It just occurred to me today, over a year after I'd posted this article, that the Jakarta Post could have another motive for running this story. Indonesia is not a party to the current copyright, trademark, and patent conventions, and thus is a haven for illegal duplication of music and movies, largely for distribution in so-called developing countries. Since the multinational major labels like Sony BMG, Universal, and the others have been pressuring the Indonesian government to adopt the international intellectual property protections, it must make the Indonesians feel good to be able to point out the egg on Sony's face over this spyware mess. Yet another example of opposing parties pointing out the dirt on the other guys just to divert attention from their own dirty doings.
(Original post date 11/14/05)
The Jakarta Post, an Indonesian newspaper, has reported on its website that a number of new music CD releases from Sony BMG actually install spyware on users' computers. The article also points out that, with all the means now at new artists' disposal to completely bypass music companies altogether, such a move on Sony's part can only alienate consumers, some of whom are even considering lawsuits. I recently bought Shakira's new CD, Fijacion Oral volumen 1, which I haven't installed on my computer just yet, and now I'm not sure if I should, even though I really want La Tortura in my MP3 player (and I barely understand what she's singing, with my poor Spanish). I may even have to pass entirely on buying Oral Fixation volume 2 when it comes out this month.