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Sony Raises Price of Whitney Houston's Music 30 Minutes After Death

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the it's-not-right-but-it's-okay dept.

Music 507

First time accepted submitter M.Nunez writes "Just 30 minutes after Whitney Houston died, Sony Music raised the price of Houston's greatest hits album, 'Ultimate Collection,' on iTunes and Amazon. Many technologists, including chairman of the NY Tech Meetup Andrew Rasiej, suggests that Sony should be boycotted for the move. In a tweet, Rasiej wrote, 'Geez Sony raised price on Whitney Houston's music 30 min after death was announced. #FAIL...We should boycott Sony.'"

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507 comments

Silly Sony (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39053869)

Bunch of f-ing assholes.

We should boycott only now? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39053987)

This article is assuming we shouldn't have been boycotting Sony already.
Silly people... why do they need so much time to learn?

Re:We should boycott only now? (4, Informative)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054243)

This article is assuming we shouldn't have been boycotting Sony already.
Silly people... why do they need so much time to learn?

Sony are a bunch of vultures, what's there to learn? Everybody knows how vultures behave.

Re:We should boycott only now? (4, Informative)

jc42 (318812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054583)

article is assuming we shouldn't have been boycotting Sony already.

Well, my first thought was that I can't boycott Sony over this, because I haven't bought anything of theirs since back when they were caught including rootkits on their CDs.

I don't know if it's possible to do two boycotts against the same company simultaneously. If so, you would one do it?

Sony is a Profit-Oriented Corporation (4, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054609)

Sony is a profit-oriented corporation

Their mission is to make profit

Whitney Houston's death was a chance for Sony to make more money, so they took it

I really can't blame Sony for doing such a thing, even when it's kind of bad taste

So? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39053889)

Tacky? Sure. Taking advantage of the situation? Yup. But they have a right to make money for their product.

When an artists dies, many people rush right out to purchase that artist's work. It's as if people think they suddenly won't be able to get it again now that the artist is dead.

Re:So? (4, Interesting)

cream wobbly (1102689) | more than 2 years ago | (#39053947)

"So?" indeed.

Surely all the fans own (media containing licensed copies of) her music anyway, so what's the big deal? Who suffers? While Sony is a parasite, those who are buying her music after her death are equally parasitic and not really deserving of any breaks.

Re:So? (4, Interesting)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054663)

...those who are buying her music after her death are equally parasitic and not really deserving of any breaks.

I fail to see how buying her music shortly after her death is parasitic. Not real fans, sure. Trend-following, sure. Parasitic? It sounds like you don't know what that word means.

Re:So? (2)

Serious Poo (597509) | more than 2 years ago | (#39053967)

Does Sony have the legal right to raise prices? Of course. However, their decision to raise prices immediately after the announcement of her death demonstrates exceptionally poor judgement. Again. IMHO. / “The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.” - William Safire

Re:So? (5, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39053969)

And the rest of the world has a right to say no to tacky corporations because there's quite enough tacky in the world already. I hope enough do say no that Sony gets the message loud and clear.

Re:So? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054359)

Yea, and thanks to all this insta-sharing that goes on in the world today, the power (in one way or another) has been shifting toward the consumer.

Did we have a right to say no 20 years ago when much fewer people had tangible knowledge of the tacky that was happening? I'd argue that no, we didn't. Ignorance is a form of innocence.

Now, however, we are certainly more aware of the things that happen *behind closed doors*. This kind of story gets around and is a more tangible way for your average facebooker to justify the refusal of tacky.

I suppose tldr, the IQ of this story is precisely 100.

Re:So? (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054709)

Yep this is not much different from posthumous album releases. *hums along to Nirvana's MTV Unplugged*

What a class act! (1, Funny)

stevenfuzz (2510476) | more than 2 years ago | (#39053901)

I'm excited about the Whitney Houston drug-inspired trance remix album that Sony will come up with next.

Re:What a class act! (2)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054119)

...and why the hell not? Tupac released more albums [wikipedia.org] when he was dead than when he was alive.

Proof, once again, that he is not really dead but living on a secret island with Elvis and Steve Erwin.

Re:What a class act! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054167)

That's the Isle of Lye, right?

