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Music Industry Backlash Against Sony Rootkit

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the tired-of-this-story dept.

Music 400

Foobar of Borg writes "The Associated Press describes how backlash from Sony's Rootkit CDs is causing problems for the music industry. The problem is two-fold: (1) the inherent technological problem of trying to prevent anyone from copying anything and (2) letting lawyers make technical decisions when (from the article) 'Lawyers don't have any better understanding of technology than a cow does algebra.'" More from the article: "'I think they've set back audio CD protection by years,' said Richard M. Smith, an Internet privacy and security consultant. 'Nobody will want to pull a Sony now.' Phil Leigh, analyst for Inside Digital Media, said the debacle shows just how reluctant the labels are to change their business model to reflect the distribution powers -- good and bad -- of the Internet. He believes that rather than adopting technological methods to try to stop unauthorized copying of music, record companies need to do more to remove the incentive for piracy."

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400 comments

Lollerskates (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14074843)

GNAA RULE j00s

Wait a minute (4, Funny)

Krast0r (843081) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074844)

So the Sony rootkit is BAD?! This needs more coverage.

Re:Wait a minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14074853)

Are you a troll or just dangerously ignorant of the past two weeks worth of news?

Re:Wait a minute (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075011)

It looks like it was called sarcasm, sarcasm are normally an attempt at humor by exaggerating the devils advocate, to state the point of the opposite.

Trolls are people who are excessive negative in there posts, often try to personally attack others, or come up with the standard insults, (examples all Apple Users are Gay, or All Linux users are geeky little boys with no lives.) Sometime a troll can be sarcastic, but they should be paid attention differently.

Flamebait are posts that are meant to get people angry and talks about things that a number of people feel strongly about. (examples VI vs Emacs, OS X vs. Linux, Apples 1 button mouse, Politics, Abortion, Religious views) these are arguments that neither side will gain any more insight then they did before. Thus a normal waist of bandwidth and file space.

Redundant these are posts that that say the same thing as other posts and bring no new light onto the table.

Offtopic this is how this post should be moderated it is where the topic of conservation has targeted to much off the original topic. Or the post has nothing to do with the topic.

Over Rated these are posts that seem to moderated to high for their content. Often used to give an other message(s) more priority over the others. So the quick one liner the got first post that had a +5 funny and wasn't really that funny can be modded to a +4 funny and have all the insightful comments underneath it be read first.

Under Rated these are post you want to mod up but really don't know what topic it really fits in, or you want to keep the original moderation but you want it to have a higer score. Ex. if you see a Troll but you really like it and want everyone to see it you give it underrated and if more moderators do the same that is how you can have a Troll +5.

Funny this is where sarcasm goes, normally it is an attempt at humor.

Informative when good and correct information is given. Usually helps fill the missing gap in a story or comment.

Interesting when the user says sorting that causes interest in the posts, normally if you see a posts with a lot of replies to it then it should be considered interesting.

Insightful when more then average thought was put into the post which gives a Point of View not given by others or the Article.

Re:Wait a minute (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14074866)

Exactly. If I hear "rootkit" one more time... heheh.

What I want to know is how two small time startups like First4Internet and SunnComm steal all the publicity from Macrovision.

Where is the analysis of CDS-300? Macrovision is the 800lb gorilla in this business, but nobody cares about them.

Re:Wait a minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14074876)

Slashdot. Sony rootkit news for nerds.

Re:Wait a minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14074983)

So the Sony rootkit is BAD?!


And even worse, Microsoft's changing their software so it's not even going to work anymore anymore.


  I was going to buy the CD just so I could get some interesting Windows software that worked.


Souldn't microsoft be considered bad for breaking this software people from sony.

It actually was good that they released it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14075086)

I can hear thousands of average-joes returning their DRM'd cds now. Even if they don't know what it is, they'll probably be strongly opposed to changes in CDs now, which is good considering any change would be to benefit the RIAA. Many non-tech people will stop buying cds altogether because of the time they lost fixing their computer when they could have been producing something useful, maybe they'll start looking at iTunes or downloading music off Bitmunk or some similiar service, where they know no company will be sneaking trojan horses into their computers and do how they please. This is more than just a controversial event. This is the beginning of a revolution.

What would be good... (0, Offtopic)

craznar (710808) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074851)

..would be to let people buy music online ... I know this is an amazing idea, but if they all got over their petty rivalries (company vs company and country vs country) and just sell the music, sell the DVDs .... then piracy would decrease at least amongst the 'unwilling' participants of the practice.

Re:What would be good... (4, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074910)

Personally, I don't see the appeal of paying for music downloads - sorry, but I have this "thing" about paying good money for a series of "1s" and "0s" to be arranged in various fashions on my hard disk in a lower quality format than what I want. I *need* something tangible...

Give me a nice case, a shiny disk, good sleeve notes and nice music all at a reasonable price and I am perfectly happy - especially if I can then rip it the way I want to for portability afterwards.

To me, free music downloads from Usenet mean I get to preview my music before I buy it, no different to test driving a car before I buy it. When all said and done, if I download some music and don't like it, it's not even worth the waste of disk space keeping it and if it's a good piece of music then I want it in the clearest format possible to play on my nice shiny hi-fi.

Music downloads are for people who don't fully *appreciate* music and treat it as something to have on in the background while they work or workout - I don't have a problem with that, before anyone comments, because I do the same thing myself by ripping my own CDs when I want portability for the car, gym, etc.

However, a true music enthusiast, be it rock, blues, classical, whatever, only fully appreciates a piece of music when he/she sits down and does *nothing else* but listen to that music on a reasonable hi-fi setup with the best quality version of that music he/she can lay their hands on - namely, the original CD.

Call it snobbery, whatever you like, but music downloading is fine for people who treat music as "throwaway", like a set of clothes that gets changed when it goes out of fashion - again, it's up to them how they treat their music. But it's definitely not for someone who *truly* appreciates music...

