Take This Dunce Hat And Go Sit In The Corner, Sony

from the you-never-learn dept

Sony ought to give up on its existing electronics businesses and just start making broken record players. Time and time again, the company’s digital products have failed because Sony’s made it a bigger priority to close systems and lock down products than to create open ones that are actually useful to customers. Despite the admission in early 2005 from a top Sony exec that DRM was holding the company back, the company doesn’t seem to be listening: a marketing manager for the PSP says Sony hasn’t yet opened an audio and video download store for the device because it hasn’t yet figured out how to implement the DRM. Awesome — instead of giving customers legitimate avenues with which to purchase digital content in a reasonable and attractive manner, they’re spending time figuring out how to make the services and their devices less attractive, less valuable and less useful. So despite any supposed moments of clarity or business turnarounds from Sony, it’s just more of the same. What’s it going to take to make them realize that locking down content and devices so restrictively isn’t good for their business?

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Take This Dunce Hat And Go Sit In The Corner, Sony”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Steve says:

Sony never had a problem creating products that record but that was before they bought Columbia Pictures. Lets face it, the only reason CD and DVD recorders sell so well is because of P2P and being able to burn a movie.

You think with Blue Ray DRM that sales of Blue Ray recorders will be brisk? Many people make there own home movies but not that many. The likes of Sony will have to change people’s lifestyle in order to make considerable return on Blue Ray. What the hell am I going to do with a recordable 50 gig disc if the only thing I can do with it is make a home movie?

Locking down content and devices will be a companies downfall. We already seen the Verizon is starting to change it’s ways with there phones. Companies don’t make no money locking down content and they turn people away.

Wizard Prang (user link) says:

Re: Rubbish

“the only reason CD and DVD recorders sell so well is because of P2P and being able to burn a movie”

Ah, the old “Burners-are-only-used-for-piracy” ploy.

So those who use it to make legal backups of their own disks, or burn legally-downloaded DVDs or store system images or file backups don’t count..?

I don’t think so.

Anne Frank says:

No you cant compete with free

I have a PSP and I have ‘dev hook’ installed. Why would I buy a shitty game if I can download it for free? NHL 2007 looks real good, and I will most likely buy it. If developers quit making shitty games, a majority of people would buy it. I own 2 PC games right now: HL2/CSS, FFXI. Both, I think, are good games. I liked them, so I went out and both them. I downloaded a bunch of games, and like none of them. I played them for maybe 10 min total. So for Sony to use the ‘oh they are running an ISO loader, lets get them’ they should be saying ‘wow they have some l33t apps, like emulators.’ There is nothing wrong with having an emulator/roms if you own the original game. I love playing NHL 93 for Sega on my PSP almost as much as playing it on my Sega. Fuck Sony. 😀

Lay Person says:

Done before...

I remember when Apple was completely proprietary.

Now their kernel is Linux and their chipset is Intel.

Isn’t there something Sony can learn from this?

Proprietary is not necessarily better and may even be more of a burden than any benefit of assuming control.

Apple has tried for years to outdo what was already available and successful for many other manufacturers. If something is clearly better, why go a different route? Necessity drives innovation and usually not profit.

The innovative providers of today are making a profit with existing models or very similar to one another. What is it that makes Sony think that DRM is a working model? I would like one successful example.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Done before...

Um, no, you are misinformed. Apple’s OS X is based on Unix, not Linux. While it may look the same, most forms of Unix are NOT open source and very much proprietary in nature. Furthermore, while the new Macs run on Intel processors, the other hardware is still proprietary. You cannot run Mac OS X on standard PC hardware. You have to buy proprietary Apple hardware in pre-manufactured form from Apple. This is the biggest reason why I will never give Apple any of my money, because not only do I not believe in supporting a completely closed computing environment where I’m stuck with whatever they decide to offer me, but due to the high cost of the R&D for that environment, I can’t afford to buy the end user product. Apple has taken a step in the right direction, but they need to dump their hardware and make OS X run on standard PCs in order to gain back any significant market share.

Back to the topic, while Sony may make good quality A/V equipment, their philosophy on DRM is pathetic. I agree that they need to scale back their business and focus on what they do best. A music store would not be one of those things, especially one with DRM all over the place. And it’s obvious that’s not what they do best because they can’t even figure out how to do it in the first place. I’m all for an iPod killer because I am so sick and tired of hearing about iPods everytime I look at the news, sale ads, etc. But I think the only way to beat it is to come up with a player that rivals the iPod in terms of user interface (which is its best feature) and has no DRM (which is its worst feature).

lar3ry says:

Re: Done before...

