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Piling On Sony

Now both the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Texas Attorney General have filed suit against Sony BMG Music Entertainmen
I've been as mad as anybody at Sony over its use of a rootkit as a "digital rights management" tool. It's a little like calling a sawed-off shotgun a privacy-management tool -- it's effective, but the consequences are both unpredictable and horrific.

Now both the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Texas Attorney General have filed suit against Sony BMG Music Entertainment.And I'm beginning wonder if we haven't crossed the line into a place where more outrage, however legitimate, may not be counter-productive. I get the feeling there's some piling on happening after the whistle has blown. And I would hate to see Sony turn that to its advantage.

Sony has paid a price that should make any media company think seriously about similar approaches in the future. Now we should be careful not to punish Sony so severely that it leads media companies to band together out of fear and buy another round of pernicious legislation from the same easily bought U.S. Congress that gave us the Sonny Bono Copyright Act and the Millenium Copyright Act, to name just two particularly stinky piles of special-interest legislation.

Several good things have come out of this fiasco. A major obnoxious entertainment company has gotten thoroughly slapped around for its digital wrongs in the court of public opinion. Bloggers got a lot of positive attention in the process. The idea that all's fair in "digital rights management" has been shot full of holes. I'll settle for that this time around.

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Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing