The Petition to Sony Requesting that
NetMD Provide Audio Uploading to PC

Eric Woudenberg, August 2002

The Petition

A letter (en français) and proposal (en français) were sent sent to the presidents of Sony's US and Japanese divisions in May 2002, pointing out the importance of having a NetMD audio uploading function. A petition of over 2000 signatures was gathered from May to August 2002 and sent under a cover letter (en français) to Sony headquarters in Japan, USA, and Europe.

Sony USA's response (en français) was received in September 2002.

Letter Writing

Although the petition has ended, an effective way to advocate this enhancement to the Minidisc format is to write a letter directly to the heads of the US and/or Japanese divisions of Sony. A postal letter is a sincere indication of sentiment, and when these arrive at a person's door it makes the issue difficult to ignore. Their addresses are:

Nobuyuki Idei
Chairman and CEO
Sony Corporation of Japan
7-35 Kitashinagawa 6-chome
Shinagawa-ku Tokyo 141, Japan
Howard Stringer
Chairman and CEO
Sony Corporation of America
550 Madison Ave, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10022-3211, USA

You are also welcome to use or modify our NetMD upload request to Sony. It is best if you use it simply as a template and create your own version, it will carry more weight that way.

Tack, Tact, and Tone

In writing to Sony, I think it is important to consider how you would feel if you were in their position. I can imagine that Sony may indeed be considering adding NetMD audio uploading capability to Minidisc. If so, they are certainly weighing the needs of their Minidisc customers, market interest, and the concerns of the recording industry. Were I in that position I am sure that cogent, thoughtful, good-willed persuasion from the customer base would have a positive effect on my decision.

The point is that angry and hateful words will not be helpful in furthering this cause. Sony holds nearly all the cards here and, in my mind at least, the most effective approach is a respectful tone that alerts Sony to the fact that users are suffering from Sony's inattention to the problem. I would write them as if I were writing someone whom I have a good relationship with, but who is unaware of how their actions are causing a problem for me. The idea is to helpfully address the problem; if enough people do it well, Sony is certain to return the favor.

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