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Sony Raises Price of Whitney Houston's Music 30 Minutes After Death 507

First time accepted submitter M.Nunez writes "Just 30 minutes after Whitney Houston died, Sony Music raised the price of Houston's greatest hits album, 'Ultimate Collection,' on iTunes and Amazon. Many technologists, including chairman of the NY Tech Meetup Andrew Rasiej, suggests that Sony should be boycotted for the move. In a tweet, Rasiej wrote, 'Geez Sony raised price on Whitney Houston's music 30 min after death was announced. #FAIL...We should boycott Sony.'"
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Sony Raises Price of Whitney Houston's Music 30 Minutes After Death

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  • Silly Sony (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:46PM (#39053869)

    Bunch of f-ing assholes.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:54PM (#39053987)

      This article is assuming we shouldn't have been boycotting Sony already.
      Silly people... why do they need so much time to learn?

      • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @08:14PM (#39054243)

        This article is assuming we shouldn't have been boycotting Sony already.
        Silly people... why do they need so much time to learn?

        Sony are a bunch of vultures, what's there to learn? Everybody knows how vultures behave.

        • by Grishnakh (216268) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:12PM (#39054833)

          I find your post insulting. Vultures play an important part in the ecosystem. Sony plays no useful role in human society, and vultures have more class and ethics than Sony.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by thebeige (2555996)
            No way, we need Sony to train the script kiddies
          • by bug1 (96678) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @02:21AM (#39056883)

            These movie and music distributors behave like they dont give a damn about the rest of society, they seem to spend all their time plotting the best way to take all our stuff, no consideration to ethics or morality at all.

            Its like they are bunch of PIRATES !!!

            Its time to turn the tables with this "pirates" tag and stick on them.

            From now on consider usign the term "MPAA Pirates" or "RIAA Pirates"

        • by g0bshiTe (596213)
          You say Sony, but what you are really talking is Sony's recording section, also it's not just Sony but all major labels that are vultures.
      • by jc42 (318812) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @08:45PM (#39054583) Homepage Journal

        article is assuming we shouldn't have been boycotting Sony already.

        Well, my first thought was that I can't boycott Sony over this, because I haven't bought anything of theirs since back when they were caught including rootkits on their CDs.

        I don't know if it's possible to do two boycotts against the same company simultaneously. If so, you would one do it?

    • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @08:49PM (#39054609) Journal

      Sony is a profit-oriented corporation

      Their mission is to make profit

      Whitney Houston's death was a chance for Sony to make more money, so they took it

      I really can't blame Sony for doing such a thing, even when it's kind of bad taste

      • by jdgeorge (18767) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:29PM (#39054993)

        One might suggest it's the people who wouldn't pay for Whitney Houston's music until after she died who were doing something "in bad taste". So much for supporting artists while they're sitll alive.

        • Well now they can support her children and possibly her grandchildren down the road.
          • by Johann Lau (1040920) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:47PM (#39055605) Homepage Journal

            I'd rather support them by fighting for a sane society without disney copyright. Having Whitney Houston as a grandma is not a debilitating injury after all, more likely a boon. So I see zero logic in what you said. Your'e just echoing the cynicism of the coporate cancer: it points to and USES humans, but shares none of the concerns or insights.

            Whitney Houston's grandchildren would benefit so much more if we simply burned down Sony and dispersed the ashes... but instead the idea is to buy her CD's, 0.000001% of the profites showing up in the checkbook of her relatives.... uhm, what? How about "no"?

            • IF you are going to fight, don't use terms like:
              " disney copyright"
              "0.000001% of the profites showing up in the checkbook"

              you sound like a loon, and won't be taken seriously. You can say it shouldn't matter, and you would be correct.But it DOES matter. And changing that is a different fight.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Johann Lau (1040920)

                On second thought, even *I* find the phrase "corporate cancer" stupid and needlessly offensive; but I was just rambling, you know... but what *really* gets you is that I exaggerate numbers (simply meaning "a very small part", exaggerating as to make sure it's not intended to be an exact figure), or "kinda bring up" that that Disney singlehandedly is responsible for a lot of copyright extension* --- ??? Just wow. So on second thought, I'd like to laugh even harder ^^

                (* which is rather obviously NOT for the b

              • by GreatBunzinni (642500) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @07:01AM (#39058043)

                IF you are going to fight, don't use terms like:
                " disney copyright"
                "0.000001% of the profites showing up in the checkbook"

                you sound like a loon, and won't be taken seriously. You can say it shouldn't matter, and you would be correct.But it DOES matter. And changing that is a different fight.