Re:What would be good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14074941)

Caveat: Most modern stuff is mastered so poorly that it can cause physical pain in any format.

Re:What would be good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14074944)

I bet you have Bose. Or B & O.

Re:What would be good... (-1, Troll)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075017)

Give me a nice case, a shiny disk, good sleeve notes and nice music all at a reasonable price and I am perfectly happy

Wow, I never knew that crap that comes with music was actually valuable to some people. Guess you don't like software that, you know, only has the CD (or I guess you REALLY love that cover and case the software comes with).

Thankfully though you're an unreasonable generation that is dying out. Sometime in the near future people will laugh at your mentality. Hell, I'm doing it now.

Re:What would be good... (5, Insightful)

headLITE (171240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075027)

Music downloads are for people who don't fully *appreciate* music


What you meant to say is


Music downloads are for people who don't fully *appreciate* music the way I do


I can perfectly well appreciate my iTMS downloads on less "snobbish" equipment. I don't require the knowledge of having spent tons of cash for a "resonable hi-fi setup" in order to enjoy listening to music. In fact, even the el-cheapo earphones that come with iPods will do. That is because my interest is in music and not in expensive equipment.

Re:What would be good... (1)

kellar (932533) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075049)

Music downloads are for people who don't fully *appreciate* music and treat it as something to have on in the background while they work or workout

personally i would agree, but surely the point is the particular personal mechanism by which anyone chooses to indulge their appreciation. i choose to prefer CDs simply because downloads involve too much interaction with my computer which reminds me of being at work. CDs are colourful, they sit on my nice shelves, i can use them in my non-computer hi-fi with lots of knobs useful directly to my musical experience, etc etc. (incidentally, perhaps this makes a hi-fi simply a computer (it has transistors too...) with an infinitely customised user interface.)

however others may feel that their musical experience is not clipped by continual interaction with a computer, in which case all power to them.

Re:What would be good... (1, Interesting)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075067)

To me, free music downloads from Usenet mean I get to preview my music before I buy it, no different to test driving a car before I buy it. When all said and done, if I download some music and don't like it, it's not even worth the waste of disk space keeping it and if it's a good piece of music then I want it in the clearest format possible to play on my nice shiny hi-fi.

To me... free music should be a vehicel to sell licensed CD cases, covers, bumperstickers and the like. I "could" pirate using an inkjet based printer but paper and ink would run me over $3.00. Publishers get their money, fans get that warm golden feeling from supporting the artists, inkjet mfgs are no longer exploiting this piracy cash cow, everyone is happy.

Re:What would be good... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14074920)

You know, there's a CD I actually want to check out but it isn't a mainstream release and isn't availiable from the mall. The only way I get a copy around here is to travel into the city center, not exactly my idea of fun. I can order it from the 1-click jokers but I'd prefer not to do any business with them. What I want and what technology offers me is the ability to download an ISO of the entire album at a price point that defeats piracy. This price point is obtainable when we no longer have to pay for packaging, manufacture and transport of physical goods; it also makes DRM obsolete.

It may seem obvious but it's the artists who are going to have to do it, the music "industry" is (brain) dead.

Remove incentive? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14074854)

"need to do more to remove the incentive for piracy".

Like say, making shit music that no-one would want to pirate? Ugh, too late :|

Re:Remove incentive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14074922)

Or make better music that people would recognise the value of and go out and buy?

Er... I think you were right...

Re:Remove incentive? (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074935)

After agreeing to a recall, Sony BMG said Friday it would let customers who have already purchased CDs to mail them back, postage free, for a replacement. Sony BMG also would send them a link to download digital versions of the tunes.


Remove incentive for piracy by providing digital version of music?
I wonder if it'll be a DRMed WMV.

/Hook a brother up with the link?

Re:Remove incentive? (2, Insightful)

Jaseoldboss (650728) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074996)

Almost certainly DRM'd on account of the costs that would be incurred in replacing them:

Factor in lawsuits that Sony BMG could face, and it's worth wondering whether the costs of XCP and its aftermath might even exceed whatever piracy losses the company would have suffered without it.

There's a message here somewhere isn't there... lets see, the XCP system hasn't kept a single album off the internet, it's infected 2 million PCs with malware and they've p*ssed all the revenue from 50 artists up the wall.

I'm so glad I'm not the Sony employee that proposed the deal with First4Internet.

hmm anti-lawyer FUD (4, Interesting)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074855)

'Lawyers don't have any better understanding of technology than a cow does algebra.'

Is that right? [lessig.org]

Re:hmm anti-lawyer FUD (5, Insightful)

cronius (813431) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074872)

In general they don't, even though Mr. Lessig is an example of the opposite. How many Lessigs are there out there? It's not FUD even though there is one counter example, you don't have to take everything litteraly.

Re:hmm anti-lawyer FUD (5, Funny)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074883)

'Lawyers don't have any better understanding of technology than a cow does algebra.'
Is that right? [Please see parent comment for link]

That's why I like to avoid absolute statements and generalizations: all it takes is one case to refute, even though the statement may be accurate for the majority and there may only be one or two cases that can refute it. It's like what they say about congressmen: the dishonest 534 make the rest look bad.

Still, wouldn't it be cool to discover that one supersmart cow? And kill it? And eat it and learn algebra? Mmmmmmm!

Re:hmm anti-lawyer FUD (2, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074945)

A cattle farmer friend of mine has a cow that smart.
It could do math by tapping out the answer with its hoof.

Unfortunately, it doesn't do math anymore.
Its only got three legs you see.

Cause, you know , you don't eat a cow like that all at once.

Lawyers? We Don't Need no Steenkin' Lawyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14074901)

Sony's legal dept need their arses kicked.

Big Sony Corp Honcho: "We need DRM, we need it now!"

