Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Sony Media Movies Entertainment

Sony Fixes Problems With New DVDs 210

Posted by kdawson
from the DRM-again dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Following up on reports that DVDs for some Sony titles were causing problems, Video Business is reporting that Sony has fixed the copy-protection problem on recent DVD releases, and will provide replacement discs to customers. The problem was with the ARccOS DRM system. The company issued the following statement: 'Recently, an update that was installed on approximately 20 titles was found to cause an incompatibility issue with a very small number of DVD players (Sony has received complaints on less than one thousandth of one percent of affected discs shipped)... Since then, the ARccOS system has once again been updated, and there are no longer any playability problems.' Customers can call 800-860-2878 to inquire about replacement discs."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Sony Fixes Problems With New DVDs

Comments Filter:
  • So few complaints? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Biogenesis (670772) <{ua.moc.emohsutp ... erb.rekcolcrevo}> on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @04:45AM (#18779259) Homepage
    0.001%? Did they even ship enough disks in the first place to get such a small number of complaints as one in 100,000?

    *crosses fingers and hopes my maths is right* :p.
    • by BlueTrin (683373) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @04:51AM (#18779281) Homepage Journal
      I think most of the people didn't even report to Sony.

      If a DVD was not working, I would just bring it back to the shop, the second time I would exchange it for another DVD (not the same movie).

      My 2 cents on what probably happened is that they did not count all the returns for these titles, they just counted the people who sent emails complaints or called their hot-line and who told specifically about the DRM problem so they could minimize the problem, which is alot better for them from a marketing point of view.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rucs_hack (784150)
        You can be sure they will have applied a minimising criteria to the complaints reported. Honesty does not usually mix well with profit in corporate land.

        There's another thing too. They seem to be talking about a large number of dvd's. Have they all actually been sold yet? I doubt it. I reckon there's some large scale behind the scenes recalls going on.

        This is yet another PR blow for sony involving DRM, that makes how many? Well I don't know, if you include mp3 players its barking huge is it not.

        So who was i
        • by beckerist (985855) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @08:43AM (#18780521) Homepage
          This is based on my own past work experience, but often times our corporate numbers were based primarily on a specific statistic. For example, I wouldn't be surprised if, in this case, "Sony has received complaints on less than one thousandth of one percent of affected discs shipped." really translates to "Sony has received complaints from registered users on less than one thousandth of one percent of affected discs shipped."

          If a client of ours had failed to register their software, we would still process their claim but label it as an "external client." I never trust numbers anymore...
        • Of course, the ultimate irony would have been for it to have lead even people who'd normally not care about ripping DVDs to go out learn how to rip & decrypt the Sony DVDs so they could re-burn them to work on their own players. And for a half-dozen new ARccOS-ripping apps to appear as a direct result.

          There's nothing like buying an expensive disc that HAS to be cracked/ripped to run on your system to make you swear to god you'll just pirate it outright next time and spare yourself the grief of having to
      • by hackstraw (262471)
        I think most of the people didn't even report to Sony.

        True. It was the geek recourse from us on slashdot and digg that got this thing known.

        An interesting true story. Some company sold a relatively inexpensive paint sprayer or something like that, and a friend of mine got one as a gift for fathers day or something like that.

        After storing this thing for some time, he then wanted to use it and found out it was a piece of crap. He called the manufacturer and after some poking around he found out that all of
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by aadvancedGIR (959466)
      Maybe the only way to be heard by the SONY CEO when you are complaining is to be his whife or son.
    • by blackicye (760472)
      Yet another reason to not buy DRM ridden original movies, aside of course from the fact these movies were probably not worth watching in the first place.

