Sony BMG Hit with Lawsuit Over DRM Technology Embedded in CDs
November 10, 2005 at 5:34 PM (PT)
SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT has been slapped with at least one class action lawsuit in CALIFORNIA over its rootkit-as-copy-protection software, which has reportedly inserted spyware into SONY BMG CD buyers' computers, reports TECHWEB NEWS.
Attorney ALAN HIMMELFARB filed a suit in LOS ANGELES COUNTY COURT last week on behalf of ALEXANDER GUEVARA. The lawsuit claims that SONY BMG's copy-protection technology, XCP (eXtended Copy Protection), which was created by U.K.-based FIRST4INTERNET, violates two anti-fraud statutes and a third that forbids anyone placing spyware on a computer.
CALIFORNIA's year-old Consumer Protection Against Spyware Act, forbids "the taking control of a consumer's computer, modifying computer settings, and the prevention of a user's efforts to block or disable software," according to the papers HIMMELFARB filed . HIMMELFARB is requesting that SONY be prevented from using XCP and that as-yet-undecided compensation be made to all buyers of the protected CDs. The suit also asks that any SONY profits on CDs sold in CALIFORNIA be turned over to the class-action members.
The bad news for customers who have unwittingly installed the spyware onto their home computers (the spyware installs itself when users attempt to play or copy the CD onto a PC) is that hackers are already attempting to exploit the software.
"SONY's DRM copy protection has opened up a vulnerability which hackers and virus writers are now exploiting," said GRAHAM CLULEY, senior technology consultant for SOPHOS, in a statement today. "We wouldn't be surprised if more malware authors try and take advantage of this."
Want to find out if you have a CD that may have installed spyware on your computer? Take a look at the 20 CDs which contain the XCP code by clicking here.