Price fixing... (3, Interesting)

TheDarAve (513675) | more than 2 years ago | (#39053919)

There should be an investigation for price manipulation for that. They sue people for "copying" music for several hundred times the digital price, yet they pull dick moves like this and expect people to just ignore it as a normal matter of business. If there was going to be a run on resources, like in the production of CDs, I could see increasing the price to help open up a new line or two to produce more to compensate, but its digital. There's ONE master. They produce NOTHING, just data. Outside of bandwidth considerations, there's no significant additional cost to them over what's already being used.

Re:Price fixing... (5, Insightful)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054001)

Since when is it illegal to price your product to make as much of a profit as possible? (That's not what's generally meant by "price fixing," by the way.)

Re:Price fixing... (1)

TheDarAve (513675) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054041)

For your reference... http://www.mobiledia.com/news/110939.html [mobiledia.com]

Re:Price fixing... (5, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054099)

Maximizing profit != price fixing. Also increasing the price of a product when the artist dies is also not illegal. So you know, price fixing means you collude with some other party to only buy or sell a product at a fixed price through controlling supply and demand. There was no price fixing in this case.

Re:Price fixing... (4, Insightful)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054333)

No, but there was dickishness on an epic scale. What they did is clearly legal, but absurdly scummy. A boycott would be a very appropriate measure.

Re:Price fixing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054529)

The neat thing about digital music is that there is no such thing as supply and demand... Just demand and profit.

It's kinda neat. It's like price fixing ALL THE TIME. It's brilliant, and scummy at the same time!

Re:Price fixing... (1)

jtnix (173853) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054593)

waitaminute... so the US Gvt can redefine the meaning of the word 'person' to include corporations so corporations can donate millions to candidates and not be called out for it, but they can't redefine the phrase 'price fixing' to mean what it really should mean?

Sorry, but that's bullshit.

Re:Price fixing... (4, Insightful)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054829)

"supply and demand" isn't a very useful descriptive tool when the supply is infinite and valueless. More like, "access control and demand"...

Re:Price fixing... (5, Insightful)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054139)

If a company charges too much, they're guilty of "price gouging."
If they charge too little, they're guilty of "dumping."
If they charge the same as their competitors, they're guilty of "price fixing."

Welcome to the "free market."

Re:Price fixing... (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054411)

also all of that depends on varying definition of what people perceive as "too much" or "too little".

Controlled market (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054153)

With music there are only two choices:
1) Monopolistic pricing
2) Zero price point

The equilibrium price isn't an option, and most people value the product far less than its cost.

Re:Price fixing... (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054365)

It's not illegal, it's just bone-headed, tone deaf, and stupid. People have a right to think so, too.

Re:Price fixing... (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054481)

It's perfectly legal...just the Invisible Hand working its magic. But usually the Hand has the decency to wait until the body's cold.

Re:Price fixing... (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054061)

What part of "What mine is mine and what's yours is mine too..." do you not understand???

Re:Price fixing... (5, Informative)

PReDiToR (687141) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054063)

According to other sites that ran this story ages ago the pricing was done by an algorithm that detected the increase in sales and raised the price to maximise on those sales.
Plus it was stated that Apple only take 30% of iTunes revenue, SONY (and that other labels) set the prices.
Who knows?

Tagged: diesonydie

Any excuse... (1)

Professr3 (670356) | more than 2 years ago | (#39053923)

If it results in a Sony boycott, I'm fine with whatever reason you come up with.

Re:Any excuse... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054495)

Don't worry, it looks like they will continue to be giving reasons to boycott them for as long as they exist.

They meant well (5, Funny)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#39053925)

It was actually a gesture of sympathy to Whitney Houston's dependents. Since copyright lasts forever now, long after the death of the artist, they raised the price of the music so her estate will receive larger royalty checks for awhile.

... i kid of course. We all know Sony and the other RIAA members never _actually_ pay out royalties to artists.

Re:They meant well (1)

TheDarAve (513675) | more than 2 years ago | (#39053973)

Oh, that's what the increase is for, so they'll actually start for a bit then stop again once they don't feel bad about Whitney being dead anymore.

Re:They meant well (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#39053993)

And, what share of the profits does her family get? The music industry is notorious for ripping of artists. The story I always remember was the 90s group TLC that sold about $100 million on their debut album, but only took home about $200K each.

