Would You Install Any Software From Sony At This Point?

from the big-trust-hurdle-there... dept

Sony is out talking about their new video softphone offering that sounds sort of like a Skype clone with video functionality (it’s possible to add video to Skype already through some third parties). Of course, the market for video calls still isn’t totally clear, despite breathless predictions about the space for the past forty years. It turns out that many people prefer to be heard, not seen, when talking to people. However, a bigger question is whether or not the whole rootkit fiasco will make people afraid to install any software from the company. Obviously, the rootkit issue is totally separate, built by an outside firm (First4Internet) and then offered by a separate subsidiary, Sony BMG. However, the Sony name has been pinned to the whole situation, and that may cause plenty of people to have second thoughts about installing any kind of software from Sony for fear of what it might be doing to their system.

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Comments on “Would You Install Any Software From Sony At This Point?”

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ryan says:

Re: yeah i dont like sony no more

yeah thats the way i would go. i was a sony fan boy because of compatibility and such, like linux and usb ports and hdds on a ps2 without modding much if at all, but the fact that they tried to go into someones system and workin from there instead of the removable media sets me off. Sony should take full responsibility, settle the claims, and say there sorry. not that i would trust them for anything near software or even music now, but i might buy a ps3 if the 360 isnt 2 good.

Ewout says:

Re: Re: Nope

I would, you have to realize, Sony is not the only company doing this. Now I wouldn’t buy any of their CD’s to begin with, because I’m not much of a music fan. But, realize that many of the companies are now trying to keep quiet. Just because we found out Sony did something, doesn’t mean we have to boycott sony, I’d say we’d try to find out who else did it.

Sony is now taking a big hit but is not the only company doing things wrong, in fact other companies might now make a profit because of this while doing the exact same thing sony was doing.

I find it rather naiive to completely stop buying sony products, just my opinion. Plus get a good spyware remover, that should do it.

Ima Pseudonym says:

Re: Re: Re: Nope

ahhh, but this way you send a signal to all companies who might consider similar corruption of systems or tampering with personal property.

There has to be punishment for bad behavior otherwise they will continue the behavior and keep pushing to see how far they can take it.

We can’t say well everyone’s doing it, so we gotta put up with it..

Hit em where it hurts. Their wallets.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Forget it

Asbolutely! I will continue to buy Sony as long as the product is worth while. I care very little about rootkit; they tried something, learned that the public wouldn?t let it slide, and pulled it. I see nothing wrong with that. Many, many times, the public do not react in such ways and Sony could have gotten away it. It was a gamble and they lost.

As long as the softphone program is a good product, I?ll be using it.

Aaron Friel says:

Re: Re: Forget it

I care very little about rootkit; they tried something, learned that the public wouldn?t let it slide, and pulled it.

They did the rootkit, after numerous complaints released a ‘patch’ that supposedly added (not removed) code. Then they released a smaller patch, that crashed PCs. All the while they were saying “Don’t worry, don’t worry.” Then finally they released an uninstall program that leaves vulnerabilities in Windows. Way to go Sony, you the MAN!

Jon says:

Re: ha... you pseudo-offended idiots!

I know Sony doesn’t care if I, as an individual, buy their stuff or not. But that’s all I can do to tell them that I’m sick of their proprietary formats, I’m sick of their terrible software, and I’m sick of being treated like a criminal. I will not buy anything more from Sony. If they don’t notice, fine.

Idiot says:

Re: ha... you pseudo-offended idiots!

it’s beena week since you’re shortsighted and meanspirited comment was posted..looks like online attacks on Sony by the regular folks is making quite the impact. Go to any online news source or other news source, read and weep at how wrong you were. Internet activism is the number one reason the ball got rolling against Sony on this. “Nobody even knows what a rootkit is.” Sony was saying a week ago- looks like your not alone in being an idiot, and those you called idiots are the ones making a difference this time around… non-voting idiot, you’re opinion means nothing anyways…you idiotic idiot.

