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Sony Repents Over CD Debacle

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the please-don't-burn-us-at-the-stake dept.

Sony 227

schnikies79 writes "Sony BMG is rethinking its anti-piracy policy following weeks of criticism over the copy protection used on CDs. The head of Sony BMG's global digital business, Thomas Hesse, told the BBC that the company was 're-evaluating' its current methods. This follows widespread condemnation of the way anti-piracy software on some Sony CDs installs itself on computers. The admission came as Sony faced more censure over the security failings of one of its copy protection programs."

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227 comments

energy is liberated through blasphemy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14224088)

Please remember that "Energy is liberated when an individual breaks through rules of conditioning with some glorious act of disobedience or blasphemy. This energy strengthens the spirit and gives courage for further acts of insurrection. Help me defile gOd and his name.

Jehovah fucking Yahweh, I curse you in the name of Satan the Almighty. Evil lives in me and I walk with Satan all the days of my life cursing and mocking you god (the dog), filthy fucking maggot. My hate grows by the second as I dream of the day when you are under my feet begging for my cock.

God I rape you and hurl blasphemy into your mind. I demand you to come down from heaven right now and get down on your stomach in front of me, lifting your asshole up to receive my cock. God I promise to fuck you and I long to rip your eyes out, kick you in the face, mutilate you, and bathing in your blood. Listen to me, I'm screaming
in your ears to come to earth and in this room for I will have my way with you, oh most cursed god of heaven (you foul piece of shit). Satan is my God and he will force you to drink cum from my dick. I will never stop sinning and blaspheming your name, presents, existence, and most of all the rotten, putrid holy spirit that fucked the mother of gOd and pregnanted that slut with jesus christ.

I stand before all the angles and saints, gOd, jesus fucking christ, mary the whore of gOd, the filthy holy spirit, and they are witnessing my denouncement of you gOd, and my ongoing blasphemy of the holy spirit. I am purposely cursing the holy spirit and its purity and will defy you god and the holy spirit all the wicked days of my sin filled life. My soul is full of evil thoughts and sins, its black with pure hatred of anything holy.

God, I will find new ways to defile and blasphemy you, because I'm seeking evil every second of my life. That is all my mind can think about. You're pain is my desire, you're name I mock, your son I defy, your mother I fuck, and your spirit I cum in.

The only prayers from me are prayers of hate and blasphemy, evil is a part of me, it dwells in my soul, cursing everything about you is the most important part of my existence, total darkness is inside of me. gOd I will rip you out of heaven and force you under my feet you fuck pig. You will listen to all my demands. I will slip into heaven and I will rape all the angels and saints and will kill them in your unholy putrid name. God I will kill you and bath in your blood. Holy spirit I demand you to listen to my hatred of your foul existence, drink my cum, and remember my blasphemy against you, you putrid, rotten, vile spirit of gOd.

I'm the meaning of gOd's pain. This is the way that you will die dog gOd. It will be a slow death, the joy of killing you will make my cock hard, I know you will feel my showers of hate and you will feel extreme pain as I beat your body and make every inch of your body black and blue. I force you bastard Jehovah to the ground and I will
put you under my feet where you belong, you putrid bastard. God you will try to run but I will strap you down and fuck your soul before I rip it out of your body. God "the dog", your life is worthless, for I'm the angel from your new God "Satan". I destroy everything holy, you are felling my hatred pierce your mind intensely, inferior god "dog" you fucking maggot. You will be screaming in pain as I strap you down under my feet, you will look up at me and I will piss down your throat.

I'm so consumed with hatred of you that I will masturbate, and when I feel that I'm about to cum, I force my evil cock full of Satan's cum down your mouth and fill it up with my vile hot cum. I will be pumping your body full of my hot cum. Inside your brain is my blasphemy. The pressure in your skull begins push through your eyes,
burning your flesh, and I laugh as it drips away. Heat burns your skin; your mind starts to boil with my blasphemy, and pure evil hatred of your fucking existence. You will not last long; it's just a matter of time until your ripped apart with my hands. You will be floating in a sea of your blood, smelling your death as it burns. My wicked cum is deep inside you as I skin you. You're eyes will bleed as you pray to me for the end of you're wide-awake nightmare. Waves of pain rap around you're soul, death is staring down at you, your blood is draining fast as I'm injecting hatred into your soul, and dying heart, with wicked sweet Blasphemy and hot cum. The demons are dancing with the thought of you in hell. Pathetic god "dog" how does it feel, you're dieing and I'm celebrating your
pain. I live to hurt and defile you the rancid god of heaven. Satan is calling you're cursed name, Satan takes you're soul dear god, and raps his cock around it. In my hand is you're heart and my cock is resting on it. I can't wait any longer so I cum inside your heart bursting it apart with my explosion of evil vile cum. I crush what is left of your heart into the dirt. The dog god is finally dead and he is burning brightly in hell as cum drips down my leg.