                Johann Lau does not "sound like a loon", nor is he wrong. USA's Copyright Term Extension Act [wikipedia.org] is known as Mickey Mouse Protection Act,for being notoriously pushed by Disney, whose main purpose was to avoid Disney's earlier work to go into public domain. And if you are trying to claim that Johann Lau is a loon for stating that fact then, before that, you must accuse Lawrence Lessig [wikipedia.org] of being also a loon, and a bigger loon as wel, as he publicly made that very same assertion regarding Disney's copyright.

                And regarding the percentage of profits that actually go to the artist, music industry insiders such as Steve Albini [wikipedia.org] already already explained quite well how the music industry actually works [negativland.com].

                So, you are either a Sony shill, trying to astroturf some damage control here on slashdot, or you are incredibly out of touch with reality, factually wrong on multiple accounts and simply an idiot.

          • by EdIII (1114411) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @11:04PM (#39055739)

            possibly her grandchildren down the road

            Not if copyright laws had any sanity in them.

          • by jaymz666 (34050) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @11:10PM (#39055793)

            Are you suggesting they receive some of this price hike?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Her children and grandchildren should have to earn a living, just like everybody else. Nothing in being the offspring of someone famous merits a free ride.

            • by vivian (156520)

              I think that in order to appease the "think of the children" crowd, an artist's children should be able to collect royalty payments too - but once the children are adults, or a little older - perhaps 21 to go with the traditional age of maturity, the artist's works should go into the public domain. If the artist laves a spouse, it would probably fair to allow the spouse to collect payments along with the children as long as they are looking after children too, but really, just as a doctor or lawyer's spouse

              • You're not exactly comparing like for like.

                If you work for a salary, you get paid up front for your work. You can spend your money or save and invest it. If you save it, and you die, that money goes to your next of kin. You don't forfeit that money simply because you didn't spend it while you were alive.

                If you work for royalties, you don't get paid up front -- you get paid as returns on investments. An artist's back catalogue is the artist's savings plan (Noddy Holder of Slade has described the song Mer

          • by chill (34294)

            Not really.

            Whitney had no talent other than her voice. She was a performer. What she wasn't was a music writer and publisher. Thus, the bulk of the money didn't go to her. Ticket sales, yes. Music sales -- radio play, album sales, etc. -- no.

            She was deep in debt and living on loans from the music label. The people who will make the money were the writers/publishers of the songs Whitney performed.

            For example "I Will Always Love You" was written and published by Dolly Parton. *SHE* stands to make a bunch more

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Nyder (754090)

          One might suggest it's the people who wouldn't pay for Whitney Houston's music until after she died who were doing something "in bad taste". So much for supporting artists while they're sitll alive.

          Buying her music when she was alive was supporting her crack addiction.

        • by Wattos (2268108) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @01:42AM (#39056709)

          One might suggest it's the people who wouldn't pay for Whitney Houston's music until after she died who were doing something "in bad taste". So much for supporting artists while they're sitll alive.

          Not really no. People do not buy her music because she died. People buy her music now because her death has been given a lot of media attention (as it usually is with deaths of celebrities) and :

          a) some people are too young to have known this music and just discover it now
          b) some people have somply forgotten how good her music was

          This is really a turd move from a turd of a company

      • by necro81 (917438) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:34PM (#39055047) Journal

        I really can't blame Sony for doing such a thing, even when it's kind of bad taste

        While it may be the job of a company, as an entity, to make money, the company is made of individuals that still ought to be directed by some semblance of common decency. But group thinking can have a powerful effect on the weak-minded, so I suppose one could have seen this coming.

        So I'll still blame them, as individuals, for being cold-hearted assholes. I just won't be surprised that, collectively, they were just doing their job for the company.

        • by equex (747231)
          Companies just want the rights and privilegies of humans, but none of the responsibility.
      • by dudpixel (1429789)

        This is more like "making profit no matter the cost".

        Not all for-profit organisations work that way. Many companies actually try to follow a code of ethics in the way they do business.

        This move by Sony is seen as extremely insensitive and unethical.

        • by Johann Lau (1040920) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:50PM (#39055633) Homepage Journal

          "Many companies actually try to follow a code of ethics in the way they do business."

          No, that would be some people in them. It simply doesn't apply to corporations, and if it did, that would be a defunct corporation in economical theory. Better wrap your head around that, the world will make much more sense.