      Hey...maybe they're doing consumers a favor by not letting them watch said movie.
    • by GreyPoopon (411036) <gpoopon@MONETgmail.com minus painter> on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @04:54AM (#18779297)

      0.001%? Did they even ship enough disks in the first place to get such a small number of complaints as one in 100,000?
      I can assure you that this is a gross underestimate of the actual situation. I'm guessing that Sony didn't get that many complaints because people were just beginning to track the problem back to them. I'm one of the people who was hit by this (with my Toshiba DVD player), and it was only three weeks ago that I was certain the problem was with Sony, as it was only the second DVD I had rented that had problems. I would guess that most people complained first to the video rental stores (like Blockbuster) or their retailer (Walmart), and then moved on to their DVD manufacturer (I know this was my progression). That would mean that most of the complaints have not yet really reached Sony, and they are just trying to sidestep the issue now.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Ed Avis (5917)
        So what exactly was the defect with these DVDs? Did they carry the official DVD logo? Isn't that a guarantee that the disc follows the published standards?

        I know that with CDs, crippled discs (with deliberate data errors to defeat computer copying) cannot carry the official CD digital audio logo.
        • by mrjackson2000 (733829) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @07:05AM (#18779853) Homepage
          CD standards are set in stone
          DVD standards seem to be set in jello
          • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @07:17AM (#18779909)

            CD standards are defined and policed by one organisation.

            DVD standards are the product of a large collaboration between double-figures of large businesses originally, one of them being Sony themselves. There are now hundreds involved, and AFAICS there is no single group with the authority to take enforcement action is someone is abusing the "DVD" description.

          • by Alsee (515537)
            DVD standards seem to be set in jello

            You're clearly an optimist.

            -
        • So what exactly was the defect with these DVDs?
          I too am interested in exactly what the defect in the version of ARccOS copy protection was that prevented it from working in consumer players such as the Sony Disk Explorer 400. I'm hoping someone is purposely acquiring these damaged titles before they all get recalled and we get a follow-up story with a breakdown analysis of what went wrong.

          It would be good to know what the enemy is up to.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tekrat (242117)
      I guess that would work out to 1 complaint. One one thousandth of one percent would need to assume 1 complaint for every 10 million copies sold, right?

      Does anybody believe that Sony sold 10 million copies of Casino Royale? Personally, I have a hard time believing they even pressed 10 million copies of that.

      This is like their inflated Blue-Ray numbers as well.

      You can't trust what Sony says. They are a bunch of ... not nice people....
      • learn to count (Score:5, Insightful)

        by squidinkcalligraphy (558677) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @04:58AM (#18779325)
        1 percent is 1/100. One thousandth of that is 1/1000 * 1/100 = 1/100000
        Or one out of a hundred thousand. Your argument still stands, though.
      • by Lumpy (12016)
        You are incorrect. they are a bunch of.....

        Unko no neyoi kagu hito

        oh yeah and they also are..

        manuke

        I knew learning insults in Japanese was going to be useful someday!
      • by TEMMiNK (699173) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @09:40AM (#18781287) Homepage
        Why are we not applauding them for biting the bullet, actually fixing the problem and replacing the affected discs which a lot of companies wouldn't do? Is everybody just so firmly strapped to the Anti-Sony bandwagon that it's impossible for anything sony does to be met with anything but derision and petty insults?
        • When Sony fixes the real problem so that I can copy their accursed DVDs to my computer and watch without having to dig through all of my DVDs to find it, then I'll stop vilifying them. Until then, I don't buy them, only rent them.
        • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @11:43AM (#18783157)
          "Why are we not applauding them for biting the bullet, actually fixing the problem and replacing the affected discs which a lot of companies wouldn't do?"

          A lot of companies wouldn't do? Just off the top of my head, I can think of two examples: When Back to the Future was released on DVD, the panning for the full screen version was messed up. The discs were recalled and re-released. People who purchased copies of it got a replacement. The Twilight Princess for the Wii had a bug in it that could cause a player to get stuck. Nintendo's now offering free replacements of the game. I'd bet that if I hopped on Google, I'd find more examples of that. But is that really the issue? I don't think so. They twiddled with copy restriction, which in reality has a harder effect on legit users than pirates, and some of their own players couldn't even handle it. Then they went on to claim there were dizzyingly few complaints about it. Bit the bullet? They're still using the scheme and claiming virtually nobody was really affected.