Re:energy is liberated through blasphemy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14224103)

you are proof of what you would like to to accept :D


same shit different board :\

Not too hard (5, Insightful)

bnet41 (591930) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224096)

This isn't difficult to figure out, and I am not sure why the music companies are having trouble with this.
DRM can't work on CD's that need to play in a normal CD player. Basically any attempts to install the DRM software can be thrawted, so basically they hope they can fool you into installing something. Well, thats ok I guess, but then the software needs to do all sorts of wacky things to make sure nothing can override it in Windows. All can be defeated by a Linux machine, or a Mac as the software doesn't work on those, and also we all know about the shift-key for auto-run.
I am waiting for the industry to force us all to buy new cd players so they can create some super secure format.

Re:Not too hard (1)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224125)

Its not hard to figure out if I can hear the music any DRM format can be easily broken...

Re:Not too hard (5, Informative)

lgw (121541) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224429)

Broken, perhaps, but not easily. It's posible to watermark music in a way that crosses to analog and back. A DRM-compliant hard drive could recognize such a watermark and refuse to write the file. This is the world the RIAA wants.

Setting aside the fact that while such watermarking schemes aren't *easy* to break, they're *possible* to break by a skilled cryptographer, the real flaw in this vision is that the drive manufacturers won't play along. There's no money in it for them.

If we adopt a trusted computing scheme that really works to defeat rootkits (which the drive manufacturers *do* have a reason to go along with), no doubt the DRM crowd will try to take advantage of it. The thing is: such a scheme will only sell if it gives the owner of the computer the master keys. If you can't run a program to detect and defeat DRM, you can't run a program to detect and defeat rootkits. Sony demonstrated this pretty clearly.

So it's not just watermarking, it's any DRM scheme on a general-purpose computer. No one is going to pay extra for such a thing, and that means no drive manufacturer is going to try to force the technology needed for *real* DRM on the public: it's a money losing prospect.

Re:Not too hard (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224134)

Um you have heard of HD-DVD and Blue Ray right?

they are working on that as you speak. It just won't be ready for mass market for another decade.

Re:Not too hard (2, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224199)

As long as there is at least one audio CD player still in active use, the data format will have to be compatible with that of an audio CD or customers will return them in record numbers as being defective. So no, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are irrelevant. GP is both correct and irrefutable.

Re:Not too hard (4, Insightful)

jonfelder (669529) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224251)

I guess all those round CD things are getting returned because they don't work in cassette players.

All they have to do is provide some sort of incentive for switching to the new format, and before long there will be more people using the new over the old.

Re:Not too hard (2, Insightful)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224272)

CDs were able to do things that cassettes weren't. Maybe there will be things that a new format might allow that isn't possible on a CD now, but I can't think of any overly compelling ones (and yes, I had been able to think of the most obvious advantages of CDs before they came out).

Re:Not too hard (5, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224389)

CDs were able to do things that cassettes weren't.

You see? The seeds of obsolescence are already taking root. You're already referring to CDs in the past tense.

Re:Not too hard (1)

ajwitte (849122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224398)

No, he's referring to the time when cassette tapes were popular and CDs weren't (yet).

Re:Not too hard (4, Insightful)

pyrrhonist (701154) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224297)

All they have to do is provide some sort of incentive for switching to the new format, and before long there will be more people using the new over the old.

The odd part is that we've already had two high quality audio formats for years now: DVD-Audio and SACD. Neither of those formats are selling very well.

Re:Not too hard (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14224370)

The odd part is that we've already had two high quality audio formats for years now: DVD-Audio and SACD. Neither of those formats are selling very well.
You know why this is? People are now demanding different things.
  • Cassettes -> CDs = Better quality sound and slightly easier to use.
  • CDs -> SACD/DVD-A = Better quality sound (again).

The thing is, most people are happy with the sound of CDs, and even 128kbps mp3s. What people now want is flexibility / portability. They want to listen to them on the hifi in the lounge, the computer in the basement, in the car and on their mp3 player. The people are pushing in one direction and the labels/RIAA are pushing in the other.

Re:Not too hard (5, Informative)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224400)

> > All they have to do is provide some sort of incentive for switching to the new format, and before long there will be more people using the new over the old.
>
> The odd part is that we've already had two high quality audio formats for years now: DVD-Audio and SACD. Neither of those formats are selling very well.

Because everything is "good enough" these days.

I'm no audiophile, but on decent headphones, I can't tell LAME-encoded MP3 at 320kbps from CDs. Most of the time, I have difficulty telling LAME-encoded MP3 at 192kbps from the CD sources.

I've had this conversation with about dozen friends and cow orkers over the years, and found that about half of this admittedly-limited group can't hear the difference between Xing-encoded 128kbps (which to my ears, is unlistenably compression-artifacted) from CD, and that there are some who can't even hear the difference on headphones, never mind the crap desktop PC speakers most of these people are using.

Expecting people like me to pay a premium for the improvements in the audio fidelity offered by DVD-A/SACD versus CDDA is too much. Audio's reached the stage of "good enough" that only a small amount of the market is willing to pay a premium for anything better.