Nondeskript says:

Companies think there is a demand for PAY video ph

With webcam functionality for free through most mainstream IM clients, what demand could there be for a video phone service? Beyond that there are plenty of services out there for webconferencing for profesional settings that have been around anr are of a known quality. What does Sony expect to add that isn’t already there, other than bundling it together with a VOIP service that is untested, making most businesses hesitant to switch from the landlines they have that have worked well for them… I just don’t get what the point of this is, other than maybe trying to get some Sony’s name in the papers for something OTHER than rootkits.

John E. says:

I for one welcome our new Sony overlords...

Seriously, for what Sony did, they came out basically unphased by this. I don’t know what action could be taken legally, but there’s got to be something that some Federal Commission, Congressional hearing can do to expose this story a lot more than it has. A little mudslinging can be a great detterent for other companies.

Besides Techdirt, CNET and Fark, I haven’t seen any media coverage of this.

Furo says:

Um... no...

As much as I’d love to say otherwise, Sony still makes decent electronics gear. However, given their recent flagrant abuses of trust, I can’t say that I would buy *anything* from Sony, software or otherwise.

This is sadly just another case of a little PR, and as they say, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Look at it this way… if the music industry weren’t so insanely profitable, would they be fighting this hard to protect it? And as long as we’re on the subject, would there be so many completely talentless, intellectually inept morons getting rich from it?

For all of the RIAA lawsuits filed, does anyone seriously believe that the effort isn’t bleeding red numbers due to the legal fees and tiny settlements they get in return? That is well funded by record labels and there’s still enough cash left over to make the likes of Brit and K-Fed wealthy.

Jason says:

No Subject Given

I long since stopped putting music cd’s in my computer for fear of this kinda thing happening. I am a big gamer and i’ll be damned if i stop using my PS2 but i’ll think twice before purchasing a sony made PC game, fortunately for me EQ2 looks like crap to me especially after playing the far more beautiful looking and interesting WoW..So many companies are constantly attempting to alter my registry when i download their product though that choice becomes do I want this product or do i want to keep my computer clean of spyware and the like. I’ll tolerate warden to play WoW but I won’t tolerate all the background B.S. Real networks tries to put on my computer even if it means i can’t veiw some files. I geuss it comes down to a trade off and wether it’s worth it or not. These rootkits though seem pretty irresponsible on the part of Sony not too mention shortsighted and of course dangerous, wonder how long it’ll be until we are discussing the newest rootkit inspired virus wreaking havoc on networks worldwide..anyone taking bets?

Eric says:

No Subject Given

The whole root-kit thing boils down to this; if after all this time you still have your cdrom autorun enabled any problems you have are your own fault. Disable autorun and don’t run any programs that are included with the cd and you will have no problems.

As far as future purchases go, if it’s worth the money and the best available product I will buy it.

Robert says:

Re: No Subject Given

“… if after all this time you still have your cdrom autorun enabled any problems you have are your own fault …”

That’s a rather stupid statement. Not everyone knows how to do this and not everyone would want to for various reasons. Why should it be their fault to face this type of problem?

The mistake lies with SONY, not with them. Put it where it belongs.

Eric says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

It’s not a stupid statement at all. If you don’t turn it off any cd with an autorun.ini or setup.exe (to name a few) file will try to run or install software on your computer.

If you can’t take the time to learn how to access software on a cd without autorun you are just plain lazy. Learn how to use your computer. Do you blindly open email attachments? No? Why? Because you don’t want to expose your computer to viruses. So why let your cdrom run anything it wants?

Would you say locking the door to your house is stupid? How about your car? The best way to keep unwanted things out is to make sure they can’t get in.

Joe says:

What's the big deal?

Don’t listen to a couple of moron’s with the wrong opinion. One division of one of the worlds largest corps made a mistake. It’s not like they are trying to take over the world here. This division has nothing to do with anything but music. Your Sony TV isn’t going report if you are watching pirated movies. Don’t get bent out of shape over peoples ignorance of not reading their EULA’s they are there for a reason next time read the EULA before you put the CD in your computer!

