In all the swirl of controversy over Sony’s boneheaded copy protection scheme that secretly deposits spyware on your computer, no one has asked the critical question:
- Bruce Springsteen’s 30th Anniversary reissue of “Born to Run” is coming out tomorrow.
- Bruce Springsteen records on Sony’s Columbia Records label.
- The inventory of CDs must have been pressed before the world found out Sony was secretly installing software on everyone’s computers.
So the question is: Is the Springsteen CD going to pollute our computers? Should it be avoided until Sony publicly confirms that the CD does not include the egregious copy protection scheme?
This brings up the larger issue that consumers should be screaming about: Being treated like criminals by the companies we support with our dollars.
I tried to install an upgrade of TimeSlips 2006 today. You have to key in an activation code, a serial number, and then call to get a registration number.
But when I tried to open my database, it told me it had an error in it, and I would have to open it with the old version, fix the error, and then convert it to the new software. Only one “minor” problem: I overwrote the old software with the upgrade.
But no big deal, right? I have the CD and installation codes, so I should be able to reinstall the old software. Not so fast. It’s an upgrade, so it won’t install unless you have the PREVIOUS version installed so it can confirm a legitimate installation. So now I have to install version 8 — THREE VERSIONS BACK FROM WHERE I AM NOW — and then try to use the 10.5 upgrade CD to upgrade it. But the upgrade freezes when you try to upgrade, so now I am totally screwed. And they close their tech support at 5pm eastern time. (You only get one call before you have to pay anyway.)
I think the new rule of thumb is to refuse to buy software that assumes you are going to do something illegal with it. Companies should be ashamed of this approach to copy protection. And customers shouldn’t put up with it any more.