The initially-small market means that it's unlikely that economies of scale will develop, ensuring that the price gap between "better than CDDA" and "CDDA" will forever remain too wide to entice folks like me (never mind my 128kbps Xing friends) into it.

Re:Not too hard (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224337)

No no, we'll all replace our music collections with Blu-Ray discs in glorious remastered 1000 kHz digital audio (you even get the same 70 minutes per disk you used to!), for the true audiophile.

Christ! (4, Funny)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224255)

I am waiting for the industry to force us all to buy new cd players so they can create some super secure format.

Shaddup dumbass! The RIAA reads /.!

Re:Not too hard (2, Funny)

phoenixdna (936728) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224263)

Whats this about the shift key and autorun?

Re:Not too hard (4, Insightful)

happyemoticon (543015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224290)

I am waiting for the industry to force us all to buy new cd players so they can create some super secure format.

And as long as it has a component audio out, I can rip it.

They have all sorts of plans, the least of which would make even the most level-headed person strap tinfoil onto their head and genitals. However, they've sold us so many damn gadgets that they just can't do it. What they really want is for every single device to have DRM hardcoded in it, so it can pick up watermarks in copyrighted content and blink them out. For example, your camcorder would not work when pointed at the television, or would put a censor box over it.

Of course, it's not going to work any time soon. Even some middle-aged people I know, who are barely computer literate, own digital cameras, digital camcorders, dvd burners, and HDTVs. You tell these people they're going to have to replace all of their I/O devices, and possibly their amplifier, speakers, and cables, and they'll ask, "Oh, is it better," and of course the bottom line will be "No, it's far more sluggish because of all of the decrypting that it needs to do," despite what the sales/marketing slimeballs say, they'll say, "Fuck you, I don't want to spend 20 grand replacing all of my equipment," more than likely. Also, it'll require total industry collusion and a complete exclusion of any pre-East Fork devices.

What strikes me as the most profound absurdity, though, is that the world has fundamentally changed, and they need to create an artificial environment in which their outmoded business model can still function, rather than changing with the times. It's like adding more and more life-support systems to a person who's braindead and rapidly dying - no matter what you do, you can't cheat the inevitable.

Re:Not too hard (5, Insightful)

Scoth (879800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224437)

There's a problem though. I agree with your reasoning inasmuch as replacing equipment without any benefit except the DRM. If you're leaving the functionality the same but adding a layer of "protection", which requires large expenditure, then it's not going to fly. However, when a new generation of foo comes out, and everything in that new generation has DRM, then there's a problem. Let's say Blu-Ray or HD-DVD or whatever comes next has legislatively-enforced DRM in every component. Now to avoid it not only do you miss out on DRM, but the entire new generation of equipment. Eventually more and more content will be phased over to the new technology and you're faced with the situation of upgrading, or being left behind. Now I know some people still trucking along with Windows 98 on a P2 because it's all they need and they refuse to use XP, but how many people have you met that still use 8-track and/or cassette exclusively because they hate CDs? Even with VHS tapes it's getting harder to find new releases available on them.

That's pretty much what it comes down to. Not only do we have to prevent current-gen from getting replaced with DRM'd crap (possible to prevent, even easy), but we have to watch out for next gen too. And that's where we have to look to.

New Format Players (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224306)

Dont laugh, that time will come. Eventually.

Re:New Format Players (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224438)

And what advantage will the offer the consumer over a CD player? Believe me, it is hard enough to get people to change media when the new media is superior, it will be impossible when it is a downgrade (as any DRMed CD is likely to be)

Finkployd

Re:New Format Players (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224538)

When that is all that is offered, consumers will slowly migrate to it.

Eventually most conusmers will have the new player, due to the old ones dying.

Then, the DRM is turned on with no way to go back. ( for the average guy )

Re:Not too hard (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224330)

> This isn't difficult to figure out, and I am not sure why the music companies are having trouble with this.
>
> DRM can't work on CD's that need to play in a normal CD player.

Because that's not the answer the consultants and salesweasels are giving the C-level execs (because the consultants want the contracts to implement the production processes, and the salesweasels want the commissions from the consultants), and nobody in-house dares tell the C-level folks that the Emperor Has No Clothes.

Re:Not too hard (2, Insightful)

ENOENT (25325) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224377)

It's easier than that. They'll just ban Linux.

Re:Not too hard (1)

Orrin Bloquy (898571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224626)

Basically any attempts to install the DRM software can be thrawted B-b-b-but I have a Thrawte certificate and everything! No fair!

In other news... (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224099)

Hitting your head against a brick wall hurts. -- Captain Obvious

Ummm... (1)

Chris Bradshaw (933608) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224100)

Last I checked, technology was not covered by blood sacrifice, repentance, etc...

STRAIGHT TO HELL!

Nothing to see here. Please move along ... (1)

ToasterofDOOM (878240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224101)

Sure they did

If I'd waited this wilong... (5, Funny)

bobocopy (816690) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224104)

If I'd waited this long to apologize to my wife for doing something obviously wrong, I'd be sleeping on the sidewalk.

