Sony Pictures CEO: Nothing Good Has Come From The Internet

from the and-that-is-why-you-fail dept

We were just talking about how Sony CEO Howard Stringer was lamenting the fact that Sony didn’t embrace openness and new technologies like the internet earlier. Perhaps part of the problem is the execs who work under him. Mathew Ingram points out that at a recent panel discussion the CEO of Sony Pictures, Michael Lynton, said: “I’m a guy who doesn’t see anything good having come from the internet. Period.”

Perhaps that explains why you’re failing to figure out how to embrace it?

I recently wrote up something for Open Forum talking about how every threat is really an opportunity. A threat just means that someone else may have figured out how to serve your customers/community better. That should be seen as an opportunity for you to serve your community/customers better. An exec today who views those opportunities as threats, as apparently Michael Lynton does, shouldn’t still have a job. It’s bad for business. It’s bad for shareholders. And it’s bad for customers. Saying that there’s nothing good that has come from the internet suggests someone so lacking in vision that it’s scary he still has a job running a major motion picture studio.

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Companies: sony

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Comments on “Sony Pictures CEO: Nothing Good Has Come From The Internet”

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Aaron Martin-Colby (profile) says:


Don’t even get me started on executives!

Suits and ties and no skills whatsoever. It doesn’t matter from whence they came, be it Harvard or Antigua, they’re so frequently idiots.

What happens is that, sometime in the past, someone with great talent and insight creates a company. They design the machine that is the company very well, such that after they are gone, the machine continues to operate perfectly.

Most executives are barely needed. They sit in their big offices, thinking that they’re important, until they’re 65 and the next bozo moves in. As long as the world stays the same, the machine continues to function.

Only when the world changes are the idiots separated from the talent. Just look at all the cataclysmic failures in history when the market changed. IBM, American steel and railroad, GM, the current financial crisis, Apple, the music industry, Pan Am, and any other of a number of companies.

These useless piles of human waste piss and moan, scream and sue, and generally make a noise because they’ve been revealed to be idiots, and suddenly the world doesn’t work the way it used to. They don’t know what to do, so they blame anything handy.

They don’t see opportunity because they’re clueless. They don’t want opportunity. They want things to stay the same so they can sit behind their big desk and feel like they’re doing something.

Phoenix says:

Re: Executives

@AMC – you are SOOO right. In far too many cases, big established companies are being run by executive administrators. They preside over financial and operations-oriented peons who monitor the machine and make sure it is well oiled. At the first sign of disruption, these administrators are dead.

The Cenobyte says:

every threat is NOT really an opportunity

While I understand your point that threats are often opportunities, I think the point oversimplifies it a bit, in the same way SWOT oversimplifies it in the other direction. Not all threats to your business are opportunities even if they often are. It’s important to be able to recognize the difference, and often in business they mistake one for the other.

I could go into listing dozens of examples of things that could be true threats to a business (War, work force loss, commoditizing of products, end of patents, seizure of assets), but are not always. One thing often being mistaken for the other does not make them the same thing it just makes people mistaken.

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

Perhaps they mean that nothing good has come from the internet FOR THEM. It’s bad for them. It exposes all kinds of opinions and news (that they wouldn’t want exposed) that get censored from mainstream media. It’s bad for the rich and the powerful, which is why they say no good has come from it (for them). But good has come from it for society. This just goes to show you that whenever big corporations and special interest groups lobby for something they are acting in THEIR best interest and when they say that something is good for society they mean THEM (not society as a whole). When they say that patent / copyright extension is good for society that really means it’s bad for society and good for them.

M-Dub says:

Well I think we should explore his argument a little –

What good has come from the internet?

People can bitch at eachother from across the pond now.

The general public can gain access to copyrighted material.

Kids can watch loads of porn without employing their older siblings.

It’s now possible to shop from your ass.

Me says:

Re: M-dub

1) bitch at each other from across the pond — reduced violence
2) gain access to copyrighted material — good for me
3) kids porn watching — hmmm- parents not doing their job prior to the internet still produced kids exposure to bad influences (smoking, drugs, drinking, PORN vids & mags)
4) shop from your ass – reduce driving emissions, reduce traffic, helps people with phobias, handicaps, transportation issues; employs more for delivery services

if anyone thinks that the statement from this idiot at sony is in any way favourable, they need mental help, nor should partake in anything that requires logical thinking. of course their will be a few issues to any great thing, it shouldnt employ the attitude of ‘a few rotten apples spoil the bunch’

zZZZ says:

wake up people

M-dub has a point, but it’s almost as shortsighted as sony’s. Sure kids watch porn, and torrents are great, ebay/amazon? woohoo… BUT counter weight that bs with wiki, online colleges, alternatives to spoon fed media.. and infinite other good uses.

