Sony CEO Brushes Off Rootkit Fiasco

from the eh.--consumers.--who-needs-'em? dept

Sony’s CEO Sir Howard Stringer was at CES last week, and it gave a chance for reporters to finally ask him about the Sony BMG rootkit fiasco — to which he seemed rather dismissive. “Clearly the perception out there is that we shouldn’t be doing too much of that copy protection stuff.” The perception? A more accurate statement would be that the perception is that you shouldn’t treat all your customers like criminals, while opening up huge security holes on their computers. That’s a bit different — and suggests he doesn’t actually see the seriousness of this whole thing. He then trots out the corporate line about “balance”: “We have to walk the line at Sony between the needs and technology of the customer and the rights of the artist.” Which artists are those? The ones fighting back against their own label to make sure copy protection isn’t included on their CDs? The ones who feel the need to recall their own CDs and offer burned CDs in exchange, because Sony pissed off all of their fans? Apparently, he’s been talking to different artists. As for the PR hit from the rootkit fiasco, Stringer is somewhat upset… not because of the bad PR, but because the bad PR focused on Sony and not Sony BMG. He literally complains that it “was somewhat unfair” that Sony’s name got dragged down, and he wished all of it was focused on the company that still is a subsidiary of Sony last we checked.

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Comments on “Sony CEO Brushes Off Rootkit Fiasco”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Sony still does not get it.

I am now amazed by the number of non technical
people who now avoid Sony products.

If the CEO does not see the PR disaster now – then he may not realise there is a problem till he is looking for a new job!

The internet may be the greatest tool for having people reward firms who treat customers well and punish those who voilate their trust – and many have lost their trust in the Sony brand.

Let’s check in 6 months to see how Sony is
doing. The result could be surprising!

Travis says:

Didn't handle it well, but..

In Stringer’s defense, he has stated that Sony has been too wrapped up in copyright protection in general–with or without the latest fiasco–and that by dedicating so many resources to it, they’ve lost sight of innovation. This has helped Apple dominate the mp3 player market, the Xbox to take large chunks out of their share of the gaming market, etc. etc. Pretty obvious stuff, but it needed to be said by their CEO. And, though he makes the big bucks for times exactly like this, getting asked the same question every single day about the one thing you don’t want to talk about has to become annoying. Still, seems like it would be easier to handle if he just said something to the effect of “Yep, it was a terrible idea, a worse product, and it won’t happen again.”

saltydogmn says:

Where's the offline uninstaller?

I have a co-worker who has run afoul of the MediaMax Digital Restrictions Manglement on his PC. As I have explained to the shills on the Yahoo SNE message board, this fine gentleman knows about as much about rootkits, as Sony apologists do about ethics – not a measurable amount at all. He has asked for my help in fixing his PC. It currently will not allow him to play any audio cds, nor will it allow him to archive his family holiday photos on a CDR, since the MediaMax has somehow disabled his burning capabilities. Of course, the Sony shills call my postings “properganda”; I guess they are cutting costs in their shill ESL courses, in addition to slashing jobs worldwide. At any rate, he will not allow Internet Exploder to run on his machine, and it is ludicrous to think you can require anyone to run one massive security nightmare, in order to “repair” your own security vulnerability. You absolutely MUST release an offline, downloadable uninstaller program to fix this egregious behavior.
Sir Howie, this is NOT a drill – Sony is failing, miserably, and you are losing customers faster than you can imagine. This is happening right now, as we speak, and you’re just fiddling around while Tokyo burns all around you.

haggie says:

No Subject Given

If you’ve ever been in a meeting or conference call with a group of Sony employees, you’ll know exactly what the problem is. Everything at Sony is done by committee and everyone makes sure their asses are completely covered.

I can’t imagine the amount of internal fingerpointing over the rootkit fiasco, but I’ll bet $100 nobody got fired, reprimanded, or even got so much as a stern lecture.

Sad to see that the CEO is buying the same line of crap from Sony Music that Sony Music has been selling to the public about how piracy is destroying their business. Look at yourselves, YOU are destroying YOUR business.

duodave (user link) says:

In the end it wont matter

To tell you the truth, people have short memories and Sony’s holdings are vast. The percentage of customers who are even aware of the rootkit and would allow it to infuence their buying, I think, are a small percentage. And people will forget this mess overall, probably within six months. It’s like RSS. I heard a statistic the other day that like less than 3% of internet users are knowingly using RSS feeds.

Dave (user link) says:

Re: In the end it wont matter

I ranted loud and long about Sony before Christmas this year, urging people to boycott them every chance I had.

Well, at four different Christmas get-togethers in my family (Mother, Parents-in-law, a step-daughter with step-granddaughters, and an aunt and uncle), I was pleased to see no Sony products as gifts this year.

I won’t forget, and articles like this only tend to remind me of why I urged the boycott in the first place.

tracelan says:

No Subject Given

I was going to buy a CD a few days ago then I looked on the back and saw Sony / BMG and put it back. I have two Sony TV’s, I will not buy another one. I will not buy anything with Sony on it again. I would like a PSP but I will never buy one. Same for the PS3 when it comes out. My kids have a PS2, I buy them games for my xbox now and let them play on the 50″ Samsung.

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