make rock solid quality products.

Yeah, I as a consumer SO need to be lectured on ethics by a stuffed shirt from Sony.

Re:Sony saying this? (5, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093809)

This is a very good point. Sony squandered the moral highground a long time ago.

Sometimes "piracy" is only option! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28093717)

[posted anonymously since I am admitting to something technically illegal]

[...] if it is 'beyond store hours' and the shop is closed, a lot of people just smash the window and steal what they want.

Except on a web page it never need be "beyond store hours!"

I legally buy my Torchwood episodes off iTunes (despite the repugnant DRM) because it is available and the right thing to do. I cannot buy (AFAICT) old Dr. Who episodes (William Hartnell era), so I torrent them. If the BBC doesn't like it, put 'em on iTunes and I'll pay for 'em!

Re:Sometimes "piracy" is only option! (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#28094089)

I legally buy my Torchwood episodes off iTunes (despite the repugnant DRM) because it is available and the right thing to do. I cannot buy (AFAICT) old Dr. Who episodes (William Hartnell era), so I torrent them. If the BBC doesn't like it, put 'em on iTunes and I'll pay for 'em!

I wouldn't feel so bad about the BBC anyway - the BBC gets to take money from UK citizens who use a TV, but don't watch any BBC programmes, so it all works out okay...

From the guys that hack your computer... (4, Insightful)

MathFox (686808) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093723)

This request for censorship comes from the guys that sold malware infected CDs [wikipedia.org] to unsuspecting customers. (And passed the blame to someone else.) I wonder how they avoided criminal prosecution...

Re:From the guys that hack your computer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28093999)

I wonder how they avoided criminal prosecution...

That's easy: they're rich.

This is USA. Everyone is free, but rich people/corporation are more free...

Ready, Shoot, Aim! (1)

Tempest451 (791438) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093731)

I stopped reading after "Someone stole a copy of X-men Origins and posted it on the net". I guess if someone robs a bank and gives the money to the public, there needs to be some type of control of public donations? ...um ok.

real bummer (1)

pig-power (1069288) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093741)

I am very fond of Sony equipment, their products have always performed to my expectations.
So it's a shame that the head the company can only see badness in the internet
Maybe he can talk the shareholders into producing...
nice..
safe..
rotary phones?

A real live abuse of an association meme! (5, Interesting)

inviolet (797804) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093757)

In the very clever book "Virus of the Mind", the author defines an "association meme" as a social idea about how one thing goes with another. Examples of association memes include: "Cereal is for breakfast", "Muffins are for breakfast", and "Chocolate cake is not for breakfast". Merchants wishing to sell chocolate cake for breakfast (including Starbucks) must work within these memes, which is why they bake their product into a muffin shape. Quite a clever little manipulation.

Turning now to the summary:

Micheal Lynton, the guy who said 'I'm a guy who doesn't see anything good having come from the Internet. Period.' has posted an editorial at the Huffington Post titled Guardrails for the Internet, in which he defends his comment, and suggests that just as the interstate system needs guardrails, so too does the information superhighway.

To extend "Virus of the Mind"'s ideas, guardrails are an association meme. We associate them with benevolence, with keeping us safe, and with an obvious danger. Lynton is invoking that meme, muffin style, to manipulate us into accepting something we otherwise would reject. The chocolate cake he is selling for breakfast should properly invoke the meme of a school principle, but if it did, nobody would accept it.

I will contribute a dollar to any charity raising money to put Lynton onto a ship and dump him onto a deserted island, never to return. Let's see how he, a professional influencer who, in influencing the movements of billions of dollars, has never produced so much as a grain of wheat, fares alone.

Re:A real live abuse of an association meme! (0, Offtopic)

sirkazuo (1446275) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093995)

That word- I do not think it means what you think it means.

I call bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28093765)

"'Internet users have become used to getting things when they want it and how they want it, and those of us in the entertainment business want to meet that kind of demand as efficiently and effectively as possible."

As long as you're happy downloading DRM-locked copies of movies that generally only work on windows computers, and forget about putting them on a mobile video device like something made by archos.com or cowanamerica.com . If I get more functionality (whether legally or otherwise) by hiring a dvd from a bricks and mortar rental store and watching it on my linux or mac machine, or transferring it to my mobile device and watching it on the move, then you're not trying hard enough, and claiming that "those of us in the entertainment business want to meet that kind of demand as efficiently and effectively as possible" is disingenuous at the very least.

This guy is a superhero! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28093773)

I call him Captain Non-Sequoiter.

Interstate needs guard rails ->
Information superhighway needs guard rails

O.K., I'll give him a moment to make sense of this for me.

People want stuff 24/7 (internet users) ->
Online shops are not open 24/7

Wait, wait, wait. I thought that the internet was a shop that was open 24/7. Especially if you are talking about distributing media. O.k., lets give him a bit more working room.