The 500lb gorilla in the room is ‘information’.

Obviously an encyclopedia entry is information, but that means a recording of a movie or song is too, nothing more. Very little ‘SERVICE’ is rendered, now that the theater is a media player, the distribution trucks are modems, and the record a hard drive.

It’s pretty obvious why some guy with no talent and some elite degree would feel threatened when his money for nothing train is slowing down.

Enter apple/itunes > “”great all those real world logistics of this industry are gone and we can charge just as much? awesome.. more money for nothing, and all these retards will pay because they know we sue 13 year old girls.””

It’s greed. simple as that.

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

If it were up to the rich and the powerful they would suppress the Internet under the pretext that it’s bad for society, that terrorists can use it, that people can use it to violate intellectual property, etc… and there would be no Internet. They would lie to us and claim that the world is a better place without the Internet. They may have an Internet of their own but they wouldn’t want us to utilize such a thing. Of course they can’t claim that now because everyone knows better. But had they had the foresight to stop the Internet ahead of time they would have probably succeeded under some pretext that the world is better without it. Just like they successfully deceive us into thinking that intellectual property that lasts forever minus a day is better for society when in fact its not. I think there is so much deception, especially when it comes to medicine (ie: the suppression of natural medicine, the skewing, fabrication, suppression, and hiding of studies (in support of expensive patented drugs), etc…), but people easily buy into it because the entities that benefit from this deception have the resources to deceive us.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Free The Net!

Free the Net!……………or is it Free Tibet! The heck with it, they should both be FREE.

Sony’s so self centered they actually have people who believe nothing good has come from the internet. Information! plain and simple. They don’t like it because they can control it like they can control other forms of media.

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

“Sony Pictures CEO: Nothing Good Has Come From The Internet”

It would be interesting to know if this same person has the Internet at his house. If he does, he’s a hypocrite, for clearly he has it because it’s of some value to him. In other words what he means is that it does not help him (the rich and the powerful) when others (the poor and the powerless) have the Internet. But the Internet is good for him to have.

It would also be interesting to know if Sony itself ever uses the Internet for anything. Do their employees use the Internet? Uhm …. they seem to have a website. That seems to be good for Sony. If no good has come from the Internet, why even have a website? It’s no good.

Anonymous Coward says:

If one assume that it takes a number of years to become CEO of a company then one could safely assume that CEO of Sony is in his 60s.

If one also assumes that one view of life is formed by the time one id 20 years old then the question becomes what view of life would a person have who formed their view 40 years ago.

2009 – 40 = the 1950s

1950s Japan was not a nice place.

Ronald J Riley (profile) says:

We agree

Mike, when you are not writing nonsense about patents and inventors you do occasionally make some good points and this is one of them. Sony used to represent an excellent brand but today “Sony is style without substance”. Both their products and service are garbage. After spending about $10,000 on three notebooks which looked great but suffered from serious deficiencies and having to put up with Sony disservice I no longer consider any Sony products.

Sony has lost its edge and that is probably a result of poor management.

Ronald J. Riley,

Speaking only on my own behalf.
President – – RJR at
Executive Director – – RJR at
Senior Fellow –
President – Alliance for American Innovation
Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
Washington, DC
Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 – 9 am to 8 pm EST.

theskyrider (profile) says:


Sure, it’s an infamous year. We all know what happened in September, but let me relate to you what happened to me in July.

My previous camcorder died a gruesome death while I was in Florida on vacation. I decided to go with a Sony Hi8 camcorder and added a high-capacity RCA Lithium battery to go with it. Charged both batteries that night, and the next day me and the family went to the Space Museum.

About a third of the way through, the Sony InfoLithium battery died, so I switched over to the RCA battery (which was supposed to work with the camcorder, even had the model listed on the packaging of the battery.) So, I slapped it in, and the camera gives me a warning. “Sony InfoLithium batteries only.” And shut down.

I was not pleased.

That was the last time I bought anything retail that had the Sony name on it. There may have been electronics purchased that had Sony parts in them, (thank goodness it wasn’t any of my laptop batteries,) but no Sony brand-name stuff for me.

TheSkyRider – happily boycotting SONY Since 7-11-2001.

