Sony & DRM

When I first heard about the Sony rootkits, I figured it was a bit of unobtrusive software that people had found just to complain about.
Where I currently reside, there are no Sony CDs, so I had not a chance to test it, and I figured that it would brew over soon, and there would be no need to mention it, especially seeing as bloggers world wide were covering this topic and ripping it from head to toe. But you know me, and you know NeoSmart Technologies: we like the ingenious stuff. The dirt that, without trying, is presented as wrapping paper.

What am I talking about?! Well, I figured that while everyone was discussing how evil Sony’s rootkits were, and how we can use to our benefit, sorry, how it can be used against us in WoW and CS, I’d look at something bigger and more important: what this means for Sony.
No, I am not talking about Lawsuits (though if you are interested, and reside in California or New York you can join the litigation suit!) those are plenty and too obvious. Sony has taken things too far, and in doing so, they have literally buried themselves alive.

Is it just me, or does anyone else seem to recall that Sony makes Playstation??? And that Sony is in a deadly neck-to-neck race with Microsoft and their XBox 360? Don’t worry if you forgot, apparently Sony’s President, and all of his PR staff have forgotten as well. It goes further than this….

If you missed it, last night (my time :P) there were unofficial reports of Sony making sure that
Playstation 3 games cannot be played except on the same PS3 they were purchased for
!!! Now, what I do not get is, why did Sony even find it necessary to introduce such a stupid measure? Last I checked, game publishers loved gaming consoles verses PC Gaming, because it was simply too expensive and too troublesome to illegally use a game on a console! Sony has gone off the deep end, and I’m not too sure if they were infiltrated by Nintendo, or if Dick Komiyama has simply lost his marbles, but either way, they are in deep sh!t.

Last, but most certainly not least, is the matter of Sony’s EULA, for any Sony-BMG CDs… There is nothing that I have to say that the guys at EFF have not said better, so to quote:

First, a baseline. When you buy a regular CD, you own it. You do not “license” it. You own it outright. You’re allowed to do anything with it you like, so long as you don’t violate one of the exclusive rights reserved to the copyright owner. So you can play the CD at your next dinner party (copyright owners get no rights over private performances), you can loan it to a friend (thanks to the “first sale” doctrine), or make a copy for use on your iPod (thanks to “fair use”). Every use that falls outside the limited exclusive rights of the copyright owner belongs to you, the owner of the CD.

Now compare that baseline with the world according to the Sony-BMG EULA, which applies to any digital copies you make of the music on the CD:

1. If your house gets burgled, you have to delete all your music from your laptop when you get home. That’s because the EULA says that your rights to any copies terminate as soon as you no longer possess the original CD.

2. You can’t keep your music on any computers at work. The EULA only gives you the right to put copies on a “personal home computer system owned by you.”

3. If you move out of the country, you have to delete all your music. The EULA specifically forbids “export” outside the country where you reside.

4. You must install any and all updates, or else lose the music on your computer. The EULA immediately terminates if you fail to install any update. No more holding out on those hobble-ware downgrades masquerading as updates.

5. Sony-BMG can install and use backdoors in the copy protection software or media player to “enforce their rights” against you, at any time, without notice. And Sony-BMG disclaims any liability if this “self help” crashes your computer, exposes you to security risks, or any other harm.

6. The EULA says Sony-BMG will never be liable to you for more than $5.00. That’s right, no matter what happens, you can’t even get back what you paid for the CD.

7. If you file for bankruptcy, you have to delete all the music on your computer. Seriously.

8. You have no right to transfer the music on your computer, even along with the original CD.

9. Forget about using the music as a soundtrack for your latest family photo slideshow, or mash-ups, or sampling. The EULA forbids changing, altering, or make derivative works from the music on your computer.

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