Re:They meant well (5, Interesting)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054497)

Heck with that, what about John Foggerty, he was tricked by the record industry into selling his artistic soul while not yet out of puberty, After quitting CCR, couldn't write a note of music that didn't belong to the record industry for 20 years. AND finally after getting his life back after the 20 years and resumed writing kick ass music was sued in 1993 by Saul Zaentz, who owned CCR’s old label Fantasy Records. Zaentz asserted that Foggerty's new song "Old Man Down The Road" was plagiarized from "Run Through the Jungle." The recording industry sued John Fogertty for plagiarizing John Foggerty. Like raping him for 20 years wasn't enough, they wanted his new stuff too. The jury laughed Zaentz out of court after two hours (about as fast as a jury can make a decision without doing it right there in the jury box.) Foggerty demanded that Zaentz pay the $1.09 million court fees for this legal insult, and Zaentz told him to kiss his southern exposure. The law to that date had been heavily weighted on behalf of the plaintiff (corporations), such that if a plaintiff sues you and you lose you have to pay the attorney's fees, but if you win, they didn't have to pay yours. It took Foggerty over a year and appealing all the way to the Supreme Court to get a decision, that stated indeed if someone sues you, and they lose, they should pay your attorney's fees.

You know, there should just be a legal requirement for truth in advertising that has a permanent message tattooed into the heads of the RIAA and its minions stating "I am here to screw you, everything I ever do is designed to rob you, use you, and leave you buggered and you can tell whenever I'm lying by the fact my mouth is moving." Of course we'd then be forced to tatoo politician with the message "I blow more CEOs by 9:00 AM than a high priced call-girl does in a year." and who's going to pass that law?

Re:They meant well (1)

moozey (2437812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054625)

I'm going to go out on a whim and assume TLC didn't write their own songs (co-wrote a few tracks, maybe), like a whole lot of other pop artists in the past X years. If that is the case, and assuming that every aspect of their brand is manufactured by whichever record company they were signed to, then do they really deserve much more money for having their vocal talents and the attitude to go with it? Given the record company would have fronted the cash for the recording time, song writers, producers, promotion, video clips, etc. When it comes down to it, you can bitch about record companies all you want but sometimes (like in TLC's case) their share is justified... sorta.

Also, TLC's career spanned a decade. They would've made plenty of cash.

It saddens me that people give Sony money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39053929)

My guess is that you could buy any of her albums on Ebay for a fraction of what they cost from Sony.

Re:It saddens me that people give Sony money (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054353)

If people want to listen to a song, they buy it on iTunes and hear it within seconds. When you go the CD-route like you're suggesting, well it's a lot longer than seconds.

Of course the fact that music shopping has changed that much isn't worthy of a Grammy.

They all do this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39053939)

    They did it to Miles Davis. They would do it to their own moms.

Re:They all do this. (4, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054263)

Tom Petty was going bankrupt even while he had hit records. The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Eagles and King Crimson all have no lack of horror stories about the record and publishing companies consistently screwing them on royalties, flagrantly violating contracts and in going out of their way to prevent the artists and the lawyers from looking at actual sales.

Whatever artists might be losing to illegal downloads, you can be sure that it is small potatoes to the rackateering that RIAA members have been up to for decades.

If you want to talk about real evil, you should look at the record companies treated artists like Bo Diddley, which amounted to userious contracts and outright theft.

Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39053951)

... the CD's and mp3's aren't going anywhere. There's probably lots of stock in the used market, too.

I don't care (2, Interesting)

Squiddie (1942230) | more than 2 years ago | (#39053957)

They are running a business and trying to make money. It's the same reason that I don't "support" their products. I don't care about Sony because they don't care about me. Also, If I wanted those albums, I'd torrent. She's dead anyway.

I would do the same thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39053959)

if I were them...her true fans would already have her albums.

Re:I would do the same thing (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054291)

Don't worry. The true fans will be shelling out for cleaned up outtakes, second rate tracks and "duets" with .

NOW we should boycott them? (4, Insightful)

GodBlessTexas (737029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39053965)

I've been boycotting them for years, starting with their rootkits on CDs, which should have been charged as a criminal act.

Re:NOW we should boycott them? (2)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054237)

I was thinking the same thing. The rootkit thing put me off of Sony immediately. Since then, I've seen several stories (like the removal of the PS3 "OtherOS" option, PSN getting hacked, etc) where people have been asking "should we boycott Sony?" I'm wondering how far those people have to be pushed before they decide that they can make do without Sony products. Living without Sony products is really not a problem. They aren't an essential company in any way.