Just a side note for all the newbies out there: 2001 is when the SSSCA, later known as the CBDTPA, started to circulate. You might know this as the ‘Fritz Chip” law. If Sony (along with the rest of the entertainment industry) had gotten their way back then, this blog article wouldn’t exist today…

TDR says:

Re: 2001

That’s it? That’s your great Sony blunder? Mislabeled batteries? Man, you are fickle. Companies the size of Sony are made up of hundreds, even thousands, of people with only a relative few in upper level decision-making positions. Are all the company’s employees automatically evil, greedy sobs just because they happen to work there, even the lower rung folks that actually do the work? You’re happy punishing them too? Not that any boycott really does anything, because companies get paid long before their product gets to the stores. It’s the stores that boycotts hurt, not the companies you’re boycotting against.

Just because a high-level exec thinks a certain way doesn’t mean everyone in the company thinks the same way. I work for a large company as a graphic designer and I know that’s true. Management and the grunts often have a different view on how to do things, but it’s always the execs that get to dictate it because they’re the ones in power. Companies need to move away from the old pyramid structure, but you won’t see any old guard companies do that very often because it means that the upper level would have give up some of their money and power, which they will never willingly do.

Bottom line, go off on the Sony execs all you want, at least the ones we’ve seen who are making these idiot decisions. But don’t bash the whole company because then you’re punishing the many for the shortsightedness of the few, which is itself shortsighted.

Derek Kerton says:

Re: Re: 2001


He’s not angry at sony for “Mislabeled batteries”. He is angry because Sony deliberately programmed their product to NOT WORK. He bought a battery with the right voltage, the right form factor, but still his camcorder rejected it because it didn’t have a majic “I’ve paid Sony” password. That is a deliberate “# you” to the customer.

There are enough problems getting things to work together under ideal circumstances. Any company that tries to make it harder should expect to suffer consequences in the market.

Sony has a long history of trying to push proprietary formats on their customers so they can make money from the entire accessory and content ecosystems. They do this despite the fact that more popular open standards already exist. Betamax, Memory Stick, OpenMG DRM for music, all come to mind.

I might have bought a Vaio laptop once, but it had a memory stick slot and not SD, so I accepted their right to memory-stick it to me, and bought a Toshiba instead.

I would advise Sony to try to delight their customers, and to try to make their products as useful and compatible as possible. This will increase demand and long-term brand value. Locking your customers in increases short-term revenue and damages brand. Bad call.

You say he should not punish the many Sony workers because of some executive decisions. But to the consumer, the company is a single entity. A single brand. He can’t buy a Sony camcorder from the good workers, but not from the bad ones. On the other hand, if Mino Flip offers a camcorder with a good customer experience, he can reward them for their efforts… and the market definitely has.

Eric Vigo says:

Re: Re: Re: 2001

I think a problem in the ‘small’/’tiny’ etc workers at Sony, is that most of them don’t REALLY care where they are working. So long as they can get paid, which then pays for the other things you do in life: trying to pay off mortgages on houses that they can’t afford; accumulating products that look good and have good feeling projected onto them; lots of leisure time spent watching others be physical, which they occassionally or daily walk on an electric walking treadmill (the streets are so dangerous!) and over educate their kids so they make them look good!

When any of us works for someone else, and it is lucky we enjoy the work, the need to watch the clock is minimalised. Reverse, and its steal from the stationary cabinet (like I used to) and look at Facebook.

But because most people are followers, or need to be accepted by peers, most follow each other. The fun in life is mostly gone, and its about making it through life to fulfil what you have to, and have as much fun on the weekend (only the weekend of course, cause the working week is so…. boring).

So if I boycotted Sony, it wouldnt do much due to economies of scale, but it wouldnt directly affect or not affect the workers.

My solution would be: take a risk and be different, think of something that isn’t being done presently for people, and do it. Then let that blossom and become whatever it will be.

But then again, if it wasn’t for the ideas-less workers, no actual work that ideas people stay away from, would get done……

DER says:

Re: Re: 2001

I like this comment. I see one thing that the internet has helped to foster and that is, blind hate and rage, because we disagree with the ideas of others. Why can’t we debate freely with those we disagree with and not try to punish and destroy then. It’s still America where all can express themselves without fear of punishment. Or is it????? The internet make it easier to express hate and rage than it is when you actually have to face someone man on man.

As with all tools used by imperfect Humans the internet has both a good and a dark side. Not unlike all of us. We must stride to stay on the good side. It that not what life is all about?

Ima Fish says:

The more interesting quote came from Nora Ephron who said,

“We’re in the last days of copyright, if you want to be grim about it….Stop it. I dare you.”

Does she honestly think that Disney and Viacom would ever let copyright die? Is she completely ignorant about secret meetings to make copyright even more draconian? Doesn’t she realize that copyright is so fricken prevalent in our lives that’s practically impossible to go an entire day without infringing a copyright?