Sony Techie: "We've got shitty unlicensed DRM applications ready to roll. They fug up our customers' PCs and will totally trash business confidence in the run up to XMAS"

Sony Legalista: "Research proves that only pirates with piracy in mind ever access music CDs via their PC"

BSCH: "Make it so".

Oh, that guy is a lawyer? (1)

Mythrix (779875) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074909)

Man, and here I was following that link totally expecting a website about a cow doing algebra.

Re:Oh, that guy is a lawyer? (2, Informative)

AlphaJoe (798014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074986)

I felt exactly the same way.

Here you go, I know it isn't perfect, but it is the closest I can come right now: COW Calculus [temple.edu]

Re:hmm anti-lawyer FUD (1)

ashridah (72567) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074968)

The fact that Lawrence Lessig exists, and is so well known for his knowledge of how law and technology interact is a sign that easily proves the story's point.

Enough lawyers should have a good grasp on technical issues that a) this kind of move would never be made in such a fashion, and b) that Lawrence Lessig should not have to stand out as few amoungst the masses.

Stereotypes aside, in general, the story is right. I doubt Lawrence Lessig would be overly miffed if the world changed tomorrow and there were more tech-savvy lawyers, although it might dry up some of his income stream.

Sadly, I doubt we're approaching any kind of golden age of technical understanding from the general public any time soon.

ash

You think you have problems! (4, Funny)

pegr (46683) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075064)

"Sony, in fact, tried discs that contained data near the perimeter of the CD instructing a computer's hard drive not to look for audio tracks."

Man, that's nothing... I remember when that Kid Rock CD instructed my hard drive to score some weed and a couple of hookers! Try explaining that to your wife!

For me this is a no-brainer (0, Redundant)

cronius (813431) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074865)

"He believes that rather than adopting technological methods to try to stop unauthorized copying of music, record companies need to do more to remove the incentive for piracy."

No shit Sherlock.

Re:For me this is a no-brainer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14074878)

Like actually making music you pay for an don't throw out of your collection a month later.

Re:For me this is a no-brainer (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074916)

The one I like is "Nobody will want to pull a Sony now."

Like it's a bad thing that corporations learn that invasive and damaging approaches to IP protection actually tick off consumers and cause lawsuits? The only surprise is that they had to learn by doing instead of just asking a few computer maintenance techs how they feel about the rootkit approach!

Re:For me this is a no-brainer (5, Insightful)

platypus (18156) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074921)

Yeah, but the problem for the record industry is that adopting means they are practically out of business in the long run - at least their traditional business.
The music industry is - at it's base - "selling" to artists the service for distributing music.
That means (or meant) basically the technology to record and produce music to sound storage mediums, the marketing to promote it and the infrastructure to distribute it.
The recording technology became commodity with the advent of digital recording, marketing was never a unique selling point for them, and the infrastructure question is answered by the internet.

For years now they reaped the benefits of vastly cheaper production, but now they are facing a situation where the everything has come together even for the average music customer.

In my opinion, what they are trying to do with that DRM stuff is trying to put the genie back in the bottle, by recapturing control of the distribution channel. Not only because of pirating, but also to save the heart of their business model.

Re:For me this is a no-brainer (2, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075085)

. . .they are practically out of business in the long run

And it's about fucking time. I believe I've written a few posts on this subject in the past. Most people just don't get what's really going on and why.

In my opinion, what they are trying to do with that DRM stuff is trying to put the genie back in the bottle, by recapturing control of the distribution channel. Not only because of pirating, but also to save the heart of their business model.

Exactly. The real risk isn't even the DRM stuff though, it's their willingness, and success at, buying law to support the business model.

KFG

use the attention (5, Insightful)

Squigley (213068) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074867)

Now we just need to use this to draw attention to other things that "people don't understand, so why should they care?", like the broadcast flag, and other overly restrictive DRM technologies.

Re:use the attention (5, Insightful)

triffidsting (594096) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074908)

I think your heart is in the right place, but I don't think diluting the message will be effective.

In talking with a few non-technical family members, part of the reason that this rootkit business is making headway with non-techy folks is because it is clear, in non-technical terms, that their music cd is "breaking" their computer. That computer that they find so damn incomprehensible, the one that they don't feel they have the expertise necessary to diagnose and fix.

Now they have a reason to blame their random computer slowness and its abberant behaviour on a big corporate monolith, (despite the fact that their computer probably contracted malware from elsewhere, seeing as they can't be bothered to patch it), and in having an identifiable target, they now want blood.

On one hand, I wish nothing but bad karma for Sony for putting a rootkit on people's machines. On the other, Sony is being made a scapegoat for the relative complexity of maintaining a secure and clean system.

Re:use the attention (5, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074964)

On the other, Sony is being made a scapegoat for the relative complexity of maintaining a secure and clean system.

You're right that computers are poorly designed when it comes to maintainability, but Sony deserve all the bad karma they are getting. They have a long history of abusing the trust of their customers, including installing spyware as standard on their Vaio computers. http://www.winpatrol.com/db/freesample/tgcmd.html [winpatrol.com]

Computers are complex (1)

a_greer2005 (863926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075066)

Computers by their very nature are complex, the problem is everyone has romanticised what they are supposed to be over the last 10 years...

Cars are complex, but McDonnalds doesnt put a tracking device in rthe ignition system while I am buying a bigmac.

If the RIAA ran other industries.... (5, Funny)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074871)

We'd be paying $1500.00 for a coast to coast airline ticket.

There'd be no interstate trucking industry. All freight would go by rail and canal.

All television would be black and white. There'd be no VCR's (let alone PVR's!).

All radio would be AM.

Telephones would all be dial. Long distance calls would be $2.50/minute.

We'd all still be using slide rules.

There would be no foreign cars in the U.S.

There would be no sources of alternative energy (wiond, solar, etc.) whatsoever.

