Monday, January 2nd, 2006 - 11:51 PM

Camera Tragedy and Darth Sony DRM Boycott

Whoa. Was that December? Is it 2006?

A few days ago I stepped on my pocket digital camera (a Sony Cybershot DSC-T1) and broke the LCD. I am very sad about that. It wasn’t my high-end camera, but it was very respectable (5 Megapixel, 3x optical zoom, and excellent macro capabilities — most photos I’ve posted were taken with it), and more importantly it was the camera I had with me all the time.

Here’s what the LCD looks like while the camera is powered off. It’s pretty. Looks kinda like a fractal…


Now I’m in the market for a new ultra-compact digital camera. Unfortunately, Sony’s recent digital rights management rootkit demonstrated such a severe disregard for the rights of the people buying their products, I’m boycotting them. (If you’re my wife or one of my kids, I love you, but this is why we’re not getting any more Playstation stuff. Sorry. *DIGITAL RIGHTS MANAGEMENT DID THIS TO YOU!*)

If you know me, you probably realize that it’s a big deal to me to boycott Sony. As I write this post, I’m using a Sony VAIO VGN-A190 laptop a few feet from my son who’s staring intently at a Sony WEGA TV. My wife is in the next room playing a game on her Sony VAIO desktop PC, and my daughter is downstairs chatting and listening to music on her Sony VAIO desktop PC. (Of course, I’ve uninstalled the semi-spyware Sony bundles with VAIO computers.)

I’ve spent a lot of money on Sony stuff: at least seven digital cameras, three digital camcorders, several Clie PDAs, at least four laptop computers, at least six desktop computers, multiple monitors, an HDTV, some VCR/DVD players, various Playstation stuff, bafrigginzillions of videos and CDs, countless accessories, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot.

I could explain WHY I’ve bought so much Sony stuff, but I don’t advocate them anymore, so I’ll refrain. I’ll just say that I’m not some kind of Sony nut — I buy what makes sense. It no longer makes sense to buy Sony.

In the past I’ve advocated/recommended Sony hardware and digital cameras to many people. Now I discourage people from buying Sony, and Sony is definitely losing a digital camera sale that I would have been happy to give them. In fact, it’s my annoyance with having to shop around so much more that inspired this post. (I had become extremely familiar with Sony’s product lines.)

To Darth Sony (and other people pushing DRM), I say: The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

To the Good Guys: “Digital Rights Management” is your enemy. It is an attempt to “manage” (i.e. strip you of) the rights granted to you by law when you acquire a license to use Copyrighted material. Sony’s DRM Rootkit takes this WAY too far. In addition to attempting to prevent you from pirating the “protected” CD, the software installed on your computer takes measures to hide itself, avoids removal, spies on you, degrades system performance, and even makes your system vulnerable to attack.

(If you can direct me to a good authoritative non-technical summary of the Sony DRM Rootkit, I’d like to link to one. I’m currently linking to a boingboing timeline and the original sysinternals announcement, both of which are highly informative, but not casual reading for the average person.)

Oh, and back to the camera tragedy… some statistics. I took 8440 pictures/movies with the Sony DSC-T1, starting on 3/18/2004. At about $500 for the camera, that’s about $0.06 per picture, which seems worth it to me. Of course, there were other expenses, but the base camera cost me $0.06 per picture. That’s satisfactory.

3 Comments to “Camera Tragedy and Darth Sony DRM Boycott”

  1. Syz Says:

    The Casio EX-Z750 has gotten some really good reviews:

  2. Syz Says:

    Hey, your TV is a KV34XBR800? Funny, that’s the same TV I have. I didn’t know that.

  3. Woody Thrower Says:

    I don’t actually have a KV34XBR800. The model number isn’t apparent on the front, and I was too lazy to check, so I just linked to a similar looking model (without mentioning the model in my post). I actually thought of you (as the only person I know who was likely to notice) when I knowingly chose the wrong one. Mine is actually 4:3 rather than 16:9.

    Thanks for the pointer on the Casio EX-Z750! I spent a while looking around at various ultra-compact cameras last night. Somehow I didn’t come across that one. It looks better than any of the ones I found.

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