Feeds

Sony BMG sues DRM developer

Seeks $12m damages

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy
Even Moore's Law can't help the architects of statism now
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
New voting rules leave innocent Brits at risk of SPAM TSUNAMI
Read the paperwork very carefully - or fall victim to marketing shysters
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
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.