And on and on. The RIAA wants to maintain the status quo at any cost. They have had ten years to adapt and have resisted at every turn. They all likely believe in Landrew (save us, save us, Landrew!).

They are pathetic.

Re:If the RIAA ran other industries.... (1)

icecow (764255) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074898)

"..Long distance calls would be $2.50/minute." Oh that's right. SBC gave up on that idea a week ago.

Re:If the RIAA ran other industries.... (4, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074926)

We'd all still be using slide rules
Forget your slide rule.
/.'ers are hardcore
Real men use the abacus to do math.

Slide-Rule using pansy.

Re:If the RIAA ran other industries.... (3, Funny)

xeon4life (668430) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075013)

They'd also be blocking all VOIP calls, peer-to-peer call sessions, Skype, and...oh...wait... :-/

Re:If the RIAA ran other industries.... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14075025)

And on and on. The RIAA wants to maintain the status quo at any cost. They have had ten years to adapt and have resisted at every turn. (emph. added)

By way of comparison, the oil industry has had 30 years to adapt since the energy crisis of the 1970s. While there are examples of alternate methods here and there, there isn't really a centralized US effort, hence maintaining the status quo at any cost.

I think its Landru (2, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075026)

The Story of Landru:

"The crew of the Enterprise land on a new planet. Their first reactions are of wariness. As Mr Spock says: 'Odd. The expression on that man's face. Mindlessness. Vacant contentment'. Everyone in the society is happy: they all smile, and their standard greeting is 'joy to you'. This disturbs the heroes: in a society where everyone is this happy, something must be wrong. They intervene.

"They discover that the planet is ruled by a supposedly benign deity named 'Landrew', whose representatives - the faceless, dark-robed 'lawmen' - ensure that everyone behaves happily, repeating such catchphrases as 'Happy communing'. 'Joy be with you, peace and contentment'. 'Peace and tranquility', 'Peace and harmony'. In the course of the story, McCoy is brainwashed. He begins to speak in the same terms: 'Happiness to all of us. Blessed be Landrew'. The society is peaceful, everyone is happy - or, at least, everyone thinks that they are happy. What is wrong with this?

"Firstly, according to the logic of the program, it is false consciousness. People only think that they are happy because they have been brainwashed by a computer which is running their society... Mr Spock reminds Captain Kirk: 'Captain - our prime directive is non-interference' The Captain responds - 'That refers to living, growing cultures. Do you think this one is?'.

"...as Mr Spock puts it: 'This is a soulless society. They have no spirit, no spark. All is indeed peace and tranquility - the tranquility of the machine'. As Kirk puts the argument to the computer who runs the system: 'The [society] is dying. You are destroying it. What have you done to do justice to the full potential of every individual in the body? ... without freedom of choice, there is no creativity. Without creativity, there is no life.'

"...Return of the Archons ends with the crew back on board the Enterprise. Kirk asks the resident sociologist how things are going now they have destroyed the perfect society. The sociologist responds excitedly - 'Already today we've had three marital disputes and a stand up fight'. Kirk is delighted - the society is once again as it should be."

Stolen from here: http://www.staff.vu.edu.au/CSAA/newsletter01-1.htm l [vu.edu.au]
Better write up here: http://www.wizardrealm.com/Galadriel/landru.htm [wizardrealm.com]

"You can stop wearing those robes now.
  And if I were you, I'd start looking
  for another job."
-- [ Kirk to monk-robed figures after he blows
up Landru's computerized successor.]


Kirm was such a man's man.
He goes to alien planets,
sleeps with their women,
changes their society,
then makes smart-ass comments as he's leaving.

Boycott Sony (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14074874)

Simple.

Debacle with good results? (4, Insightful)

shanen (462549) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074887)

Actually, this might be a debacle with positive consequences. Not that it was a big secret or anything, but this fiasco is making it very clear how the paying customers feel about having their rights stripped away by secret technical countermeasures. However, all of this is linked together, and all of it goes back to the root of the evil. In this specific case, the evil of having copyright law controlled by publishers whose only interest in profit maximization. Remember that the REAL justification for copyright monopolies was to benefit society by encouraging creativity. The mechanism was supposed to work for the benefit of the creators. No mention of publishers in the American Constitution, though they've been dictating the terms of copyright laws for decades.

Perhaps it is too much to hope for, but it is certainly clear that the current system is completely out of whack. Perhaps it will collapse now and America can start considering why this was supposed to be a good idea in the first place. It's way past time to whack Mickey Mouse.

On the other hand, perhaps it doesn't matter. If you believe that the free exchange of creative ideas is a thing that benefits society, and that this encourages growth and development of a healthy society, then you must conclude it confers competitive advantage. Therefore, the societies that do better at encouraging creativity will eventually overwhelm the others--and nothing the **AA can do will stop that inevitable transition.

Re:Debacle with good results? (2, Insightful)

thue (121682) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075019)

For the curious, the relevant section in the US constitution [archives.gov]:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries

Re:Debacle with good results? (1)

TPJ-Basin (763596) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075024)

Sony has definitely proved how 'not' to do things. There can't possibly be another company out there stupid enough to follow in their footsteps. Ugh. Nevermind.

Re:Debacle with good results? (1, Interesting)

shanen (462549) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075070)

I think you're wrong, but that reminds me to note... I'm actually an owner of several blocks of Sony shares. I bought them at a time when I regarded Sony as a technology-based company that also knew how to market. I also thought of them as a very ethical company.

Making money in hardware is hard work, but honest. The content business (pronounced "publishing") is an aspect of software with much higher profit potential, especially if you are willing to prostitute yourself and lie as needed (pronounced "marketing") to drive up the value of your "product". Sony has become involved in an internal civil war between the poor-but-honest hardware people and the greedy **AA scumbags. We now know who lost:

The customers and the creative artists. (And the hardware folks, but they're the relatively minor casualties.)

Bad time to sell my shares, but maybe I should do it anyway. It would help to make sure that Sony gets the message.

