Friday, November 14, 2003

WELL, THAT'S SIMPLE ENOUGH THEN: Sony think they've cracked copy protection with a new hodge-podge that has audio tracks that a computer won't play, another lot that will play on some computers in another new format (key2audioXS, I'm afraid), and a third lot which you can put on your portable player. Providing it's a Sony. Let's hope this is dumped when they merge with BMG, because whatever BMG has got planned can't be any more of an unpleasant compromise.

Phil Wiser, Sony Music's chief technology officer, said the company's new initiative would provide listeners with the functionality they demand. "If you give people what they are asking for in terms of value, they won't go out and steal it." Wiser told Reuters. "It's called trusting the consumer."

So, it's trusting the consumer by giving them a format which won't play on their choice of PC music software or their own choice of portable? Interesting concept of choice, but what's even more interesting is working Wiser's logic backwards. People are stealing music. People steal music because they don't feel what is offered is a proposition that gives them value. Hence, Sony's chief technology offer seems to be suggesting that CDs are overpriced, doesn't he? Because if they were good value for money, people wouldn't be sharing illegal files. Nice to see someone in a record company being honest for once. But the question now is: why not simply make CD prices fair, rather than go to the extremes of pisspoor file sharing technology?


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