          "Is everybody just so firmly strapped to the Anti-Sony bandwagon that it's impossible for anything sony does to be met with anything but derision and petty insults?"

          *Sigh* Anti-Sony bandwagon. I love it. Sony racks up numerous complaints over the course of a year, but really it's just a fad. Right? You would think with all the bad PR, especially surrounding copy restriction, they'd pull back a bit. Instead they just keep getting into mischief. Yet there's always somebody who says "I don't understand, so you must be some group of crazy people." Whatever. The next time you stay up late one night pondering Sony's predicament, at least try to give everybody a little credit and assume they weren't born with S0N3 SUXX0Rs tattooed to their forehead.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by 91degrees (207121)
      There were a few titles affected, and a couple of them were major releases.

      But who complains to the publishers? I tried to find a number or email address ro anything to complain about the stupid anti-piracy ad at the start of DVDs but the contact details are pretty hard to find (Which is strange. I'd have thought they'd like to know when they're irrritating their customers). It's a lot easier to just take it back to the shop.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by LiquidCoooled (634315)
      Is shipped the same as sold?

      They might have shipped 100gazillian disks but if they are sat in a distribution warehouse in each respective country then that could explain the difference.

    • by freedom_india (780002) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:36AM (#18779731) Homepage Journal
      Ya that's what Intel said about the Pentium bug...people should send in physical letters to Sony (not emails) by millions.
      This will make them see light of day.
    • The important message here is that (a) they flinched, and (b) they flinched bad enough that they whipped out some phony/misleading statistic to try to defend their failed policy of sticking DRM on everything.
      • by powerlord (28156)

        The important message here is that (a) they flinched, and (b) they flinched bad enough that they whipped out some phony/misleading statistic to try to defend their failed policy of sticking DRM on everything.

        And here I thought the important message here was that they (a) admitted there was a problem, (b) fixed that problem and (c) offered to provide replacement disks, complete with an 800 number to process those requests.

        Gee, maybe they should just close down the company and provide torrent links of all the

    • by Hatta (162192)
      *crosses fingers and hopes my maths is right* :p.

      Your maths are right, but your grammar isn't.
    • Usless statistic (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Gription (1006467)

      0.001%? Did they even ship enough disks in the first place to get such a small number of complaints as one in 100,000?

      I think it should be instantly apparent that Sony's numbers mean nothing. I am surprised that Sony could get any reported complaints.

      Think about it. You go out to the store and buy a DVD and have this problem. Say that you have the persistence to play with the problem and somehow figure out that it is the formatting of the disk that causes the problem.

      How are you going to "contact Sony"? This company has a billion contact points and none of them are labeled "call here when your DVD disk has a problem".

  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's called the AVI file format...
    • by baadger (764884)
      AVI should die. Now. This container format is already stretched beyond it's original intent and abused to house things it shouldn't (VBR audio, H.264, MPEG-4 with B-frames). It's a horrible container format, switch to Matroska (mkv) already.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @04:56AM (#18779315)
    Instead of calling the 800 number, consumers can visit their local torrent site and download the movie for free long before the replacement disc reaches their door.

    Have a great day Sony.
    • by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:36AM (#18779729) Homepage
      Instead of calling the 800 number, consumers can visit their local torrent site and download the movie for free long before the replacement disc reaches their door.

