CD boycott list, and other responses

Some reader feedback on the question of which CDs to boycott. Xtracto commented on my request for a list of corrupted CDs by sending a link to a list he has been maintaining of Sony BMG protected CDs. His methodology is one that I was playing with: using Google to search the Amazon content and looking for CDs flagged as “[CONTENT/COPY-PROTECTED CD],” which Amazon has been pretty consistent about marking. In fact, it seems to me that we should be able to automate this search and make it more reliable by using the Amazon API and checking the label.

And Ken Nelson commented that boycotting Sony alone is too narrow a focus, arguing that the perspective should be shifted to looking at all clients of First4Internet. I’m not sure about that for the present time—it’s really a combination of Sony’s use of XCP and their response to criticism that has brought about the boycott. But it’s certainly worth noting that Universal’s MCA unit, Warner Music Group, and EMI have all been customers of First4Internet, notwithstanding EMI’s claims of innocence.

Ken also makes a point that one of the outcomes from this case is a clear need for customer education: everyone should know to check the label or the Amazon information for a disc before purchasing to ensure that it doesn’t carry one of these schemes. I think this means we need some artwork. Ken provides a blog button for a start:

boycott sony

(Thanks, Ken.) But this is only a beginning. Ideally we should have fliers that can be posted at retail locations or handed to customers. Any design savvy folks in the audience want to take a look at this?

Note: I’m not interested in merchandise—I’m not looking to sell anything, particularly not anything carrying the Sony logo or name (which means Boycott Sony t-shirts are out). I really want to see something that provides information to the customers. I have some reasons for this and will air them in a future post.

9 Responses to “CD boycott list, and other responses”

  1. C. Saunders Says:

    In addition to publishing a list of CDs, it would be useful to send direct communicaiton to the artists. My guess is that many don’t have good information about what Sony has done to damage them. Sony’s conduct may have been so eggregious that they can walk out of contracts.

    Direct contact between the consumer boycott and the artists - who in all likelihood have been deceived as well - is in order

  2. Greg Greene Says:

    FYI: The EFF has also published a list of rootkit-corrupted CDs.

  3. Ken Nelson Says:

    Tim:

    One point : being aware of First4Internet is from a comment by PJ Cabrera, at

    http://www.evilgeniuschronicles.org/wordpress/2005/11/03/boycott-sony/#comment-3460

    My post referenced PJ’s comment, in which I expressed agreement with his thinking, but that IMO Sony was a more present danger, and should remain the focus for now.

    PJ deserves the credit for his observation, and I’m just trying to straighten that out now.

    With that cleared up, boycott away!
    -k-

  4. Martin Says:

    I´ve written a somewhat related article on my website today: “How to live without the Music Industry”. Its available @ http://www.ghacks.net/2005/11/10/how-to-live-without-the-music-industry/ and might be of interest to some.

  5. MRKisThatKid Says:

    I’ve added a boycott sony badge to my website. It’s a bit messy though to honest lol. Ah it’ll do.

    I hope you don’t mind it pointing to this here blog?

  6. JaFO Says:

    We shouldn’t need to be educated.
    If they hadn’t broken the Compact Disc Audio standard we wouldn’t have had to worry about any malware at all …

    It’s time to demand that Corrupted Discs like this are clearly labelled.
    Not in some kind of microscopic font.
    No … make it like the ’smoking is lethal’ signs on sigarrettes.
    ie : big and bold so consumers get the message.

    Suggestions :
    “Using this media may damage or corrupt your system’s integrity”

  7. RC Pierce Says:

    It’s a month post-outing and I’m still trying to pick my jaw up off the floor. One is little surprised that Sony will to the length they have to protect their reproduction rights, right down to performance in your own living room. They’re big, they have big profits to lose, and nothing much else. What really astounds me is how prematurely they rolled out the DRM, with no independent testing beforehand.

    That they buried most of the details in fine print is likewise no surprise. But it makes one’s stomach twist at how their own legal staff completely glossed over the fine print that probably appears in their contract with F4I. The part that says, “We’re broke, and getting broker. When the foo hits the fan we won’t have a pot to piddle in, so don’t bother coming ’round when your face gets sprayed. We’ll be gone fishing!”

    We take our tunes by ear from the airwaves… CBC Radio Two, so one can only sympathize with the thousands of affected computer owners.

  8. Steev Says:

    You can also find out using Google, by searching for something like:

    “SONY XCP CONTENT” site:amazon.com

  9. Tim Jarrett Says:

    Thanks, Steev–that’s a change. They used to be labeled only as “content/copy protected.”

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