Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sony BMG's Response: Is it an Apology?

Sony BMG is in a lot of trouble for its stupid approach to copy protection. Even retailers are wising up and not believing the "it's not so bad" defense. 500,000 networks were compromised, after all.

As despicable as its behavior though, Sony BMG is not Sony as a whole but a subsidiary. It operates quite independently of other units. Sony Pictures Imageworks, for example, makes awesome special effects and I can't think of a way it hurts consumers (other than by luring hapless fans into places where hot dogs cost as much as a steak dinner). Sony TVs are still awesome. But not surprisingly, the headlines all abbreviate "Sony BMG" to "Sony". Bleh.

My heroes over at BoingBoing described Sony's response as a "Non-Apology".
I leave it to you to decide if Sony's response to this fiasco is an apology or not:
To Our Valued Customers:

You may be aware of the recent attention given to the XCP content protection software included on some SONY BMG CDs. This software was provided to us by a third-party vendor, First4Internet. Discussion has centered on security concerns raised about the use of CDs containing this software.

We share the concerns of consumers regarding these discs, and we are instituting a program that will allow consumers to exchange any CD with XCP software for the same CD without copy protection. We also have asked our retail partners to remove all unsold CDs with XCP software from their store shelves and inventory. We will make further details of this program available shortly.

We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause our customers and we are committed to making this situation right. It is important to note that the issues regarding these discs exist only when they are played on computers, not on conventional, non-computer-based CD and/or DVD players.
Our new initiatives follow the measures we have already taken, including last week’s voluntary suspension of the manufacture of CDs with the XCP software. In addition, to address security concerns, we provided to major software and anti-virus companies a software update, which also may be downloaded at http://cp.sonybmg.com/xcp/english/updates.html. We will shortly provide a simplified and secure procedure to uninstall the XCP software if it resides on your computer.

Ultimately, the experience of consumers is our primary concern, and our goal is to help bring our artists’ music to as broad an audience as possible. Going forward, we will continue to identify new ways to meet demands for flexibility in how you and other consumers listen to music.
Personally, I think that's about as good as you can get from a corporate behemoth.

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posted by Brian at 7:26 AM

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