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Glare, Grouchy

[Geek] Sony DRM Malware

Via technoshaman, here is a writeup on Sony's latest DRM protection method... and what it does to your Windows box.

All I can say is... this is WAY out of line. I'm all for protecting copyrighted materials; when I was in the games industry, I saw publishers reduce our payments due to piracy losses. BUT. There are limits, and this goes WAY beyond them. I can go both ways on DRM depending on the implementation, but installing malware crosses the line... and then sprints down the street three blocks beyond.
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(Insert 'Thank God I Run On A Mac' here)

The only thing that perks me up even slightly is that the corporations are just too damn slow to keep up with the geeks. We'll always be able to dodge ahead of them when they try this kind of thing, even if it means radical changes in our operative behavior.

Brr. Scary though.
Way way out of line...

I think the 'losses' generally claimed by publishers due to casual copying are *greately* exaggerated. But trying to protect your property is one thing, assuming your customers are your pirates is just wrong.
I think they're exaggerated, but I don't think they're nonexistent. The people who just take the number of pirated copies and multiply it by the cost of a single copy are greatly overestimating.

On the other hand, the people who claim that piracy is a victimless crime because 'it's not like there's less copies on the shelves' or 'I wouldn't have bought it anyway' are also wrong; there are plenty of people who WOULD buy things, but don't because, hey, free is better! Who cares if it's legal or not? It doesn't /feel/ like stealing, like breaking into someone's house would...

The problem, of course, is that the pirates are way out of line themselves, but the publishers do NOT help their case when they do reprehensible things like this...
The loss figures for "piracy" are vastly exaggerated.

This is how they work (in the words of Dave Barry, I swear I'm not making this up): They make a projection of how many copies of a particular CD or piece of software they expect to sell (based, of course, on their estimation of how wonderful a product it is). Suppose they estimate a particular CD is going to sell 2.8 million copies worldwide. Now, suppose that because the performance on the CD is actually a steaming pile of camel turds, it only actually sells 350,000.
Clearly, the difference MUST be due to piracy (because the CD couldn't POSSIBLY just flat-out stink), so that gets written up as 2.45 million CD sales lost to piracy.
The thing is, these people's big gripe is violations of copyright law. But not only are they willing to crap all over copyright law themselves by restricting fair use in illegal and unethical ways, they do stuff like this. They have no credibility for complaint.

As for reducing your pay because of piracy, all I have to say to that is, ha. Oh I'm not disputing that it happened, but it's a little too neat of an explanation, isn't it? A good employer takes care of their employees no matter what. Screw piracy, basically these guys were reducing your pay because the game didn't SELL as many copies as they'd hoped. Or, maybe they were just reducing your pay because they made more money that way AND created a set of pissed off anti-piracy advocates in the process.
Okay, so this thread is now two weeks old, and thus ancient history in Internet terms, but I thought you might enjoy this news story: