Sony's Copy Protection Obsession Rolls On?

from the you-can't-be-serious dept

Never one to let a little bad PR slow them down, Sony has apparently applied for a patent in Japan that would lock copies of software and media to a particular playback unit — spurring rumors that the PS3 wouldn’t be able to play used, rented or borrowed games. While PlayStation honcho Ken Kutaragi said at the beginning of the year Sony’s stance on copy protection had held up innovation at the company, it’s likely the movie and music units don’t agree. DRM like this might be Hollywood’s wet dream — locking a copy of a movie, say, to one DVD player and one DVD player only — but we hope Sony’s not stupid enough to let its entertainment units be the tail that wags the dog to such an extreme. It would kill not just the rental and used game businesses, but also would destroy the “hey, you should borrow this game, it’s really great” marketing that helps out game sales. Moves like this or not supporting backwards compatibility would pretty much kill any console.

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Comments on “Sony's Copy Protection Obsession Rolls On?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Not to mention...

What happens if my DVD player or game console breaks? Or what happens if I just want a new or more fancy DVD player?

I guess I will be screwed and forced to buy ALL NEW GAMES AND MOVIES!

From a business perspective, it’s brilliant! Lucky for us consumers, there are all kinds of new forms of entertainment out there these days.

And if something like that ever happens, say hello to ALL content created by us, the consumers. It’s already starting to boom with google video, youtube, flickr, indy music, and the whole “common” network.

In that sense, I say the future is looking bright.

Eat shit entertainment industry.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Not to mention...

I dont think its great for business. This kind of move will force me to switch sides and go with XBox 360 even though I have been a loyal PS series fan.

Limiting media to only one specific unit would be suicide and in the end people just wouldnt want it maybe even encouraging downloading ripped movies, games off the internet?

Happy user says:

No Subject Given

I just got out of Tower Records with the latest Music CD on Sony/BMG’s label. Im sitting in my car, waiting for it to warm up and I pop this new CD in the player so it could be previewed the way home. Once arriving home, I bring my new CD from the car, into the front room entertainment system and expect to listen to it there…. Nope, I can only listen to it in my car now, since it is tied to just that one CD player. I cannot play the CD in the kitchen CD player while making a meal. I cannot play the CD in the bedroom player while getting dressed for work or ready for bed… nor can I bring this new CD to a friend’s house or even car, to demo how great this new song is.

I guess with this “bright idea” sony is pitching, they expect ONE PERSON to own 2 or 3 or even 5 retail CDs for their single personal use… At US$20 cost for a Retail CD, thats a lot of pennies!!!!

bh says:

You may think it's a brilliant business move...

But if there is still a way of getting music content without buying their CD’s, more and more people will move to the alternate way of getting music and away from buying the CD’s. So far, everyone I have told about Sony BMG’s new copy protection has made them mad. I even know a police officer that will no longer buy Sony products and said he would download music illegally before buying another Sony BMG cd.

FireMonkey says:

Re: Umm, not possible

As mentioned above, it’s impossible to lock content to playback unit without either a CD/DVD write mechanism (which would be very problematic) or a constant online connection to check with the mothership. Could this possibly be more geared towards devices like DVR’s? Or personal media players that are locked to a particular content provider (Sony’s version of iTunes)? I can understand how they would want to lock the content at the time of local creation (download, recording, etc.), but locking the content *after* it is already written to a medium like CD or DVD is just silly and propably too difficult to realistically implement.

Johan (user link) says:

Same comment I posted on Joystiq

*sigh* if you spent even 30 SECONDS reading the patent (I read the entire thing), you would see this is a patent for detecting if a disc is mastered in a particular way. Meaning, a defense against home burning, bootleg copies, and other not-through-retail-channels discs.
All this patent describes is how to defeat modchips by examining the structure of the disc itself instead of simply looking for a “This is OK! says Sony” file on the disc.
Oh, and this patent was applied for in 1999 in Japan, and merely being cross-applied for in the States (applied for in 2000, granted in 2004). Meaning this process is most likely already in existance in later PS1s and the PS2 line of hardware.
Joystiq, do some research before fanning the flames.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Same comment I posted on Joystiq

I spent longer than 30 seconds reading the patent and saw this:

It is an object of the present invention to provide a disk recording medium for the protection of legitimate recorded media in which security is maintained so that the sale of used software and counterfeit software can be prevented.

Johan (user link) says:

Re: Re: Same comment I posted on Joystiq

Show me the process or mechanism described in the patent designed to make used software fail.
You can’t. Or at least I can’t find it.
The only processes and mechanism described in this patent are for defeating mod chips by checking to see if the disc was mastered properly, by examining the physical structure of the disc itself.
Why Sony added the text about stopping the sale of used software is beyond me.

deltabob says:

Re: Same comment I posted on Joystiq

Yes, this patent was applied for in 2000 (in the US) and granted over a year ago. If Sony is planning on including this “functionality” in the PS3, they have certainly had plenty of time to implement it.

Also, did you notice that the drawing sheets all detailed the original PS? That’s what made me go back and check the dates *grin*.

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