      Don't download the ISO though, otherwise you'll be straight back to square one...
    • by argStyopa (232550)
      IANAL, but according to the MPAA's 'take' on things (that you're not buying a copy of the film, but instead merely buying a license to view the film) wouldn't that be ENTIRELY legal?
      • by terrymr (316118)
        Actually the MPAA's take is weirder than that:

        You are not buying a license to view the film. You are buying a physical media containing the film. You are granted a license to view the film each time you insert it into a properly licensed DVD player.
  • Sony... (Score:4, Funny)

    by muffen (321442) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @05:00AM (#18779329)
    Anyone surprised this happened to Sony [thebestpag...iverse.net]?
  • Contradiction? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by catxk (1086945)
    there are no longer any playability problems

    So, the update consisted of removing the DRM? Not even Sony can deny that the soul point of DRM is to create playability problems...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by aadvancedGIR (959466)
      Since I read on different places that an easy solution was to rip the disk (apparently, many different easily available tools were capable of this task despite the new protection), the purpose couldn't seriously be fighting against piracy.
      • Re:Contradiction? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @05:33AM (#18779477)
        Who exactly are they fighting? The people who buy their products?
        • Re:Contradiction? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by pandrijeczko (588093) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @05:50AM (#18779555)
          Yep.

          As a fan of "The Simpsons" who buys the series boxed sets when they're released, I emailed Fox about the logic of putting their "Piracy Is A Crime" video at the front of every DVD (a video which is impossible to skip through) when the first thing any pirate will do is remove that same video on any copied disks.

          I also told Fox that I considered it fair use to rip those DVDs to AVI format to store and watch on my media PC and that the anti-piracy video was contrary to what I bought that product for - namely the ability to use the "Digital Versatile Disk" format as and when I chose to watch Simpsons episodes, without having that blasted video popping up every time.

          That was over a year ago and despite two follow-up emails, I have never even got any acknowledgements from them, let alone a reply.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Hyperhaplo (575219)
            Erm, I hate to say this but.. stop buying them?

            I have the entire Farscape series on DVD.. and I love watching them. If they had that message I would be sickened before getting through series one. I have one (1) DVD that I know of that has this message. After seeing it on a disc I purchase I stopped buying DVDs.

            As a footnote, after going to the movies 3 times and sitting through the useless mpaa ad about 'stealing is a crime' I don't go to the cinema any more. (yes, I know what stealing is, and what a crime
          • On the whole I agree, but pirated disks don't remove the intro video about piracy; on the contrary, Chinese pirated disks I've seen faithfully reproduce the packaging, complete with dire warnings about piracy.

            The fact that this text obviously doesn't work makes it all the more bizarre that DVDs punish customers by making them sit through often not one but two legal screens -- one about piracy, the other about how any interviews do not reflect the views of the corporation. Couldn't they at least put these
          • That was over a year ago and despite two follow-up emails, I have never even got any acknowledgements from them, let alone a reply.

            Don't worry, I'm sure you're on their watchlist now.
          • by Inda (580031)
            Rip the warnings out. Burn to a DVDR. Send them back with a letter.

            If I bought DVDs, that's what I'd do.
          • by hackstraw (262471)
            I emailed Fox about the logic of putting their "Piracy Is A Crime" video at the front of every DVD (a video which is impossible to skip through)

            I find tons of box sets (or even regular DVDs) to simply not be worth their price because of "features" like this. Non-skipable commercials for other products, propaganda, threats that I will be fined, jailed, or worse if I don't watch the thing correctly, and all that.

            Personally, I find that "pirated" TV shows and DVDs are simply better than the ones you can buy
    • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @05:48AM (#18779537) Journal

      Look at the way their DRM [wikipedia.org] currently works:

      The system deliberately creates a number of sectors on the DVD with corrupted data that cause DVD copying software to produce errors. Normal DVD players never read these sectors since they follow a set of instructions encoded on the disc telling them to skip them. Less sophisticated DVD playing programs do not follow these instructions and instead try to read every sector on the disk sequentially, including the bad ones. Slysoft's AnyDVD, Fengtao's DVDFab Decrypter, RipIt4Me + DVD Decrypter + FixVTS + DVD Shrink, MacTheRipper (freeware), along with VLC media player[1] and MPlayer/MEncoder (for Linux) are usually able to overcome ARccOS protection.