Re:If I'd waited this wilong... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14224169)

If I'd waited this long to apologize to my wife for doing something obviously wrong, I'd be sleeping on the sidewalk.

Not if you had as much money as Sony.

Re:If I'd waited this long... (1)

bobocopy (816690) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224216)

If I had as much money as Sony, my wife would have all the more reason for tossing me out of the house and finding a decent attorney.

HEHEH (1)

Timmy D Programmer (704067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224195)

No kidding!

Re:If I'd waited this wilong... (0)

grungebox (578982) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224221)

Okay, but for that analogy to work you have to contend that consumers are married to Sony. Which they aren't. At least, I hope not, or that'd be one weird-ass wedding. I guess the best man would be a Walkman.

Re:If I'd waited this long... (1)

bobocopy (816690) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224269)

I'll admit that the analogy is a stretch. Not being a multinational corporation worth many many millions of dollars, I was having a hard time finding a similarity. Coporations should be trustworthy to their customers; husbands should be trustworthy to their wives...? It's a stretch, I know.

Re:If I'd waited this wilong... (1)

rodgster (671476) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224388)

I don't care if they repent or not. I haven't bought anything (intentionally) from Sony for years now and I intend to stay the path.

Re-evaluation != repentance. (4, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224117)

What I'd like to see is Sony doing a cost/benefit analysis for this fiasco and realizing that they actually lost more money dealing with the aftermath of this mistake than they could possibly have lost from "piracy."

Unfortunately, I haven't seen any honest CBA's out of the music industry, so I'm not holding my breath.

Re:Re-evaluation != repentance. (2)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224197)

What I want to know is what protects artists from dumb-ass corporate moves? I mean don't they feel the financial hurt if their publisher throws cash away so flagrantly? Or is that factored into "losses incurred by piracy" too.

Re:Re-evaluation != repentance. (4, Interesting)

mellon (7048) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224240)

What I want to know is what protects artists from dumb-ass corporate moves?

Nothing at all. In fact, unless the corporation has assumed liability on behalf of the artists, the artist is theoretically liable for damage caused by the CD that installed the malware. In the publishing industry, if you are worried about being sued, you have to get your own liability insurance - the publisher isn't going to indemnify you.

This situation is a bit different because the publisher added the malware, not the artist, but it's still not out of the question for the artist to be named in the lawsuit and wind up having to spend money disputing the assertion that they might be liable.

Of course, the artist can also sue the publisher for putting the malware on their CD, and in fact it wouldn't surprise me if we start seeing lawsuits from these artists, because regardless of whether or not they are sued, the fact that the music they've published isn't getting to the fans because of this fiasco is costing them money, and possibly also fans.

Re:Re-evaluation != repentance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14224608)

Can the artist just say 'sorry, it was not me' and leave it at that ?
I'm sure us experts will all agree with him (or her) if asked. No need to sue anyone.

No need for a cost/benefit analysis (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14224382)

Neil Diamond's new CD opened in the top ten, then sank down into the mid 50's the following week when the news about Sony DRM hit. Same goes for new CD's by their other major stars. The artists this affects are already mighty pissed.

Do you think that Sony is tripping all over themselves apologizing for the DRM fiscao hand-in-hand with the Free Software Foundation because they give a shit about your computers? Read the numbers in Billboard - Sony sure as hell does.

Re:Re-evaluation != repentance. (1)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224423)

They are going to write this off as costs associated with piracy prevention and next year you'll see headlining reports claiming that piracy has cost Sony tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of dollars more than in 2004.
Regards,
Steve

in other news (1)

js7a (579872) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224128)

Napoleon has been "rethinking" the wintertime invasion of Russia.

The Bush administration is "rethinking" the use of tortured confessions supporting Iraq-Al Qaida ties. [slashdot.org]

Re:in other news (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224404)

Hey, for Napoleon's credit, the tactic that the Russians used was unconventional, and Napoleon probably didn't have any reason to think that would happen (if he thought it would at all!)

Re:in other news (1)

xs650 (741277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224560)

Napoleon was getting paid the big bucks to think of just those kinds of things.

Re-evaluation (5, Insightful)

Gryle (933382) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224136)

the company was "re-evaluating" its current methods.

Translation: We're trying to figure out how not to get caught next time.

Re:Re-evaluation (1)

J_Darnley (918721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224202)

Unfortunately that is bound to be true. If only it was "Re-evaluating the value of our piss-poor products."

Re:Re-evaluation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14224305)

Translation: We're trying to figure out how not to get caught next time.

This sounds like the Bush administration.

Karl Rove and George Bitch seem to do a lot of "re-evaluating."

The untold story. (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224397)

The biggest untold story in this saga is the refusal of bit anti-virus software makers to detect and report this software as a virus/trojan.

This means in the future content providors will be able to install anything they want without interference from the anti virus makers.

Re:Re-evaluation (2, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224456)

Yup. I trust their "repentance" like I trust their rootkit uninstallers.