Geoff says:

Re: What's the big deal?

Actually, yes, you can bet your backside that your Sony TV will turn you in for watching a pirated movie if it came from Sony Pictures, and Sony can figure out how to make it happen.

And it’s not that Sony got caught doing something sleazy. All corporations do sleazy things to try to maximize profits. It’s practically mandated in our legal code that corporations act this way. For me, it’s about how they handled it (and that DOES go beyond the division level) after they got caught with a hand in the cookie jar.

Now the icing; there was GPL licensed code in their DRM system? They violated copyright to protect their own copyrighted material. That’s beautiful!

I doubt I’ll buy Sony again.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: What's the big deal?

I don’t believe EULAs should even exist. Why should some clause stop me from using a product that I already paid for. If there’s something that would actually deter someone from using their product, it should be made known *before* purchase, not after. Returning CDs and software to certain places isn’t always possible. And who would expect crap like that in an EULA for listening to music?

anonymous coward says:

Re: What's the big deal?

It could even have been only one idiot run amok within that division, even ignoring the warnings of his staff but…

The reluctance Sony showed in correcting it kind of shows otherwise.

And it’s a matter of principle now. Are you willing to prop up a corporation whose objective is to strip your rights using legal and/or illegal methods to do so?

And, I don’t see why I have to accept an EULA if I pay money for a CD

Precision Blogger (user link) says:

Re: What's the big deal?

The EULA does NOT explain what Sony installs. It lies and says the software will not send info back to sony. And the UNinstaller that Sony provided installs files even if you do NOT accept the eula.

It IS a big deal. Sony made a “mistake” that could easily turn 500,000 PCs into zombies snding spam. And they have not yet figured out how to give us software to correct their mistake.

Rocky says:

Re: What's the big deal?

Our apologies to you and all the other “bleeding-heart” EULA reading liberals out there if we offended you.
Maybe these companies should think about writing those stupid things in some language other than “LEGALESE” so that more people could actually UNDERSTAND them.
A cute little cartoon format like “Penny Arcade” would be a nice change…

brad (user link) says:

sony's style

I own a 5 disc sony cd player
2 sony recievers
1 sony television
have bought 3 sony dvd players over the years
I have a sony vcr
and I used to be really proud of that
I honestly will not buy sony equiptment anymore INCLUDING the ps3
and I will never under any circumstances buy music from another sony artist
even if it is modest mouse
-dead serious

Peter R says:

No sony for me

after reading all the comments here I think that all the PS fans will just buy PS3 because they are hooked on it. personally I will never buy any product ever again from Sony or any other company that trys to limit my use to a product that I paid hard earned cash for. they can rent me anything with restrictions like they have but if they leave me a rootkit with that they will pay for it.ironically I read else ware that Sony’s anticopyware contained program code from lame mp3 programs and didn’t adhere to their copyright when they used it in their software.In other words they released copyright protection that brok someelse copyright dus they can break the rules to prevent some else breaking the rules ?


LoneWolf (user link) says:

hell no we wont go

After what sony pulled with their rootkit… no, really, that’s quite all right. And why use that when such things as Skype and now Yak exsist. At the moment I’m still fuming and calling for boycott on Sony. Maybe after the PS3 comes out and I give it a real good look over will they be able to gain my trust and allow me to begin CONSIDERING reaching my hands out to sony once more.

malhombre says:

Install Sony Software?

Not no but hell no, and not because I think that my little purchasing decisions will have any noticeable effect whatsoever on their bottom line.

It is because I am truly afraid of how their next lowdown, dumbass trick might affect my system. They have proven to me beyond the shadow of a doubt that they A) don’t trust me, and B) can not be trusted themselves. I will never install ANY Sony software again, ever, period.

Now, as to their A/V hardware, well that’s another story…

Tiggertoy says:

Sony Music is not Sony Electronics

Sony is a big word and I think we are quick to lump all ’em branches together. The music industry is pushing this copyright protection stuff and they are desperate to try anything.

