If you haven’t been following the online uproar recently, Sony has released a bunch of CD’s that contain more than just music. These CD’s surreptitiously install evil software onto windows machines even if the user declines this. The software opens up backdoors into the computer, and hides itself from the operating system. This introduces huge security vulnerabilities, and many also consider this spyware. Sony claims that they do nothing with the data they receive, but my thoughts are that they do nothing now. This is all in a misguided attempt to prevent people from ripping the music and sharing it. Yes, they are trying to prevent the people who actually bought the music from using it the way they want to.
I spend a lot of money on music, only so I can be treated like a thief? I buy a product, and the seller assumes I will do the worst with it? Backwards in my mind. Some CD’s get it right though. Bonus material on a disc, and access to content online using the CD as a key are a couple ways to entice people to purchase the CD. I have several CD’s like this. Very nice. That is the way to treat someone.
The latest thing I have read about is record companies shutting down websites and software developers that distribute lyrics for songs. I’m sorry, but that is asinine. The record companies claim they are infringing copyrights. Read here for some background. While I understand that songs and music are copyrighted, whatever happened to treating customers respectfully? I don’t see how these lyrics providers could cause less albums sales? Quite often lyrics aren’t provided in CD’s. Band websites quite often don’t have this information. Why can’t a third party provide it? Someone clue me in to why record companies feel this threatens them and their industry?
I like supporting the artists, but I hate supporting crap like this. Most of the money that I pay for a CD does not go towards the artist. Some of the money that I pay will go towards badly designed DRM, and lawsuits. That sickens me. Almost to the point where I want to stop buying CD’s. Do you think the record companies realize this? I doubt it. Frustrating.
As a photographer I also have to consider my own artwork. I know I would feel disgusted if people were stealing my products. However, I would never pollute my products with something to destroy someones computer. I wouldn’t try to shut down peoples interaction with my product because someone might do something wrong. I recognize it is a thin line, but I think that record companies are on the wrong side. Unfortunately it is going to take something big to make them change their ways.