Sony Recalls Broken DRM-Filled DVDs

Sony’s latest bright idea was to issue DVDs with DRM that made them unplayable in their own DVD players. Yes, they’re just that committed to you, their valuable customers. Anyhow, they’ve decided to recall the discs. From IMDb:

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has discovered the source of a problem in their recent DVD releases that prevented them from being played on some players, including some manufactured by the consumer electronics division of Sony itself. The company said the problem was caused by an update of its copy-protection system, which it continually updates in order to derail potential hackers. Among the DVD movies affected were the new James Bond film Casino Royale, The Pursuit of Happyness and Stranger Than Fiction. Sony said that anyone who had purchased one of the discs and has experienced problems playing it may receive a replacement disk free of charge by phoning 800-860-2878.

Reader Mick will be happy about this, as he started a blog about the issue. The recall is probably due in part to his reporting. Good job, Mick! —MEGHANN MARCO

Sony Strikes Again


Edit Your Comment

  1. snowferret says:

    Thats pure genius!
    Make the discs unplayable so no one will want to copy them! Oh brilliant.
    Mission acomplished boys. ;)

  2. Youngman says:

    OMG! Sony sucks!

    When will they get their act together?

    All we hear is bad news about them. I’ve already sworn off buying any Sony products until things change.

  3. Havok154 says:

    For constantly updating their drm to derail hackers, it sure doesn’t slow them down at all.

  4. Yankees368 says:

    This is even more of a reason to illegally download movies. When you download them, odds are that they will work 100% of the time. Somehow, Sony has made it less reliable to actually purchase a movie legally!

  5. Rajio says:

    Don’t worry. download the movie off bit torrent ant it will play just fine.

  6. mac-phisto says:


  7. superlayne says:

    Not everyone knows how, or would, pirate movies. Chop of the DRM and sell bonus goodies with the movies, like posters or something…Don’t punish the good to prevent the bad, just give the good something to make good worth it.

  8. aviationwiz says:

    What’s a player it doesn’t work on? They won’t give me new discs unless it doesn’t work for me, and I don’t want to upgrade later or bring it to a friends house and it not to work, being I paid $20 for it.

  9. shdwsclan says:

    Agreed, drm is actually fanning the flames of piracy. And guess who is holding the fan….sony.

    Anything that sony touches turn to trash.
    MGM/UA made james bond, and all of them were classy and agreed on the timeline of james bond.

    Sony bought MGM in 2004.
    Most of casino-royal’s storyline was solid, except the fact that it defaces all previous bond films since it breaks the bond timeline completely as being a film set in the past being set in the future.
    Switching from panavision to sony digital also doesnt go with the movie, and this made the movie see more like a fantasy than an action film.
    The movie was mostly ad placement, and sony should pay us to see it.

    And then there is ultraviolet and aeon flux. I actually, took a chance on ultraviolet and let sony steal my money. Man, it was bad, really bad. A waste of $20. To bad you cant return dvds. Whats funny is that even Kurt Wimmer even said that it was bad. All the digital cameras versus film and over-correcting color and facial features probably did it in.

    And now, sony adds DRM, wow.
    Just shows you how much they love their customers.

  10. aviationwiz says:

    Actually, it doesn’t work in my Toshiba, I just hadn’t tried it yet. The rep said replacements were going out via FedEx.

  11. juri squared says:

    Because the DRM on Sony CDs worked SO well! Great job, Sony!

  12. pestie says:

    Maybe this is just part of an overall business strategy for Sony. I have what I thought was an awesome Sony universal remote control. Then I got a Sony receiver/amplifier. Now, I can’t make it shut off the receiver/amp with a macro button. I’ve tried programming this thing a gajillion times over (and I’m good with this sort of gadgetry!) and always – always – it will turn off the receiver, then turn it right back on again. I end up having to turn off the receiver manually every time. It’s insane, but that’s Sony for ya, I guess.

  13. BillyShears says:

    @shdwsclan: Call me crazy, I’m just throwing this out there:

    Perhaps you should rent movies you haven’t seen before. It’s cheaper, and if you don’t like it you don’t need to worry about a studio “stealing” your money.

