This is getting to be old news, but I've been off-line. Sony has stepped up its DRM (Digital Right Management) to a new low. Says Molly Wood of CNET:
I believe this is the week that Sony effectively declared war on the consumer, announcing what most of us had already suspected: fair use is a joke in the movie and record industry, and the companies who control mass-market content will truly stop at nothing to protect their profits.
Now most of you may say "that's not a news flash". But Sony have sunk to a new low with their latest efforts. Their latest CD's, when played on your PC (that's played
as distinct from ripped
, quietly installs a set of tools as part of its DRM technology. It does this without permission or notification, and sets itself up to run undetected, just like Trojan horse software
So how far should Sony go to protect its "copyright"?
Installing Trojan-like software that can break your computer (as per the linked article), without permission or knowledge is way too far in my humble opinion.
Copyright issues and DRM are rapidly becoming a joke. And the laugh has often been at the consumers expense, because the Record companies want to criminalise personal use variations rather than work the law to hit the large scale pirates. On the other hand, people think I'm strange for paying for all of my "not free" software. I even own 3 registered copies of WinZip (and version 10 has just come out!).
Anyway, Molly points out an article discussing the need to reform copyright laws, and backs the point by referencing a recent story where a retiree was sued for $600,000 by the Motion Picture Association of America. His 12yo grandson had downloaded 4 movies - 3 of which they already owned on DVD. Must get those pirates.
Recently, Sony sued Eddie Stevens, to prevent him from modifying Playstations - a service he offered to playstation owners. Sony lost
. Maybe they'll have to start renting their consoles rather than selling them?
This all comes at a time Record Companies demanding Apple charge more for their iTunes downloads, and then give them a cut. Why? Because they are convinced that iPod sales are driven by the music downloads, not the other way around. What's the word for that? Chutzpah? [sorry, can't find the link to cite]
It's a battle out there. Eventually the consumer is going to need to make a stand on exactly what "fair use" is. Until then, my iPod has half of my CD collection copied over and actively enjoyed during my travel times. Mark Russinovich researches the Sony DRM rootkitDavid Berlind and the Sony DRM issue