Feeds

Sony BMG sues DRM developer

Seeks $12m damages

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Record label Sony BMG is suing the maker of digital rights management (DRM) software which was accused of harming computers in 2005. The company is seeking $12m in damages to compensate for the effects of the software.

Sony is suing the Amergence Group, which was previously called SunnComm International. In 2005 software from SunnComm called MediaMax was included on some Sony BMG CDs. Designed to limit the number of copies of a disc that were made, it reportedly caused widespread problems with users' computers.

Security experts said the MediaMax software created a directory on computers which could allow hackers to hijack a computer.

Sony BMG now says the Amergence Group violated its deal with Sony because its software did not perform as it was meant to. The lawsuit accuses it of negligence and unfair business practices.

The storm over the MediaMax vulnerability in 2005 followed just weeks after a scandal about another piece of DRM software on Sony BMG CDs. Software from UK firm First 4 Internet called XCP was found to install a "rootkit" on systems.

This is a way for the software to have access to the core of a computer's operating system, and is a style of program usually used in hacking. This was condemned by users and computer experts as unsafe and as exposing a user's computer to hackers.

Sony was investigated by some US state officials and its DRM software was the subject of class action lawsuits. Sony paid out $5.75m last autumn to settle several cases. In a previous settlement it agreed to pay users $7.50 per CD and to undergo independent audits for its DRM software in the future.

Amergence said the problems faced by consumers were not its fault.

According to a statement from Amergence, Sony BMG's suit alleges, among other things, that SunnComm's CD copy protection component, called MediaMax, "was defective and that the small Phoenix-based company has a contractual obligation to indemnify the entertainment giant against consumer actions which Amergence believes resulted primarily from 1) Sony's under-tested release of a competitor's technology, and 2) BMG's 'final authority' input in determining the functional specifications of the MediaMax copy protection".

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.