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(Scotsman)   Having successfully ended software piracy through DRM, Sony tries their hand at price-fixing to end Internet bargains and inflate prices   ( divider line
    More: Obvious  
•       •       •

12463 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Nov 2005 at 1:49 PM (17 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

70 Comments     (+0 »)

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2005-11-15 12:18:36 PM  
Many chain stores are unable to compete because of the running costs involved in maintaining a network of stores.

Waaaah!! The big bad internet is making it hard for me to mark-up my prices by 50% and sell it to all the idiots!! Whatever shall I do??

Maybe they should think about changing their business model instead of illegally fixing prices.
2005-11-15 12:40:07 PM  
Do these people just hate their customers, or do the higher-ups have some kind of fetish that gets them off when the screw their customers?
2005-11-15 1:50:13 PM  
I love Sony. I don't buy anything but Sony. But I have to admit, it's becoming harder to rent movies for my BetaMax.
2005-11-15 1:54:54 PM  
Weren't all the big record labels sued successfully just a year or two ago for the same thing? What the hell.
2005-11-15 1:57:49 PM  
From the "That didn't take long" department, hackers develop virus that exploits Sony's hidden CD copy-protection software

Hackers use Sony BMG to hide on PCs

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A computer security firm said on Thursday it had discovered the first virus that uses music publisher Sony BMG's (6758.T) controversial CD copy-protection software to hide on PCs and wreak havoc.

Under a subject line containing the words "Photo approval," a hacker has mass-mailed the so-called Stinx-E trojan virus to British email addresses, said British anti-virus firm Sophos.

When recipients click on an attachment, they install malware, which may tear down a computer's firewall and give hackers access to a PC. The malware hides by using Sony BMG software that is also hidden -- the software would have been installed on a computer when consumers played Sony's copy-protected music CDs.

"This leaves Sony in a real tangle. It was already getting bad press about its copy-protection software, and this new hack exploit will make it even worse," said Sophos's Graham Cluley.

Later on Thursday, security software firm Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq:SYMC - news) also discovered the first trojans to abuse the security flaw in Sony BMG's copy-protection software. A trojan is a program that appears desirable but actually contains something harmful.

Sony BMG's spokesman John McKay in New York was not immediately available to comment.

The music publishing venture of Japanese electronics conglomerate Sony Corp. (6758.T) and Germany's Bertelsmann AG (BERT.UL) is distributing the copy-protection software on a range of recent music compact disks (CDs) from artists such as Celine Dion and Sarah McLachlan.

When the CD is played on a Windows personal computer, the software first installs itself and then limits the usage rights of a consumer. It only allows playback with Sony software.

The software sparked a class action lawsuit against Sony in California last week, claiming that Sony has not informed consumers that it installs software directly into the "roots" of their computer systems with rootkit software, which cloaks all associated files and is dangerous to remove.

Sophos said it would have a tool to disable the copy protection software available later on Thursday.

Sony BMG made a patch available on its Web site on Tuesday that rids a PC from the "cloaking" element that is part of the copy-protection software, while claiming that "the component is not malicious and does not compromise security."

The patch does not disable the copy protection itself.

The Sony copy-protection software does not install itself on Macintosh computers or ordinary CD and DVD players.
2005-11-15 1:58:49 PM  
I'm done with Sony. Have been for a while. Passed on a good deal on a monitor the other day and bought another brand.


/voting with his checkbook.
2005-11-15 1:59:06 PM  
Sherman Act these assclowns down to the level of the Independents they have been supressing for decades.
2005-11-15 2:00:00 PM  
Dear Sony,
Go fark yourself.

2005-11-15 2:00:02 PM  
Many chain stores horse-drawn cabs are unable to compete because of the running costs involved in maintaining a network of stores stable of horses.
2005-11-15 2:00:28 PM  
Sony is desperate. Their days are numbered, the bankruptcy man will be calling soon.
2005-11-15 2:01:36 PM  
oops, there were supposed to be through "chain stores" and "network of stores"

/it's called "efficiency," stupid
2005-11-15 2:02:45 PM  
I'm boycotting Sony. I hope you guys will too.

/$ony teh new Microsoft
2005-11-15 2:03:18 PM  
Listen folks; it's simple. We're just trying to get the media out to you. You like media, right? If you don't accept our DRM, our prices, and our way of doing things, this media's going to disappear. All of it. We have a duty to make sure you get it and if that means having to change some anti-competition laws, screw around with copyright law, then by god we'll do it. For YOU!
2005-11-15 2:07:36 PM  
I wonder if crap like this will effect PS3 sales? I love how corporations are turning into cry babies.
2005-11-15 2:10:31 PM  
Snoy is Fcuked.
2005-11-15 2:11:57 PM  
2005-11-15 2:15:05 PM  
Sony hates the world!