Will I buy Sony again? Yes, if the price is right. But I will eye anything that goes into my PC with suspicion from now on.

Trust no one.

Computer Nut says:

Sony - Who would buy . . . . . .

Hello – The question is who will buy not only their CD’s but their computers! If they are willing to do a Root Kit on a CD – What are they willing to do to your HD in building you one of their computers? I would not trust Sony – any division – from not snooping on me and my activities. They shot the first shot – ignored their customer base (yes I have many items in my house made by Sony) For Christmas I was going to purchase a 19 LCD for my computer and either a 36 – 42 inch High Def TV. Can you guess what four letter company name is NOT at the top nor on the list? We should all boycott SONY!

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

i dont buy music of software to begin with, so although it may be my fault(kinda), it doesnt affect me(at all).

as far as the ps3 goes, we’ll have to see what happens with the rumors of the software key for games and that they may only be able to run on one system. i hope for sony’s sake they arent dumb enough to try it, but i’ve heard of dumber things, i guess. if they do that, i may just have to mod an old xbox and stick with that and my ps2.

Neal says:

Yep, but...

I think the ‘division’ thing is important. As a (slightly OT?) example, my mobile provider, o2, is about to be bought out by Telephonica. Do I expect my o2 service to plunge to the depths of Telephonica’s? No, they are essentially different businesses.
So will SERE still get money for my aibo? Yes. WIll I still buy games from SCEE? Absolutley. Would I buy a physical Sony BMG CD…I sincerly doubt it.

cw says:

sony products

i still say sony products are great
sony digital tv box, hi-fi, car stereo and cd changer, aiwa minidisc running on sony systems

none of them have given me a problem, except the pc software for the minidisc,

this whole incident will not prevent me buying most sony electrical equipment, and nor should it anybody else, with the except of anything that goes on the pc

and even then if we stopped using that company because of a mistake there wouldnt be any companies out there, micrsoft, ibm, any of them, we would have boycoted each and everyone

Tim (user link) says:

Of course...

Of course nobody posting here would be likely to buy anything else from them. It’s the nature of Techdirt, innit?

This article should’ve been a poll, then we wouldn’t have so many repetitive comments.

The question worth asking is how many non-Techdirt-reading folks do you know who are clued-up on Sony’s evilness? I, for one, made sure my Dad knows not to stick a sony CD in his spodbox, for example.

Obviously, my data: It should go without saying that I’ve been anti-Sony ever since some droid in one of their shops described my first walkman as “buggered” in front of my mother. The datum I bought a minidisk recorder in subsequent years is a sign that I gave them a second chance. The fact that my telly is a panasonic says I consider their offerings to be overpriced. Plus I don’t do gaming machines, let alone when they set out to restrict my imagination in what I can run on such a toy. As for the rootkit? I knew they were evil, now I’m sure and I have enough ammunition to go on with for decades to come. One of my hats is being a sysadmin, so the existence of thousands of CDs out there just waiting to infect unsuspecting/idiot users’ machines gives me palpitations.

tomrowton says:

Full boycott

Forget limiting yourself to software, I’m boycotting anything Sony. I’m in the market for a flatpanel TV, an A/V receiver, possibly a laptop. I know Sony gets high marks on a lot of things, but I won’t buy anything Sony’s had a hand in. Period. I also wish we could find out exactly which codemonkeys churned this out. It’s the pinnacle of irresponsible programming.

justin says:

Re: Full boycott

sony has lost consumer trust by invading our privacy which is strictly not acceptable.

I am never gonna take up anything which has anything to do with sony, unless they come out in public and appologise for their dirty work and promise not to do it ever again.

after all this i would rather download pirated music then buying music.

MindTrigger says:

Re: Re: Full boycott

After watching all the latest Sony news, and then experiencing SOE (Sony Online Entertainment) boning their Star Wars Galaxies MMORPG user base this month, I’m pretty much done with Sony. I would say 75% of the electronics in my house are Sony, and I will be switching to alternative brands from now on.

