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November 23, 2005

Sony Spygate a PR fiasco

Steve Rosenbush

Sony BMG faces two lawsuits over the use of software programs loaded onto music CDs. The suits allege that when these CDs are played on multimedia-PCs, they secretly install "spyware" programs that track activity on the computer. The allegations by computer expert Mark Russinovich led to two suits, one by the Texas attorney general, another by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Sony's handling of the Spygate controversy has inflamed its critics. It's an example of poor crisis management. Did it really think its effort to recast the issue as one of "inconvenience" would work? The company dismissed the allegations at first. That made its critics maddder. And it expanded the target on Sony's back by creating more issues for discussion. A text that creates more questions than it answers may be fine if you're studying literary theory at the Sorbonne. But it wasn't a good way to strengthen Sony's position.

Sony eventually issued a statement addressing the problem, but it was too slick for its own good. The company said it deeply regretted any "inconvenience" it may have caused its customers. It was a weak attempt to recast the conversation, which is about issues far more serious than a mere matter of convenience. Finally, the company blithely reminded consumers that the issues only effect consumers who play the discs on PCs. The company suggested that people who play the discs on CD players have nothing to worry about. By attempting to spin the Spygate affair as an inconvenience that matters to a minority of customers, Sony has sidestepped true issues of Internet security and privacy, inflamed its critics and made a bad problem just a bit worse than it already was.

01:48 PM


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I am unimpressed with the stance that Sony has taken. They have a history of lying and misusing the consumer's goodwill that took a generation of great products to build.

Now look at their past infractions of

a) The made-up movie review critic to give glowing reviews of their Sony Pictures movies
b) The actors posing as "tourists" getting getting people to take pictures of them when it was all a scam to get them interested in the camera phones
c) Their MP3 Players with their convoluted ATRAC software
d) And now this simple "brushing off" of the customer with their CD's.

It seems that Sony hasn't learned one bit from their Beta vs VHS mess back in the 80's. This company seems to operation on a dishonest level that will continue to squander whatever credibility they have left with the consumer. It will be interesting to see how this Blue-ray VS. the HD-DVD or whatever it is, figure itself out. Watching Apple leave Sony in the dust with the MP3 players hasn't really changed the arrogance of this company possesses.

Posted by: james W at November 23, 2005 11:44 PM

Sony thinks we are all criminals and as soon as they can copyright the air you breath . . . .

Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
Sony will make you pay and pay.

Oh can't you see
You belong to them?

Every single day
Every lyric you say
Every game you play
Every jam that’s made
Big Brother is watching you.

How they are wronged when you copy your tunes to your PC
Every step you take.
Every file you make
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
Sony will be suing you.

Since you've gone Sony is lost without a trace.
They dream at night of screwing you, I can see it in their face.
They look around – There’s a twelve year old! Sue them in your place.
They’ll get that monopolistic Microsoft involved, they know how to kill a marketplace
They keep crying baby, baby please.................. let me control . . .

Every breath you take
Every rip you make
Every step you take
Every copy for your sake
They say they own that too.

Posted by: natasha at November 25, 2005 01:38 PM

Frankly, I don't blame Sony. Something has to be done eventually. BILLIONS of dollar being stolen on file swapping sites where nothing is produced personally or swapped between creative minds. It's a joke and my generation is the cause of it. I can't wait for the tri-fecta when the video game industry gets hit up and their scratching their head asking "what happened" like every other entertainment industry. The companies try to protect their product and get sued. What a joke.

Posted by: Bosi at November 27, 2005 09:59 AM

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