Let me be amongst the first[1] to say "yeah, yeah, yeah, like we haven't all heard that before!"






[1] The first million or so, that is. Obviously.

Re:Re-evaluation (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224536)

Translation: We're trying to figure out how not to get caught next time.

Translation: Next time we'll want it built into the machine, not as a trojan but as a feature. A "trusted computing" machine is pretty much like being rooted. Your system appears to work, but there's some files (protected by the rootkit) that you can't seem to read/copy/move/delete/execute as you would like to. It'll come complete with "call home" features you can't read or control, since you're basicly running executables on blind faith and if you don't it could disable several features. Yay for pre-rooted computing.

Don't get your hopes up (1)

PeteDotNu (689884) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224144)

I can't really see Sony announcing tomorrow "we've decided that trusting our customers is the best bet, so we're dropping our DRM project. Plus, we don't have to piss any more money up the wall developing buggy and weak DRM systems!"

No, they'll rethink, and come up with something even more grotesque. It will probably involve a mandatory tax on CD-ROM drives, or something so hideous that we haven't even thought of it in our worst sci-fi novels.

Re:Don't get your hopes up (0)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224196)

I'd pay 10 dollars more for a CD-ROM if it meant I could exchange music and movies freely.

Re:Don't get your hopes up (1, Flamebait)

realmolo (574068) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224449)

Are you INSANE?!

CDs are already vastly overpriced. And you'd be willing to pay more to have what YOU ALREADY SHOULD HAVE?

You're the RIAA's wet-dream, my friend.

Sure they are sorry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14224155)

Sorry they got caught.

$sys$ (2, Funny)

The Vaxorcist (918432) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224156)

Yeah, their just gearing up for...

$sys$copy protection

Sony's Next Step Should be . . . (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224166)

Sony's next step should be this [wikipedia.org] .

Allow me to translate Sony's response. (4, Insightful)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224172)

Dear consumer, we regret that we were caught releasing this abomination to you. We really don't believe in fair-use and will do everything in our power to prevent law abiding consumers the right copy their songs freely. We will invest more time and money developing a more secretive method of copy protection. Thank you for your understanding and we take comfort knowing that you'll forget about this in a few months. Have a nice day.

gasmonso http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

Re:Allow me to translate Sony's response. (1)

E-Rock (84950) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224268)

I don't think most people knew about it in the first place. A friend of mine manages a virgin music store and when I asked about it he hadn't had anyone try to exchange a DRM cd for a new one.

All the other people I've talked to about it had blank faces.

Re:Allow me to translate Sony's response. (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224356)

Wow, people actually still buy music in stores?

Re:Allow me to translate Sony's response. (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224326)

Bingo. The only way a company like Sony (especially Sony since they are more into DRM and lock-in than all of the other labels combined) will stop this nonsense is with MASSIVE fines that way more than any minor setback from bad PR and a friggin court order preventing them from releasing DRMed discs.

Re:Allow me to translate Sony's response. (1)

cmarkn (31706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224403)

We will invest more time and money developing a more secretive method of copy protection.
Despite the fact that it is impossible to make copy protection secret. When someone tries to convert a file from a CD he bought to a file for his iPod and the conversion fails, he knows he has been denied his right to fair use of his property. It doesn't matter how sneaky the fair-use theft program is, it always reveals itself by its function.

The only approach to take is for consumers to avoid all products with the Sony name on them, and the artists to sue Sony for their loss of income caused by the company's greed.

Re:Allow me to translate Sony's response. (1)

imjustabigcat (715029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224625)

Succinct summary!

I really am tired of being seen as a source of revenue ("consumer") that can be lied to, tricked and otherwise legally fleeced, rather than a willing participant in a transaction where I get something of value for my money. Money, I might add, that represents something I can't ever get back -- time.

What's worse is companies that sell my behavior patterns to the highest bidder without at least being courteous enough to tell me they're doing so. Rootkits that report what CD I'm listening to? And don't give me the crap about not having "personally identifying characterstics"; that's baloney spewed in press releases so the CEO can cover his butt when the lawsuits start. And we don't know any companies that lie, misrepresent or withhold information (Merck) either, right?

My payment behavior, my demographics, my creative output and my personal interests are just that -- mine, thank you very much. My skin color, gender, religious affiliation, reading list, ethnic background, musical tastes, employment status, income history, bathroom count (apparently of importance to the U.S. Census Bureau) and geographic location are none of your business. If you want to use that information, you can bloody well ask my permission -- and pay me a fee for it too. "Fair use" should be a two-way street.

Of course, I'm hoping that somewhere there are corporate executives that actually have morals, ethics and a spine in one package. I'm reasonably certain that I'm asking too much of most politicians.

No, I'm not cynical or upset at all...I just sound that way.

hello nerds! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14224174)

we are so sorry about drm, installing rootkit, we are good _ dontbuyaxbox36 _ we are rethinking about drm _ PS3willownthexbox _ trust us no really!