Re:Debacle with good results? (1)

shanen (462549) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075077)

c/your "product"/"your product" (pronounced "the creative artists' work")/

Re:Debacle with good results? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14075052)

Actually, you can thank Mark Russinovich (who exposed the Sony malware) for immediately branding it with the proper term "rootkit." The press picked up on this evil-sounding term before Sony flacks had a chance to spin it as something benign-sounding.

Cows, algebra, and slashdot (4, Insightful)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074889)

By that standard, "coders and technologists know about as much about the economics and public policy implications of intellectual property laws as cows know algebra."

It doesn't seem to stop every self proclaimed expert here from spouting off their particular pet theory that coiincidentally justifies their eMule use, nevertheless.

Re:Cows, algebra, and slashdot (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14074905)

But are the (possibly bad) decisions on Slashdot taken up by governments? No. So any lack of solid ability is rendered moot by our lack of voice where it is needed.

Alternatively, the solicitors DO get their word heard in the corridors of power and incorporated. Mainly because the corridors of power are filled with the mangement and lawyer types.

Re:Cows, algebra, and slashdot (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074958)

But are the (possibly bad) decisions on Slashdot taken up by governments?

Perhaps not, but every day we see effectively an important analog: technologists creating products that have the effect of executing policy despite a lack of respect for or training in underlying law, policy, or economics.

In slashdot, many people have bizarre notion that the guy who wired the atom bomb therefore becomes an expert on its use. While in practice we give a sort of respect and listen to the voices to those who invented it (the einsteins and bohrs of the world), but in practice we elect presidents and legislatures to decide when to use them.

Oh wait - did I say atom bomb? I meant p2p services / cryptography / intellectual property / etc. In that case, the attitude seems to be "f*** that, it's mine - i can do what I want, and if they try to stop me i'll ( build unstoppable v2 / ignore them / claim that they are all corrupt overpaid idiots / etc. }" Of course, p2p is not an atom bomb, but it does have many policy and law implications.

Re:Cows, algebra, and slashdot (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075003)

However, coders and technologists will generally (definately not in all cases) try to grasp the basics of the implications of intellectual property laws. As coders, we are interested in understanding systems and finding out how they work.

Lawyers and politicians however, don't generally bother finding out how a computer does what it does, as long as it does what they legislate it to do.

Re:Cows, algebra, and slashdot (1)

Hosiah (849792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075083)

I've long held the theory that programming mind and legal mind do not happily share the same head. It seems almost inevitable that the better one is at the one, the worse they will be at the other.

I think it is because programming and legalese have opposite aims. Programming takes the fantastically complicated task of explaining the world to a computer and renders it into the simplest possible form. Legal documents take the most basic common sense and render it into the most obfuscated and complicated possible form; the better to ensure that you will need to hire a lawyer to decode it and argue it in court for you.

You mean... (5, Interesting)

djupedal (584558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074890)

'...record companies need to do more to remove the incentive for piracy.'

Which brings up the method, again, of how the 'Dead dealt with bootlegging, by inviting bootleggers to give it thier best shot - This meant more publicity for the band, which led to more sales.

The record companies just won't let go. They want the model that puts them in control. Pricing control where they get to say which track sells for what amount, giving them leverage over the artist - bundleing, where trash tracks have to be purchased, whether the consumer wants them or not - consumer habit tracking, where they get first dibs on mining all that data...it goes on and on. The record companies just need to die, it's that simple.

In Sony's case, I guess this one can be laid at the feet of the lawyers, but hey, they've got their own business model to protect, and we all know where that one leads.

Why not just let the artists be in control for a while. Let the $$$ grabbers sell peanuts and t-shirts while the consumer enjoys decent music for a change.

The pricing is the killer (1)

tomcres (925786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075060)

The record companies just won't let go. They want the model that puts them in control. Pricing control where they get to say which track sells for what amount, giving them leverage over the artist - bundleing, where trash tracks have to be purchased, whether the consumer wants them or not - consumer habit tracking, where they get first dibs on mining all that data...it goes on and on. The record companies just need to die, it's that simple.

Right on! This is just another manifestation of the fact that CD's cost on average $17. I remember when CDs first came out, they cost about $15-17 and usually came in bulky cardboard packaging (ostensibly to discourage theft). Cassette tapes at the time ran $9-13. The dirty little secret in the industry was that CDs were much cheaper to manufacture than cassettes. So, why then was the consumer paying twice as much for CDs? You could say that if they sold them for the same price or lower than cassettes, that no one would buy cassettes because they are lower quality. Everyone would go out and buy a CD player. Well, now everyone in the world has a CD player and it's incredibly hard to even find releases on cassette anymore, yet the price of a CD has not gone down a single cent on average in the last 15 years. Mind you, the record companies are no longer paying to produce cassettes, no longer paying for producing those bulky packages that CDs used to come packaged in. If anything, CDs ought to be less expensive to produce. But... the industry is very powerful. The RIAA and its associate members are a cartel of sorts, like OPEC, and can set whatever prices they like and gouge the hell out of consumers. And they can get away with it because Congress not only allows them to, but they even protect them!

Re:You mean... (2, Insightful)

stubear (130454) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075103)

"Why not just let the artists be in control for a while."

I am so sick and fucking tired of hearing this. The musicians have that control now, and they have always had that power. Nothing forces them to sign a contract with the record labels. Oh, you're probably going to counter that the labels have distribution channels locked up. Well, duh. These distribution channels would much rather deal with a small handful of entities (the labels) than bother negotiating with each and every artist. I keep hearing about this technology, what's it called? The interweb or something. Anyway, it's supposed to empower artists to distribute their music to the widest audience possible or something, eliminating the middle man (the labels) and making music more accessible. One problem though. Everybody expects music on the web to be free and this doesn't make it easy to make a living as a musician now does it. T-shirts and concert tickets don't make up for lost album sales. Personally I blame all sides in this one. The labels need to reduce prices on older CD's, make their back catalogs more accessible, and stop the shenanigans with the foreign releases with bonus tracks. The rest of you should quit freeloading and whining when you get caught.