      Which really, really makes me wonder exactly what players it was intended to kill...

      I think I've seen these before, incidentally. But it seems that the whole point is to fuck up their disks exactly enough that they won't play on certain players (God knows which ones, if mplayer can play it), but not enough that they won't play on real players. Thus, it's based not at all on actual standards (like CSS), and entirely on existing DVD players.

      They could be calling it an "update" meaning an actual removal, as a marketspeak word. Or it could really be an update, basically figuring out exactly how the cheap DVD players play discs, and making these DVDs playable in that, but still a PITA for something like dd.

      • by jimicus (737525)
        I think I've seen these before, incidentally. But it seems that the whole point is to fuck up their disks exactly enough that they won't play on certain players (God knows which ones, if mplayer can play it), but not enough that they won't play on real players. Thus, it's based not at all on actual standards (like CSS), and entirely on existing DVD players.

        IOW, a variation on the copy-protection used on some CDs. And about as useful, purely because (as we've seen before), it is not physically possible to b
  • Cynical? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Obvius (779709)
    So as soon as this story started to gain momentum, they issued a fix and a statement offering a replacement disk. Well, full marks to Sony for learning from recent public relations disasters, but I doubt I'd be so impressed if I was one of the people who had experienced this problem, and I had been complaining left right and centre to no avail for several weeks. Seems as though Sony only back-pedalled on this issue once they feared another DRM PR-storm was the brewing up.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by anotherone (132088)
      You doubt you'd be impressed if you'd gotten what you'd been asking for? Would you rather Sony say "Yeah, sorry guys, you're right, we're just going to shut the company down now. Feel free to download a copy of Casino Royale in ogg .mkv from our website!"?
  • If the disc plays... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @05:15AM (#18779397)
    What's to stop me whipping out DVD Decrypter and just stripping this copy protection? If need be, I could then fire up Nero Recode and do my own menus too. How does any copy protection scheme work on a format that doesn't expect one or have any way for a player to enforce it? Seriously I wonder if Sony HQ shouldn't muzzle Sony BMG and tell them to forget about retro DRM schemes because it seems to be fuckups all the way. The whole company is getting a bad reputation because of one small part - a part which in truth should be subservient to the rest, and not the other way around as it seems to be at the moment.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by 91degrees (207121)
      Uhm. Apparently nothing stops you. All the ripping tools seem to work.

      I'm not quite sure what the improved DRM does to protect them. Maybe it means that if someone does a bit-for-bit copy it isn't going to work or something but cracking these is so easy I'd be surprised if anyone does that. Most of the pirate DVDs I've seen are either cheap DVD-R copies, or are so well presented that the extra work of decrypting them would be trivial.
      • by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @05:46AM (#18779527)
        That's my point. I can easilt rip a DVD and produce a perfectly acceptable single or dual layer DVD+R with about 90 minutes work. I don't see any point at all in Sony or anybody else attempting to copy protect DVDs or CDs since the measures are trivial to circumvent. So what if it prevents bit-for-bit copies? I expect the first thing most pirates would do is run the disc through DVD decryptor or similar first to strip out macrovision, region encoding etc. anyway.
        • Presumably the point is that it's a disincentive to casual copying. Of course pretty much any current DRM scheme can be broken fairly easily by geeks with the right kit... but most people who buy those DVDs aren't geeks with the right kit.

          • by jedidiah (1196)
            It only takes one cracker to break any DRM scheme and then distribute the results to the rest of the planet. This was true 20 years ago. Nothing has happened to change this condition.

            People speak as if running some Windows program isn't a casual activity.
    • by karnal (22275)
      DVD Decrypter doesn't work on these affected DVDs by default - you'll need something like "ripit4me" to actually get DVD Decrypter to get the right info to rip. My unintelligent thoughts are that the .ifo files that describe the disc are screwed up a bit, but normally DVD players don't get hosed on those...