This post was brought to you by the sony marketting departement without *cough* subliminal message *cough*

Too little too late (1)

merc (115854) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224180)

I'll never buy another damned thing under the "Sony" brand as long as I live unless it's by accident.

The next version? (1)

astronouth7303 (917253) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224194)

The next version <em>tells</em> you it has installed itself as a rootkit and opened a few security holes.

The version after just doesn't let you play it on a PC.

Re:The next version? (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224629)

The version after just doesn't let you play it on a PC.

The version after that uses the laser in your CD-ROM drive to destroy the disk, most of your computer hardware, and if you have a nice window in your computer case... it attempts to attack you too.

Sony doesn't care. Probably never has. (5, Insightful)

kcbrown (7426) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224200)

They may be "reevaluating" their methods, but you can bet what that really means is that they're investigating less visible means of achieving the same thing: as much control as possible over how you use the music you purchase.

Sony certainly isn't "repenting" over this. Not at all. They don't care, and haven't for a long time.

I expect to see more of the same shit from Sony. They'll claim they're "changing" but in reality nothing will change.

Consumer Trust (5, Interesting)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224229)

I'm sure even Sony's dimwit management has to realize that they are losing sales due to slipping consumer trust. As media devices become more intelligent, the opportunities for manufacturers to secretely audit and control your use of media will increase. Trust wil become more and more important. Two years ago Sony was on my golden halo list of clever manufacturers. First I bought a Vaio computer and ran into severe issues upgrading the OS. Then I noticed that they keep pushing for proprietary formats for encoding and storage. Now this. Today a guy brought in a nifty looking PSP and all I could think of was what DRM easter eggs are waiting for the unwitting consumer.

Ripping off the BBC's title is not cool. (0, Offtopic)

Entropius (188861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224231)

People, please show a little creativity when writing article titles, and don't use the same title, verbatim, used by the BBC.

Yes of course... (4, Funny)

Chaffar (670874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224232)

"Even if the issue is only a slight one, at Sony BMG we are very clear that any software security issues are taken with the utmost seriousness," said Mr Hesse.

Slight issue? Then that must be why we got to bash Sony twice/day everyday for the past month or so. That is why if you type "Sony Rootkit" [google.com] you get 1,630,000 hits. We're just all overreacting to your illegal attempt to hijack our computers against our will with an auto-installing rootkit.

BTW does anyone know what the patch does to the rootkit ? Does it remove it? Or does it "patch" the gaping hole it represents but keep all the other effects it had i.e the 3-copy limiter?

Re:Yes of course... (1)

pla (258480) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224494)

Slight issue? Then that must be why we got to bash Sony twice/day everyday for the past month or so. That is why if you type "Sony Rootkit" you get 1,630,000 hits.

Unfortunately, 1.6 million geeks amounts to roughly one half of one percent of the US population. Assuming this affects Western Europe as well (and Google's count includes sites from there), we have a really sad representation overall. Certainly not enough to hurt Sony's bottom line by a boycott, by ourselves.


On the bright side, geeks tend to run things like, say, IT departments that people go to when they have computer questions. And when a trusted geek mentions something about Sony CDs having DRM that, while not outright malicious, potentially leaves your computer wide open to attacks by others... Well, most people won't remember much beyond "Sony breaks my computer", just in time for their holiday shopping spree.

Sigh. If only it didn't hurt so much to consider that, as a consequence of people skipping Sony this holiday season (sorry, "Solstice" - Wouldn't want to take the mythology out of our annual materialism-fest) because, Microsoft may come to dominate the console videogame market.

Ah well, you win some, you lose some.

Yes and... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224234)

Yes, and in other news Bill Gates regrets his billions of dollars. More at eleven.

Apology NOT Accepted (1)

BigCheese (47608) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224238)

Sony you've lost my trust. There is nothing you can say that will get it back. Actions, not words can win me back and that will take a long, long time.

unfair justice (1)

seabreezemm (577723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224239)

I would love to know where the patriot act is now when it's a big company committing acts like this. Had this been an individual someone would be in jail!

Ed Felton got it correct. (5, Informative)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224295)

CD Copy Protection: The Road to Spyware

So if you're designing a CD DRM system based on active protection, you face two main technical problems:

1. You have to get your software installed, even though the user doesn't want it.

2. Once your software is installed, you have to keep it from being uninstalled, even though the user wants it gone.

These are the same two technical problems that spyware designers face.

You can read the rest of his fascinating article here. [p2pnet.net]

Words are cheap. (4, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224304)

We want UNINSTALL. And I don't mean an "inhabilitating patch", i mean a full uninstall of the rootkit.

The Cost (1)

ikaru5 (172972) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224316)

One wonders what the financial cost of these blunders (legal fees, cost of a recall, cost of developing a patch, etc) is compared to the theoretical cost of "lost sales" they thwarted due to piracy. In other words, it may have actually been cheaper to let a few people copy the CD for free instead of fussing with all this DRM nonsense.

