Feeds

Sony hit by lawsuits over root kit

Spyware flushes out lawyers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Sony BMG is facing a class action suit from Californian consumers who claim the music giant's rootkit DRM technology damaged their computers and breaks three separate Californian laws.

The suit asks the court to stop Sony selling any more CDs containing the rootkit and seeks compensation for damage already done. Some Sony audio CDs include software which will secretly load itself if the CD is played on a computer. The suit was filed 1 November in the Los Angeles Superior Court by attorney Alan Himmelfarb, according to Reuters.

A second case has been started in New York on behalf of anyone who's bought one of the CDs.

Sony is also facing possible action from the Electronic Frontier Foundation in Italy - the lobby group has filed papers with the Italian authorities alleging Sony is guilty of "illicit acts".

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has also examined Sony's End User License Agreement which consumers now agree to when buying Sony CDs. Aside from letting Sony install any software they like on your computer it also covers what you can do with stored copies of the CD.

Any copies of the CD kept on a laptop or other device must be deleted if the original CD is stolen or lost. They cannot be stored on your work computer only a "personal home computer system owned by you". If you move countries you must delete all songs covered by the license. If you file for bankrupcy you must delete all relevant files.

Any consumer who fails to keep up-to-date with the hidden software is in breach of the agreement.

In exchange for all this the license also limits Sony BMG's liability for any damages this might cause to just $5 per CD - or slightly less than you paid for it in the first place.

Read the whole critique here.

A spokesman for Sony BMG in the UK guided us in the direction of New York HQ because CDs sold in the UK do not contain the rootkit. Sony BMG New York were unable to provide comment by press time. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?