Nora, copyright is not dead nor is it dying. It’s merely been stretched so far to your advantage that nearly every citizen in this country is technically a criminal under the law. Are you happy now?

lordmorgul says:

Re: Re:

When every citizen in the country violates a law incidentally (meaning they can’t help but do it because the law is so inappropriate) it becomes completely unenforceable and therefore benign. I think this is the point being made by Nora Ephron about the end of copyright. It becomes impossible to enforce copyright, as we have seen already with the continued attempts to create protected media through locks and encryption (SecuROM, SafeDisk, etc). Any media product that is usable is also exploitable, and the gap between those two extremes will continue to narrow with technological advance rather than the other way around.

No attempt at digital content copy protection has been successful to date. This is something that companies need to realize and counter with active adjustments to their business model. Even if you have legal protections, it is not going to be an enforceable protection in the near future, which means it is no protection at all. To remain profitable these companies will need to adapt to what technology is doing to eliminate ‘information control’.

As Machiavelli so appropriately wrote centuries ago, information is a source of power and the control of information is what these companies have been banking on. When they lose that, they see nothing but evil in it, by choice.

Anonymous Coward says:

It’s easy to pick on the “big guys” and call them all sorts of names expressing indignation because they would like to be paid for the products they create. “They stifle my creativity.” “They rip off artists, earning big $$ while the artists earn a mere pitance.” “They want me to access their products on their schedule, and not mine…which is right NOW.” “They charge too much, so I will teach them a lesson by just taking a copy of their product from somewhere else.” Etc.

Before launching off, however, on an invective laden rant, it might be useful to pause for a second and think about what these “big guys” (and a lot of “little guys”) have done over the years that have benefited all of us. The production of music that has enthralled us. Movies that have served as endless sources of entertainment. Books that have informed us to all sorts of the human condition (my favorite contemporary one being To Kill a Mockingbird, though there are many that run a very close second). Software that has placed at our disposals capabilities that for many years were on the stuff of science fiction. These examples are but a minor subset of what these industries have done and provided that have helped shape the nature of our society.

Rather than villify them, I believe they deserve out gratitude for what they have done to help enrich all of our lives to varying degrees.

Call them “old foggies”. Call them “dinosaurs”. But whatever you call them, take the time to think about what life would likely be now without the time and effort that all participants in these industries expended.

Phoenix says:

Re: It's easy to pick on the "big guys"

@Anonymous Coward – I don’t think you understand. The issue being discussed here is NOT the value of the creative content producers that developed all of the classics that you refer to. In between the content producer and the consumer is where the problem lies. This is where the resistance to change is rooted. I believe the resistance is based on varying combinations of ignorance, fear, and greed. The sad thing is, these dinosaurs are fighting to protect the business they know with a market size of X instead of trying to innovate and embrace a market size of 10X or 100X (non-scientific guess). The consumers AND the content producers are both starting to get frustrated and have begun to go around the dinosaurs the same way water goes around a rock.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: It's easy to pick on the "big guys"

Actually, I do understand. It is just that my patience is running short with those who rant against “big content” and the personification of all that is “evil”.

“Big Content” has adjusted in the past each time a new technology has come forward that challenges the status quo. It adapted to broadcast. It adapted to cassettes. It adapted to video tapes. It adapted to CDs and DVDs. It will adapt to the internet, just as it will adapt to whatever new technologies follow on the heels of the internet. However, adapting takes time for “Big Content”. They are much like huge oil tankers. They can and will change course, only they cannot do so by turning on a dime.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: It's easy to pick on the "big guys"

“Big Content” has adjusted in the past each time a new technology has come forward that challenges the status quo. It adapted to broadcast. It adapted to cassettes. It adapted to video tapes. It adapted to CDs and DVDs. It will adapt to the internet, just as it will adapt to whatever new technologies follow on the heels of the internet. However, adapting takes time for “Big Content”. They are much like huge oil tankers. They can and will change course, only they cannot do so by turning on a dime.

That’s a rather idyllic and historically inaccurate way of putting it. What you leave out is all the damage they’ve left in their wake every time they “adapt.” What some of us are doing is trying to help them adapt faster, and every time they resist, they end up doing an awful lot of damage to those more innovative than themselves. It’s quite sad.

Steve says:

Re: Re: Re: It's easy to pick on the "big guys"

That’s not our problem. If you can’t get your business to keep up with the pace of current progress then you don’t deserve to fail. Why do people get the impression that you have some sort of right to stay in business? You have the right to open one, the right to set whatever prices you feel the product is worth, but the market will determine whether or not you get to STAY in business.

