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Sony Spyware Settlement Would Include Free Downloads


kirk1701™
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http://money.excite.com/jsp/nw/nwdt_rt.jsp...9&date=20051229

 

NEW YORK (AP)--A proposed settlement of lawsuits against Sony (SNE) BMG Music Entertainment would let some consumers receive free music downloads to compensate them for Sony (SNE) surreptitiously including spyware on millions of CDs, lawyers said Thursday.

 

Lawyers said the deal requires the world's second-largest music label to stop manufacturing compact discs with MediaMax or extended copy protection, or XCP, software that could leave computers vulnerable to hackers.

 

The proposed settlement was submitted to U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Wednesday. A judge is expected to decide in January whether to tentatively approve it.

 

According to terms of the settlement, Sony (SNE) BMG will let consumers who bought the CDs receive replacement discs without the antipiracy technology and will let them choose one of two incentive packages.

 

The first package allows consumers to obtain a cash payment of $7.50 and a promotion code allowing them to download one additional album from a list of more than 200 titles.

 

The second package permits them to download three additional albums from the list. The court papers said Sony (SNE) BMG would try to offer Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL)'s ( AAPL) iTunes as one of the download services available to the consumers.

 

Those who purchased MediaMax CDs would receive additional compensation.

 

Elizabeth C. Pritzker, a lawyer for the consumers, said the settlement provides for the compensation to be paid out beginning as early as mid-January, even before final approval of the deal is granted by the court.

 

Sony (SNE) began including MediaMax on some of its discs in August 2003 and introduced XCP last January. Both software programs limited the number of copies of a disc that a user can make.

 

Beginning in November, more than 20 lawsuits were filed after a computer security research specialist a month earlier traced a hidden software program on his computer to an XCP disc he had purchased and installed, the settlement papers said.

 

According to the court papers, the software program made the user's computer more susceptible to unwanted intrusion from third parties and effectively disabled any firewall and antispyware protection programs previously installed on a computer.

 

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott also had sued Sony (SNE).

 

Sony (SNE) BMG did not immediately return a telephone message Thursday.

 

The company has said it has provided consumers with a one-click "uninstall" application that lets them remove MediaMax from their computers. MediaMax was loaded on 27 Sony (SNE) BMG titles, including Alicia Keys' "Unplugged" and Cassidy's " I'm a Hustla."

 

Pritzker said as many as 20 million CDs containing MediaMax were sold.

 

The label recalled the discs with XCP in November and released a way to remove the files from users' computers. Some 4.7 million CDs on 52 Sony (SNE) BMG titles had been made with the technology and 2.1 million had been sold.

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That settlement's a joke - who's going to bother submitting validated claim forms (mentioned in this report) for that. What's a free download going to costs Sony (wonder if the artists will still get their share of the foregone revenue from the download ?)

 

Compensation should at least include $$ equivalent ot the costs of having your system professionally backed up, O/S and applications reinstalled, and data restored.

Edited by zacoz
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Compensation should at least include $$ equivalent ot the costs of having your system professionally backed up, O/S and applications reinstalled, and data restored.

 

Much agreed ;) Glad I didn't install their shit on my PC

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The first package allows consumers to obtain a cash payment of $7.50 and a promotion code allowing them to download one additional album from a list of more than 200 titles.
Generous bastards.

 

Zacoz said

Compensation should at least include $$ equivalent ot the costs of having your system professionally backed up, O/S and applications reinstalled, and data restored.

 

Agreed. They have already admitted they are at fault. A logical progression might perhaps include a "bill of repair" for a PC having to be re-installed as you've noted above. Perhaps with an accompanying letter from a solicitor. Bastards.

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they're so f'n paranoid, dont they realize that no matter what scheme they come up with someone :innocent: is going to break it. Look what their paranoia got them :whack: and what should be a stiff fine. Intruding or key logging on someones computer should be handled the same as wiretapping a telephone illegaly.

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Sony will just use the defense they were putting spyware on suspected terrorist computers only. ;) You see, they know the terrorists copy CD's of the Van Zandt Brothers and the like all the time. So, once they put the CD in to copy it, the tracking of their activities can start.

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