Sony Gives In

After facilitating the spread of computer viruses through a CD copy protection scheme, Sony has caved in to the consumer backlash and class action lawsuits.

Sony BMG, yielding to consumer concern, said on Wednesday it was recalling music CDs containing copy-protection software that acts like virus software and hides deep inside a computer.
Sony BMG has used the XCP copy-protection software on 49 titles from artists such as Celine Dion and Sarah McLachlan and produced an estimated 4.7 million music CDs. Around 2.1 million units have been sold on to consumers.
The software, developed by a British firm, First4Internet, installs itself on a personal computer used to play the CD in order to guard against copying, but it leaves the back door open for malicious hackers.
“We share the concerns of consumers regarding discs with XCP content-protected software, and, for this reason, we are instituting a consumer exchange program and removing all unsold CDs with this software from retail outlets,” Sony BMG said in an statement.

About Shawn Hartley

Creative technologist by day. VP at Corporate 3 Design in Omaha. Proud father and husband.


  1. I’d like to think the music industry could now turn a page, but I’m not overly optimisitc. Organizations that run on fear need to feel more pain than this before mending their ways.

  2. I think this is just the beginning of a long line of bungled attempts SonyBMG will be making to back out of this problem they’ve created for themselves. The issues at hand go far deeper than the protection of intellectual property.
    The personal privacy issues raised by this mess will feed bloggers and other activist journalists for months to come. Any chance they can get to kick SonyBMG in the shins, they’ll take.
    As I’ve written in my “Much Ado About Marketing” blog post for tomorrow (11/18), this is a PR case study in the making, for sure.
    Thanks for the tip.
    Mike Bawden
    Brand Central Station