          Ethics is just something that is necessary, even though expensive. They would rather make it unnecessary than stay ethical. Any calculator can tell you that.

          • by Phat_Tony (661117) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @12:43AM (#39056385)
            You have this exactly reversed, and the world would be a better place if you and more people in busnesses would recognize this. In economic theory, if consumers care how they are treated and whether businesses behave ethically, they punish corporations for doing the wrong thing, creating the economic incentive for corporations to behave ethically. The idea that corporations are mandated by capitalism to behave unethically in the pursuit of profits, even if behaving unethically is ultimately bad for profits, comes up all the time here on Slashdot and never makes any sense.

            In this case this will be a public image nightmare for Sony. They spend millions and millions on advertising to try to improve their corporate image and make people think favorably of them, and this just cost them a ludicrous amount. They were already going to make a killing off Whitney Houston's death, with no downside. Now in an attempt to bump up short term cash-flow by some amount irrelevant to their bottom line, they are shooting themselves in the foot. They already have an image problem, but more people are going to understand this than a rootkit. If internal management is any goods, heads will roll over this decision, and if it isn't, it's one more sign Sony is doomed.

            If you were a merciless investor, would seeing this news item make you think Sony stock has a bright future? If not, then it means it's bad for them and a mistake, that behaving unethically is moving them towards being a defunct corporation, not securing their economic future. That would be my bet.
            • by metacell (523607) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @02:33AM (#39056933)

              The idea that corporations are mandated by capitalism to behave unethically in the pursuit of profits, even if behaving unethically is ultimately bad for profits, comes up all the time here on Slashdot and never makes any sense.

              Corporations tend to think fairly short-term, at most a few years into the future. If the badwill accumulates slowly over time, but the profit from unethical behaviour comes immediately, it'd explain why corporations would keep doing unethical things that are ultimately unprofitable.

            • by Moraelin (679338) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @08:42AM (#39058667) Journal

              The problem with economic theory is that it is based on a _perfect_ world. It's just handwaved that, uh, well, it works close enough in the real world.

              Among the assumptions that are necessary to have most of that shiny-happy outcome for everything -- and I mean, really, necessary, as once you have a margin of error, real world starts to happen -- are such gems as:

              - many manufacturers of perfectly homogenous and fungible products. Which works well if you're buying orange juice, but less well when your brand of pneumonia is only sensitive to the latest patented antibiotic.

              - zero (or negligible) entry and exit barriers. This is in fact needed both for the previous one, as well as to prevent collusion. In a market where it costs nothing to enter or to exit if it didn't work, you can't form a cartel to regulate the price of bread, because someone else will then start making bread anyway and undercut you. This assumption is increasingly false in the real world, with entry barriers in some domains being in the many billions range. No, really, try starting a CPU manufacturing company.

              - perfectly informed buyers. To have any chance that the market punishes behaviours X, Y and Z, or even rewards fine differences in quality, basically all (or the vast majority) of buyers must know that stuff. Again, this is not only getting to be very false, but most corporations actively work through marketing and PR to make sure that you care more about their beer making you cool than whether beer X actually tastes better than beer Y.

              - perfectly rational everyone, including buyers and sellers. Which already is false in the case discussed here. Perfectly rational buyers would buy her music because the genuinely like them more than some other music, not just because they heard she died.

              - no externalities. An assumption which may be mostly correct for music, but is also something that produced barely breathable smog and other problem at the times it was basically true.

              - perfectly elastic supply and demand mechanics. Which sadly was only really true up to the start of the 20'th century. The Great Depression arguably happened when we ran into a domain where things started to be inelastic.


              What I'm getting at is that while this kind of thing makes for a great BS libertarian rhetoric, it is very much divorced from reality. In the perfect world used in such economic theory, monopolies are impossible, in the real world they are a fact of life. In the perfect world used in such economic theory, collusion isn't viable, in the real world there are real cases where for example a bunch of big pharma companies agreed to not undercut each other. In that ideal world you couldn't make money by recommending that other people invest in the same imploding dot-com that you're selling your shares in, because buyers would already be informed, but in the real world it actually happened. Etc.

              If you were a really merciless investor, you'd also know that, and factor it in. E.g., you'd know that if you make ten millions and then have to pay a million to PR to whitewash your image, then, meh, being an asshole actually paid.

              And in the end, that's the real difference between those who actually know how to abuse an imperfect market, and idealist nerds who think the world works like in perfect-world BS propaganda.

