Sunday, November 20, 2005

How Did You Get Your Roots That Color?

Way to go Sony. Not only do you install "XCP" anti-copying software on production CD's and not tell anyone you then deny it and then when the pressure is on you renig on the denial. Did your marketing boys weigh in on all this.

Here is my understanding of the basic timeline surrounding this whole mess.

Early part of 2005
Sony decides to release copy protected CD's. I'm sure that someone had to think this was a good idea, probably, some guy named Sony Dude #1.
No mention of this new XCP feature, doesn't Sony send out a press release when an executive passes a kidney stone?

Sometime after that I would imagine that there was a crazy conversation similar to this

Sony Dude #1 It's been a few months, no one's the wiser to the XCP install, what do you think we should do?
Sony Dude #2 Well, what do you say that we make an announcement that were sorry we violated the publics trust and just come clean.
Sony Dude #1 What are you nuts, lets slap that XCP junk on a few more titles.
Ex-Sony Dude #2 Would you like to biggie size that value meal.

October 31
"Mark Russinovich" writes on his blog that he has discovered this hidden "rootkit" file in Sony's CD's. Hey guess what rootkits are the same as a "Trojan Horse" and a Trojan Horse is a virus so in my very non-technical opinion I would say that a rootkit is a virus.
OK, OK, so it's not really a virus but a good security hole that has already been exploited. The damn hackers can't even write their own code they just piggy back in on someone elses...

That afternoon after hearing the name Mark Russinovich for the first time
Sony Dude #1 Damn

November 1
Sony puts out a patch to un-hide the rootkit. Un-hide not get rid of.
Sony Dude #1 "Hey it's only 20 titles", "which titles? oh, we can't tell you that, but we can tell you it's only 20 titles."

November 8
The big anti-virus companies begin working on fixes for these infected computers
It looks like there are a whole bunch of people who were lucky enough to buy some these 20 CD titleswhich no one seems to know the names of.

November 11
Sony Dude #1 OK, lets stop manufacturing these XCP CD's people are starting to get pissed.
Sony Dude #3 Do you think we should recall these titles
Sony Dude #1 Not no, but hell no
Ex Sony Dude #3 Would you like to biggie size that value meal.

November 14
Sony Dude #1 Hey everyone I've come up with a great idea, lets recall these titles. I can't really fill you in right now as to how we are going to do this but we are, and I mean that, we are an honest company, really we are.

November 15
The 20 XCP titles grow to 49
Sony Dude #1 Did we ever say 20? I don't remember saying to 20, it has always been 49 titles. We are an honest company, really we are.

November 16
Sony now posts "a list" of all 53 titles and offers exchanges to the public.
Sony Dude #1 I don't remember saying 49, there has always been 53 titles. We are an honest company, really we are.
Hey look a puppy!

As of this evening Sony is making available non-copy protected MP3's. I can't tell you if that's fair or not since I wasn't the recipient of any of these special Sony CD's.

This whole XCP crap was put together to keep people from stealing Sony's music, which would account for a loss of revenue to Sony or in other words "cost Sony money."

Now someone comes along and decides to deceive the public, this in my opinion, is where Sony went wrong. If they had just made the information public people could then decide if they wish to purchase a CD with this special added feature. Odds are pretty good that if people wanted the tunes bad enough they would still make the purchase.
Odds are damn good that someone would have hacked the XCP code by now.
To sum it up it appears that Sony will be forced to spend a whole bunch of money, money that they probably weren't prepared to spend. All this in order to make right on their original plan. The original plan that they concocted in order to save Sony money.
Maybe Sony's mission statement should include "You can't go wrong telling the truth"

Sometime in December
Ex Sony Dude #1 Would you like to biggie size that value meal.

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