from the internet-of-things-that-shouldn't-need-internet dept.
Peloton hasn't been having a great run lately. While business boomed during the pandemic, things have taken a sour turn of late on a bizarre host of fronts.
[...] adding insult to injury, connectivity issues this week prevented Peloton bike and treadmill owners from being able to use their $2000-$5000 luxury exercise equipment for several hours Tuesday morning. The official Peloton Twitter account tried to downplay the scope of the issues:
We are currently investigating an issue with Peloton services. This may impact your ability to take classes or access pages on the web.
We apologize for any impact this may have on your workout and appreciate your patience. Please check https://t.co/Dxcht2tQB0 for updates.
— Peloton (@onepeloton) February 22, 2022
[...] For much of Tuesday morning the pricey equipment simply wouldn't work. While the company's app still worked (For some people), Bike, Bike+, and Peloton Tread owners not only couldn't ride in live classes, they couldn't participate in recorded classes because there's no way to download a class to local storage (despite the devices being glorified Android tablets). The outage (which occurred at the same time as a major Slack outage) was ultimately resolved after several hours, but not before owners got another notable reminder that dumb tech can often be the smarter option.
Perhaps one day in the future, scientists will invent a way to make exercise machines that do not require internet access. Such a fantastic invention would be locked up behind patents.
Peloton Admits It's in Hot Water With DOJ, DHS, and SEC Over Its Treadmill Mess
Peloton treadmill owners will be able to run again without a subscription
Peloton disabled a free running feature on its treadmills, forcing owners to pay up
Peloton disabled a free feature on its $4,000 Tread+, forcing owners to pay a $39 monthly fee to use the machine
Peloton faces backlash after disabling free running feature on its $4,000 treadmills
Music Publishers Say Peloton Stole Even More Music, Ask for $300 Million
Peloton's Countersuit Against Music Publishers Over Song Copyrights Just Got Thrown Out
The National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA) has asked the courts to allow it to double its claims against exercise bike and treadmill startup Peloton, after discovering more unlicensed music — including songs by Taylor Swift and Kesha — being used in workout videos that play on the bikes' built-in screens. It's now seeking $300 million in damages, as reported by Forbes.
The original complaint, filed in March, accused Peloton of using over 1,000 songs without getting the proper license. At the time, NMPA requested $150 million in damages. After the lawsuit was filed, the offending songs conveniently disappeared, upsetting connected exercise equipment owners who'd gotten used to their beloved playlists.
But not all the songs disappeared, as reported by The Verge. Here's what the NMPA now has to say about that:
Indeed, it is only as a result of initial discovery in this lawsuit that the full scope and extent of Peloton's unlawful infringement has started to come into focus, revealing more than 1,000 additional musical works [...] those newly discovered works include some of the most famous and popular songs ever recorded, such as "Georgia On My Mind," "I Can See For Miles" and "I Saw Her Standing There."
A US district judge has squashed Peloton's counter lawsuit today, against music publishers who claimed the fitness company violated rights to use select artists' music in its workout videos. Peloton hosts live cycling and running classes that are performed to a curated playlist, but the National Music Publishers' Association claimed that because Peloton classes can be streamed on bikes, treadmills, or mobile apps, it did not have sufficient licensing to broadcast the music over the air.
In a lawsuit filed last March, the NMPA's complaint alleged Peloton needed the more expansive (and expensive) "sync license," which allows music to be played to match its visual media output. Peloton classes are often conducted to the progression of each songs, such as standing up off the bike during the chorus, slowing down during an instrumental break, or turning up a treadmill speed each time a word is mentioned in the song lyrics, so songs can't simply be replaced by other music playlists when streamed on-demand. The lawsuit originally sought damage charges of $150 million, but doubled to $300 million in September after the NMPA discovered more improperly licensed music.
As a result, Peloton customers have seen many classes removed from their library, and claim that the quality of music has deteriorated since the lawsuit.
[...] In a countersuit, Peloton argued the NMPA's lawsuit was itself violating federal antitrust laws by conspiring to "fix prices and to engage in a concerted refusal to deal with Peloton." But while Peloton laid out the case at length, the company wasn't able to convince US district judge Denise Cote, who dismissed the case yesterday.
You can read the full opinion here on Scribd.
After a spate of accidents on its Tread+ treadmill, Peloton temporarily moved the basic running mode of Tread+ behind a paywall so non-authorized users couldn't gain access. Now, all users will be able to use the "Just Run" feature without a subscription [...]
[...] after several reports of injuries and one death. The company subsequently released a software update that required a passcode to use the basic running mode, but the feature was only available to subscribers.
[...] The Tread Lock feature locks the device if you haven't used the treadmill in 45 seconds and aren't in a class. You then need to input a four-digit code before it can be used again.
[...] While the update was inconvenient for non-subscribers who purchased the $4,000+ devices, Peloton did make it possible to do basic running without paying.
Putting the primary function of an expensive product behind a paywall is a way to prevent accidents.
The Internet of things — aka the tendency to bring Internet connectivity to devices whether they need them or not — has provided no shortage of both tragedy and comedy. "Smart" locks that are easy to bypass, "smart" fridges that leak your email credentials, or even "smart" barbies that spy on toddlers are all pretty much par for the course in an industry with lax privacy and security standards.
Even your traditional hot tub isn't immune from the stupidity. Hot tub vendor SmartTub thought it might be nice to control your hot tub from your phone (because walking to the tub and quickly turning a dial is clearly too much to ask).
But like so many IOT vendors more interested in the marketing potential than the reality, they allegedly implemented it without including basic levels of security standards for their website administration panel, allowing hackers to access and control hot tubs, all over the planet. And not just SmartTub brands, but numerous brands from numerous manufacturers, everywhere [. . . .]
For those who need reminders, let us not forget prior SN (horror) stories:
- IoT Pet feeders that stop feeding pets
- Peloton treadmills
- Insteon smart home lighting and other controls
- Smart male chastity devices that won't unlock, need metal grinder to remove