Tasteless (4, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39053971)

But logical. Fact is, I bet they earned more money from her death in these past few days than perhaps all last year alone. From a business perspective, you would be stupid not to raise the price. Bad PR yada yada yada. Give it a week and the bitching will stop and sales will increase. Money talks.

Oh look. Shiny!

Re:Tasteless (0)

GamemakerSupreme (2575291) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054115)

Businesses are supposed to benefit society. Sure, their (as in the people behind the businesses) individual motivations may be to profit, but that does not mean they can or should do whatever they want. Some things are clearly immoral and we should not tolerate it.

Of course, they're calling for a boycott on Sony now? A bit late, aren't they?

Re:Tasteless (3, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054241)

The glory of Sony died with the MiniDisk Walman. This company is just an empty shell of what was once a positive household name for many geeks and nerds alike. As they say. Nothing lasts forever. Not even a reputation.

Re:Tasteless (1)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054373)

Businesses are supposed to benefit society. Sure, their (as in the people behind the businesses) individual motivations may be to profit, but that does not mean they can or should do whatever they want. Some things are clearly immoral and we should not tolerate it.

I agree, but I hope you're not suggesting that this is the immoral, intolerable thing that the people behind the Sony corporation are guilty of.

In poor taste? Very much so.

Immoral? Intolerable? Meh. Not so much.

Re:Tasteless (1)

GamemakerSupreme (2575291) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054439)

Actually, I was just saying that making money isn't always the most important thing.

At most, I'd say this was in bad taste. However, Sony has done immoral things in the past (root kits and OtherOS removal come to mind). Like I said, I can't believe that some people are just now starting to want to boycott Sony.

Re:Tasteless (3, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054451)

Businesses arent supposed to "benefit society."

You have misplaced a tenet of capitalism, that trade benefits those involved, with this idea of "benefiting society."

If Sony is charging more than you would like to spend on a product, then dont buy it. Welcome to freedom of choice. If you dont trade, then neither of you are harmed. If you do trade, then we can only assume that you were happy to do so because you have free choice.

Re:Tasteless (1)

GamemakerSupreme (2575291) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054545)

Businesses arent supposed to "benefit society."

I disagree entirely. That's why we have regulations on businesses and they can't do whatever they want to make money. Businesses can easily be immoral.

But as I said, this is merely tasteless. Just don't buy it.

then we can only assume that you were happy to do so because you have free choice.

Provided there isn't a monopoly on an essential service (read: not this), of course.

Re:Tasteless (5, Insightful)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054703)

You know, I'm getting a little sick and tired of all these self obsessed, narcissistic, machiavellian, amoral masses of motile human excrement turning the world into an ontological toilet. We live in a free society, but this lowest common denominator crap is just becoming a simple excuse to be free of social responsibility, dignity, compassion or accountability for one's own actions. True freedom implies taking responsibility for a complex world of interactions where the price of your freedom is responsibility for the freedom of those around you. All take and no give, is the beginning of a free-for-all that ends in a stinking dung heap where a workable society once stood. Maybe its time to teach ethics to our children so perhaps they avoid the stupid mistakes we're making?

Sony doesn't care. (2)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#39053985)

You already hate Sony. Sony already hates you. You're not Sony's primary audience. Sony's primary audience won't notice things like this.

Re:Sony doesn't care. (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054011)

"Sony's primary audience won't notice things like this."

Their primary audience deserves things like this. And who on /. gives a fuck about Whitney Houston?

Re:Sony doesn't care. (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054259)

And who on /. gives a fuck about Whitney Houston?

1st: that's not really the issue, is it?
2nd: anyone who appreciates vocal talent.

Okay, but there are bigger questions (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39053991)

Is there anyone here on Slashdot that's willing to admit they own a Whitney Houston song?

Re:Okay, but there are bigger questions (5, Funny)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054105)

Is there anyone here on Slashdot that's willing to admit they were the ones that uploaded a torrent of all of Whitney Houston's songs 30 minutes after hearing about Sony raising prices?

Re:Okay, but there are bigger questions (1)

thejaq (2495514) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054173)

depends what you mean by 'own,' the bodyguard was one of the few cds I ever purchased. I was 11 or so. The CD is lost in time, but I did purchase it, I did appreciate it, and I recently torrented the fuck out of it.

