Friday, November 11, 2005

Going Too Far With Copy Protection

It was recently discovered that Sony music CD's, where you installed bonus content on your computer, was also installing a rootkit. The purpose of the rootkit was to make it nearly impossible to remove the copy protection from the PC once installed. It has also been discovered that maliciuos trojans are also taking advantage of Sony's "copy protection", opening up your computer to hackers.

To many this is just another example of the music industry taking copy protection too far, and is just another reason to not buy their product. But why would Sony do something like this? In a recent TWiT show, and ex-Sony employee told a story of when he was working at Sony, just when music CD's started coming out. He said that the CD's, which cost only 44 cents to produce, should have had a price tag of about $4. The reason, he said, for pricing CD's at a higher price than vinyl was that because they CD's still sold at that price.

Perhaps there is nothing wrong with overcharging if you can get away with it. After all, we are capitalists, aren't we? This isn't much different than when the oil companies nearly doubled the price of gasoline in the wake of Katrina. But then again, the oil companies are appearing before Congress to explain the price hikes. It seems sometimes that capitalism and ethics just don't mix. Anyway, enough politics, as this wasn't the point I was trying to make.

The point of this entry, in case you missed it, is that Sony has commited a criminal act. They have used hacker tools to conceal their software on computers. They have endangered the data on their customers computers. They have taken copy protection too far.

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