      Also, dvdfab seems to work even better; I haven't found a dvd it can't read...
  • by pembo13 (770295) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @05:20AM (#18779411) Homepage
    When your stuff works too well, you have to "fix" it. When it doesn't work well enough, you have to fix it. And in the theoretical scenario where you get it to work just right, you'll be hated, and likely out of a job.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by suv4x4 (956391)
      When your stuff works too well, you have to "fix" it. When it doesn't work well enough, you have to fix it. And in the theoretical scenario where you get it to work just right, you'll be hated, and likely out of a job.

      Most DRM technology providers so far were clueless idiots capitalizing on the greed of the media companies.

      Granted AACS is actually well designed (but due to implementation flaws and nature of DRM, not perfect), but everything else I've inspected is just hack upon hack creating the illusion of
  • by blankoboy (719577) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @05:23AM (#18779427)
    STOP buying SONY media all together. First they plant rootkits on the PC's of their loyal customers and now this headache. I vote with my wallet plain and simple. Any company that is going to be a pull these sorts of antics simply won't be getting any $$ love from me. People forgive and forget far too quickly and thus the big monster doesn't learn it's lesson.

    One lesson here: Vote with your Wallet and don't give your money to prick companies.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pandrijeczko (588093)
      Whilst I agree with your sentiment (and I myself do not buy anything by Sony), most people just want "something that works" and don't care about DRM as long as they can see their hi-res movies and play their protected CDs on their hifi.

      It's not a case of "forgive and forget" - far too many people are too damned lazy to keep themselves well informed which is precisely what the DRM-supporting corporations are banking on to get DRM in quietly through the back door.

      • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @07:45AM (#18780039)

        It's not a case of "forgive and forget" - far too many people are too damned lazy to keep themselves well informed which is precisely what the DRM-supporting corporations are banking on to get DRM in quietly through the back door.

        And what else should I be keeping myself informed about? The latest proposed abuses of drivers to extort more money, and the latest stupid "pro-cycling" legislation that makes cycling more dangerous? The relative morality of the food sourcing policies of the four major supermarket brands with stores near my home? The levels of customer service of my ISP and telephone company? The details of the different extortionate charges levied by all the banks with branches in my city?

        There are two big problems with your argument. Firstly, no consumer has the time and experience to know about everything. Secondly, even if they did, since it's common for most or all of the big name businesses to cut the same corners in the name of increasing profits while keeping competitive prices, while the smaller or more ethical businesses can't compete on price and are essentially a niche market for dedicated "ethical consumers".

        This is why a completely free market is often not a good idea, and government should intervene with regulation/legislation where markets fail to act appropriately without such incentives. No-one else has the time and resources to monitor diverse consumer markets and keep the big boys in line.

        • by NoMaster (142776)

          And what else should I be keeping myself informed about? ... no consumer has the time and experience to know about everything

          So don't try to know about everything. Just know about the organisations and businesses that piss you off, and never ever deal with them again!

          Neither of the 2 big supermarket chains around here will see another cent from me. Ditto Belkin and D-Link. There is one single real estate agent in my local area who hasn't cold-called me - guess who's getting my business when it comes tim

    • by Bueller_007 (535588) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:35AM (#18779721)
      Just make sure you--and anyone else who chooses to boycott Sony products--e-mail them and tell them that the reason you won't be purchasing any more of their products is their copyright protection schemes. Otherwise, they're libel to blame decreasing sales on piracy and up the ante even further.
      • Just make sure you--and anyone else who chooses to boycott Sony products--e-mail them and tell them that the reason you won't be purchasing any more of their products is their copyright protection schemes. Otherwise, they're libel to blame decreasing sales on piracy and up the ante even further.