Allow me to interpret... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14224327)

What the head of Sony means is this:

"There's a lot of heat on us right now, and so we'll now play the part of the contrite corporation. Sort of how like Marion Barry 'found Jesus' right after being convicted of crack posession. Its a ruse to suck in people who are stupid. Anyway, just as soon as this thing blows over, we'll have better DRM. Moreover, we'll be lobbying congress so nobody can sue us over any DRM, even if it kills everybody who looks at a Sony CD. Oh and by the way, a big 'fuck you' to all our customers out there"

Hope that translation helps.

They still haven't suffered enough though. (1)

Timmy D Programmer (704067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224329)

It's nice that they have decided to give up crime, *cough* now that they have been caught *cough*, but they still need to serve a lot more time.

I certainly hope that the lawsuits continue one after the next, after the next, until every last infected CD is recalled and every last infected computer cleaned of all of this unauthorized crap!

All in all i think this is a very good thing. Stuff like this happens all the time, but for once it's somebody with something to loose. And it's gotten some of the politicians thinking about things they should have been thinking about a decade ago.

In other news... (1)

The Vaxorcist (918432) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224346)

180solutions has repented about distributing spyware...

Drop the division... (1)

OneFix at Work (684397) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224352)

Actually if Sony was smart, they would spin off the whole music right now...that way they could distance the rest of the company from BMG's actions... If they were to do this soon, they could claim that the parent company was not responsible.

Repent? (1)

Dolly_Llama (267016) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224359)

Being sorry and being sorry you got caught are two different things entirely.

Too Late! (1)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224368)

I will never buy another Sony product! Not just because of the DRM debacle but also due to shoddy workmanship in most products. Sony can come up with some of the best ideas there are, but they should license them out to be built by someone that can produce quality goods.

Why do I say this?
Stereo - exchanged 3 times before the warranty ran out, CD player broke again a month later.
PS2 - Son in law has had to send his back 6 times now for the infamous 1st Gen laser problem, sometimes it works, sometimes not.
Wega 32 in TV - Friend had it in the shop more than his house for two years, several different problems.

Add the DRM to this and there is no reson to give them another chance.

Sony repentant? My furry little but. (2)

iSeal (854481) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224380)

Sony isn't repentant, you kidding?

For Sony to truly regret their acts, they would have to drop DRM alltogether. Who is to blame here: the people who coded this restrictions for our computer (XPC) or the company that wanted those restrictions to begin with? But like the kid who'se afraid of being punished after having done something wrong; Sony is trying to suckup after having all this bad press. They won't drop DRM though. Nothing is going to change, except Sony maybe choosing a different DRM-maker. And because of that, I know they're not repentant.

What was so bad about the days where there were no protections? I mean, hell, even before CD-Rs came along tapes existed then! Yet I don't see the music industry crashing because "too many people shared tapes." And I'm still talking 1:1 burning here, not P2P. Cuz we all know that whether initially DRMed or not, music will still make its way *unmolested* to P2P.

When has DRM on commercial CDs ever worked? Really? When?

When will they learn? (1)

mustafap (452510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224383)


While their CD must play in 'ordinary' CD players, this technology is a waste of time anyway. It's not like they can start region locking them.

The guys should give up on it and focus on screwing us out of any rights on the next technology. Which they were probably already doing anyway...

Eternal Boycott of the Sony Rootkitters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14224385)

Sony should just bow out of the US market and let better players like Samsung, Toshiba, and Panasonic take their place.

BMG should sell off its assets and give the cash back to its investors now.

They have dishonored their people,
insulted their customers,
and brought shame upon the name of Sony!

Sony is sorry alright... (4, Insightful)

SengirV (203400) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224407)

...Sorry they got caught. That is it. Why do you think they have been trying to push their own crappy MP3 type format? To get you to buy all new hardware that WILL work with their form of DRM. The best thing we can do as a customer base is to avoid all Sony CDs like the plague. It's the only thing they can possibly understand.

From TFA... (1)

Cl1mh4224rd (265427) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224420)

"The key point to remember is that copyright infringement is a huge issue for the recording industry as a whole and that's where we came from originally," [Thomas Hesse] said.
Doing the wrong thing for the right reasons is still wrong. It shouldn't have taken them this long to figure that out. Although, if I may say, they already knew this. And, as others have said, they're only sorry they got caught.

In the previous story, they said this was done to prevent "illegal copying". Interesting... How is that they know that the copy a person is making is for themselves, or for someone else? They don't, which reduces their argument to nothing more than the idea that any copying is illegal, and they've obviously acted on that.

This isn't even a case of "too little, too late." It should've never happened in the first place...

Sony pressure coming from somewhere else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14224421)

Honestly, I don't think it's the bad PR that sony has suffered from the people that made it repent, but the lashes that came from the artist's themselves who had the copy-protection scheme on their CDs.

Sony is a huge company, it doesn't care about the bad PR, because when people buy music CDs, they don't care which company is the distributor.