Phoenix says:

Re: Re: Re: It's easy to pick on the "big guys"

“Big Content” has adjusted in the past each time a new technology has come forward that challenges the status quo. It adapted to broadcast. It adapted to cassettes. It adapted to video tapes. It adapted to CDs and DVDs. It will adapt to the internet, just as it will adapt to whatever new technologies follow on the heels of the internet.

The difference between the previous changes that you refer to and the changes being driven by the Internet is the degree of control that the content distributors have over the change that is underway. This is the first time in history (I believe) that the artists and content providers have an increasingly viable means of bypassing the ‘big company’ content distributors. And THAT in my opinion is why there is so much fuss. It’s an issue of control (first priority) hiding behind an issue of $$ (second priority) and being argued as an issue of artists rights (not credible – these people have been screwing the artists forever).

Derek Kerton says:

Re: Re: Re:2 It's easy to pick on the "big guys"

Pheonix, I agree, and it’s deeper than that. Every one of those technologies helped big media, and gave them something else to sell. Technology advances have usually HELPED big media, like gramophones, cassettes, CDs, Dolby, better audio equipment, digital studio equipment, colorization technology, IMAX, SGI workstations for Pixar to use, etc, etc, etc.

No problem or complaint from industry when innovation and change helped them. Not too much talk from them about how they should give revenue shares to the people who invented these technologies.

And, ironically, they fought half of the technologies that benefitted them, just out of fear of change. Ahhh! Talkies!!! What will become of the motion pictures! Whither radio? Oh no, VCRs!

Now, just invent one technology that doesn’t behoove them, and watch the full force of their legal and lobby departments.

Technology is a tool. It cuts both ways. Sometimes you can use it to your gain, sometimes it is disruptive against you. Tough.

Raybone says:

Re:It's easy to pick on the "big guys"

@ AC

“”Big Content” has adjusted in the past each time a new technology has come forward that challenges the status quo.”

Um no, they fought every step of the way. They were forced into adjustment by the market and the public.

“However, adapting takes time for “Big Content”. “

Hence all the new and fresh companies that will supplant them in the market when they cannot “turn on a dime”. This is good for everyone except for the slow dinosaurs who die out. Natural Selection is a good thing. Our corrupt politicians really know there is NO company that is too big to fail, they just don’t want to bite the hands(not ours) that feed them. This is a bad thing.

Justin says:


If the internet is bad why does Sony have a website, If Google is bad for newspapers, why do the newspapers not cut ties? I am not sure what to think less about these companies for, the fact they complain about things in their control or their complete inability to take advantage of them. I really think these companies are looking for publicity, I can’t imaging that they would really be that dumb and ignorant to not imbrace anything that gets you closer to your customer, on second thought maybe they are.

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

“It’s greed. simple as that.”

It’s selfishness. Many of the rich and powerful become that way not because they are smarter and more innovative than the rest of us, but because they are more unethical.

By Mike
“What you leave out is all the damage they’ve left in their wake every time they “adapt.””

Exactly, by lobbying the government to pass laws that help them at the expense of everyone else.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Exactly, by lobbying the government to pass laws that help them at the expense of everyone else.”

How have YOU been personally been hurt by the existence of copyright law? Has DRM hurt you, or has it inconvenienced you? Has the controlled release of a movie on a date certain hurt you, or has it merely delayed the date you were able to watch it? Has the fact an author like Tom Clancy writing a book about a submarine kept you from writing one of your own about a submarine? Has Warner Music ever threatened you because you wrote an original music score? Have you sustained the loss of close friendships because you could not give a friend a copy of a copy-protected disc? Has a publisher ever shown up at your door and bellowed that you could not lend a book to a friend?

Derek Kerton says:

Re: Re:

OMG you must never read this blog!!! To answer you: YES, YES, YES.

DRM: sometimes I can’t play music and movie files that I’ve bought. I can’t play them on the device that I want. I bought them on my Tivo, but decided I wanted to watch on a laptop on an airplane, but could not. My MSFT Playsforsure DRM music will no longer be supported by a validation server, etc, etc.

I’d go on, but basically I’d be repeating 10 years of Techdirt to give you all the examples of the way society is hurt by over-zealous application of rights, and a diminished access to human knowledge.

Here’s the summary thought: Letting people freely access, use, modify, enjoy, share, transform ideas and creative works is extremely valuable, and in fact no less than the foundation of human progress. Giving creators limited monopolies on their contributions MAY be a worthwhile sacrifice to stimulate creativity. These two opposing concepts must be carefully balanced by policy and law.

