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Sony Rootkit Settlement Gets Judge's Approval 187

Posted by Zonk
from the yay-free-music dept.
Lewis Clarke wrote to mention a ZDNet story about Monday's final approval of the rootkit settlement in the case brought against Sony BMG Music. From the article: "The agreement covers anyone who bought, received or used CDs containing what was revealed to be flawed digital rights management (DRM) software after Aug. 1, 2003. Those customers can file a claim and receive certain benefits, such as a nonprotected replacement CD, free downloads of music from that CD and additional cash payments ... At least 15 different lawsuits were filed by class action lawyers against the record label, and the New York cases were eventually consolidated into one proceeding. The parties reached a preliminary settlement with Sony BMG in December, leaving it up to a judge in a U.S. District Court in New York to make it official. "
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Sony Rootkit Settlement Gets Judge's Approval

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  • Opt-in website (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheSpoom (715771) * <slashdot@ u b e r m00.net> on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @10:11AM (#15386759) Homepage Journal
    Here's the claim filing website for the Sony BMG settlement [sonybmgcdt...lement.com], since I didn't see a link to it in the article.

    The solutions given almost don't seem worth it, but I'll probably opt-in anyway just so that little bit of money gets drained from Sony so they don't do this again.
  • by Kohath (38547) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @10:38AM (#15386919)
    The amount hasn't been decided on yet. (I read the agreement.)

    This story should probably have waited until the attorney's fees were decided, since that's what these lawsuits are about.
  • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara DOT huds ... a-hudson DOT com> on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @10:42AM (#15386953) Journal

    Nothing is preventing you from filing a claim against them. From the court settlement notice:
    http://www.sonybmgcdtechsettlement.com/Notice.htm [sonybmgcdt...lement.com]

    EXCLUDE YOURSELF: Get no XCP exchange program, cash or free music download settlement benefits. This is the only option that allows you to ever be part of any other lawsuit against the Defendants about the legal claims being resolved in this case. See Question 13 below.

    OBJECT: Write to the Court about why you don't like the settlement.

    GO TO A HEARING: Ask to speak in Court about the fairness of the settlement.

    DO NOTHING: Get no XCP exchange program, cash or free music download settlement benefits. Give up certain rights. You will retain the right to sue the Defendants for any consequential damage to your computer or network that may have resulted from interactions between XCP software or MediaMax software and other software or hardware installed on your computer or network.

    NOTE: the "Do Nothing" option is also for anyone who didn't buy the CD, whose computer was damaged because someone else loaded the CD onto their machine, etc. (for example, a temp office worker decided to listen to the CD and infected a PC). Write Sony, state your claim (number of pcs affected, time lost) and that you are not part of the class settlement and would like to know what they're offering you to avoid court action.

    Heck, up here small claims handles stuff like this up to $7,000.00 If I were affected, I'd send them a demand/notice, wait 10 working days, then pay the filing fee. If enough people did this, they'd make a SERIOUS offer, one in line with the actual damages.

  • Re:If... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @11:05AM (#15387120)
    A friend down here in Austin got indicted for "hacking" UT's network and getting access to a bunch of SS#s and got 6 years probation

    And a criminal record that will follow him for the rest of his life, procluding him from many jobs, a common legal excuse for denying rental housing, etc. Plus (since he's in a scary place like Texas) if he screws up in the least little way he could get tossed in a cell for a long while (like 16 years for stealing a candy bar).

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/704922.s tm [bbc.co.uk]
    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines/040700-01.ht m [commondreams.org]

    So when the only job your friend can get is pushing shopping carts around and living in a leaky trailer away from anything normal remember how "light" his sentance was. It's Texas, unless you're white and connected no one get's off "light". BTW, during the next huricane evacuation don't bother looking for your friend since Texas plans to "segregate" convicted criminals away from the "good" people.

    Simply put: unless your friend gets his conviction sealed he'll wear a scarlet "C" on him forever. Meanwhile Sony execs still enjoy their multimillion dollar paycheck and no conviction.

    Welcome to amerika.

  • by marklyon (251926) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @11:46AM (#15387465) Homepage
    All totaled, they are asking for $4M. Sony and the "class counsel", however, want to limit the EFF's portion of the fees (which was requested at around $2M) to no more than $100,000.

    You can read more about it here: http://sonysuit.com/ [sonysuit.com]
  • by Singer4096 (134206) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @12:18PM (#15387726)
    There is a complete list of the cds covered by the Settlement here [sonybmgcdt...lement.com].
  • by Red Alastor (742410) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @01:12PM (#15388129)
    Now, when I pickup a music CD my first thought after seeing if it is an artist that I like is: "Is this disc safe?"
    There's an easy way to find out. Can you find the Compact Disc logo ? If so, it's not crippled. If I'm not mistaken, it's due to Phillips, the co-owner of the Compact Disc trademark refusing that their trademark appear on non-red book compliant discs.
  • by Epyn (589398) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @01:28PM (#15388213)
    This isn't much of a howto but more of a success story on how much of a pushover small claims can be:
    http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2006/5/15/114512/034 [kuro5hin.org]

    I thought it was fairly informative even though there was a settlement.
  • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara DOT huds ... a-hudson DOT com> on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:46PM (#15388693) Journal
    Most small claims courts have brochures and web sites outlining the process.

    Up here, its very simple. You send them a letter by registered mail, explaining the problem and giving them 10 business days to get back to you. If you haven't heard from them in 3 weeks (the courts like it if you cut the defendant some slack), then you go down to where you file, and fill in a form (bring a copy of your demand letter).

    The important words to put at the top of your demand letter:

    DEMAND LETTER
    WITHOUT PREJUDICE

    The whole "without prejudice" means that you're not limiting yourself to te claims you state in your demend letter - you aren't "prejudicing your rights" to take other action as well.

    Have fun.

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce

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