Thursday, January 12, 2006


This settlement has been reached in the Sony BMG vs The Music Listening World spyware/malicious content copy protected CDs case (as it's surely technically known).

Now, forgive me, but isn't that just one huge slapped wrist? Especially when you take into account that users can forego the cash refund and get 'more downloads'? More digital copies? Costing Sony what? Precisely nothing?

Is there any proviso to ensure that Sony BMG make it known that this is available to those whose computers they put at risk? What if you're a computer user who *isn't* connected to the internet? What good are your free downloads to you then? I could keep going. Oh, I will...

Exactly what system are they providing to access your downloads? Do you have to register with them? 'Cos given their recent dodgy history of having a quick shufty around your computing activities I'd say that handing over any information to them was less than wise.

Presumably, if they ever catch up with my P2P activites I can just offer the bands in question the money I've theoretically saved and offer them a quick root 'round my MP3 collection?

So, yes, a settlement that probably goes into millions that they'll likely be insured against anyway. Truly, it's a victory for the man in the street...
Sony BMG : They'll think twice
after a telling off like that.

UPDATE : You might want to have a look at this 'Letter To Our Valued Customers', mind you. Though of more use might be this 'list of infected titles'. About which, it occurs to me - will the copies of those albums with the XCP copy protection on them now become collecter's items? Shall I go and play merry hell with them? Shall I? Shall I?

UPDATED UPDATE : Admittedly, perhaps I should have looked through everything before I vented my spleen, but I really wanted to catch my disgust in full flow. Go here to see the mechanics of their exchange programme. It's interesting, cos I see that you *don't* in fact have to register for your downloads as they'll send you a link to the MP3s. Can anyone see what's going to happen with that? If you *are* one of the poor unfortunates that

1. Purchased any of the CDs in that list and
2. Subsequently had it nearly fuck your computer for you:

DO feel free to post the links to those MP3s in the comments section here.*

Most interesting is the fact that 'Life' by Ricky Martin and 'Days in Memphis' by Peter Gallagher contain the copy protection warning, but not the actual rogue software. You can exchange those for a copy without the lazy, overlooked-the-details-of-it packaging. You really should. If you've got more than one CD in that list - I recommend sending them individually, at Sony's expense. You can take them to a UPS store OR have UPS come and pick them up from your house. Which option do you think I implore you to use?

* - as I've previously established, it's the kiss of death for any suggestion I ever make on here that even remotely involves the 'comments section'.


Anonymous Rob Pandaz said...

Nice that it's only in america though isn't it.

Nice bastards.


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