Duh! (1)

isecore (132059) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074891)

He believes that rather than adopting technological methods to try to stop unauthorized copying of music, record companies need to do more to remove the incentive for piracy.

Well of course they have to! What they're attempting now is more like trying to cure the symptom rather than curing the disease. And to use yet another metaphor, Sony really is trying to cure head-ache by chopping off the head.

They just don't get it. (1)

ewe2 (47163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074892)

Now I cannot trust Sony or EMI. This process will continue until I stop buying any industry products. I am more inclined to shore up my back catalogue than trust anything current on CD. Online mp3 retail can take care of the rest. Goodbye, music industry.

Mashboxx the new pay P2P is backed by Sony (2, Interesting)

microbrewer (774971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074895)

Mashboxx and the New Grokster 3G that will be launched later this year has the serious backing of Sony\BMG and the Sony Music CEO Andrew Lack was intrememtal putting the project together with the Mashboxx chairman Wayne Russo who was the former president of Grokster.

The whole Sony rootkit contreversey will seriously damage the reputation of this p2p service that already faces a uphill battle to convert the already sceptical filesharing community.

Many in the tech community have vowed to boycott Sony products and many just dont trust them anymore so Mashboxx will be put into the same boat.

US Patent no. 62265781337 (5, Funny)

Mishtara2001 (678818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074896)

A cow doing algebra

Dir sirs,
The suggested apparatus is a sentient, grass-eating organism ("Cow"), that has or will be taught complex mathematical operations ("Algebra"), with or without the aid of various computational devices.

I intend to patent this "invention" and then go on and "licence" it to all cattle grows in the planet, which will have to pay or face my formidable legal team. In fact, I have already hired an "Intellectual property" law firm, who has assured me that I am loosing $5.6B every day - literally being stolen out of my pocket, and the plates of my children, by greedy farmers who will not respect the foundations of our economy.

Moreover, said lawyers have promised me that the USPTO and the courts will share their (my) view that every cow grazing grass is in fact performing complex calculations, probably for some foreign power like Iraq, or worse, Europe.

All the best,
Edgar Bronfman.

Re:US Patent no. 62265781337 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14074962)

Very clever, but I think you'll find that I own the patents to the following:

  - The cow;
  - Algebra;
  - Mathematics;
  - 1;
  - 0;
  - Grass;
  - Inventions;
  - Iraq;
  - Children;
  - Greedy farmers.

My lawyer will be contacting you presently.
 

It Is Official (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074913)

The dangerous factor was a "rootkit," a feature cloaking the files on users' computers that reported back to Sony BMG about how music was played and transferred.
Sony Rootkit = Feature
You heard it here first

Plans Deferred (5, Insightful)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074915)

Sony BMG would not comment on whether it plans to explore digital rights management techniques that are less intrusive than XCP.

Translation: Sony BMG needs to research how to make their next crippling system-level crack more undetectable before they try this exact same crap again. They don't give a second thought b0rk1ng their customer's computers, but they absolutely hate getting caught.

Duh (2, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074977)

They say that right there in the article:
Although the episode could not have gone worse, it's unlikely to lead other music companies to abandon copy-protection technologies.

One rival, EMI Group PLC, is moving ahead with digital rights management from Macrovision Corp. that lets users burn three copies of a disc and "rip" it onto a computer seven times.
But I don't really see why DRM like that is a huge problem. Unless they put their DRM Software on the 3 discs you have their permission to burn... this might encourage more people to make a copy, uninstall the software, then archive the original.

Actually, this Macrovision protection seems kinda pointless. Who's going to rip a disc 7 times? Like I said before: Rip it once and discard the original.

HEAD???!!! OF SONY'S GLOBAL???!!! DIGITAL BUSINESS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14074918)

The comment by that little monkey who is HEAD???!!! OF SONY'S GLOBAL???!!! DIGITAL BUSINESS!!!! about most people don't even know what a rootkit is shows that THESE BASTARDS ARE OUT TO SCREW THE PAYING CUSTOMER. they have no care for anyone other than their accountants and reports they get from them. Screw these assholes. that little --- up there just don't know himself such simple technical stuff and he gets PAID ALL THE BIG $$$BUCKS$$$ (Maybe $$$Millions a year including stock options, allowances etc).

NOT SURPRISING THEN THAT HE DUG SONY SUCH A DEEP HOLE AND SONY IS NOW UP TO ITS EYEBALLS WALLOWING IN DEEP $HIT. Greatest performance for such an arrogant GLOBAL???!! HEAD???!!! Now are you surprised why their music is so expensive?? Just paying big money to put up there little monkeys who DON'T KNOW ANYTHING let alone run a Corporation.

the boycott begins to pay off. (5, Insightful)

burne (686114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074923)

I've been on a active boycott of record-companies since 1997. Two reasons. Sony closed a local CD-factory, claiming that 'piracy' was the reason. The production-equipment was shipped to Romania (or such) so I guess selling the CD's wasn't the problem, but they found a nice way to justify moving to a country with lower wages. (please keep in mind that most of you barely had the equipment to burn CD's or the bandwidth to exchange MP3's)

The other reason was that most companies abandoned recruiting local talent. All we get in our shops is American R&B, all we see on TV is American Gangsta Crap. There is a shitload of bands out their, but none of the big labels will see or hear them. Ilse de Lange might be the last you've heard from the Netherlands.

Haven't bought a single CD since, except directly from the hands of the musician.

What About The Artists? (5, Interesting)

Stitch_Surfs (895163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074943)

I'm surprised that we've not heard more from the artists themselves on this front. You'd think that those whose CDs were clandestinely infiltrated by this technology would have opinions. After all these people make thie money directly from the sales of those CD's too and you can pretty well bet that not a one of them was told about or consulted in advance of the decision to rootkit these cds.