Apple’s kernel is based on the microkernel Mach, and based on the BSD version of Unix. Linux is based on the mammoth Linux kernel, which has no relation to Mach.

Apple was able to succeed once Jobs came back because he had the company go back to its roots and its original champions: the artistic people. Try to find a graphics design house without an Apple computer.. it’s difficult, and this was from before the Intel transition.

Apple also uses DRM and has it incorporated in QuickTime and iTunes software products (for Windows and Mac OS X), as well as the iPod. However, all three products can just as easily play unprotected MP3 or MPEG files as well. I know a number of people with iPods that use it as an MP3 player who are a bit confused abuot the entire DRM issue.

DRM isn’t what makes the iPod worthwhile. It makes a lot of music available for it legitimately (as the RIAA would define “legitimate”) through iTunes.

The iPod (and iTunes and QuickTime) also plays unprotected MP3 and MPEG (and other) files, which allows it to play stuff you rip for yourself (from a CD or DVD, for example).

EECE_RET says:

Re: Done before... I think... Actually I don't kno

Gotaa nit pick here… Sorry but it is totally lame when someone rants and can’t get their facts straight! OSX’s kernel is as closely related to linux as a platypus is to a crocodile. Mac OSX is derived from Darwin, the PPC port of FreeBSD and can trace its lineage from S.Jobs NEXT computer company and its BSD based OS OPENSTEP. The OSX kernel is based off the XNU Mach kernel, linux uses its own COMPLETELY different monlithic kernel. If you’re gonna rant get it right. Geez!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Done before... I think... Actually I don't

Noone cares.

OSX is made from UNIX and Linux calls itself a UNIX clone.

The “fact” that osx was bsd and bsd = unix & unix ! linux is irrevelant. Noone cares. Linux calls itself unix and osx is called unix by others. to the general masses that makes osx and linux closely enough related to say they are the same to them. And thats just plain good enough to them.

Monsuco (user link) says:

Re: Done before...

I remember when Apple was completely proprietary.

Now their kernel is Linux and their chipset is Intel.

Apple uses a tweeked BSD as it’s kernel. It cannot use Linux as linux is avalible under the GPL and that would mean OSX would have to be GPLed. I have actually heard Darwin as far as kernals go lags behind the Linux kernel or the standard BSD kernel. Apple still smothers everything with propriatary vernder lock-in. Sony’s digital restrictions managment is their own form of vender lock-in. Sony has lost a lot of buisness over the years due to this. Sony will continue to fail. The HD-DVD format will probably win unless sony sucessfully sacrifices the PS3 to push blueray. HD-DVD also uses DRM, but Toshiba is less likely to want to lock up everything than sony

rijit (profile) says:

Sony shoots itself in the foot time and time again. Look at their new product, the Mylo. A device for playing music, movies, chatting, and surfing the Internet. Hrm, sound a lot like the PSP. So instead of supporting the PSP with some kind of download service they just continue to roll out products without any real support for downloads yet claim their products are exactly for that. They started that song and dance long ago with the hard drive attachment for the PS2 when they promised a hub for downloading music and movies, and didn’t follow through.

Instead of bringing out new products and formats (Blue-Ray) they should take some time to support the products they already have and make good on all their broken promises.

This is why I no longer buy Sony products in the personal electronics area, they never keep their word and quietly break their promises and let their planned service fall by the wayside.

Mike N says:

Re: Sony == arrogance

It’s either arrogance, delusions of living in their own fantasy world, or a combination thereof. Shoot, they’re already making plans for the PS4 (source escapes me, but they’re supposedly aiming to make it a downloads-only service…sound familiar?) as if the PS3 has already succeeded.

Not to mention that it apparently doesn’t matter that their precious Grand Theft Auto franchise is no longer a PS exclusive…

To sum everything up…

lol, sony

jason says:

Same here. I swore off Sony and the only things with thier name on it I buy are games for my PS2. After “Rootkit-Gate ’05” I wrote them an email and attached some pictures. It went something like…

Rant about how the Rootkit is evil yadda-yadda-yadda


Here’s my 62″ Sony TV, I’ll be replacing it with a Samsung when I go Hi-Def. Here’s my Sony 7.1 Surround system with all Sony speakers… when I upgrade it’ll likely be Klipsch. Here’s my PS2 and it’s 30 games, I’ll be buying an Xbox 360 this round. I took these pictures with my, at the time $800 Sony Cybershot, which I will upgrade with a Nikon. I’m in the 18-25 age bracket and have disposable income. I’m sure those other companies will be glad to have my business.

Not even this will work until their bottom-line suffers to the point that they can’t invest in R&D … suicide for a “cutting-edge” consumer electronics comany.

Sell your stock if you own any.

