Sony DRM Roundup

This week I received details of a Class Action Settlement against Sony, and urge anyone who can take advantage of it to do so – Sony still claim they did nothing wrong! The email is included below.

First of all a quick roundup of some of the other news items from the past few weeks;


Class Action Settlement details

If You Bought, Received or Used a SONY BMG Music Entertainment CD Containing Either XCP or Media Max Content Protection Software, Your Rights May Be Affected By a Class Action Settlement, And You Should Download Updates For That Software.

What is this about?

A settlement has been proposed in a lawsuit brought against SONY BMG Music Entertainment, Inc., SunnComm International Inc., and First 4 Internet, Ltd. ("Defendants"). The lawsuit, In re SONY BMG CD Technologies Litigation, Case No. 1:05-cv-09575-NRB, is pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and relates to XCP and MediaMax content protection software installed on certain SONY BMG music CDs.

The Settlement resolves claims that the Defendants manufactured and sold CDs containing XCP and MediaMax software without adequately disclosing the limitations the software imposes on the use of the CDs and the security vulnerabilities it creates. The Defendants have denied that they did anything wrong.

Who Is Included, And What Does The Settlement Provide?

The settlement provides relief for persons who bought, received or used SONY BMG CDs with either XCP or MediaMax software. Under the settlement, any person in possession of an XCP CD can exchange it for a replacement CD, an MP3 download of the same album, and either (a) cash payment of $7.50 and one (1) free album download from a list of 200 albums, or (b) three (3) free album downloads from that list.

Purchasers of CDs containing MediaMax 5.0 software will receive a free MP3 download of the same album and one (1) additional free album download. Purchasers of CDs containing MediaMax 3.0 software will receive a free MP3 download of the same album.

The settlement also requires the Defendants to stop manufacturing SONY BMG CDs with XCP or MediaMax 3.0 and 5.0 software and, until 2008: (1) make available updates to fix all known security vulnerabilities caused by XCP and MediaMax software; (2) provide software programs to uninstall XCP and MediaMax software safely; (3) fix any future security vulnerabilities discovered in MediaMax and any other content protection software placed on SONY BMG CDs; (4) provide independent verification that personal information about users of SONY BMG CDs has not and will not be collected through XCP or MediaMax; (5) waive certain provisions of the end user license agreements for XCP and MediaMax software; and (6) ensure that any other content protection software will be clearly disclosed, independently tested and readily uninstalled.

At 9:15a.m. on May 22, 2006, the Court will hold a hearing at the United States District Court, Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, Courtroom 21A, New York, New York 10007-1312, to decide whether to approve the settlement and the class attorneys’ fees and costs.

How Do I Participate In The Settlement?

If you bought or received a SONY BMG Music CD containing XCP or MediaMax software and want to receive the relief you may be eligible for under the settlement, you must submit an online claim form at http://www.sonybmgcdtechsettlement.com, or mail a claim form to:

SONY BMG CD Technologies Settlement
P.O. Box 1804, Faribault, MN 55021-1804

All claim forms must be submitted by December 31, 2006.

What Are My Other Options?

If you bought, received or used a SONY BMG Music CD containing XCP or MediaMax software, and you do not want to be legally bound by the settlement or receive a replacement CD, cash, free downloads or other relief, you must exclude yourself by May 1, 2006. If you do not exclude yourself, certain of your claims against the Defendants that were or could have been asserted in the lawsuit will be released, meaning you may not be able to sue the Defendants for those claims.

To view the detailed legal Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement, Motion for Attorneys’ Fees and Settlement Fairness Hearing and to download the software updates, visit http://www.sonybmgcdtechsettlement.com.

You may obtain further information by contacting the claims administrator at the address above or by calling toll free 1-800-242-7610.

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About Theo Gray

MCP, Web Designer/Developer and Musician (when spare time allows)
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