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SONY BMG SEEKS LAWSUIT SETTLEMENTS
Would Offer Cash, Music to Make up for Copy Protection Fiasco
A federal judge is considering a proposal by Sony BMG to settle 15 or more consumer class-action lawsuits brought against Sony BMG as a result of the company’s use of both XCP and MediaMax copy-protection software on its CD releases.

According to reports, a hearing is scheduled for next month in New York to determine whether the settlement offer will be accepted. Under the terms of the deal, SBMG would give those consumers who purchased any of the 2.9 million discs containing the infamous XCP rootkit a choice: Either a cash payment of $7.50 and a free, unprotected album download from a list of about 200 albums, or three free albums from the same list.

Those who purchase any of the estimated 7 to 8 million discs containing the MediaMax software (which, along with XCP, was shown to leave SBMG customers’ computers vulnerable to virus attacks and hackers, among other problems) will not receive cash, but will be eligible to receive unprotected album downloads.

Also as part of the settlement, SBMG will continue to provide software to safely uninstall the XCP and MediaMax antipiracy software and will permanently cease manufacturing discs containing either.

The proposed deal to end the consumer suits will not cover a lawsuit brought by the state of Texas over the same matter. Also, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has been looking into the matter (what hasn’t he been looking into lately?) and could potentially take action as well.
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