        If I were them I'd probably blame the "necessity" of the copy-restriction schemes on the "pirates" in the first place, and thus account any "lost sales" due to copy-restriction issues as part of the "loss" due to

    • STOP buying SONY media all together.

      That's not going to help anything.

      Instead, why not reward a company when they do soemthing right? How are positive actions going to be repeated without positive feedback? When your only tool for behavior modification is the cudgel, your target grows mean and angry and only transparently obedient.

      Write Sony a letter thanking them for resolving the issue early, then continue to buy what you normally would. Eventually the bean counters at Sony are going to wake up as to t
  • by MadJo (674225) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @05:23AM (#18779429) Homepage Journal
    But this 'fix' came a lot quicker than their debacle with the broken CDs.

    On the other hand, this fix would not have been necessary, had they not used DRM in the first place.
    And it doesn't leave the fact, that I'm still not buying anything that Sony makes.
    • by Random BedHead Ed (602081) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @05:42AM (#18779511) Homepage Journal

      Therein is the reasoning that still eludes Sony, even after this event and the rootkit. When the security feature is designed to guard against the customers, and the real security threat can get around the security feature anyway, then we're all wasting time and money. Sony is probably still looking at this as a PR issue, rather than as a bad security and technology decision.

      Awaiting arrival of clue ... error: clue still absent.

      • by jedidiah (1196)
        It's like the anti-copying ads that come in front of movies at the theatre. They start out good generating some sympathy for the poor working schmuck from LA but then deteriorate into tiresome preaching. They take what could be a decent idea and ruin it.

        Commercials in general seem to be like that these days. Ad men have forgotten about the art of persuassion and think instead that it's their jobs to annoy us by any means necessary.
  • ARCcOS DRM? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cortana (588495) <sam@NOSPaM.robots.org.uk> on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @05:44AM (#18779519) Homepage
    Hm, what's this then? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARccOS [wikipedia.org] says,

    The system deliberately creates a number of sectors on the DVD with corrupted data that cause DVD copying software to produce errors.
    Ah, so this is the corrupted audio CD debacle all over again. Thanks Sony, for making products deliberatly designed to malfunction. Truly Defective By Design [defectivebydesign.org].
  • Think about this (Score:2, Informative)

    Sony pays people to find a way to have a perfectly good product not work. And they're not the only ones, either. Almost all the major movie and music industries are paying people to design a way to stop their products from working. Their goal is to redefine what "works" means by taking away all the innovation required to create such glorious things as DVDs or CDs and limiting everyone to a subset of the original features, and continuously do so until we forget that the original set existed.

    Vote with your
    • I like the way you explain the situation. I think if more laypersons thought of it that way they might not buy into the hype of things like HDCP "enabled" TVs and monitors [etc]. Usually I explain it as "they want to control what you can do with your own machine" but people think I'm making it up or being alarmist...

      "defective by design" certainly is a catchy saying too ;-)

      Tom
  • by Andy_R (114137) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:03AM (#18779619) Homepage Journal
    We've only got a report about this not the actual Sony statement to go on, but it seems to me that there's a total lack of apology here, just a blatantly absurd claim about how few complaints there were. Come on Sony, at least have the guts to say you are sorry... if if it's only 'we're sorry we got caught'.

    Sony's PR department really don't seem to understand that they have a monumental image problem. A bit of humility in their press releases could have won back some respect for free, but instead they sent out something that reeks of arrogance.
    • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @08:29AM (#18780359)

      Sony's PR department really don't seem to understand that they have a monumental image problem.

      Many Slashdot posters really don't seem to understand that most consumers don't care about DRM and company image. They just want to watch Casino Royale or whatever, and as long as it works, they'll be happy.

      Sony, however, do understand this, which is why they keep trying this sort of crap without much fear of the consequences. Until DRM becomes a high-profile issue with the general public (which basically means until the majority have been directly and adversely affected by it) Sony's PR department probably don't much care.

