Skip to main content

Sony BMG Entertainment Spyware Suits

Just when the music recording industry was actually starting to show signs that it had finally learned some "digital media distribution savvy," one of the leading players does something foolish that raises questions again about the sector's collective inability to adapt to shifting business models.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a class-action lawsuit against Sony BMG Entertainment through which it is demanding that the company further address problems related to the controversial "rootkit"-style copy-protection mechanism that it shipped on an estimated 24 million music CDs.

The suit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior court, alleges that two different types of rootkit DRM (digital rights management) software have been installed on the computers of "millions of unsuspecting music customers" when they played affected CDs on devices running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system.

While the EFF lauds Sony for taking initial steps to fix issues related to one form of the rootkit, known as First4Internet XCP, the filing claims that a second variation of the software, labeled as SunnComm MediaMax, has not been addressed and affects 20 million of the involved CDs.

According to the EFF, the MediaMax software installs itself on computers even when users choose not to run the application, and the group contends that the application does not include any feature for deleting the program entirely.

The lawsuit claims that the rootkit software transmits information on individual usage habits back to Sony BMG, including details of what music people listen to, allowing the company to spy on customers and track their habits.

The State of Texas has also filed a civil law suit. Texas is seeking civil penalties of $100,000 per violation of the state's Consumer Protection Against Computer Spyware Act, which was enacted earlier this year.

Popular posts from this blog

How AI Impacts Data Workload Investment

The importance of data in today's business landscape fundamentally reshapes how CIOs invest in their IT infrastructure. A recent International Data Corporation ( IDC ) market study highlights this trend, revealing insights into spending patterns. The study indicates that structured database and data management workloads are the largest spending category within enterprise IT infrastructure. This is unsurprising, considering the foundational role these workloads play in managing digital business data. However, IDC's worldwide market study also sheds light on a noteworthy shift – spending in some categories witnessed a slight decline in 2023 compared to 2022. Data Workload Market Development This dip could be attributed to several factors. Organizations might optimize their existing data management processes, potentially leveraging more efficient storage solutions or cloud-based data management services. Additionally, the rise of alternative data sources, such as unstructured and