Sony Settles Rootkit Lawsuit with 40+ U.S. States for $5.75M (and Climbing)

This is an evolving story. Over the last couple weeks news reports have covered the growing number of U.S. states settling with Sony over the Rootkit debacle (see stories linked below). The number of states and the dollar value appears to be growing, but it seems clear that Sony is quickly putting this behind them.

Under the settlement, SONY BMG must provide refunds up to $175 to all consumers who experienced harm to their computers when they sought to remove the DRM software.  Refund claims may be submitted to SONY BMG through this claims page.

Some reports indicated that Sony is in final settlement discussions with the FTC on this matter as well. 

Sources: PCWorld | CSO (IDG) | DRM Watch | techworld | Computer World| ZDNet | CNet | InfoWorld | Massachusetts Attorney General Press Release | Sony's Settlement Page

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Sony Rootkit Settlement Faces Opposition in Canada

The Canadian Sony rootkit settlement reached a few weeks ago is facing Canadian opposition. It still must be approved by a Federal Judge. The case was finally settled in the U.S. on May 23, 2006. The Canadian settlement lacks some key provisions contained in the U.S. settlement including: an obligation to do security testing before using similar technologies in the future; explicit consumer disclosure of such future use; and injunctive relief rights against Sony if it fails to do so.

Sources: ars technica | Michael Geist | Slyck | Sony Canada's Settlement Site

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Michael Geist Concludes 30 Days of DRM

Version of 30 Days of DRM
Canadian Copyright reform is in the air. In anticipation of possible legislative action this fall, Michael Geist’s 30 day series of daily articles “30 Days of DRM” has come to an end. While he ultimately argues, as I do, that it would be preferable NOT to adopt
DMCAlike anti-circumvention legislation in Canada, the Conservative government may succumb to the copyright lobby. These articles, which are quite good, propose limitations that should be included in any such Canadian DMCA-like legislation to fairly protect Canadian consumers and to guard against the multitude of problems created by the U.S.’s enactment of anti-circumvention measures in the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

30 Days of DRM:
Day 1 – Linking Copyright and Anti-Circumvention (Markets)
Day 2 – Region Coding (Markets)
Day 3 – Oversite of DRM Misuse (Markets)
Day 4 – DRM Misuse Sanctions (Markets)
Day 5 – DRM Labeling and Consumer Awareness (Public Protection)
Day 6 – Interoperability (Public Protection and Markets)
Day 7 – DRM-Free Library Deposits (Public Protection)
Day 8 – Privacy (Circumvention Rights)
Day 9 – Reverse Engineering (Circumvention Rights)
Day 10 – Security Research(Circumvention Rights)
Day 11 – Involuntary Installation of Software (Circumvention Rights)
Day 12 – Research and Private Study (Circumvention Rights)
Day 13 – Criticism, Review and News Reporting (Circumvention Rights)
Day 14 – Private Copying (Circumvention Rights)
Day 15 – Artistic Access (Circumvention Rights)
Day 16 – System Repair (Circumvention Rights)
Day 17 – Broken or Obsolete Technology (Circumvention Rights)
Day 18 – Backup Copies of Software (Circumvention Rights)
Day 19 – Backup Copies of Digital Consumer Products (Circumvention Rights)
Day 20 – Public Domain (Circumvention Rights)
Day 21 – Print Disabilities Circumvention Rights)
Day 22 – Libraries (Circumvention Rights)
Day 23 – Education Institutions (Circumvention Rights)
Day 24 – Time Shifting (Circumvention Rights)
Day 25 – Statutory Obligations (Circumvention Rights)
Day 26 – Investigation of Concealed Code (Circumvention Rights)
Day 27 – Government Works (DRM Policy)
Day 28 – Review of New Circumvention Rights (Circumvention Rights)
Day 29 – No Ban on Circumvention Devices (Foundation Issue)
Day 30 – Prohibition on Contractual Circumvention of Rights (Foundation Issue)
30 Things You Can Do

Source: Michael Geist’s 30 Days of DRM Page

Sony Rootkit DRM Settlement Passes Final Legal Hurdle

Text of Settlement Agreement
A U.S. federal judge approved the proposed December 28 settlement between Sony and consumers who filed a class action lawsuit over copy-protection root-kit software installed on music CDs. Consumers who bought the CDs will receive replacement discs without the anti-piracy technologies and will let them choose one of two incentive packages that provide cash or free music downloads. Sony will also provide consumers with a patch to remove the rootkit software from their computers.

Sources: | Reuters | PC Magazine (Reuters) | TechNewsWorld | CBS (AP) | Engadget | PC World (IDG) | BBC ZDNet | CNet | LA Times

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Sony Settles Class Action Law Suits over Rootkit DRM

Text of Proposed Settlement Agreement
A proposed settlement of lawsuits against Sony BMG Music Entertainment would let some consumers receive free music downloads to compensate them for Sony surreptitiously including spyware on millions of CDs, lawyers said Thursday.

Sources: Red Herring | Business Week | Washington Post | ars Technica | MSNBC | Information Week | Forbes | The Register | Seattle Post Intelligencer

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Texas Saddles Another Claim On Sony

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott reloaded his shootin' iron and has spyware killers as he filed new claims against Sony BMG. Abbott levied charges of deceptive trade practices for hiding spyware in the disc against the multinational music company.

Sources: CNET | Security Pro News | | MP3 Newswire | Techtree | VNU Net | CNET | Financial Times

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My Morning Jacket Burns New CDs for Fans Replacing Sony’s CDs with Rootkits

Rock Group My Morning Jacket is taking matters in its own hands by providing burned replacement CDs to its fans that had purchased its CDs with Sony's controversial rootkit software.

Sources: MTV | | NME | Murmors | Aversion

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Texas Sues Sony BMG for ‘spyware’ on CDs

Texas alleges that the company "surreptitiously" installed spyware on personal computers through music CDs with a copy protection program contrary to Texas Anti-Spyware law.

Sources: Red Herring | Associated Press | Reuters | Business Week | ABC News | Washington Post | Financial Times

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Sony Folds Tent, Recalls CDs

Sony BMG, yielding to consumer concern, said on Wednesday it was recalling music CDs containing copy-protection software that acts like virus software and hides deep inside a computer.

Sources: Wired | MSNBC | CNN | ABC Online | PC Magazine | BBC | New York Times | ZDNet

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Fallout from Sony CD Flap Getting Worse

Researchers says software removal scheme aggravates security hole.

Source: MSNBC

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Sony Bows to Pressure and Abandons DRM Rootkit Technology

Stung by continuing criticism, the world’s second-largest music label, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, promised Friday to temporarily suspend making music CDs with anti-piracy technology that can leave computers vulnerable to hackers.

Sources: MSNBC | engadget | Financial Times | Forbes | USA Today | San Jose Mercury News | CNET | CBS News

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Sony Faces Class Action Law Suit over Rootkit DRM

The suit claims that around June 2005, Sony BMG began to issue some CDs that install digital rights management software that continuously monitor for rights problems, depleting a computer's available resources … the technology cannot be removed without damage to the system and that Sony BMG does not advise consumers of the existence or true nature of the program.

Sources: Red Herring | Wired

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Sony Caught using Rootkit DRM

Sony is criticized for including root-kit software as part of its CD copy protection. Root kit software is installed on your computer without your knowledge. Root-kit software often causes system problems. No tools to uninstall are provided by Sony. RootkitRevealer can be used to detect and remove it

Washington Post | The Inquirer | Security Now Podcast

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