I'm curious to know if on top of Sony's problems a rash of lawsuits will be filed by attorneys representing artists that either had their work defiled by the rootkits or those that want out of their contracts because Sony's miserable judgment will result in substantially reduced sales for any artist on a Sony label.

Anyone know about this or have an opinion?

Stitch

"There is no "I" in B-O-R-G"

Re:What About The Artists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14074995)

Don't most bands get created to shovel crap to the masses, if so why would they actually have a clue/care, in fact I'd go so far to bet they have gag clauses in contracts to stop bands from speaking out about their labels on any matter...

Switcfoot was mortified and helped (1)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075111)

I remember Switchfoot was so mortified that Sony broke their CD that they were actively helping fans to defeat the protection....long before it became a very public debacle.

Cut prices, allow personal copying. (3, Insightful)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074950)

He believes that rather than adopting technological methods to try to stop unauthorized copying of music, record companies need to do more to remove the incentive for piracy."

Translation: cut prices, allow personal copying w/o restrictions.

THIS EARLY POST... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14074961)

...is dedicated to fighting 419 scammers, fraud lotteries et c. that use fake websites to prove their authenticity. (Inspired by the recent slashduh story.)

Everybody on broadband, load THE LAD VAMPIRE [theserversdown.com] and suck the scammers' bandwidth quotas away!

Again: http://theserversdown.com/vampire/ladvampire.php [theserversdown.com]

Why not open it in a separate window which you can minimise and let it run 24/7/365?

right.. (3, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074966)

So someone put the fear of God into a company and now they're all running away going "NOT ME TOO! I'M NICE!" Well it's about fucking time.

Companies get away with murder, they tried to step on peoples feet again and they stepped on a very pissed off geeks feet and are now paying the price. If we had this uproar against all bullshit policies maybe the world would be a better place. But no, we're in a world of submissive consumers who won't say boo to a goose incase of a lawsuit.

Why not trade? (4, Insightful)

a_greer2005 (863926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074974)

I beleve that P2P DLing of copyright works without permittion is wrong, but the record companies make it harfer to "just say no!" every day.

I want high quality, which the online music stores do not provide (128k WMA and AAC SUCK for a serious music fan with even marginaly good equipment)

I want the ability to easily copy the music! I should be able to rip it to MP3 ort ogg for listening on a HTPC or iPod, or Dell DJ or an mp3 cell phone...

Now as I shop for CDs I will always wonder in the back of my mind, "does t6his have spy/scumware? a virus? a rootkit? what does "enhanced" mean? would I be safer DLing a 320k MP3 from (insert P2P of choice here)?"

Sony encouraging piracy? (4, Interesting)

lwells-au (548448) | more than 8 years ago | (#14074989)

"... rather than adopting technological methods to try to stop unauthorized copying of music, record companies need to do more to remove the incentive for piracy."

I do find it rather ironic that I was, not five minutes ago, looking for an Oasis song (forgive me, its stuck in my head) on iTunes music store to purchase legally only to find out they are published by Sony-BMG who, in their infinite wisdom, have declined to be involved with the Australian iTunes music store [zdnet.com.au].

Given their current predilication for sticking DRM crap on CDs and the fact I only want one or two specific tracks, no sale for you. Good going Sony. What's a possible customer meant to do if you insist on treating us like (potential) criminals?

Issues that remain: (5, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075015)

Issues that remain:

Attacking customer computers seems to be the kind of thing that is part of the Sony corporate culture. There has been no apology [userfriendly.org], and Sony management makes statements giving the impression they will do it again if they think they can without bad publicity.

A music retail store spokesman said that Sony's attack became public just before Christmas. Customers can easily choose some other gift now that they are scared about computer attacks. Sony's attack has hurt the entire music industry, not just Sony. Also, the damage will continue after Christmas.

Few people are technically knowledgeable. The Sony CDs will be causing problems for many years, as they are traded or sold to thrift stores.

The number of computers already corrupted is probably far larger than the 500,000 quoted in articles about the Sony attack. That number is just the number of Domain Name Servers that show evidence that a computer has tried to contact the Sony phone home address. The average server would almost certainly service more than one corrupted computer.

One kind of attack has received attention. However, Sony apparently sells other CDs with other software that may also have negative consequences for Sony customers.

Following Microsoft's lead years ago, some businesses treat all their customers as crooks so that they can stop a few.

Have Sony effectively killed Bluray? (1)

plusser (685253) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075018)

By forcing intrusive and dangerous DRM management, without fully consulting third party hardware and software vendors that the product is used on, Sony deserve everything thrown at them, especially from the fact that they have not only placed Microsoft in a difficult position, but also upset Philips by producing non-Red Book CDs.

Problem is will anybody want to fit a Bluray disc in their computer after this fiasco?

It up to the people to put the music industry.... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075030)

...in its proper place.

The people here being the artist and their ability to make use of the internet to introduce themselves and promote themselves via the internet. And to do so to the point of having enough opf a following to then approach the industry with bargaining power.... "I'm taking bids on who will giove me the best deal"...

Everybody benefits this way... as the music industry wouldn't then need the risky practice of subsidizing of newbies (often failures) with profits made from the established artaist that would really be better in the pockets of the established, where it belongs. Such subsidizing is somewhat anti-competitive for the artists.

On the public side, we get to better determine what is good and bad music. While having a wider rasnge of free music from samples and newbie trying to make an impression... Arrangements (music) and re-mixes can take a good song, shown to have public appeal and made better, then released for purchase... etc...

Where does this put the industry? Quite different than it is today, slimmed down and more efficient. And certainly not so damn greedy... cause greedy really wouldn't get the bids...