      • by sjames (1099) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:48PM (#39055157) Homepage Journal

        There's probably some slave traders who need a good PR man. They're just profit oriented people, who can blame them for taking the opportunity to make more money when it presents itself.

        I certainly CAN blame them, because it IS in bad taste.They didn't have a gun at their heads, the soulless suits made a conscious decision to behave repulsively.

      • by EdIII (1114411)

        I can still blame them. It's so completely tasteless it borders on disrespect for Whitney Houston by disrespecting her fans.

        If Sony wanted to make some extra money out of this they could have taken some time and put together a compilation, some tributes by other artists, etc. Add some value with a new product, and maybe even add some class to it by saying that a certain percentage was going to be donated to Whitney Houston's favorite charities.

        Raising the price on an existing product so soon after she die

  • So? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:47PM (#39053889)

    Tacky? Sure. Taking advantage of the situation? Yup. But they have a right to make money for their product.

    When an artists dies, many people rush right out to purchase that artist's work. It's as if people think they suddenly won't be able to get it again now that the artist is dead.

    • Re:So? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cream wobbly (1102689) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:51PM (#39053947)

      "So?" indeed.

      Surely all the fans own (media containing licensed copies of) her music anyway, so what's the big deal? Who suffers? While Sony is a parasite, those who are buying her music after her death are equally parasitic and not really deserving of any breaks.

      • Re:So? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by blueg3 (192743) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @08:54PM (#39054663)

        ...those who are buying her music after her death are equally parasitic and not really deserving of any breaks.

        I fail to see how buying her music shortly after her death is parasitic. Not real fans, sure. Trend-following, sure. Parasitic? It sounds like you don't know what that word means.

        • ...those who are buying her music after her death are equally parasitic and not really deserving of any breaks.

          I fail to see how buying her music shortly after her death is parasitic.

          If you really want to support an artist, support the artist when he or she is still alive

          What good would it do for Whitney Houston if you go out and buy tons of Whitney Houston CDs after she is dead?

          I mean, she's already dead, no matter how much royalty generates from your purchase of her songs / CD won't do her any more good

          Just like those who pays hundreds of millions for paintings painted by dead painters.

          Who's benefiting?

          The painters who are already long dead?

    • Does Sony have the legal right to raise prices? Of course. However, their decision to raise prices immediately after the announcement of her death demonstrates exceptionally poor judgement. Again. IMHO. / “The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.” - William Safire
      • by PIBM (588930)

        Sadly, they haven`t yet developed a way to raise the price automatically a few minutes before the artist death.. or so I hope!

    • Re:So? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sjames (1099) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:52PM (#39053969) Homepage Journal

      And the rest of the world has a right to say no to tacky corporations because there's quite enough tacky in the world already. I hope enough do say no that Sony gets the message loud and clear.

  • Price fixing... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheDarAve (513675) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:50PM (#39053919)

    There should be an investigation for price manipulation for that. They sue people for "copying" music for several hundred times the digital price, yet they pull dick moves like this and expect people to just ignore it as a normal matter of business. If there was going to be a run on resources, like in the production of CDs, I could see increasing the price to help open up a new line or two to produce more to compensate, but its digital. There's ONE master. They produce NOTHING, just data. Outside of bandwidth considerations, there's no significant additional cost to them over what's already being used.

    • Re:Price fixing... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by aardvarkjoe (156801) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:54PM (#39054001)

      Since when is it illegal to price your product to make as much of a profit as possible? (That's not what's generally meant by "price fixing," by the way.)

      • Re:Price fixing... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by J'raxis (248192) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @08:05PM (#39054139) Homepage

        If a company charges too much, they're guilty of "price gouging."
        If they charge too little, they're guilty of "dumping."
        If they charge the same as their competitors, they're guilty of "price fixing."

        Welcome to the "free market."

        • If a company can get away with gouging, it's because they have no competition.
          One reason a company would engage in dumping is to get rid of competition.
          If a company can fix prices, then they don't have real competition.

          Markets are like sports. They need rules and referees. That's not curtailing their freedom, that's providing structure so the game can be played at all. We as a society have an interest in holding these competitions, and keeping contests as fair and non-destructive as practical. No dirt

    • Re:Price fixing... (Score:5, Informative)

      by PReDiToR (687141) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:59PM (#39054063) Homepage Journal
      According to other sites that ran this story ages ago the pricing was done by an algorithm that detected the increase in sales and raised the price to maximise on those sales.
      Plus it was stated that Apple only take 30% of iTunes revenue, SONY (and that other labels) set the prices.
      Who knows?