People "break window(s)" to get what they want ->
Guard rails prevent accidents on the road ->
The "Information Superhighway" needs guard rails to "prevent chaos [...] protect culture"

Woah there, buddy. The laws which govern vehicles prevent chaos on the roads. Road signs, vehicle standards, etc... Guard rails are a device which are designed to protect from accidents. Is he trying to say that people "infringe" on accident? If that's the case, this guy is pretty cool after all!

Re:This guy is a superhero! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28093859)

Well I for one am sick of people breaking those guard rails and STEALING public dirt and grass, I mean what has the world come to?

Inaccurate Comparison (1)

shadowknot (853491) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093779)

But what has happened online is that if it is 'beyond store hours' and the shop is closed, a lot of people just smash the window and steal what they want.

This has no relevance to online commerce, "store hours" do not apply that is the whole point of digital content delivery, it's on-demand. I think this chap needs to think it over a little more as the type of thing he is proposing is more like, taking the highway analogy, creating individual lanes all of which go through toll booths and drive-through's and rest areas without giving the driver a choice of direction. A more accurate description of his idea (as I understand it) would be a subway-style train which stops where the operator wants it to stop and takes away choice of direction of travel; you're either on or you're off.

Taking away liberty for "the greater good" or because we can't handle the freedom afforded to us by the great and merciful content providers is to turn us into children. I'm not saying that anarchy should rule but neither should dictatorship. Most of us are smart enough, big enough and dumb enough to make our own decisions/mistakes without being cosseted along the way

Re:Inaccurate Comparison (3, Insightful)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093955)

This has no relevance to online commerce, "store hours" do not apply that is the whole point of digital content delivery...

I think he's referring to the arbitrary and often ridiculous restrictions companies like Sony have placed on digital distribution in the last decade. Things like different release dates in different countries, DVD region codes, DRM restrictions, malicious software, unavailability of single music tracks and legal downloads. Basically, the things Sony did to squeeze a few extra dollars out of their customers actually pissed off customers. Big surprise.

SONT ROOTKIT NEEDS HELP (1)

CHRONOSS2008 (1226498) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093797)

Yes we ned ot make sure pesky drone humans that can find us are eraditcated ...er terminated...er "guarded from"

Think of the children....
WE are the children of the atom of the baud and we are utterly disgusted this man whom sanctioned the hacking of millions illegaly would even open his fraking yap

Cars (5, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093799)

suggests that just as the interstate system needs guardrails, so too does the information superhighway.

I think he's actually right. One time, when my Cat6 cable had too tight of a bend, I had packets breaking through and slamming against the wiring closet wall. It was... terrible.

Altruists (1)

shiba_mac (415267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093819)

It's great how big companies really care these days. We should feel privileged to have such vigilant guardians of our "healthy, vibrant culture".

Get with the program, Michael (4, Interesting)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093841)

Internet users have become used to getting things when they want it and how they want it, and those of us in the entertainment business want to meet that kind of demand as efficiently and effectively as possible. But what has happened online is that if it is 'beyond store hours' and the shop is closed, a lot of people just smash the window and steal what they want.

The guy does have a point.

However, I have seen precious little from the entertainment business to meet this demand. Shopping for music online has become somewhat better, with reasonable prices, good selection and less DRM. But online movies? There's few choices there, if any. And the focus is still very much on DRM and/or streaming (the Pay-per-view model that they love so much), as evidenced by recently emerged standards such as HDMI and Bluray.

Many consumers are willing to pay for content. Especially if they get a better product by paying: encoding and compression rate to order, and no DRM. I want to select the quality, easily download the file, and then be able to play it on any of my PCs, my iPhone, and on my TV using a media streaming device. Guess what? Pirates are offering the better product, as things stand today. AllofMP3 let me select encoding and compression, and movies are generally available in various levels of quality, if you take the time to look for them. The movies provided by pirates can be played anywhere, anytime. Pirated movie downloads offer more convenience even than physical Blurays; perhaps Michael should start to understand why that is, and think about ways to offer a competitive product.

My advice: open an online store for movies, offer various download types (for starters: DVD, 720p and 1080p HD, perhaps also lowres files for PSP or iPhone), encode in formats that are generally accepted as the standard (just use what the pirates use), do not require any special players or software (so that the files can be viewed on any device), and do not add any DRM.

Obligatory South Park Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28093899)

In the words of Terrence and Phillip, "Fuck You Buddy!"

But with a complete absence of broken glass... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093919)

But what has happened online is that if it is 'beyond store hours' and the shop is closed, a lot of people just smash the window and steal what they want.

But with a complete absence of broken glass, property damage, or theft.

One doesn't have to condone copyright violations to object to lousy metaphors.

I couldn't keep reading after this.. (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093927)

Freedom without restraint is chaos...