Sony BMG and Sony Music (2, Interesting)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224430)

What often gets lost in all this is that "Sony BMG" is a joint venture owned equally by Sony and Bertelsman and is NOT the same thing as "Sony Music". AFAIK, they are fairly independent of each other. I do not know if all this copy protection bullshit was added before or after Sony acquired half of BMG, but I am pretty sure that Mr. Hesse does not at all speak for Sony music.

Repentence at the Temple of Doom (3, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224431)

Today class we will have a lesson on "How to get Busted and Not Apologize for It" I submit to you the following 'must-use' phrases:

"But this whole story has led us to look at the approach we have to take going forward..."

"...diligently re-evaluate..."

"Its fairly common and the fix is easy to provide through a software update."

"Even if the issue is only a slight one, at Sony BMG we are very clear that any software security issues are taken with the utmost seriousness."

Now you will know what to say if you ever get caught in a spyware scandal. Class dismissed.

Soon installed by default (5, Insightful)

msbsod (574856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224445)

What bothers me most about the discussion is that DRM (restriction of consumers' rights), rootkits (hiding certain software), spyware (online monitoring), trusted computing (owners denied access to their own computer) and all that crap will be part of the next Microsoft Windows release. Soon companies like Sony will no longer have to distribute malicious CD. The malicious software will be installed on most PC's by default. Heck, even the signals over the monitor cables and be encrypted. The future already arrived with some products. Popular DVD players for PC's do not play some DVD's if the TV output of a graphics adapted is enabled (this is absurd!). Proprietary file formats require Internet access so that companies can monitor everybody and, if they wish, deny access. People are buying such products. Most people do not know what they buy, because the mass media are either in one bed with those who advocate the malicious software or they are completely blind. Sony rootkits are just the beginning.

What does S.O.N.Y. stand for? (1)

Hosiah (849792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224467)

"Sorry, Only Not Yet!"

Dear SONY/BMG (1)

Tsiangkun (746511) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224542)

You can re-evaluate all you want.

I will not be re-evaluating my commitment to avoid your products.

or in Dear John terms,

Dear SONY,

It's you, not me. There is nothing for you to evaluate here, so you can stop with the pathetic PR bullshit.
It's sad to see you so desperate for my attention, when I have no interest in you.
I ended this relationship because of your actions, you need to move on and get over it.
I never want to see you again.
No matter how you claim to have changed, and how much you have claimed to learn, I'm not interested.
BDs--not interested. PS3--not interested. SONY batteries in the super market isle--not interested.

You walked into my house, removed the locks from my doors and windows, and had one hell of a crack party.
You put my security at risk, and in this post 9-11 world, I believe you are a terrorist threat to freedom and privacy.

Yours Truly,

Re:Dear SONY/BMG (1)

burndive (855848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224607)

You put my security at risk, and in this post 9-11 world, I believe you are a terrorist threat to freedom and privacy.

Is there a new Godwin's Law?

Insufficient response (5, Insightful)

keraneuology (760918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224567)

They didn't go far enough.

Saying they're sorry is not enough.

Being sorry is not enough.

Understanding that they were wrong is not enough. (Though I doubt that they actually grasp this concept... Sony's executive and official remarks along the lines that since most people don't know what a rootkit is therefore they shouldn't care about one fairly accurately indicate the corporate culture over there. They aren't sorry that they did wrong, they are sorry that they had to listen to their customers and non-customers alike whining about the situation.)

I want somebody fired over this. The president would be great, but handing a sacrificial pink slip to a VP would suffice. Such a great and monumental screwup - including the intentional introduction of inadvertant (no, not a contradiction) security holes onto the computers of the people who are paying their salaries is, IMNSHO, criminal, but fat chance of charges ever being pressed. I'm sure the execs would fire their assistants for putting Splenda (tm) in the morning coffee instead of Equal or printing out the day's email in 11.5 New Roman instead of 12 Times, but when it comes to something that actually matters not a demotion or even a negative review in the executive's employment file. In fact, I'll wager the screwup who gave the green light to this whole project still gets a fat six figure bonus for "great" performance.

If Sony wants my money again they they have to can an exec and have security escort him from the building. If all sony music fans followed suit then a message would be sent loud and clear that this abuse of the customers will not be tolerated and execs throughout the industry would understand that what they do may actually have ~gasp~ consequences.

I doubt that Sony's behavior has changed. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 8 years ago | (#14224577)

I seriously doubt that Sony's behavior has changed in any significant way. Here is what Mark Russinovich had to say on November 30, 2005: Premature Victory Declaration? [sysinternals.com]

I haven't trusted Sony since... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14224597)

The first cdrw drive I bought, about five years ago, was from Sony. The cd writing software (CD Extreme, I think) that came with it was just barely functional. I tried to get Sony to help me with it, to no avail.

This was around the time that Sony made headlines for having some shady deal with some fake movie critics to rave about their movies, a spurious connection that I mentioned in an irate email.

It seemed like they had packaged the alpha version with their drive and never bothered to improve it.

When that drive died after two years and I shopped for another, I noticed that the Sony drives now came bundled with Nero. The hell with them.

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