My stuff about the Sony's rootkit (4, Informative)

muzzy (164903) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075033)

I've written some pages about Sony's XCP DRM system.

Summary about the DRM, what it does, and what its problems are: http://hack.fi/~muzzy/sony-drm/info.html [hack.fi]

You can also find my research and opinions about the issue linked from there. Please send mail if you have anything to add or any corrections to my content.

Geeks continue to yuck it up: (1)

Hosiah (849792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075041)

And I just said a few days ago that this kind of product self-sabotage will forever be known as "pulling a Sony", and there's the reference in the post itself!

Only sad thing is, most any of us could have told them that this would be a fiasco, but before this happened there's no way any of us would have been believed or noticed. It took a disaster like this to wake everybody up. Lucky thing it wasn't nuclear bombs, huh?

But I'm happy, anyway. Slashdot has been fun to read this week; Sonygate brings the comedian out in the most taciturn geeks.

Sony is evil (1)

tomcres (925786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075096)

I can't wait for the conspiracy paranoics to start putting up websites blaming Sony for everything from the Spanish flu to the Hindenburg disaster. Sony started the war in Iraq! Sony shot Reagan! And on and on... Maybe someone will just resurrect the "Bert is evil" website and put the CEO of Sony in there instead of Bert. You know it's coming, though...

Increased security awareness (5, Insightful)

cciRRus (889392) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075043)

Actually the "Sony Rootkit" incident has increased the public awareness of computer security. How many non technically inclined people knew about "rootkit" prior to this?

To a certain extent, this incident has increased the public awareness of computer security, which is a good thing.

Even Grandma knows what a rootkit is... (2, Informative)

eltoyoboyo (750015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075058)

It has already started at work. As the resident geek in the department, I already have explained many times about the Sony DRM and the XCP rootkit. With Thanksgiving holidays coming up and get-togethers with the relatives, I figure I should just hand out a little pamphlet. I would like to be a fly on the wall inside the Sony corporate offices as they look for some mid-level managers to can over this. I would also like to read some of their heated and panicked internal correspondence as they try to do damage control. Someone is going to get torched publicly for this by Sony's legal team. I have looked to see if any class-action lawsuits have been filed, but I am now aware of any, yet.

Are rights a zero-sum game? (2, Insightful)

KwKSilver (857599) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075063)

That seems to be how companies like Sony view them. Any rights customers may have are seen by SONY and their ilk (a cast too numerous to catalog) as detracting from their own. The only way SONY et al. can maximize rights (and, they hope, profit) is to minimize everyone else's, ultimately including the rights of other companies. Under that notion their rights are maximized when everyone else's rights = 0. That is a reasonable explanation of why they chose to crap on the rights of their paying customers. It's the same logic tyrannies have always used. Sic semper tyrannis

The the success of the GNU and other OSS liscence models suggest that SONY and their brothers in greed are wrong. Just my 2 cents.

Lawyers and Cows (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075073)

The Lawyers and Cows comment really sums it up perfectly. If Sony was smart, back in 1999 when Napster presented the first real challenge to their business model, they would have joined forces with all of the other labels and come out with an encrypted CD standard. I'm thinking something similar to the encryption on DVDs.

They would have made sure that the weaknesses in the DVD encryption scheme wasn't in their scheme (which dvdjon cracked in October 1999, so the music industry would have been aware of the problems). And even if their scheme was broke, like the DVD scheme was, it would still be hard enough to copy a CD that most people wouldn't try.

By encouraging and perhaps subsidising (for the first couple of years) the placement of the encryption chip, by today, six years later, nearly every CD player would be encryption enabled and they could stop producing unencrypted CDs entirely. Through encryption, they could allow the music to be ripped to the harddrive, but it would only play on your computer. They could also allow you to produce a copy, but the copy would be uncopyable. And they could let you place the files on your DAP.

People would have the fair use rights they expect and criminal copying becomes nearly impossible.

Re:Lawyers and Cows (2, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075109)

"come out with an encrypted CD standard"

Where have you been?! Two such standards have been released and have been on sale for several years. Sony's SACD and everyone else's DVD-A. The problem is that no one gives a damn about them.

Or did you want the music industry to force these flops down the consumers' throats by eliminating the traditional CD?! That would have been corporate suicide as the backlash would have been phenomenal.

Oppression to reclaim unserved demands ... stupid! (3, Interesting)

asac (643533) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075094)

He believes that rather than adopting technological methods to try to stop unauthorized copying of music, record companies need to do more to remove the incentive for piracy."

Yes, as always, innovation (of products, price, distribution and markets) to match actual demands is almost certainly superior to oppression and enforcing old entrenched business models by law ... but why is noone listening? Do they all need to live through oppression on their own to get a clue?

Van Zant is taking heat (1, Redundant)

keraneuology (760918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14075102)

I called up the company that is acting as managers for the group Van Zant to express my displeasure. The receptionist said that they have been getting "a lot" of calls over the issue and she had several "I have been instructed to say" comments. "We regret this, we regret that, we have complained, this isn't our fault" type of comments. And no, this isn't the fault of Van Zant (though they could have demanded that no such copy protection be included on any of their CDs during contract negotiations, but to my knowledge nobody has ever done that, nor would they ever do something like that).

However, when I asked if Van Zant would even consider moving to somebody other than Sony when the current contract ended, there was no comment. Meaning no, they won't. And here, people, is the proof. And the pudding. In a nice silver serving dish. Van Zant is making lots and lots of money from Sony - this is a good thing. I believe people should be allowed to try and make as much money as they can or want. But Van Zant is making money at the expense of their fans. If they respected their fans, they would make it clear and public that as soon as they can they would leave Sony. But they are being paid too much to do so. I would hope that the people who comprise the free market would vote with their feet, but we all know that isn't going to happen. Sony is going to continue to make billions of dollars selling CDs to people. Van Zant is going to continue to receive their millions from Sony. The world continues spinning.

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