/They worship Satan
//CEO in desperate need of cockpunch
///Dont buy their crap
////Slashes rulez
\\\\Fony sucks
2005-11-15 2:16:13 PM  
Fark Sony...
Buy a 360...

/I will not buy another sony product.. Screw my computer up will ya...

// wth is the guy running sony related to the guy who bombed pearl harbor.
2005-11-15 2:20:13 PM  
* agrees with Dr. Ellipso
** excepy my PS2
*** and Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
2005-11-15 2:22:10 PM  
I wonder if crap like this will effect PS3 sales?

I very seriously doubt it. Do you know how many 12 year olds there are in the world? I don't know either, but it's a farkin lot.
2005-11-15 2:24:37 PM  
I don't get it. In the days of Napster I spend hundreds of dollars actually buying music and supporting the artists I loved.

Now I'm a criminal for converting my CD to MP3 format? Whatevever. You don't get my money anymore.
2005-11-15 2:27:34 PM  
Sony has been doing this for years. They have ALWAYS held a very strong stance that any internet site selling their products must be an authorized dealer. This means the products are purchased directly from Sony or an authorized Sony distributor. They have been known to buy their own products from un-auth'd sites to do serial # traces back to the dealer that sold the product to the site. Sony usually has a policy that their items can not be advertised below actual retail price. They CAN be sold below thru negotiation, but not advertised as such.

Also, if you, the consumer, purchases a Sony product from an unauthorized website OR dealer, Sony reserves the right to deny any warranty service.

Anyone that has worked retail electronics also understands that Sony has dick for markup since you can't walk into any retail chain in the country w/o tripping over something w/ the Sony name on it. Maintaining what little margin there is left in the goods is what allows the retailer to pay that oh-so-important livable wage most people biatch about.

One more thing. MSRP is ALWAYS higher than the price you will see a Sony product tagged at on any sales shelf in the US. Example: A Sony 32" TV will have an MSRP of say $1000 but the actual retail price is usually about $850 - $900 w/ a cost of say $700. Most commission only retailers in the US will pay about 12% of the profit as the commission so long as the price does not go below a set minimum. This leaves the salesperson w/ an income of $18 - $24 for that sale, pre-tax, of course.
2005-11-15 2:29:22 PM  
already decided never to buy Sony products ever again but after I read that story it just reconfirms my commitment.
2005-11-15 2:34:41 PM  
Lews_Therin: Sony's rootkit, designed to prevent copyright infringement, commits copyright infringement. Bonus points: the infringed code is open source

To use their own language, Sony is pirating software. Isn't it $75,000 per infringement (or per CD in this case)? The LAME developers are going to be rich, biatch!
2005-11-15 2:35:01 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2005-11-15 2:35:14 PM  
I like how they used GPL code in their closed source DRM product. The irony monkies were working overtime that night.
2005-11-15 2:35:29 PM  
Why is this "illegal fixing" of prices? They offer a discount to chain stores that will demo their products. Maybe we should also make it illegal for the average person to offer a discount when selling his car to anyone who will make it easy to sell. No more "$5000 obo", it has to be $5000 fixed regardless of whether or not someone will come take it off your hands for $4500 and a promise of no waste of your time.

Funny how those who are upset about supposedly illegal price structures will scream the loudest when all those chain store employees lose their jobs to online discounters who use cheap labor to package the goods for shipment only.
2005-11-15 2:36:17 PM  
Man I thought I was the only one getting fed up with sony. Looks like a movement.
2005-11-15 2:39:06 PM  
I am soooooooo happy I bought a Toshiba laptop instead of the Sony. I will never ever buy another Sony product again.
2005-11-15 2:41:30 PM  
From this page at EFF, a list of CDs that contain the
evil XCP/rootkit technology:

Trey Anastasio, Shine (Columbia)
Celine Dion, On ne Change Pas (Epic)
Neil Diamond, 12 Songs (Columbia)
Our Lady Peace, Healthy in Paranoid Times (Columbia)
Chris Botti, To Love Again (Columbia)
Van Zant, Get Right with the Man (Columbia)
Switchfoot, Nothing is Sound (Columbia)
The Coral, The Invisible Invasion (Columbia)
Acceptance, Phantoms (Columbia)
Susie Suh, Susie Suh (Epic)
Amerie, Touch (Columbia)
Life of Agony, Broken Valley (Epic)
Horace Silver Quintet, Silver's Blue (Epic Legacy)
Gerry Mulligan, Jeru (Columbia Legacy)
Dexter Gordon, Manhattan Symphonie (Columbia Legacy)
The Bad Plus, Suspicious Activity (Columbia)
The Dead 60s, The Dead 60s (Epic)
Dion, The Essential Dion (Columbia Legacy)
Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten (Epic)
Ricky Martin, Life (Columbia) (EFF notes: "labeled as
XCP, but, oddly, our disc had no protection")

Several other Sony-BMG CDs are protected with a different copy-protection technology, sourced from SunnComm, including:

My Morning Jacket, Z
Santana, All That I Am
Sarah McLachlan, Bloom Remix Album

This is not a complete list.