      Of course, when DRM does become socially unacceptable, which may finally start to happen as a result of the major changes in the on-line music market over the past few days, Sony's history of abuse may well become a PR headache for them. But it's rare for any corporate PR group to think that far ahead, because often consumers just forget or don't care enough by the time the issue comes up.

  • Really ? After ALL they did to consumers, (rootkits and other crap) gamers, (swg anyone ?), other small shitty stunts like this one, one would think that they would come to their senses by now.

    At this rate, sony is going to be the first mega corp to bite the dust out of arrogance.
  • by BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:20AM (#18779681) Journal
    " Sony Fixes Problems With New DVDs"
    Customers ordered to only watch movies in cinemas.

    "Recently, an update that was installed on approximately 20 titles was found to cause an incompatibility issue with a very small number of DVD players" .. Thus the global announcement.

    "(Sony has received complaints on less than one thousandth of one percent of affected discs shipped)..."
    We've put this sentence to you in brackets as subtle acknowledgment that this a lie. Our public relations disaster recovery team wanted to use a ;-), but our lawyers disagreed and we thought the brackets were a good compromise.

    "Since then, the ARccOS system has once again been updated, and there are no longer any playability problems.'
    'Or else!' sneered the SONY spokesliar, shaking his fist and the audience,

    " Customers can call 800-860-2878 to inquire about replacement discs."
    Customers can also call the same number for replacement rootkits.

    War is peace. Ignorance is strength. Freedom is slavery. SONY are a respectable and much-loved corporate citizen.
    Could SONY be any more unpopular? Why don't they branch out into genocide and sell ballistic missiles to North Korea?
    I can honestly say it wouldn't hurt their stock price.

    They should dig up Morita-san and prop him up at the boardroom table. He couldn't do a worse job that Howard "Eat your damn Rootkit and love it" Stringer
    • I'm fine with them fixing this rootkit. That means it only has to be broken once, not twice.

      And God help them if I find it on any Windows system I'm working with - if there is as much as a hairline crack in the legal statements made on the DVD they'll be in court again soon. That is, of course, if any of the systems I work with gets near a Sony produced DVD because there will now be an absolute ban of them.

      I can't believe that a company that on one hand can make such excellent equipment can on the other h
  • I used Ripit4me.
  • If I bought a legit DVD that didn't play in my DVD player, I would never buy another Sony DVD again.

    These corporations are so stupid. They think that piracy == lost revenue. Sure, there is SOME lost revenue, but a lot less than they probably think.
    • They probably spend more on licensing DRM and other nonsense than they lose to copyright infringement anyways.

      Fundamentally the problem is the execs are [or have been] absolutely convinced that DRM is not only the solution to the problem, but that the customers actually don't mind the problems it creates. I don't know how in this day and age people still propose and want to develop DRM "solutions," as it seems like more and more laypersons are becoming aware of just how detrimental and annoying it can be.

      A
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @07:54AM (#18780089) Journal
    DRM will always cause problems with some older players that aren't designed to handle it. The industry has decided that they should warn their customers with a clear label that the DVD may not play on DVD branded equipment. The label looks something like this [globalgiants.com]
  • by Posting=!Working (197779) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @08:37AM (#18780435)
    Sony has the math right. Only one out of 100,000 discs sold had a complaint, you just don't understand their logic behind it.

    They sold 200,000 discs. Complaint #1 was from Wal-Mart, and #2 was from Best Buy.

    You didn't really think they include what consumers think in any of their decisions, do you?
  • 'Recently, an update that was installed on approximately 20 titles was found to cause an incompatibility issue with a very small number of DVD players (Sony has received complaints on less than one thousandth of one percent of affected discs shipped)... Since then, the ARccOS system has once again been updated, and there are no longer any playability problems.' Customers can call 800-860-2878 to inquire about replacement discs."

    Every verb in their acceptance of responsibility is in the "passive voice" [wikipedia.org]. Sony

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin

Working...