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SonyBMG Faces Class Action Lawsuit

California consumers have filed a class-action lawsuit against major record label SonyBMG, claiming their computers have been harmed by the company's recently-uncovered use of a controversial CD copy-protection technology, Reuters reported. The label and its anti-piracy software partner, First 4 Internet, used a hacker method called a "rootkit" to hide their CD copy-protection software deep within a computer's operating system.

Antivirus firms have stated that trying to remove the software could impair a PC's ability to play CDs. The lawsuit, filed on Nov. 1, seeks damages, and also asks that SonyBMG stop selling the 20 or so music albums containing the technology. Consumers argue that Sony made no disclosure of what its anti-piracy tool was doing, and that the software also depletes a computer's available resources.

A vice president with Computer Associates told CNET that the software also reports back to Sony BMG on which CDs users listen to on their PCs, and potentially can impair ripping any CD, not just the copy-protected SonyBMG releases.

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