Does the music industry sponsor spyware companies ?
September 29, 2006 11:23 AM   Subscribe

Does the music industry sponsor spyware companies ?

I was speaking to an elderly neighbour recently who really said something that got me thinking.

I told him loads of people don't have to buy music anymore as you can just download it free from the internet. We got talking about the internet etc.

He then said to me "It's obvious whose making this spyware stuff then - the music industry isn't it ?"

Well doesn't it make perfect sense. People who download music get their computers so slow they can barely function. The ultimate anti-dote to downloading "free music" - so is it the music industry who finances the production of spyware ?
posted by jacobean to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That'd only be true if downloading music illegally resulted in the installation of spyware.

That's not to say that it doesn't, of course, but there are a wide variety of, I hear there are a wide variety of ways to download music without encountering malware of any type.

Its long been held that some of the biggest contributors to the creation of viruses and spyware are the anti-spyware/anti-virus companies.

Is it possible that the music industry is supporting some of the groups making spyware? Sure. But don't think that they're the only ones looking to cash in.
posted by owenkun at 11:27 AM on September 29, 2006

Consider that "the music companies" are large, publicly traded operations -- Warner Bros, Sony, etc. Publicly traded companies must disclose how they make their money, or risk an Enron-like situation. So, this conspiracy theory asks you to believe that these large companies are doing things in secret, things that carry tremendous risk on a number of different levels.

Since you can't prove a negative (you can't say they're not involved), you can ask -- why would they take this risk? They money from spyware and anti-spyware isn't particularly large, compared to the enormous revenue streams from just selling the music itself. The expected return doesn't even begin to match the expected risk.

So, there's no smoke, and there's no fire, but there's plenty of baloney.
posted by frogan at 12:44 PM on September 29, 2006

Yes, but not in the sense you're thinking.

The music companies have hired all sorts of companies to make their various crazy crippled-CDs, copy-control CDs, DRM systems, etc.

Most of these schemes require expertise in underhanded software installation that flies under the radar of the user, overrides a users intentions, and is difficult for a user to find and/or uninstall.

Ie spyware expertise. Much of that expertise either comes from making spyware, or once acquired/developed, is later used for making spyware.

There are also companies on the payroll of the music industry that "poisoning" file sharing site with crap, and while I haven't heard that spyware is among the poisons, it wouldn't surprise me. However I would think that a lot, if not most or nearly all, of the spyware, is from companies with no music ties, with direct profit as their motive.
posted by -harlequin- at 1:14 PM on September 29, 2006

I work for SonyBMG, and I've never heard of any kind of investing in malware like that, rootkit aside. There would be no point in us doing that.
posted by softlord at 5:33 PM on September 29, 2006

Well, in the sense of installing rootkits on their customer's machines, yes, but that's not what you were thinking.

People get spyware from all kinds of places, such as visiting dodgy websites with an insecure browser, and not just from downloading music. Also, there are many ways to download music without subjecting yourself to spyware and poisoned downloads, but since they're watching this thread, I'm not going to go into that.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 6:03 PM on September 29, 2006

« Older Where can I find Kona Sugarloaf?   |   Help me get out of the helpdesk! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.