Consumer Outrage over Sony's new DVD DRM

Dennis Faas's picture

Digital Rights Management (DRM) has been gaining some negative attention, especially with Apple's Steve Jobs pushing towards a DRM-free music industry. Sony seems to have magnified people's annoyance with DRM, and taken frustrations to a whole new level. The company recently released DVDs with DRM protection that makes the DVDs unplayable in various DVD players -- including at least one Sony DVD player. (Source:

The aggravation can be attributed to Sony's ARccOS DRM technique. ARccOS works by scrambling sectors on the disc to prevent users from copying the disc. Most older players correctly skip over the corrupted areas and keep reading the data on the disc. However, PCs and some newer players attempt to perform error-correction on these areas, and thus result in a failed playback. (Source:

Affected titles include "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," "Lucky Number Slevin," "Casino Royale," "The Holiday" and "Stranger Than Fiction." (Source:

Apparently, Sony isn't too concerned about the consequence of the ARccOS scheme. Sony reportedly said that the solution was for the consumer to upgrade their players. (Source:

So what are we left with?

It seems that what we have is a company unwilling to take responsibility and loads of customers with legal discs that they are unable to play. It's actually quite ironic that a scheme aimed at deterring the illegal act of copying discs hurts the people who bought the discs legally. (Source:

The incident calls even more attention to the DRM issue. While many would like to see DRM simply abolished, others point to the fact that DRM techniques are not standardized as the ultimate culprit. Whatever the case, Sony just added fuel to the raging DRM fire -- and it's the consumers that are getting burned.

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