101 dumbest moments in business: Music
The year in shenanigans, skulduggery, and just plain stupidity in the world of music.
13. The furor dies down, but only after Sony says that the real intent was to prevent the spread of the malicious Celine Dion virus.
Sony BMG installs software on its CDs "to prevent unlimited copying and unauthorized redistribution," but the cure is worse than the disease: The software makes customers' PCs vulnerable to hackers and viruses. Software maker Internet Security Systems labels Sony's program malicious because it "actively attempts to hide its presence from users." Ultimately, Sony offers uninstall software and has to recall millions of albums, including The Invisible Invasion, by the Coral; Healthy in Paranoid Times, by Our Lady Peace; and On Ne Change Pas (One Does Not Change), by Celine Dion.

14. How 'bout you stop sending us those Celine Dion CDs?
"What do I have to do to get Audioslave on WKSS this week?!!? Whatever you can dream up, I can make it happen."

-- E-mail from an employee of Sony BMG's Epic label to a Hartford, Conn., radio station. In July the company pays a $10 million fine as part of a settlement in which it agrees to stop indirectly paying radio stations to play songs by its artists.

52. And how much to have the record labels not sue them?
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In January, members of the Recording Industry Association of America sue Gertrude Walton, a Mount Hope, W.V., resident who had died nearly two months earlier. The lawsuit, Walton's daughter says, comes despite her having sent copies of the death certificate to the label's lawyers.

53. KBore.
In May, Infinity Broadcasting switches San Francisco radio station KYCY to an all-podcast format promoted as "KYOU Radio." Among the programming highlights: "My Daily Commute" (a guy mulling his mortality while driving to work), "Rock and Roll Jew Show" (the latest hits from Israel), and "The Worst Music You've Ever Heard" ('nuff said). Meanwhile, KYCY shows it's still fuzzy on the difference between podcasting and merely turning one's station over to amateurs: The "podcasts" are to be broadcast over the airwaves but are not made available for downloading.

89. White noise? Awesome. When are we playing Phoenix?
Yamaha of America recalls 1,100 S90 ES musical synthesizers, which retail for $2,600 each. The instruments can cause hearing loss by emitting a loud "white noise" when turned off and then on again under high temperature conditions.

Next: 101 Dumbest Moments in Business: Full list >>


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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.