Sony sued over copy-protected CDs

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Original poster
Jul 4, 2004
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Sony BMG is facing three lawsuits over its controversial anti-piracy software.

Revealed in late October by Windows expert Mark Russinovich, the software copy protection system hides using virus-like techniques.

One class-action lawsuit has already been filed in California and another is expected in New York.

Digital rights group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), is also gathering information from users to see if a case can be brought.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4424254.stm


Nice one... that's all I can say. Keep the price of CDs down and most people will buy them.
 

JDar

macrumors 6502a
Dec 7, 2003
528
0
another opportunity to vote with money as a consumer

Aside from having to defend against lawsuits I think Sony didn't realize the trickle down effect upon their whole product line from their nefarious scheme. This consumer won't soon forget what they considered an acceptable approach to copy protection.
 

barneygumble

macrumors 6502a
Apr 18, 2005
726
0
I don't agree with lawsuits to stop this, but if it works i will still be happy.

Boy sony justy doesn't know when to stop, first they make up reviews for their movies + lots of other things then they go and do this, silly really, if they didn't charge $13 "manufacturing" for a CD perhaps they wouldn't have this problem. Then again TCP is just around corner maybe they won't have to for much longer;)
 

whocares

macrumors 65816
Oct 9, 2002
1,496
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:noitаɔo˩
Blue Velvet said:
Nice one... that's all I can say. Keep the price of CDs down and most people will buy them.
My thought exactly. At an average price of 20-25€ ( :eek: ) I don't really feel too bad about any illegal music I may or may not have :rolleyes:


Bring the price of CDs down to a reasonable price and there won't be a need for copy protection. Most people will start buying their music again. Thanks to iTMS (not a perfect solution, but still) I've started buying music again :)
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
4,325
379
Boston, MA
well, i hope they can get 1 million people with screwed up windows systems for the class action. per person $200 fine for their effort to reinstall the computer (sounds about reasonable to me). makes 200 million damages that sony has to pay. plus lawyers fees.

let's see if this copy protection system saved them more than 200 million dollars. i don't think so.

if their digital cameras weren't so good i wouldn't buy anything from them anymore ever. but the next camera purchase is three years down the road. till then some other company will have good cameras as well.
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,643
0
Blue Velvet said:
Nice one... that's all I can say. Keep the price of CDs down and most people will buy them.
They're coming down, sssslllooowwwlllyyy.

Using the US consumer price index calculator and some historical lists for new releases, there is a picture of what has happened. The historical premium for CD has basically evaporated and then some.
Code:
year   album list   adjusted to
      at the time    2005 US$

1969     6.98 (vinyl)  37.81
1979     8.98 (vinyl)  24.59
1982     9.98 (vinyl)  20.56
1985    16.98 (CD)     31.37
2005    13.98 or 19.98 (CD, depends on label)
(still looking for the figures during the 1990s price fixing scandal)
 

whocares

macrumors 65816
Oct 9, 2002
1,496
0
:noitаɔo˩
iMeowbot said:
They're coming down, sssslllooowwwlllyyy.

Using the US consumer price index calculator and some historical lists for new releases, there is a picture of what has happened. The historical premium for CD has basically evaporated and then some.
Code:
year   album list   adjusted to
      at the time    2005 US$

1969     6.98 (vinyl)  37.81
1979     8.98 (vinyl)  24.59
1985    16.98 (CD)     31.37
2005    13.98 or 19.98 (CD, depends on label)
That tells only half the story, we need to see the avg salary evolution...


But still, are *we* the ones being greedY? :eek: :eek:
 

evoluzione

macrumors 68020
iMeowbot said:
They're coming down, sssslllooowwwlllyyy.

Using the US consumer price index calculator and some historical lists for new releases, there is a picture of what has happened. The historical premium for CD has basically evaporated and then some.
Code:
year   album list   adjusted to
      at the time    2005 US$

1969     6.98 (vinyl)  37.81
1979     8.98 (vinyl)  24.59
1982     9.98 (vinyl)  20.56
1985    16.98 (CD)     31.37
2005    13.98 or 19.98 (CD, depends on label)
(still looking for the figures during the 1990s price fixing scandal)


you also need to take into account technology, and the ease/cost of production etc...
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,643
0
evoluzione said:
you also need to take into account technology, and the ease/cost of production etc...
It's insignificant, really. It costs about a dollar to press and pack vinyl album, a little less for a CD. The real costs have always been admin overhead and royalties, not so much the technology.
 

whocares

macrumors 65816
Oct 9, 2002
1,496
0
:noitаɔo˩
evoluzione said:
you also need to take into account technology, and the ease/cost of production etc...
Pfeeeew, good call! I was getting concerned about me being greedy :)

To complete the picture, how about knowing how much the artist got/get paid?
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Original poster
Jul 4, 2004
21,652
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CD prices are generally higher in the UK than in the US.

Apart from online vendors, in the shops many non-chart CDs can go for £13-18, sometimes higher which is about US$22-32+...
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,643
0
whocares said:
To complete the picture, how about knowing how much the artist got/get paid?
It's a percentage, changed little over time. Performers generally break even if their stuff hits somewhere around gold or platinum, the way they're going to make money is by using a record to bring people out to concerts, buy merchandise, etc. If their sales are higher, they do make decent money. Writers can do much better than that, there's a ka-ching on every commercial play.

