Sony BMG: Extreme Losers

PCWorld: Winners and Losers of 2005. On a fairly evenhanded list (both Apple and Google are listed as both winners and losers), Sony BMG manages the distinction of being cited as a loser. Twice.

LOSER: Sony BMG Entertainment

Adding copy protection to CDs is onerous enough, but Sony BMG Entertainment and its tech partner First 4 Internet went completely beyond the pale. Insert certain Sony BMG CDs into your PC’s disc drive and they would secretly install First 4 Internet’s XCP software, which not only limited the number of copies you could make, but also made your system vulnerable to hack attacks. Sony BMG then posted a “fix” that made matters worse, before issuing a recall of the music CDs, offering refunds, and promising to discontinue using XCP. It turns out the record company knew about the vulnerability for at least two weeks before blogger Mark Russinovich made the news public last Halloween. Thanks for sharing, Sony.

EXTREME LOSER: Sony BMG Entertainment

Researchers at Information Security Partners recently identified a security flaw with SunnComm’s MediaMax, an alternative copy-protection scheme found on other Sony BMG CDs. The flaw could allow a remote attacker to hijack a user’s PC. This time, Sony responded with a patch almost immediately–which was quickly found to have the exact same flaw. Can you say “consumer boycott?”

Why yes, we can. Although around here, we pronounce that customer boycott. A consumer is a gullet that gulps products and craps cash, in the famous formulation, and I hope this whole episode has demonstrated that we customers are much more than just a gullet.

8 Responses to “Sony BMG: Extreme Losers”

  1. Rad Says:

    It’s good to see the distinction being made. We are customers, not consumers.

  2. Dave Says:

    I wish I could crap cash.

  3. gnu Says:

    It’s amazing how people keep using Windows: looks like the majority of the Earth’s population suddenly went mad. They are using the most infected, vulnerable, crappy, spy- mal- ad- ware infested operating “system” on Earth, close to unusable, yet they keep using it. Just download any of Linux distributions, or get a Mac in the worst case, it’s still a Unix, hence not as dumb as Windows and automagically little Sony DRM efforts become worthless. Look: they are only affecting Windows users. The dumb ones. Those who already chose to use the dumbest OS on Earth. What do you expect?

  4. Aaron Says:

    ‘Look: they are only affecting Windows users. The dumb ones. Those who already chose to use the dumbest OS on Earth. What do you expect?’

    Spoken like a true jackass.

    ‘I hope this whole episode has demonstrated that we customers are much more than just a gullet.’

    Well, yes — a gullet which occasionally emits an impotent bleating noise, which can be irritating but is generally safe to ignore. Not *that* much more.

  5. Celine Says:

    gnu’s opinion is worthless, as the majority in any case is always right. If Linux or the Mac are sooo much better, then explain Microsoft’s continuing dominance? You would think that if they kept screwing around they would eventually run out of business. People have been hating them since even before I went to college way back in the 90s. Where is Microsoft now? Wow, still top of the heap.

    Take your Mac and shove it up where the sun don’t shine, unless you’ve already put your Linux machine in there.

  6. Tim Jarrett Says:

    The platform flaming is a little off topic, and the personal attacks are unnecessary and uncalled for. Computers are tools. I have a Mac that I use to do a lot of things, and a Windows machine that I use for my job.

  7. Steve John Says:

    The problem generated by Sony is sadly not likely to be the last, we are about to launch a new TV channel online and find some of the owners of the content are driving us to distraction in their attempts to make sure we protect their copyright.

    We have had to refuse some content suppliers as they are asking us to cover every possible means of copyright protection. I am annoyed at Sony, what they did was a mess and completely uncalled for, however, given the amount of pain we have to endure from some copyright owners, I can almost understand their reasons for trying to do what they did.

  8. Jacki O Says:

    Sony’s music sucks more then anything else.

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