Sony BMG Rootkit Settlement Proposal Submitted To Court - InformationWeek

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12/29/2005
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Sony BMG Rootkit Settlement Proposal Submitted To Court

Consumers who bought the rootkit-infected music would get free music downloads. A judge still has to approve the settlement before it's final; that decision is expected sometime in January.

The first incentive plan would award buyers of XCP copy-protected CDs a cash payment of $7.50 and a free download of one album from a list of more than 200 titles in Sony's catalog. The second program allows for downloads of three albums, but dispenses with the cash. The downloads will be available from three different music services; Apple's iTunes will likely be one of the three. Buyers of MediaMax CDS, meanwhile, would be given a free download for each album they've bought -- again, from a library of some 200 titles -- and will also be able to download a non-protected version of the MediaMax-enabled disc they purchased.

Previously, Sony had admitted that its XCP and MediaMax copy protection software created a security risk, and had begun pulling protected CDs from store shelves.

Even if the settlement is approved by the court, that won't put an end to Sony BMG's legal woes. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sued Sony in November, citing his state's anti-spyware statues.

The Sony copy protection brouhaha began in early November when security researcher Mark Russinovich discovered that Sony's rights management scheme secretly planted a rootkit on users' machines.

A copy of the proposed Sony class-action settlement can be downloaded from Sunbelt Software's Web site.

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