  14. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @shdwsclan: I feel like this isn’t what you meant, but I’m laughing my ass off over here at the association of Die Another Day with the word “classy.”

  15. moorie679 says:

    All these copy protection crap is adding up to a big nothing… When are they going to realize that the people that they are fighting are the same people that they are trying to sell stuff to.

    Sony congrats……

    By the way… I would agree compared to the old bond movies “Die another day” isn’t that classy but when compare it to casino royale………

  16. monkeyboy says:

    The MPAA and movie company’s are dumb. DRM prototection only hurts the consumers who buy the movies. I hate having to watch the stupid “Do Not Steal Movies” commercial at the beginning of every DVD that I rent from Netflix. Its pretty pathetic. They have no clue that if someone downloaded a pirated copy of the movie, that crap is taken out.

    DRM will die.

  17. Techguy1138 says:

    I think this is bigger than just Sony movies. I believe now that the kinks have been worked out on this DRM set that the technology will be lisenced to other studios.

    DRM is big money of you make people pay for it. Look at macrovision.

  18. Why is the entertainment industry trying to destroy itself.

    Can’t buy most music because they insist on selling a broken product.
    Can’t buy anything Sony because they insist on selling broken products.

    I suppose it might drive more people to theaters if the DVDs are all crap but come ON!

    There will have to just be more sites like YouTube because we’ll have to depend on each other for entertainment.

  19. danieldavis says:

    Well, if DRM doesnt kill the industry, Sony will.

  20. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I have read this many times online…people purchased/rented these Sony movies, but couldn’t play them on their DVD player. So what did they do? They put the disc in their computer, and burned a copy with the DRM removed. Yep, they had to do EXACTLY what Sony wanted to prevent, just to play their legit copy.

    I have also read that recent Sony DVD releases, that are also out on Blu-Ray, look pretty poor transfers. Perhaps Sony is sabotaging their standard DVD line to get people to upgrade to Blu-Ray. Not hard to believe, considering they sabotaged their PS3 retail price to do it.

  21. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    *burned copy WITHOUT DRM.

    I should proof read my posts. >_

  22. Optimus says:

    @Techguy1138 (Nice reference to Lucas by the way) Probably the only reason macrovision went anywhere was because the US Congress mandated it. If they had mandated any other technology (even a less successful deterrent, if that’s even possible) it would have done just as good. You can sell a product pretty easily if your government requires it.

    @aviationwiz My Phillips DVDR3400 wouldn’t get past the title menu on Stranger than Fiction.

    Be careful about bashing Sony. They might be successful at stopping piracy through DRM and then how you feel… pfff… HAHAHAHA! I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep a straight face on that one.

  23. shdwsclan says:

    Renting just gets so complicated and expensive, sometimes you just wanna get a movie and forget about it after the weekend.

    For example, if i go to blockbuster, I have to pay $5-7 [and get charged their hidden late fees outlined in fineprint], if you get the total access you probably still get hit with late fees somehow, knowing blockbuster, they will find a way, change TOS or whatnot.

    Netflix same price, but you pay a monthly fee and you forget about the movie and if the processing center is not close to your house, then you basically pay $30 for a movie that you wont even own.
    And these rental places usually ONLY carry films rated by the MPAA, so your out of luck if you wanna watch a Region 4 DVD in PAL, or a DVD that its sale is illegal in the US[thats freedom of speech for ya] so the internet is still the best place to get flicks. Dont get me wrong, If they had a service that had everything, and like NIL turnaround time, then I would pay for it.
    I usually buy the greats, even if they are foreign, then I have to get a family member or friend to buy me a copy overseas.

  24. ngwoo says:

    *Looks at my copy of Stranger than Fiction with “Memorex” on the disk*

    Didn’t slow me down.

  25. evilhapposai says:

    Recall? lol. Went to the management in my local “Worst-Buy” and asked if we were pulling them and they had NO CLUE what I was talking about (doubt they have ever heard of DRM either for that matter) and I had to leave them on the shelf until some home office memo would say to do otherwise. Worst part about it is that if you open a dvd and it does not work Best-Buys return policy is only to return it for another copy of the same title….the same title that is not going to work the second time around either!