BillDivX says:

Apple good example

Look how much market share apple has grabbed up since moving to more open standards.

I think somebody somewhere in this mess has forgotten that Intellectual Property is not nearly important to a business, as some other things. Say, market share? or public opinion?

I have been boycotting sony for about a year now. I won’t buy their crap anymore. The only thing of theirs I really couldn’t do without, were a few CDs, particularly, system of a down. I just downloaded a ripped copy, and mailed the band $25 dollars with an anonymous letter explaining the situation. I think that proves my point that my actions are for the principal, not just to avoid spending money. when I feel the money is earned, I will try to see that it is recieved.

Anonymous Coward says:

Jason has the right attitude, and I’d like to know when he puts all that stuff on ebay; lets face it, Sony makes some good stuff.

Question: How much does our need drive the market?

Sony can afford to make mistakes, it shouldn’t be surprising they want to find out how much control they can have. Apple has survived, and you’ll never find one in my home, but I made my mom get one because she never has to call me for any help.

There’s a niche for most products, and Sony can afford to find and create new ones, even with ideas we consider lame.

chris says:

Sony becomes Shoddy

Sony has completely lost their way as far as I’m concerned. Besides their arrogance on DRM, they seem to rely too much on the Sony reputation for quality products. I’ve long been a customer, especially of their audio equipment, but recently purchased a LCD television that has been an on-going nightmare (set was replaced once and the same problem arose) due to a control board design problem with their Bravia line. Customer service was a nightmare (the part required two months on backorder). I can’t imagine buying their products in the future. Certainly the idea of paying more for their brand name is a lesson I’ve painfully learned to my detriment. I’ll be curious to see what happens with the release of the PS3 (I’ll likely go with the Xbox 360) if the product quality and poor service is anything like my experience.

EECE_RET says:

Re: Sony becomes Shoddy

To hell with the PS3, after the quality issues with their optical drives in the PS2 (my house has gone through 5.. yes 5 PS2’s I even built a pedestal/enclosure to minimize dirt/dust from entering the unit and they still refuse to play ANY media after a mere year of use. I don’t plan on EVER buying a PS again (except when GT5 comes out… What can I say I’m an addict!)

High and Mighty says:

Same old story

Sony is absolutely obsessed with closed proprietary formats and extreme miniaturization (compact size) of their products. When you look at a Sony product (in general) you notice two things: proprietary format and a product focus on compact size (at the cost of usability in many cases). The former is a deal killer for me. I won’t support a company with closed formats. I’d have a PSP player now if it was more open. Same goes for the MP3 player. Earth to Sony – get your act together.

Snurfle says:

Profit Mongers

I just bought a $185 Sony DVD player.

I tried to burn a DVD from a hitachi video cam of my daughter’s new marching band performance.

It won’t play the DVD because of “area restrictions”. (It’s a region 1 player, and a region 1 burner.)

After researching the error message, I actually downloaded some ‘shady’ software titles to try and get a working DVD.

6 discs later, both + and -, still no go.

But here’s the kicker… my neighbor spent $30 for his no-name player AT THE GROCERY STORE, and it plays the discs just fine.

So let’s see… They encouraged me to buy several spindles of blank DVD’s, download some hackers tools for DVD copying, copy protection bypassing, and region-changing; all just to watch my daughter play her flute.

Now that I have all of this stuff, somebody explain why I shouldn’t just start copying netflix movies!

Thanks, Sony!

Snurfle says:

Profit Mongers

I just bought a $185 Sony DVD player.

I tried to burn a DVD from a hitachi video cam of my daughter’s new marching band performance.

It won’t play the DVD because of “area restrictions”. (It’s a region 1 player, and a region 1 burner.)

After researching the error message, I actually downloaded some ‘shady’ software titles to try and get a working DVD.

6 discs later, both + and -, still no go.

But here’s the kicker… my neighbor spent $30 for his no-name player AT THE GROCERY STORE, and it plays the discs just fine.

So let’s see… They encouraged me to buy several spindles of blank DVD’s, download some hackers tools for DVD copying, copy protection bypassing, and region-changing; all just to watch my daughter play her flute.

Now that I have all of this stuff, somebody explain why I shouldn’t just start copying netflix movies!

Thanks, Sony!

PJ says:

Send Sony a message with your purchase dollars

The fact that Sony is behind the curve is not a surprise but frankly it matters not to me because they already lost me as a customer. Prior to the arrogance that Sony displayed when it invaded the privacy of its customers by installing spy-ware on its customer’s personal computers, I was an “ALL SONY” type of consumer. The Sony logo was on everything I owned in audio and video components, digital camera, camcorder, and yes even the not so successful Sonly Clie PDA to replace a long-standing relationship with Palm.

