Sony BMG's Rootkit Violated Federal Law; Company Agrees To Pay To Fix Damaged Computers

from the pay-up dept

While Sony BMG already settled the class action lawsuit against it for their rootkit copy protection that opened up security holes on computers that were difficult to fix and hidden in a way that made them difficult to find, that didn’t get them totally out of the hot water. There was also an investigation to see if the rootkits violated federal law — and apparently they did. The company has reached an agreement with the FTC, and unlike the typical agreement where a company “doesn’t admit guilt,” in this case Sony BMG clearly states that they violated federal law with the rootkits, and will reimburse people up to $150 if their computers were damaged by the software. This is interesting for a variety of reasons, including that it should help make various companies a little more careful before just throwing any kind of copy protection on their media without knowing what it’s actually doing or what liabilities they might face for using the copy protection. The most amazing thing in all of this, though, is that the DRM in question did absolutely nothing positive for Sony BMG. It cost them money directly in having to pay for the software. It cost them their reputation. And, now it cost them from a legal standpoint. And, despite all of that, it never even came close to protecting the content that it was associated with. So, what, exactly is the benefit of DRM again?

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Comments on “Sony BMG's Rootkit Violated Federal Law; Company Agrees To Pay To Fix Damaged Computers”

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john says:


up to some point i could say: “FINALY A JACK ASS BIG COMPANY HAS TO PAY” but if you or me had done it we would gone straight to jail no questions asked locked up and they would toss the key in to the ocean but wait the have money rich people dont go to jail they should give the a more expensive fine that hitted them below the belt like force them to give away ps3 to every member in past present of the bgm cause if the shoe was in the other foot they would try to implant evidence and get us banned from the internet

ScytheNoire (profile) says:

i agree, i want to know why the people who created, and the executives who were involved are not in prison. they admit to launching a virus attack, and last i checked, you can serve a lot of federal prison time for that, along with not being allowed to use a computer or the internet for a set period of time. i’d like to see some executives go to prison over this.

DRM should be banned, and i think in Europe and Canada it is coming closer to being banned. DRM serves no useful purpose and has cost more money and caused more problems.

Nasty Old Geezer says:

DRM doesn't work

But the only way to get Sony and the other music companies off of it is to hit them financially. Don’t buy ANYTHING from Sony until they start imposing no-DRM as an industry standard, the way they are forcing Blu-Ray. IF they can suffer even a 5% sales loss it will be enough.

I would love for someone to go to jail, but it won’t happen.

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