Re:Okay, but there are bigger questions (1)

jedwidz (1399015) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054225)

Let's see now, my first three LPs were:

Fore - Huey Lewis and the News
Invisible Touch - Genesis
No Jacket Required - Phil Collins

But no Whitney. I'm not a psycho.

Re:Okay, but there are bigger questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054771)

Every time I see "Huey Lewis and the News" I remember that chapter in American Psycho when he analyzes their album. It's the crazies part of the whole book.

Re:Okay, but there are bigger questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054279)

30 minutes after they announced her death, I illegally downloaded all her songs. Does that count as owning?

Didn't Courtney Love tell us (1)

cesman (74566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39053995)

That the music industry was evil.
http://www.salon.com/2000/06/14/love_7/

Awww, give Sony a break (2)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054007)

I'm sure they were just doing their part to prevent iTunes and Amazon from crashing under heavy load.

If people will pay.... (1)

Mariomario (2558403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054013)

If a lot of people want a singer's song after they die, then of coarse a company will raise the price. I have seen people get mad at sony, and I tell them simply to not buy the songs then. Don't boycott sony, just buy the songs somewhere else.

Yes, Sony is evil... (5, Informative)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054017)

But, to be fair, this seems to have been a simple mistake by a single employee, and was quickly corrected. Linking through to the NYT article:

"the changes - which were in effect only on the British version of iTunes, and were reversed Sunday evening...the price increase was the result of an error by a Sony employee in Britain, and that the company gave no orders for prices to be raised on Ms. Houston's music."

Capitalism at work (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054025)

I do not understand the outrage. Sony is a for-profit venture and saw the opportunity to increase profits. Of course, if they were a person, that would be despicable, but they are not.

Re:Capitalism at work (1)

GamemakerSupreme (2575291) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054203)

Of course, if they were a person, that would be despicable, but they are not.

The people behind the corporation could be considered despicable, though. The fact that businesses want to make money doesn't mean they can do whatever they want.

Sony won't be around for much longer (1)

BitHive (578094) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054035)

With all the damage they've been doing to their reputation the invisible hand is surely about to come down, hard.

Re:Sony won't be around for much longer (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054087)

The invisible hand of the cud chewing market? I doubt it people are getting dumber by the second...like someone's sig here says "Idiocracy is a documentary"

Re:Sony won't be around for much longer (1)

BitHive (578094) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054325)

Here's a breakdown of how it will work:

1. People act in their own rational self interest and stop buying Sony products.
2. Sony runs out of money, disappears
3. Other companies compete to fill the gap

This is economics 101, people!

Re:Sony won't be around for much longer (3, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054479)

It can be argued (rather convincingly, IMO) that the problem with "economics 101" is that, by and large, #1 is a grossly incorrect premise.

Re:Sony won't be around for much longer (1)

BitHive (578094) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054797)

What rubbish, next you'll be telling me that we should teach probability and statistical inference in high school.

*shrug* (0)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054051)

They probably paid her bodyguard to hold her head underwater.

Re:*shrug* (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054473)

Sure mod me down assholes, but she was found on a Saturday afternoon by her body guard, so ask yourself just how quick do you have to move to confirm the death then contact the people to raise the prices on her music?

30 minutes is pretty damn fast, in fact I would wager they have a "death watch" on drug riddled stars like Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston so that they can implement pricing changes as quickly as possible, that is... if they didn't murder her outright.
Every news corp has several preprepared death statements for politicians and stars so why a pricing model as well?

Next big star to die go to iTunes and refresh until you see it.

This is not news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054191)

We knew long before this that Sony is a piece of crap.

Rootkits on CD's.

Removing Linux support from the PS3.

I'm already boycotting Sony.

I'm just surprised they merely raised prices, instead of coming up with a creepily innovative way to try to force people who'd bought the music before the hike to pay the increased price retroactively. I'm guessing they thought about it long and hard, but either (a) looked at the numbers and decided there wasn't enough potential profit to justify the backlash, so save the maneuver for a more popular artist's death, or (b) their legal department managed to get it through the decision-makers' heads that there are limits to the things a company is allowed to do to its customers, much as they might wish otherwise.