      Tagged: diesonydie
  • If it results in a Sony boycott, I'm fine with whatever reason you come up with.
  • by Daetrin (576516) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:50PM (#39053925)
    It was actually a gesture of sympathy to Whitney Houston's dependents. Since copyright lasts forever now, long after the death of the artist, they raised the price of the music so her estate will receive larger royalty checks for awhile.

    ... i kid of course. We all know Sony and the other RIAA members never _actually_ pay out royalties to artists.
    • by TheDarAve (513675)

      Oh, that's what the increase is for, so they'll actually start for a bit then stop again once they don't feel bad about Whitney being dead anymore.

    • And, what share of the profits does her family get? The music industry is notorious for ripping of artists. The story I always remember was the 90s group TLC that sold about $100 million on their debut album, but only took home about $200K each.

      • Re:They meant well (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Genda (560240) <mariet@NospAM.got.net> on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @08:36PM (#39054497) Journal

        Heck with that, what about John Foggerty, he was tricked by the record industry into selling his artistic soul while not yet out of puberty, After quitting CCR, couldn't write a note of music that didn't belong to the record industry for 20 years. AND finally after getting his life back after the 20 years and resumed writing kick ass music was sued in 1993 by Saul Zaentz, who owned CCR’s old label Fantasy Records. Zaentz asserted that Foggerty's new song "Old Man Down The Road" was plagiarized from "Run Through the Jungle." The recording industry sued John Fogertty for plagiarizing John Foggerty. Like raping him for 20 years wasn't enough, they wanted his new stuff too. The jury laughed Zaentz out of court after two hours (about as fast as a jury can make a decision without doing it right there in the jury box.) Foggerty demanded that Zaentz pay the $1.09 million court fees for this legal insult, and Zaentz told him to kiss his southern exposure. The law to that date had been heavily weighted on behalf of the plaintiff (corporations), such that if a plaintiff sues you and you lose you have to pay the attorney's fees, but if you win, they didn't have to pay yours. It took Foggerty over a year and appealing all the way to the Supreme Court to get a decision, that stated indeed if someone sues you, and they lose, they should pay your attorney's fees.

        You know, there should just be a legal requirement for truth in advertising that has a permanent message tattooed into the heads of the RIAA and its minions stating "I am here to screw you, everything I ever do is designed to rob you, use you, and leave you buggered and you can tell whenever I'm lying by the fact my mouth is moving." Of course we'd then be forced to tatoo politician with the message "I blow more CEOs by 9:00 AM than a high priced call-girl does in a year." and who's going to pass that law?

        • Re:They meant well (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @07:45AM (#39058275)
          Yes, that is always my favorite story about the record industry. Talk about shooting the goose that lays the golden eggs. When Foggerty realized how ripped off he was by his record company, he asked/demanded a renegotiated contract. Their answer was, "This contract is legally binding. We don't have to change it. You're stuck with it." Think how much more money they could have made if he had continued writing songs and performing with CCR if they had been willing to renegotiate a fair contract with him. There are probably even ways that they could have spun it to make it seem like they weren't really trying to take advantage of him. "Well, there are a lot of costs involved in bringing a young act along and not every act ever pays back that initial investment. I completely forgot that we still had you under a startup act contract. Let's renegotiate to better terms for you."
  • I don't care (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Squiddie (1942230) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:51PM (#39053957)
    They are running a business and trying to make money. It's the same reason that I don't "support" their products. I don't care about Sony because they don't care about me. Also, If I wanted those albums, I'd torrent. She's dead anyway.
  • by GodBlessTexas (737029) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:51PM (#39053965) Journal
    I've been boycotting them for years, starting with their rootkits on CDs, which should have been charged as a criminal act.
    • I was thinking the same thing. The rootkit thing put me off of Sony immediately. Since then, I've seen several stories (like the removal of the PS3 "OtherOS" option, PSN getting hacked, etc) where people have been asking "should we boycott Sony?" I'm wondering how far those people have to be pushed before they decide that they can make do without Sony products. Living without Sony products is really not a problem. They aren't an essential company in any way.

  • Tasteless (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:52PM (#39053971) Homepage

    But logical. Fact is, I bet they earned more money from her death in these past few days than perhaps all last year alone. From a business perspective, you would be stupid not to raise the price. Bad PR yada yada yada. Give it a week and the bitching will stop and sales will increase. Money talks.

    Oh look. Shiny!

