“Sony BMG has rushed forth to settle a class action lawsuit brought by Girard Gibs and Kamber & Associates in New York over its embarrassing rootkit scandal,” Ken “Caesar” Fisher reports for Ars Technica. “The settlement will include a promise by Sony to stop all use of the XCP and MediaMax DRM technologies, which is a given. Then, after paying lawyers’ fees (what is a class action for, if not that?), the company will recall all remaining XCP and MediaMax DRM-backed CDs, and then compensate customers who have purchased the ill-begotten discs.”
“Customers who purchased the poisoned discs will have two options. First, they can cash in on a payment of US$7.50 per CD they purchased (aka, much less than they paid for it), and snag one free album download. Or, if one don’t want to bother with cashing a check for $7.50, the cash payment can be cast aside in favor of three free album downloads. In both instances, the offending CDs will be replaced with DRM-free discs, but the album downloads will most likely use a less heinous form of DRM. The company will also be required to provide a safe tool for removing the rootkits,” Fisher reports. “Sony has the right to limit the albums that are available to a list of 200, but the company cannot force you to use their music store. Instead, Sony must use at least three different venues to distribute content.”
Settlement Class Members may download albums from any one of three major download services. SONY BMG will use commercially reasonable efforts to offer Apple Computer, Inc.’s popular iTunes as one of the download services available to Settlement Class Members.
Fisher reports, “The settlement will not take place until it is approved by the court. Proof of purchase will be required, or proof of a return if a disc was taken back to a retailer after November 14.”
Full article here.
If this comes to pass and Sony does indeed offer settlement members (in New York and elsewhere) the option of downloading from Apple’s iTunes Music Store (hence such tracks will work on iPods), we will seriously consider lifting our Sony boycott and again recommend waiting for PlayStation 3 instead of settling for a Microsoft Xbox to our 2.2 million unique visitors per month. Your thoughts?
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Texas sues Sony BMG for ‘spyware’ on CDs – November 21, 2005
Sony Boycott continues: Sony recalls XCP-tainted music discs, offers Red Book compliant CD exchanges – November 17, 2005
Boycott Sony – November 14, 2005
Sony BMG ‘temporarily suspends’ production of music CDs with copy-protection scheme – November 11, 2005
Boycott Sony products: Sony music CDs can install kernel extensions on Mac OS X – November 10, 2005
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Apple launches iTunes Music Store Australia – October 24, 2005
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Sony and Warner holding out on Apple iTunes Music Store Australia – September 08, 2005
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