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

Lets see, there is a book that I wanted called the Biotic Message. The book is no longer in print (according to my local bookstores) and since it’s still copyright it’s not like someone can put it on a website for me to download. So I had to spend quite some time finding a source that has an original (and many sources online claimed to have the book but when you actually try to buy it they would say unavailable. This includes Amazon, so please don’t try to provide me links to these sources, I tried them already). If the originals sell out before the copyrights expire, the book maybe forgotten. This can be true for many books. Only VERY prominent books may make it past the copyright time (The origin of Species) since most of them will be out of print long before the expiration of the copyright and hence they become very difficult to track down. If I see references to a book that I want that went out of print long before the copyright expired it would be very difficult for me to track it down. I also had issues with Basic a few years ago (the programming language) and its copyright since Microsoft does not provide it with their new operating systems (they don’t sell it at all) and one can’t legally download it from anywhere because its copyright. I have an old Windows 98 SE CD with basic that I own but it doesn’t have the compiler (and you can’t buy it from Microsoft). One might have to spend a lot of time searching for someone who hopefully made a free compiler or something. This is often termed abondanware and I’ve had issues with other abandonware before.

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

Heck, I can even think of a more recent example of where I had copyright issues where I needed a picture or two from a DVD to print and present in class for a presentation and the copyright on the DVD won’t let me. It would (or at least SHOULD, and if it doesn’t that’s just a tribute to how retarded our system is) fall under fair use because it was for educational purposes (and the pictures would simply be thrown away after the presentation).

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

and if I do purchase a music CD or something I should be able to make copies for my own personal use and keep the originals locked up somewhere where they won’t be scratched. That way I can use the copies and when they get scratched up I can destroy them and make new copies. If I can’t legally do that (with both DVD’s and CD’s) I simply won’t buy them. I don’t believe in breaking the law but I do believe in purchasing things under MY terms and if I can’t do so I would avoid purchasing them unless I have good reason to (ie: if it’s for a class or something).

Dave says:


It occurs to me that this bonehead CEO’s comments are in a way representative of many people who refuse to adapt with the times. The only difference is that he comes from having boatloads of cash, whereas the average worker whose job of 20 years is now trashed by automation or outsourcing doesn’t have much money.

In my town, factories are shutting down one by one, just like everywhere else. Every time it happens, the workers are interviewed, bitterly complaining that this or that has ruined his lifetime employment of XX years. You really have to be in a huge state of denial to think that anyone has lifetime employment. I’ve changed jobs and careers several times, and sure, I don’t particularly like it. But duh, it’s either adapt or starve. No guaranteed jobs anymore. No slacking off because of guaranteed union wages anymore. The tooth fairy is dead.

The most ingenious move occurred when an auto parts plant said it couldn’t meet the union’s demands. The union would not budge. And of course, now all those people are out of work. Oops. “It’s a matter of principle”. Yes, it is. But reality is reality, and stupidly thinking that a completely unskilled uneducated worker will make $30/hr forever in this economy is unbelievably dopey. Negotiation can take place, but only if you have a tenable position.

By the same token, this clueless CEO is just fat and happy and resents that he might have to scuffle to keep the giant gravy train going.

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

Unfortunately most companies do the same thing. HP tries to make their ink only work with HP ink cartridges. I remember reading a while ago about companies trying to enforce patents on ink cartridges for their printers so that only they can sell ink cartridges for their printers. That way they can rip off customers and become rich. It’s nonsense and the government should never promote such nonsense. Anyone should be allowed to sell ink cartridges for whatever printer they want so that if the company who produces the printer can’t produce the product efficiently (well, it’s not an issue of cost, it’s an issue of trying to unethically force excessive profits. They lie and try to blame it on cost) this will give another company the opportunity to do so. I buy a printer, it’s MINE, I should be allowed to use whatever ink cartridge that I want without having them build MY printer so that it only works with their ink cartridges. What nonsense.

CleverName says:

Re: Re:

The first such ink cartridge patent case I recall was Lexmark. They put some circuit into their printer / cartridge in order to lock out competitors. Others attempted this also, claiming it was for your own good because the less expensive ink would mess up the printer head.

This reminds me of another case which involved garage door openers. I don’t recall the co name, but they did not want competition selling remotes.

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

“DRM: sometimes I can’t play music and movie files that I’ve bought. I can’t play them on the device that I want. I bought them on my Tivo, but decided I wanted to watch on a laptop on an airplane, but could not. My MSFT Playsforsure DRM music will no longer be supported by a validation server, etc, etc.”

This is exactly why I don’t often buy such media (with few exceptions). I used to but if I can’t buy them under MY terms I won’t. They lost me as a customer. A printer I have to buy because I need it to print out important stuff so I have no choice. There just isn’t enough competition and it’s because these huge corporations lobby for the government do things that hinder competition.