Blue Velvet said:
CD prices are generally higher in the UK than in the US.

Apart from online vendors, in the shops many non-chart CDs can go for £13-18, sometimes higher which is about US$22-32+...
I'm curious about that market too, and looking for realistic historical prices to see what has happened. Old list prices have a funny way of disappearing themselves :) IFPI and RIAA are useless sources, they like to quote averages that can include all kinds of cruft. The interesting numbers for stuff like this are really the list prices for new releases, not the cut-rate compilations and so on.
 

Stampyhead

macrumors 68020
Sep 3, 2004
2,294
30
London, UK
andiwm2003 said:
well, i hope they can get 1 million people with screwed up windows systems for the class action. per person $200 fine for their effort to reinstall the computer (sounds about reasonable to me). makes 200 million damages that sony has to pay. plus lawyers fees.

let's see if this copy protection system saved them more than 200 million dollars. i don't think so.

if their digital cameras weren't so good i wouldn't buy anything from them anymore ever. but the next camera purchase is three years down the road. till then some other company will have good cameras as well.
Are you serious?! Sony has the worst digital cameras I have ever used. I have used several of them and they were all garbage, poor picture quality and diificult to operate.
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
4,325
379
Boston, MA
Stampyhead said:
Are you serious?! Sony has the worst digital cameras I have ever used. I have used several of them and they were all garbage, poor picture quality and diificult to operate.

i'm using the dsc-p150. it's a consumer point and shoot, 7.2 megapix. it's small, supereasy to use, robust, great picture quality. some annoying things like a special powercable and stuff. i like it although it's a sony.
 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
13,522
2,558
Sod off
Ignoring the piracy issue for a moment, I think it's complete bullsh*t for any company to use spyware/virus tech in order to control access to products bought by consumers. Sony may have the right to jack prices up to the limit a market will tolerate but they have no right to install software on my computer.
 

MongoTheGeek

macrumors 68040
Lord Blackadder said:
Ignoring the piracy issue for a moment, I think it's complete bullsh*t for any company to use spyware/virus tech in order to control access to products bought by consumers. Sony may have the right to jack prices up to the limit a market will tolerate but they have no right to install software on my computer.
The thing is that this could also be used enable piracy.
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
25
Northern Virginia
iMeowbot said:
They're coming down, sssslllooowwwlllyyy.

Using the US consumer price index calculator and some historical lists for new releases, there is a picture of what has happened. The historical premium for CD has basically evaporated and then some.
Code:
year   album list   adjusted to
      at the time    2005 US$

1969     6.98 (vinyl)  37.81
1979     8.98 (vinyl)  24.59
1982     9.98 (vinyl)  20.56
1985    16.98 (CD)     31.37
2005    13.98 or 19.98 (CD, depends on label)
(still looking for the figures during the 1990s price fixing scandal)
I hate it when people bring this type of crap up. Using the US as an example, then the minimum wage should be like $9 an hour! And I should be getting about $10K more a year than I am now!

iMeowbot said:
It's insignificant, really. It costs about a dollar to press and pack vinyl album, a little less for a CD. The real costs have always been admin overhead and royalties, not so much the technology.
You also have to look at the extra profits that the labels and artists have been able to reap with rising ticket costs and promotional costs paid by other companies today.

Lord Blackadder said:
Ignoring the piracy issue for a moment, I think it's complete bullsh*t for any company to use spyware/virus tech in order to control access to products bought by consumers. Sony may have the right to jack prices up to the limit a market will tolerate but they have no right to install software on my computer.
Amen. Why should a CD not be readable on my Mac? And why should I be limited in bring the music I bought on a CD in to iTunes?

I hope that Sony and others loose their asses in the courts over this BS.
 

mms

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2003
784
0
CA
Regarding Sony's copy-protection scheme, I saw just earlier today on digg about a MacInTouch report that claimed that this copy-protection scheme also worked on Macs. The report suggested that the CD installed kernel extensions on the Mac that the CD was inserted into.

Can anybody else confirm this?
 

~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,388
42
1123.6536.5321
I can understand why companies want to implement copy protection (even though they know it is ultimately futile) however implementing it in this type of a manner is very poor in my opinion. I shall remember this one, Sony... :mad:
 

Loge

macrumors 68030
Jun 24, 2004
2,679
1,147
England
mms said:
Regarding Sony's copy-protection scheme, I saw just earlier today on digg about a MacInTouch report that claimed that this copy-protection scheme also worked on Macs. The report suggested that the CD installed kernel extensions on the Mac that the CD was inserted into.

Can anybody else confirm this?
Sounds as though it is to do with "enhanced" content, whatever that is. Other articles suggest that these discs function as audio CDs on Macs. The extensions cannot be installed without user intervention - they have to run an app from the CD and then provide administrator password. It is not the same copy protection (the first4internet stuff) either, but the older SunComm stuff. Not that it is any more acceptable.
 

Kernow

macrumors 65816
Sep 30, 2005
1,438
0
Kingston-Upon-Thames
...And now it's being used to create viruses!

As a further development to the rootkit fiasco, some hackers have now used the Sony technology to develop viruses (Link)

Per the article, the lawyers in the lawsuits could now use this as evidence against Sony that the anti-piracy measures could actually harm your computer