And restraint without freedom is fascism. Last week's Hour of Slack [subgenius.com] had a jarringly coherient monologue done by Joe Paulino that reminds me of this. It starts about 14 minutes in.

How appropriate (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28093935)

Original poster nickname is "testadicazzo", which in Italian means "dickhead".

Michael, is that you?

Dodging the real issues (3, Interesting)

spydum (828400) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093937)

I just don't buy that the CEO of Sony has altruistic motives for protecting artists. This is all about the losses that continually climb from their Entertainment branches due to box office flops. They need a place to put blame, and since piracy is the big boogey man in the closet, it's become the reason for falling earnings.

Chickens coming home to roost (0, Troll)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093939)

It warms my heart whenever I see a hollywood or big music employee or executive complaining about the socialistic view of property that is increasingly common with their goods. For decades, they've promoted left-wing politics through music and not-so-subtle bias in many movies, not to mention giving huge campaign contributions to left-wing democrats.

Guess what? The chickens are coming home to roost. The kids now believe your shit about The Man(tm) and you don't like it. Tough cookies.

Typical for a CEO with no vision (1)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093949)

Corporate Dissonance at it's finest. That is what happens when you become CEO because of who you know rather than what you know. So lets see - Sony one of RIAAS premier benefactors - chooses to litigate instead of innovate and it's the Internet's fault. Perhaps Sony would be better off with a CEO with a little more vision.

Customer service counts (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28093967)

Based on what Sony has shipped in the past (e.g., CD rootkit), Sony's business model is to attach a ball-and-chain to every product after it is purchased and before it goes out the door, and the ball-and-chain has a monitoring camera attached that will turn on a siren and flashing red light if it thinks the user is doing something with the product that they shouldn't, or if you merely tilt the product the wrong way.

"Guardrails" aren't what this guy wants. He wants shackles.

Here's a free clue: legitimate purchasers of your product don't want to be unnecessarily restricted in the use of that product. Stop treating consumers like they are all criminals.

With that kind of inconsiderate treatment at a store front, the honest consumers will step in the door, take what they want, and toss the money behind them as they leave. You'll get your money from the honest ones, but the moment a store opens with a better experience your customers will leave to buy elsewhere. They'll also recommend "anything but that store" for equivalent prices and features.

"Anything but Sony" has certainly been my recommendation ever since the rootkit fiasco (it's not solely based on that, but the long-term pattern of always favoring Sony lock-in schemes over generic ones and always having over-the-top DRM schemes on hardware and media). If I'm not the only one doing that, perhaps this could have something to do with Sony's long-term financials?

Does the word Fuckwit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28093975)

... even describe the stupidity involved here?

He doesn't... (1)

garion888 (1042184) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093985)

...defend the original comment at all. He sidesteps the whole issue to get to his REAL point which is some blathering with horrible analogies etc etc...

The internet has restraint (1)

whiting (163605) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093991)

There are lots of people who choose not to exercise self-restraint on the internet, but it has thrived as a medium for years because of the self-restraint of the users.

It's not perfect, but I think his problem is that internet users don't want to pay what he wants, for what he wants to sell when he wants to sell it, so he wants them restrained (forced to pay) his way.

Severe Tire Damage (4, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#28093997)

If one, for the sake of discussion, were to accept the bad analogies in this message: don't forget that Sony are the ones who shipped CDs with that caused "severe tire damage" to people who didn't even touch them... without so much as a warning that they were going to install a rootkit on your computer. If Sony's proposing guard rails, be sure they'll be electrified to 270 kVA with spinning tungsten-carbide blades and proximity-fused claymores.

he has it backwards, barriers hinder progress (1)

iambanan (1562489) | more than 4 years ago | (#28094003)

" if we don't figure out some way to prevent online chaos, the quantity, quality and availability of the kinds of entertainment, literature, art and scholarship we need to have a healthy, vibrant culture will suffer."

Oh Noes! If we can't figure out how to sell the latest Britney Spears album at overly inflated prices, humanity will be robbed of one of its greatest cultural achievements!

Look at history. Major technological innovations that make it easier for people to copy and disseminate information (like say the printing press) have improved the " quantity, quality and availability of the kinds of entertainment, literature, art and scholarship we need." The internet is like the printing press on speed, and the openness of the information exchanges on the internet will enhance our culture, not stifle it.

The values clash between the Internet and Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28094005)

"Internet users have become used to getting things when they want it and how they want it"

True. And that's what's good about the internet. It's a community/environment that is what it is on its own, with no input from business (in this, I'm thinking more the online community that's existed since the late 70s, before the "strip malls" started setting up on the web around 1996).

"those of us in the entertainment business want to meet that kind of demand as efficiently and effectively as possible."