These days, the suits at these uber-corporations may not care if I call or send in a complaint (customer service is dead), so I simply boycott them. I have a list of companies I will no longer do business with, and Sony is on it now. I may not be doing much damage, but I feel better about not giving them my money.

How many of you are constantly getting hosed by companies, yet you still give them your money? Answer is, most people do.

Tom (profile) says:

Not if there's an alternitive

Sony hasn’t been the only source for devices that do X for awhile (think betamax). Once, they had the coolest electronics (walkman, discman, etc). They’ve created technologies that no one else has adopted for various reasons: memory sticks, MD.

But I can buy a stereo, portable CD (cassette), laptop, MP3 player, car stereo from a number of other vendors.

The only things I can think of as sony exclusives are the artists on Sony Records, Sony movie DVDs, and Playstation.

I don’t have to buy it from Sony. I bought from Sony in the past because their stuff was elegant and worked well. Apple & Sony have lots in common in design.

This root kit is an ugly scar and it signals a move away from elegent design which is the whole reason to buy Sony in the 1st place.

Joe Schmoe says:

No Subject Given

Software? I don’t even want to purchase Sony Hardware any more.

Some of you are kindly (or stupidly) turning a blind eye by claiming that Sony is comprised of so many divisions that it doesn’t matter or have an effect that “one” of them made a bad decision. Yet you fail to see that the demise of the Walkman and its’ marketplace stature can be traced back to their becomming a media company. It should be shameful to them that another company [Apple in this case] was able to walk all over them. It is only in the last year that they have made an [and note that it is only half-hearted] effort to make a Walkman capable of playing anything other than their own proprietary ATRAC encoding. MP3’s can now be played on them, but only by transfer with their accompanying media management software – you can not drag and drop files to and from them as an open device… I fault the ipod for this technicality as well, but at least it will accept and play mp3’s.

MiniDISC never took hold due to this same sillyness. And they still insist on making Laptops and computers that do not support Compact Flash or SD card memory, instead holding fast to their own Memory Stick format.

In truth, Sony’s in-bred, closed-mindedness had turned me away as a customer long before this Rootkit bullshit.

Caleb McG says:

No Subject Given

I won’t install the software because I won’t be buying the software. Sony’s product quality has gone downhill a lot imho. I’ve heard countless stories of dvd players, cd players, and playstation 2 consoles breaking very quickly. Not to mention my own experiences with faulty ps2 equipment.

I’ve really heard their name being drug through the dirt in all aspects lately.

Former Random Sony Fanboy says:


I freely admit to owning exclusively Sony media equipment (DVDs, stereo, CD players, camcorders HDTVs, clock radios, TVs, and the like).

At the time, it seemed like a good idea to buy Sony.

From this day forward I will buy NO Sony products of any sort. That’s just my position and I act according to my beliefs.

Your mileage may vary.

Jim Casey says:


I stopped buying Sony products years ago because of the quality of their products. I have thrown away more Sony products than the law should allow!
As for the rootkit I refused to buy the new CD by Neil Diamond when I found out Sony without asking me was goind to infect my PC.
They seem to think we are all crooks trying to rip them off. All they are doing is killing themselves! The music industry has got it all wrong. Go after the people who really steal the music and not people like me and others who would like to make a copy of a few CD’s and not in mass to give away or sell. At some point in time all a DVD or CD burner will be good for is to copy data files because I’m sure if Sony can figure it out I won’t even be able to make movies from my personal home videos.
Go SamSung!!!

Treepio says:

Neil Diamond

I received the Neil Diamond CD as a gift from a friend. I almost put it in my PC until I heard about the rootkit virus.

I would not install any software from Sony at this point.

I’m a typical consumer and before this I rarely looked at who produced a CD at the music store. Now I will take the time to look and be mindful of buying anything that says either BMG or Sony or whatever. I’ll just pick another CD to buy instead. I don’t want any viruses on my computer.

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