Don't buy them
2005-11-15 2:42:06 PM  
2005-11-15 2:42:24 PM  
Last Sony items I bought was a DVD player that supported both DVD+ and DVD- burned media and Trey Anastasio's new CD. I was waiting for the PS3, but I believe I'll be sinking my money into an X-Box 360 instead.
2005-11-15 2:43:30 PM  
BTW. I know the article was about software...
2005-11-15 2:44:43 PM  
2005-11-15 2:48:34 PM  
Why is it that the shiatty bands are the ones with copy-protection? Seems like all it will do is make them even LESS popular..
2005-11-15 3:00:38 PM  
I don't like sony as a general rule. However I did just recently buy a Sony television due to the simple fact that in the price/size/quality range I was looking at it was the absolute top of the line. I felt dirty doing it, but they do still make some good products.
2005-11-15 3:02:32 PM  

What? Your post was empty....
2005-11-15 3:07:43 PM  
Hey, I was actually in the market for a new TV... where can I get all these amazing internet deals that Sony is so worried about?
2005-11-15 3:14:17 PM  
Sony is pure, concentrated EVIL.

/you have been warned.
//no really, they are the devil on Earth.
///a veritable plethora of slashes
2005-11-15 3:17:52 PM  

Why is this "illegal fixing" of prices?

Assuming that they are doing the same thing in the US, see this and this

Also, conspiring to fix the minimum price at which your distributors can sell violates section 1 of the Sherman Act. see this
2005-11-15 3:24:48 PM  
I still have everything I ever bought from Sony because it never breaks. I have heard their laptops are crappy though.
2005-11-15 3:28:01 PM  
People who write viruses are the reason why we have capital punishment.. now lets use it.
2005-11-15 4:04:40 PM  
Having be on both sides of the internet sales issue, I can see why both sides have a biatch about it. As a retailer, I was always having people comment on prices of merchandise on the net to try and get a better price in the store. Sometimes I could do something but a lot of the time I couldn't due to the costs I had to pay for it, overhead and the quantity I purchased in. If you are only buying small amounts for a single store or even a small chain it is hard to compete against someone with very little overhead who orders in large volume and is willing to sell at a reduced markup (and make money on volume sales). However, if I had something of mine I couldn't sell locally due to low demand but knew it would sell on the net, I didn't mind selling it for less than MSRP just to makes something off of the item. No matter which side you are on, it is pretty much a "whaaaa" session. Stereos & TV's aren't the only thing retailers are complaining about. Major camera & computer sellers are pretty upset about the net also. But without the net you wouldn't have informed consumers coming in looking for the "latest & greatest" new things as soon as it hits your floor for display. The internet really has been one of the best & worse inventions of all time (depends on how you look at it). Plus, with everyone always in discount mode is it any wonder Wal-Mart has taken over retailing.

/had to get in one good dig at Wallyworld
2005-11-15 4:13:53 PM  
<< - Will never buy Sony products again.
2005-11-15 4:37:10 PM  
I *was* going to buy a PS3, now I won't.
I *was* going to buy several sony pro digicams for my business, now I won't.
I *was* going to buy some Vaio laptops, now I won't.
I *was* going to continue to buy CDs of some of my favourite bands who are distributed by Sony BMG or their affiliates, now I won't.

They could've made a lot of money from my continued custom. Now they won't. Time to splash the cash on a more deserving company, methinks.

Oh, yes, one more point: If Sony thinks it owns my computer... WHY DON'T THEY FARKING PAY ME FOR IT?
2005-11-15 4:38:37 PM  
Elendilmir and Left_Coast_Eh:

No /. jokes in front of the ungulates, remember?
2005-11-15 5:02:26 PM  
Over the last 10 years, EVERY SINGLE ITEM of electronic gear I've bought from Sony has been pure shiat, malfunctioning and/or breaking down LONG before they should have. (And yes, I treat my gear well)

I made up my mind after the DVD player crapped out (and I replaced w/ Phillips) that nevermore would I waste my money on their junk.

Now with this DRM crap, I'll NEVER buy anything with the Snoy name on it - that includes going to see their movies.

2005-11-15 5:06:06 PM  
I work for Sony Music so I am getting a real kick out of most of these responses...

/I do, for real
//Please don't hurt me, I'm just a consultant
///who goes ga ga for slashes
2005-11-15 5:07:32 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2005-11-15 5:19:40 PM  
If this was apple you'd all be singing their praises. farking apple monkeys.

Anyways, I've grown to like Sony's products. But they are over-priced, don't really care what the company does as long as it produces good products that I want.

/Apple is charging you for Service Packs people !
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