False. Like all businessmen, what you really want is to make as much money with as little effort as possible. And saying self-serving things like this is a part of that, not an objective statement of either your actual beliefs or of reality.

Those who use the net and enjoy it for what it is are fundamentally different from those who want to do nothing but make a buck off of it. That's why Lynton sees nothing good in the internet, and that why those who do see nothing good in DRM and other Sony-like business practices. Nothing wrong with business, but don't pretend that trying to exploit the net for contrived profit is anything more than that, Mr. CEO.

The Most Damning Comment I Can Make (4, Insightful)

Hangtime (19526) | more than 4 years ago | (#28094013)

If you sent this guy back to 1999 with all the knowledge of the last 10 years at his disposal - I think he still screws it up and history repeats itself in terms of how the market plays out. This is a guy who cannot and will not change. The industry could have OWNED online distribution but instead decided to put its head and the sand now it deals with its gatekeeper and arbiter, Apple. Good job there sparky.

Analogy fail (2, Funny)

DaRat (678130) | more than 4 years ago | (#28094015)

Ummm, most of the interstate system doesn't have guard rails. Sure, there are guard rails in the dangerous or highly populated spots, but most of the network doesn't have guard rails.

Wow (1)

JayRott (1524587) | more than 4 years ago | (#28094023)

Let me know how that works out for you Lynton. This is not the first time a CEO who needs the internet for his business (playstation, anyone?) shoots it apart. Apparently there is no "logic" class in college business programs.

The best art... (1)

LunarEffect (1309467) | more than 4 years ago | (#28094025)

is made by artists who don't do it for money and fame, but for the pleasure it gives people, or for the need to express themselves freely, to spread their message.
Its as one of my favorite street poets, Mr Lif said: "Poetry ends when money contends."

Good examples are:
The artists on Jamendo, Deviant Art, Youtube, and of course the funny, intelligent people posting on /., entertaining me with their awesome comments! =)

What I'm trying to say is...I can entertain myself pretty well legally without having to pay big corporations. Free alternatives keep the competition high forcing competitors, be they commercial or not, to produce quality stuff =)

The only thing that will suffer... (2, Interesting)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#28094063)

... are the unethical profit margins of the mob of middlemen who thrive at the direct expense of both creative people and the people who would be consumers of that creativity. Those middlemen are the true "useless eaters" that early Twentieth Century eugenicists should have been targeting with forced sterilization. Nobody likes parasites, least of all the intended hosts of them. Just as the Italian Mafia were parasites on the economy, so too is the RIAA and its clientele parasitic. They themselves produce NOTHING of tangible value to the world, yet those corporations harbor some of the wealthiest people in the world. Useless eaters all, deserving of sterilization....

The title for the article is wrong and misleading. (2, Informative)

Longhair (28625) | more than 4 years ago | (#28094065)

The title for the article is wrong and misleading, probably on purpose since Sony bashing seems to be the hottest thing a zealot can do these days.

The guy who made the comment is not Sony CEO (Howard Stringer is) but CEO of Sony Pictures the movie company. Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Pictures, Sony Music etc. are different companies, and fairly independent too.

The actual CEO of Sony has very different views about the Internet and it's possibilities.

mixing metaphors (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#28094081)

Internet users have become used to getting things when they want it and how they want it, and those of us in the entertainment business want to meet that kind of demand as efficiently and effectively as possible. But what has happened online is that if it is 'beyond store hours' and the shop is closed, a lot of people just smash the window and steal what they want.

This is why a lot of these old-school industries aren't going to make it through the digital transition. They're still trying to treat the Internet as if it was no different than opening up another storefront. They aren't understanding what automation and digital distribution can do for them. Instead of embracing the technologies, they're fighting them tooth and nail.

You can also see this playing out in the video rental industry. BlockBuster is having a hard time dealing with the Internet. Their brick & mortar stores actually have business hours and eventually close up for the day. But BlockBuster was smart enough to offer an on-line rental plan similar to Netflix. So people who want their movies don't even have to wonder whether the store is open... They just click a few buttons and their movie is on the way.

Or if they've got Netflix they can click a few buttons and stream it right to their screen.

And other companies are springing up in the gaps between the Internet and traditional brick & mortar stores. We've got RedBox movie vending machines showing up all over town. You don't need a computer, you don't need a subscription, you don't need to wait for the mail - all the benefits of a traditional brick & mortar store. But you just walk up to a vending machine, push a couple buttons, and get your movie - no store hours to worry about.

Old thinkers, all of them (1)

OriginalSolver (552648) | more than 4 years ago | (#28094087)

"...and if we don't figure out some way to prevent online chaos, the quantity, quality and availability of the kinds of entertainment, literature, art and scholarship we need to have a healthy, vibrant culture will suffer.'"

Well naturally. There was no such thing as vibrant culture before western capitalism appeared, right?

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