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

“They do this despite the fact that more popular open standards already exist. Betamax, Memory Stick, OpenMG DRM for music, all come to mind.”

What decent open standards exist in terms of optical storage. Is there any non – proprietary drives. Blueray is Sony and the drives are very expensive. How does that work, is it proprietary? Does anyone who wants to make and sell a blueray burner have to pay Sony royalties? Not sure, don’t claim to know. Maybe something else that people can buy that will be cheaper.

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

“Target Technology, which designs the thin metallic reflective layers in optical media, is claiming that Sony has stolen one of its designs. As far back as April of 2004, the company had a patent application on a corrosion-protecting layer that has found its way into Blu-ray discs. The patent was granted all the way back in March of 2006.”

Again, I wouldn’t hold my breath that Sony will end up paying what they owe. Bet the people who are normally in favor of patents on these forums would somehow find a way to be against it in this specific case. Patents are OK for big corporations but not for small entities.

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

Here is an update on that.

“Sony has faced numerous lawsuits regarding Blu-ray technology since the format was released. In May 2007, Target Technology sued Sony trying to claim that the reflective materials used on optical discs infringed on Target Technology’s patents. The court took just a few months to dismiss the lawsuit over patent 7,018,696.”

So of course we live in a system where if some rich corporation infringes on the intellectual property of some small entity it’s OK. But it’s much more difficult for the small entities to infringe on intellectual property of big corporations (because big corporations are more able to defend themselves or withstand the costs of settling or a judgment). So this system hinders small entities more than big ones which hinders innovation and distorts the market place. Oh, but you can call this idea is obvious, but if I were to make the same argument that so many patented ideas (by rich corporations) are obvious you would argue something like, “what about research and development costs and the time and costs required to develop it, etc… Who are you to determine what is obvious, etc…”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

This is essentially because the big company can afford to acquire a large patent portfolio that can be leveraged to protect their actions against any other patent owners. This is in fact one of the biggest issues with current patent law… you must protect your own patents, but if you have a bigger pool of arguments to make, and more money for lawyers to make them, then you win and get to abuse other patent owners rights. This phenomenon does not protect innovation, it stifles it. As big companies gain even bigger patent portfolios they become less innovative, less mobile and agile, and eventually stagnate (IBM, AT&T, Bell Labs) as new companies create new technologies but are often unable to market them due to patent pressures from these enormous patent portfolio holders; the new company gets absorbed into the behemoth so that it can be profitable at all, and the cycle continues.

Blatant Coward says:

Stick, meet horse. Horse, meet vulture.

“Prior to joining Sony, Sir Howard had a distinguished 30-year career as a journalist, producer and executive at CBS Inc. As President of CBS from 1988 to 1995, he was responsible for all the broadcast activities of the company including entertainment, news, sports, radio and television stations. Under his leadership, the CBS Television Network became the first network to rise from last to first place in one season. In 1993, in what became one of the most chronicled coups in television history, Sir Howard convinced David Letterman to bring his critically acclaimed late night show to CBS. “

He must be trying to protect his prior vested interests, ‘Hey kids! That internet ain’t cool! Now let’s go listen to some Clear Channel!’

WammerJammer (profile) says:

Nothing good has come from Sony

And I’ll say it again. The only reliable electronics Sony has ever made is the PS2. Everything else breaks right after the warranty is done. I owned a Sony Car Cassette and a Sony CD Player and they both broke right after a year was up. So only an idiot would listen to Sony. The beauty of Capitalism is the freedom to NOT BUY from Sony or any other Asshole who thinks they can control people through a corporation. I say:
Stab him if he stamds and shoot him if he runs. God Damn the Pusher Man.

lmr2020 (profile) says:

Nothing good has come from the internet?????

Sounds like some old geezer who just hates change and refuses to be dragged, even kicking and screaming, out of his cave….no comments please from the geezer gallery, I count myself among that number at the tender age of 53. I just happen to respect and embrace change and anticipate with great excitement how much joy and wonder can come from it.

Anonymous Coward says:

It is a truism that every company, big and small, is in the business of earning $$$, and more $$$ is generally a good thing.

It is, in my view, somewhat naive to rail against companies that rely on copyright and say that they are “dinasours” in the digital age and doomed to failure. These companies are not stupid. They know things are changing, and they know that they have to adapt. What I believe many who rail against them fail to realize is that the current system is entrenched in a wide assortment of subsisting contracts that gives them little flexibility to “turn around on a dime”, these contracts being both domestic and international in scope.

This in part is why I noted that these companies will eventually adapt, but adapting in not something that can be done with the stroke of a pen.

CleverName says:

Re: naive to rail against dinasours

So what you are saying is that it is ok for Sony or any other media company to install via a music cd, a rootkit on your computer, without your knowledge or consent.

