Ah, delusion in the CEO suite. Sony CEO Howard Stringer has been struggling to deal with the fact that pretty much everyone* in the tech world now hates his company. He famously called the month or so of downtime for the PlayStation Network, due to Sony's own failure to properly secure its servers, "a hiccup."
He's also continued Sony's standard practice of going to war
against makers, hackers and innovators, by trying to close off everything and then suing
anyone who dares to try to do more with the products they thought they'd bought.
Stringer, at a recent Sony shareholder meeting, had to deal with critics concerning the PSN downtime, and his response was not to take any of the blame, or to admit that Sony might have been at fault, but rather to say that hackers pick on the company because it likes to "protect" its intellectual property
"We believe that we first became the subject of attack because we tried to protect our IP (intellectual property), our content, in this case videogames," Stringer told shareholders at Tuesday's meeting in response to a question about the background to the incident.
Of course, that's an interesting version of revisionist history. There are all sorts of theories as to why Sony got hacked, with Occam and his trusty Razor suggesting the simplest answer: because Sony had crazy weak security that would allow malicious hackers to make off with useful information with which they could profit. But even if we grant Stringer's unsupported assertion was true, what set many people off (though, not necessarily these hackers) was the fact that Sony sued George Hotz for doing nothing more than helping to re-enable a feature that Sony had marketed as part of the PS3... and then had retroactively disabled. That's not "protecting Sony's IP." That's breaking
a product and false advertising... and then suing people for trying to help make your
products more valuable.
But Stringer apparently wasn't done there. You see, the real problem is just those damn freetards
“These are our corporate assets,” Stringer told the meeting, “..and there are those that don’t want us to protect them, they want everything to be free.”
Seriously, Howard? This has absolutely nothing to do with people wanting stuff for free. People are pissed because you're suing people who are trying to improve your products -- the ones they actually paid for (yes, with real money). If anything, they want "free" as in speech, not free as in beer. They're looking for the free
dom to tinker and to expand and to build.
And you're giving them the opposite.
And let's can the crap in which you pretend that Sony has to "protect" its intellectual property in this manner. It doesn't. You can treat customers right
, even without being overprotective. Why, just look at Samsung, one of your biggest competitors. When it came out with a new device, rather than freaking out about people jailbreaking it, it sent free devices
to some of the top modders, and asked them to mod and hack them faster...
That's called treating your community right, not treating them as criminals. It's not because people want everything to be free. People are quite often happy to pay for something of scarce value to them. Where they get upset is when you make that product less valuable by locking it down in anti-consumer ways.
So, no, you weren't hacked by freetards. You were hacked because you had dreadful security, and everyone's pissed not because they want stuff for free, but because you treat them like crap.
* Yes, slight exaggeration. But no more than calling over a month downtime on a popular gaming platform a "hiccup."