How to Boycott Sony
14 November 2005
With last Friday’s announcement from Sony that they were going to temporarily discontinue production of the CD’s that contained “XCP” (the Sony DRM), I wish I could say the boycott is off. It’s not: The announcement was inadaquate compared to the crime, and unethical practices like these must be seriously addressed by the public. That means you. Click through to boycott Sony, even if you’re not fully convinced you need to yet. First thing’s first, you need to understand the situation. I’ll make this as plain and simple as I can: Sony has knowingly voilated computer-users’ rights by using a method of employing a copy-protection software that is more commonly used in spyware and virus attacks. Need proof?
- Mark’s Sysinternals reports in detail how this software is maliciously installed and masked: Click here to read
- Microsoft is calling the DRM spyware and will remove it automatically in its security updates starting this month (as reported by the Washington Post)
- Sony is facing several lawsuits because of the DRM: From the ALCEI, EFF, and even the state of California
- Programmers and coders all over the world responded with exasperation, asking, “what coder in their right mind would do something like this?” (A “colorful” example)
- Boycotts have been called for, both in the blogsphere and now in the mainstream media
Okay, so you now understand the seriousness of the situation, but what’s it to you, right? Well, I’ll tell you – no, wait, I already told you. If you still don’t think this affects you, then I ask you for you to help the boycott by shear courtesy to me and the rest of the freedom-loving world.
Here’s some reasons I’m boycotting Sony:
- I think what they’ve done deserves an extreme response
- I like my digital freedoms more than I like Sony products, though I love Sony products and own many already
- I want Sony to know that though I’ve been a patron of their company until now, practices like these make enemies
- I truly want Sony to change, so I can continue to buy their stuff
You ready to start boycotting now? Okay, we need to understand something: Sony wants to give consumers a good product/service almost as bad as they want the money consumers pay for it; they’re generally out to please consumers. So the boycott is going to be two-fold in its approach:
- We cease from purchasing goods and services from Sony (this means music, consumer electronics, feature films, etc.).
- We tell Sony what we want
The first step will hopefully tell Sony we’re serious enough about our purchases to trade inconvenience for freedom. They may never fully feel an economic bite, but hopefully the bark will be loud enough to scare them.
Secondly, we must give them a way out. I don’t know how we can deploy a mainstream way of doing this, so I’ve just emailed them directly and told them how I feel (read/download the text-only copy). Feel free to use my letter as a template for your own, or just change the name if you want. It was difficult to find a place to send the letter, so I just used the Sony Music feedback form. I’m considering just using every feedback form I can find on Sony’s sites. We’ll see.
So going back to our first mission, here are some things to look out for:
- Consumer electronics, like radios, CD players, televisions (ugh, this one hurts)
- Mobile devices like MP3 players, cellphones (Sony Ericsson), and digital cameras
- Music from Sony BMG (even online from iTunes, or other music store)
- Feature films like “The Da Vinci Code”, “Zathura”, and “Freedomland”
- Games and the PSP (I know you wanted one for Christmas, but just wait until this is all over with and get yourself the PS3)
It’s not going to be easy, especially this Holiday season. However, I have to believe it will be worth it.
UPDATE: EFF seems to have a better grasp on the steps needed be taken by Sony in order to satisfy consumers: Read “An Open Letter to Sony-BMG”.