I still do not understand why someone is not being prosecuted for this crime.

If Sony has a contract with whomever, that is their problem and not mine. When someone purchases a product from Sony they expect (or at least used to) that it will do what was advertised – nothing more, nothing less. How many of those CDs do you think they would’ve sold had they informed the buyer of the rootkit that would be installed ?

So, it is my choice to not purchase products from an organisation which has demonstrated that they are not to be trusted.

Yaitedog says:

It seems to me that many of these executives function primarily as gatekeepers. They are the equivalent of bouncers at the door. They exist to control access. That is their job. So when the internet takes down the walls, the gatekeepers see their livelihood disappearing. Naturally they’re pissed. They’re standing at a gate that everyone’s just walking by.

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

I suppose part of the problem, for Sony, is that if I buy a product and it breaks and they don’t give me good customer service I can go on some forum and complain. Then they would lose sales. Without the Internet this would simply be censored from mainstream media and no one would ever hear my complaints. I can also look at other peoples comments on products and if a particular product has a problem I’ll read about it. This encourages them, and everyone, to sell better products and offer better customer support because if they don’t everyone would simply go to a competitor that does (since the profits made from a company that does offer better products and customer service would be greater than those of one that doesn’t since everyone would simply switch. So if most corporations sell bad products any corporation would have HUGE incentive to sell good products with good customer support since this would quickly earn them a huge market share. Of course this encourages EVERY company to provide good products and good customer service since any company that doesn’t will simply be left out. As a result all companies lose money so of course they are upset).

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

Corporations want to sell you trash for an expensive price but if they do that, with the Internet, it’s easy for someone to tell everyone all around the world and the company would lose sales. So they have to actually live up to their brand name, simply proclaiming their products superiority on mainstream media doesn’t work so well. Of course if a company claims that a product is great actually living up to that claim is much more expensive than simply marketing it.

Iron Chef says:

Hey Mike,

Greetings from Lake Havasu!

Looks like the trolls came back. Good thing you respond to them than I. However I remain curious about your goals.

A week by yourself, and you’re by yourself like this, in a corner responding to questions about backbacks and other crappy topics? Who set you up for this? Wow! Well, hey, I’m glad you’re having fun. Come out to play sometime.

PaulT (profile) says:

I can’t be bothered to read the entire thread, as I’m just back online after a weekend away. Here’s my though, though:

*Of course* the head of Sony doesn’t like the internet. This is a network based around open standard. On sharing information and data. On collaboration to create newer and better things than can be created otherwise. Sure, you have to ignore the piracy, pr0n and trolling idiocy, but there’s definitely a lot of great things that have come from the ‘net over its existence.

However, this runs completely counter to Sony’s own business practices. They have a long history of trying to restrict and punish its own customers, from the stupidly high number of proprietary formats it creates (UMD, Memory Stick, ATRAC, etc. – why did they not learn the proprietary vs. open standard lesson of Betamax vs. VHS?) to the infamous rootkits. Customers used to be willing to put up with this because Sony had the reputation for being on the cutting edge and creating quality products. They no longer have that reputation, and many customers have abandoned them, unwilling to return.

If Sony had embraced the advantages of the internet – everything from hearing what customers hated about their tactics to selling their music and movies internationally without enforced region coding and artificial release dates – they would still be going strong. Now, their star is fading and they have nobody but themselves to blame.

Sadly, their leaders haven’t noticed that this is the case yet, so they strike out at the most visible target. They blame the internet, when it’s their own tactics that are to blame.

Michael Hill says:

Nothing Good from internet???

I happened to work at Sony during the writers strike and a number of other executives there told me that they were finding some great ideas from producers on youtube since there was nothing coming from anywhere else. I’ve been to Mr Lynton’s offices and maybe Amy would have been a better
person to interview regarding the internet and it’s impact.
I hope that this is an accurate quote because they are all Mac users. I’d think entertainment executives would never
discount the importance of the internet to generate interest in all upcoming releases as well as providing feedback from a marketing standpoint. I’ve met some of the people working for Sir Howard as well. Maybe some of the older film execs need a course in the importance of technology in the modern workplace. Some seemed quite frightened at times. A younger group of assistants might not be as put off by tech. It was an enlightening experience.

Dog Gift Idea (user link) says:


I’m sure from his point of view as an exec at Sony Pictures the internet has just been a pain in the rear for them and a lot of other corporate content producers. But it’s a great boon to us common man users (i.e. customers) so Sony might as well join the 21st century. Businesses have to adapt or die, so get busy adapting all ready, Sony Pictures.

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