|Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Viruses exploit Sony DRM software
Sony BMG is facing a class action suit from Californian consumers who
claim the music giant's rootkit DRM technology damaged their computers
and breaks three separate Californian laws.
The suit asks the court to stop Sony selling any more CDs containing the
rootkit and seeks compensation for damage already done. Some Sony audio
CDs include software which will secretly load itself if the CD is played
on a computer. The suit was filed 1 November in the Los Angeles Superior
Court by attorney Alan Himmelfarb, according to Reuters.
A second case has been started in New York on behalf of anyone who's
bought one of the CDs.
Sony is also facing possible action from the Electronic Frontier
Foundation in Italy - the lobby group has filed papers with the Italian
authorities alleging Sony is guilty of "illicit acts".
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has also examined Sony's End User
License Agreement which consumers now agree to when buying Sony CDs.
Aside from letting Sony install any software they like on your computer
it also covers what you can do with stored copies of the CD.
Any copies of the CD kept on a laptop or other device must be deleted if
the original CD is stolen or lost. They cannot be stored on your work
computer only a "personal home computer system owned by you". If you
move countries you must delete all songs covered by the license. If you
file for bankrupcy you must delete all relevant files.
Any consumer who fails to keep up-to-date with the hidden software is in
breach of the agreement.
In exchange for all this the license also limits Sony BMG's liability
for any damages this might cause to just $5 per CD - or slightly less
than you paid for it in the first place.
Read the whole critique here.
A spokesman for Sony BMG in the UK guided us in the direction of New
York HQ because CDs sold in the UK do not contain the rootkit. Sony BMG
New York were unable to provide comment by press time. ®