Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sony is dead to me.

Ah, it's sad. Sony did a bad thing, in that they released a few dozen CDs with a fairly aggressive DRM scheme (First4Internet XCP) that not only prevents you from using the content (music) that you just paid for, but installs some fairly insidious software, akin to rootkits used by hackers to gain control of your PC at a very low level, to hide the existance and assure the irremovability of their DRM. As if installing software on users PCs that they didn't want, that removes functionality they had before they tried to listen to that CD wasn't bad enough, they (like most large companies seem to) denied that any sort of problems existed. If you wanted to remove the DRM & rootkit that hid it, you had to contact Sony twice, and the installer left your machine with bigger security holes than it had before you uninstalled it. It was also discovered that the DRM/rootkit sent network packets back to Sony on a regular basis, something Sony assured everyone that it didn't do. When faced with this, Sony said that while yes, it does phone home, we ignore what it sends back so it's all the same, right? Sony continues to stall, not apologizing for the damage done by their uninvited software, and not releasing an begnign uninstaller.

Not that my purchases alone will make a difference, but Sony's on my bad-guy list from now on. No Sony A/V hardware. No Sony/BMG music. So Sony Playstation. I have, and will continue to, support vendors who don't treat me like I'm a criminal from the get-go. When I buy content, it's mine to do with (within the law) as I please. I get to decide what that is, not the company that made it. If I want to listen to it on my iPod in the car, or load it on my phone to be a ringtone, then that's my business. Companies need to learn that getting in the way of that will only make me (and a few million other cusomers) mad. And mad customers don't buy your stuff.


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