Understandable (1, Insightful)

Sigvatr (1207234) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054239)

If I was a major shareholder at Sony, I would have done the exact same thing. And you would have too. I don't know what the big deal is about.

According to SONY it was a mistake (5, Insightful)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054255)

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/14/sony-says-price-of-2-whitney-houston-albums-was-raised-by-mistake/ [nytimes.com]

According to the NYTimes the price raising was a mistake that only affected the UK Itunes store and nothing else. So of all the retailers and online shops only one was affected, Itunes, and only one region, the UK. If SONY wanted to capitalize on her death they likely would have raised prices across the board and just not the UK Itunes shop.

This probably was an error. Someone assigned to managing SONY's UK Itunes account royally fucked up by changing the price. And now it is basically a PR disaster because even though it likely was an accident SONY looks absolutely retarded. Someone will lose his or her job over this for sure.

Sadly I'm sure that some sneering fuck CEO from the RIAA or MAFIAA or SONY or whatever is sitting on his throne thinking of ways to capitalize on Whitney Houston's death without taking a major PR hit. They see her death as basically an opportunity for a lot of profit and a great time to line their pockets.

Re:According to SONY it was a mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054367)

Someone will lose his or her job over this for sure.

YOU DID WHAT?

You raised the price and made us a few extra million EUR?!

You're FIRED!

Confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054305)

Where's all this sudden assumption that copyright holders should be benign entities come from? Sony are only charging what they can for providing a service that no-one else (legally in many countries) can provide.

Either:

a) The political system in the country in which you live is badly broken but the general public don't see, don't agree, or don't care enough to bring about change. In this case I say don't blame the player, blame the game. If Sony can realise more profit this way then fair play to them. If people think this is a horrible thing to do then they will crash and burn but I agree with Sony in predicting that most people will happily pay more.

or much worse

b) The general public in your country understand what's going on but actually think copyright law is a good thing; brainwashed or not they all deserved to be fucked good and hard and I applaud Sony for doing the fucking.

Having said that, the only time I took action to fund Sony in any way was when I asked for a playstation game for my birthday when I was 15. To make amends for this I created the "1389 Sony Playstation Roms" torrent and uploaded over 7TiB of data over the course of a year.

Makes sense (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054447)

She can't produce any new songs now, so the ones already out there are worth more.
Finally we can see that mythical scarcity of digital goods, that they are always talking about! For IP to work out, you have to die first.

Well, its a business (2)

gorrepati (866378) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054531)

And the market conditions determine what the price is. Sure you would pay more for food during natural disasters. This is a common theme on reddit "That big company did that, those assholes, how could they?"

If you are so pissed off about it, wait until the storm passes away and buy it then. Grow up and have a little bit of patience.

I am confused (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054595)

What about people who illegally downloaded her music after she died? Are they depriving Whitney of more money or no longer depriving her of money?

Sony is RIGHT! (1)

superflit (1193931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054597)

Sorry but Sony is Right...

Dead People cannot sing or create new musics.

So Sony should milk all it can!

Live Long Sony

Supply and Demand (1)

consumer_whore (652448) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054599)

It's supply and demand. Sony wants to make money. Raising the price will only make more money if demand goes up. If demand goes up, but the price does not, there will be a shortage. Economic laws apply to everything. Whitney Houston's Music is no different.

Re:Supply and Demand (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39054831)

Since the track in question is a digital download the "supply" is nigh-infinite. A copy can be made at nearly no cost so there would be no shortage.

So what? (1)

DavidinAla (639952) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054711)

If people are willing to pay more, why wouldn't they charge more? The market value sets the price. Period. If you don't want to pay the higher price, well, don't buy the stuff. What's the big deal? It's just business.

Supply & Demand for an digital copy (1)

LandoCalrizzian (887264) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054823)

I'm not an economist and I was fortunate enough to stay in computer science and not transfer to business school so please explain how increased demand for a good that is digital results in increased supply. There is no added cost for Sony to reproduce the digital album once it's on iTunes so why is it acceptable to increase the price of an existing song (or any song)? Isn't this a prime example of price gouging [wikipedia.org] ? If the demand for a product increases suddenly and it costs you more to produce additional products then by all means raise the price. If the product is collecting dust on the shelf and in response to some external factor you blantantly scratch out the old price and add texa$ to it then that makes you a greedy @$$hole.
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