New York, NY (May 25, 2005)–A U.S. District Court judge in New York gave final approval Monday to a settlement for music fans who purchased Sony BMG music CDs containing flawed copy protection programs.
“This settlement gets music fans what they thought they were buying in the first place: music that will play on all their electronic devices without installing sneaky software,” said Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Legal Director Cindy Cohn.
The claim process actually began back in February and provides anyone who purchased Sony BMG CDs that included First4Internet XCP and SunnComm MediaMax software with the same music without digital rights management (DRM). Some people are also eligible for additional downloads or a small cash settlement. Anyone who bought one of the affected CDs should start the claims process at www.eff.org/sony.
“Participating in the settlement is a way to show Sony BMG–and the entire entertainment industry–how important this issue is to you,” said Cohn. “If you take the time to claim the product you deserve, maybe other music labels will think twice before wrapping songs in DRM.”
The problems with the Sony BMG CDs surfaced last year when security researchers discovered that XCP and MediaMax installed undisclosed–and in some cases, hidden–files on users’ Windows computers, potentially exposing music fans to malicious attacks by third parties. The infected CDs also communicated back to Sony BMG about customers’ computer use without proper notification.
In addition to compensating consumers, Sony BMG was forced to stop manufacturing CDs with both First4Internet XCP and SunnComm MediaMax software. The settlement also waives several restrictive end user license agreement (EULA) terms and commits Sony BMG to a detailed security review process prior to including any DRM on future CDs.
Electronic Frontier Foundation