    • Re:Tasteless (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Genda (560240) <mariet@NospAM.got.net> on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @08:58PM (#39054703) Journal

      You know, I'm getting a little sick and tired of all these self obsessed, narcissistic, machiavellian, amoral masses of motile human excrement turning the world into an ontological toilet. We live in a free society, but this lowest common denominator crap is just becoming a simple excuse to be free of social responsibility, dignity, compassion or accountability for one's own actions. True freedom implies taking responsibility for a complex world of interactions where the price of your freedom is responsibility for the freedom of those around you. All take and no give, is the beginning of a free-for-all that ends in a stinking dung heap where a workable society once stood. Maybe its time to teach ethics to our children so perhaps they avoid the stupid mistakes we're making?

  • You already hate Sony. Sony already hates you. You're not Sony's primary audience. Sony's primary audience won't notice things like this.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:54PM (#39053991)

    Is there anyone here on Slashdot that's willing to admit they own a Whitney Houston song?

  • That the music industry was evil.

  • Yes, Sony is evil... (Score:5, Informative)

    by msauve (701917) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:55PM (#39054017)
    But, to be fair, this seems to have been a simple mistake by a single employee, and was quickly corrected. Linking through to the NYT article:

    "the changes - which were in effect only on the British version of iTunes, and were reversed Sunday evening...the price increase was the result of an error by a Sony employee in Britain, and that the company gave no orders for prices to be raised on Ms. Houston's music."
    • BULLSHIT (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ganjadude (952775) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:12PM (#39055339) Homepage
      sounds like a good coput to me. How convenient that it was a "rogue employee" that just happened to raise the prices of a singer who died only 30 minutes earlier... im sorry, I simply dont believe it. If it was someone other than sony, I MIGHT believe it, but coming from sony, after the past mistakes, I simply cannot believe that excuse. They got called out for doing something dickish, and they are tyring to save face.
      • You only get to call bullshit if you *know* differently. Otherwise its complete made up conjecture.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence, unless it's Sony, which has proved itself to be made up of pure, concentrated evil, like the green sphere in Heavy Metal. "Mom! Dad! Don't touch it! It's eeeeeevil!"

  • TPB (Score:5, Funny)

    by J'raxis (248192) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @08:09PM (#39054177) Homepage

    Price still seems to be $0.00 on The Pirate Bay...

  • by VinylRecords (1292374) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @08:15PM (#39054255)

    http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/14/sony-says-price-of-2-whitney-houston-albums-was-raised-by-mistake/ [nytimes.com]

    According to the NYTimes the price raising was a mistake that only affected the UK Itunes store and nothing else. So of all the retailers and online shops only one was affected, Itunes, and only one region, the UK. If SONY wanted to capitalize on her death they likely would have raised prices across the board and just not the UK Itunes shop.

    This probably was an error. Someone assigned to managing SONY's UK Itunes account royally fucked up by changing the price. And now it is basically a PR disaster because even though it likely was an accident SONY looks absolutely retarded. Someone will lose his or her job over this for sure.

    Sadly I'm sure that some sneering fuck CEO from the RIAA or MAFIAA or SONY or whatever is sitting on his throne thinking of ways to capitalize on Whitney Houston's death without taking a major PR hit. They see her death as basically an opportunity for a lot of profit and a great time to line their pockets.

  • by Just Brew It! (636086) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @02:39AM (#39056957)

    Along with brands like Pioneer back in the '70s and '80s, they helped make decent hi-fi gear affordable. With the Walkman they launched the entire portable audio market, and they co-invented the CD. Their Trinitron TVs and monitors were well-respected, and they were a major player in developing the portable camcorder market as well.

    Then in 1987 they acquired CBS Records, and in 1989 they acquired Columbia Pictures; this started them down the road to becoming a "content" company. It's been all downhill ever since. Quality of their hardware declined sharply; the last piece of Sony electronics I bought was a Digital-8 camcorder around 7 years ago, and it sucked. Debacles like the CD rootkit incident, the controversial change in stance over 3rd party code on the PS3, and the PSN security breach have now become the norm.

    In my lifetime the Sony brand has transformed itself from something I actively sought out, to something akin to a warning label. It's a damn shame; I now go out of my way to avoid their products.

    RIP Sony, you are dead to me.

  • by DerPflanz (525793) <bart AT friesoft DOT nl> on Thursday February 16, 2012 @03:01AM (#39057057) Homepage

    It is all for the protection of young, emerging artists.

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