Recent consumer electronics purchases include an 8MPdigital camera, a portable DVD player, a 60 GB Video iPod, and a 52” HDTV none of which have a Sony logo. I’m voting with my wallet and the vote is not for Sony. By the way, freedom from proprietary, locking technologies like Memory Sticks feels pretty good too!

shane says:


Sony just introduced a new phone/gadget/movie/thing

called mylo. it’s gona use skype on wifi, play mpg4, music, and lots of other fun things…

I think they are changing things… Maybe all their levels aren’t working togeather but this thing looks cool.

btw i have a psp and love it, i wish i could record on umd but i have a couple 2 gig memory sticks i am able to do everything else i want. I’m satisfied with parts of sony. Some of their tv’s are nice too. Pricy but nice. Personally i’m saving for one now.

Sony Mylo source:


YouKnowNothing says:

Re: Re:

Yes the Mylo looks pretty nice, except for one GLARING mistake:

No hard drive.

Give the Mylo an 20 gig (hell, even a 10 gig) HDD and I’d buy one today. 1 gig memory sticks just won’t cut it for all the movies, music, and pictures I want to take on my next vacation.

Stupid, stupid, stupid, Sony. Pure Stupidity.

still shane says:

Re: Re: Re:

well then don’t buy it. the reason i posted is to show that i believe maybe sony is going in the right direction.

Not to sell it to you.

if you really need 20 gigs for movies maybe you can take a usb portable hard drive, rig a battery supply and just till your heart’s content.

Personally i have just over 2.75 gigs and that’s 417 songs and 1.2 days of music. Maybe you don’t need as much as you think. Unless youare a dj>>>>

Fed-Up says:

This is a very old story

The last thing I bought from Sony was a Bata Max VCR. It had a superior picture quality to VHS and Sony promised that it would cut a deal with all the motion picture studios to support the format…well we know how that turned out. If the consumer can’t get the videos, music or games they want to use, in the format they have, the life span of the product is reduced to the time it takes to buy something that will.

That’s the last time I bought into Sony’s lies.

Wizard Prang (user link) says:

Re: Congratulations...

…you’re in a minority of… er… one! So na na etc…

Seriously though, Sony used to make great hardware; then they got greedy and stated trying to force proprietary formats down our throats in an attempt to lock us in to their products.

I am sure that they make good TVs (look ma – no apostrophe!), but if they could make a proprietary TV, I am sure that they would.

John Q Public says:

C'mon now...

The only reason I own burned CDs and DVDs is because the originals aren’t mine. the only reason I have burned CDs and DVDs is because I didn’t want to lend out the originals.

Backups my ass, I probably have a dozen or so CDs that are compilations or whatever, but please, we burn to save $$$.

BTW — more than once I’ve gone out and bought the original because it was worth it.

Sony has a right to try what they want, and we have a right to say F U Sony, that rootkit was bullshit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Simply put...

Sony has a long history of trying to control the markets it has been in (good business sense when properly applied). Unfortunately they are slipping on the quality that originally earned them a good name, and they have repeatedly shown that they don’t care about the consumer.

When they put control over their product as a higher priority than quality then you get a product that is crap. I think they put quality over control with the PSP (except the crap UMD format) but then you have hacks all over the place for it from day 1.

I personally will never buy a PSP (I finally got a DS a week ago and it was only after playing a demo of the New Mario game) and I plan on going with the Wii in the next round of the console wars (partly because I have kids, mostly for the Nintendo only licenses). There is a company that kept their head on straight and maintained a closed format at the same time. They may have come in third in the current round but they stayed in the game. If only the Dreamcast had survived, and its even hard to find downloads for it now.

Bob says:

I really used to like Sony, I have a older camcorder from them that is still working, and one of the first DVD players from them that still works great. But, now, they DRM everything they sell, and they have horrible tech support and make horrible products. One of my issues with Sony, I bought the $45 Sony headphones that were made for the iPod. I used them with my iPod, and didn’t listen to them as loud as I could. One day, the left speaker blew. I called sony, and they said it would be $35 to replace and they would be refurbished. I went into Best Buy where I purchased them, and they said it was still under the limited Sony warranty that Sony said was expired. The Mylo, will be crap, like every other Sony product. Sony really needs to start thinking about the consumer.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

the main aspect of their business is lawsuits – they’re making a fortune from p2p companies (why bother licensing them and trying to make money when you can sue them for all their worth) and they dont need to sell products to consumers anymore, the just sue file sharers and recoup the money that way – its sort of like a compulsory license only with the courts as a collection agency !! ha ha ha

rot in hell sony you’ll never see a cent from me

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...