L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

04 October 2007 Blog Home : October 2007 : Permalink

Sony - All Customers Are Thieves

Every now and again my wife, a Japanese patriot, wonders why I refuse to buy any more consumer electronics devices from Sony and absolutely refuse to buy music or videos from them. I tend to remind her of the root-kits and other quality moves Sony has made in it's fight on "piracy" and now I have another example:

SONY has new definition of what it considers software piracy which will criminalise most of the world.

In testimony in the flagship Capitol Records, et al versus Jammie Thomas Jennifer Pariser, case, the head of litigation for Sony BMG told the world that it was piracy for someone to back-up a CD they have bought or upload it onto their MP3 player.

If this were true, then more people would be pirates than there would be legitimate users.

She said that when an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, Sony can say he stole a song." Making "a copy" of a purchased song is just "a nice way of saying 'steals just one copy'.

As the Inq notes strictly speaking this is the case in some countries (e.g. the UK) but in practical terms such copying is accepted as 'fair use' even in places where it is not permitted de jure. Sony however seems to think that it has a right to sell the same content over and over again. This is, to put it mildly, extremely stupid of Sony, a company who made loadsa money from hardware such as the walkman. Everyone I knew who had a (tape) walkman created the tapes by recording them from either CD or LP and as a result we could have cool tapes with a mix of tracks from a variety of artists instead being forced to listen to an entire album (or swapping tapes every 3 minutes).

I would suggest that rather than try to extract every last cent from its back catalogue Sony try releasing new music that people want to listen to.