The state of Texas has filed a lawsuit against Sony BMG over the rootkit-like digital rights management (DRM) software which Sony included on many of its music CDs. As reported here earlier, the software, provided to Sony by First4Internet, opened up a security hole on the PCs of any customer who attempted to put the CD in their PC in order to copy their music over to their PC or to an MP3 device.
The Texas lawsuit is the second United States-based lawsuit against Sony over the rootkit software. The first was a class action lawsuit filed against Sony in California.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed the lawsuit under the Texas anti-spyware statute, saying that “People buy these CDs to listen to music. What they don’t bargain for is the consumer invasion that is unleashed by Sony BMG.”
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According to sources, the lawsuit alleges that Sony “surreptitiously installed the spyware on millions of compact music discs (CDs) that consumers inserted into their computers when they play the CDs, which can compromise the systems,” and that “a phantom file is installed to conceal the XCP files from the user, thus making it difficult for the user to remove the files from his or her computer.”
Abbott added that “Sony has engaged in a technological version of cloak-and-dagger deceit against consumers by hiding secret files on their computers. Consumers who purchased a Sony CD thought they were buying music. Instead, they received spyware that can damage a computer, subject it to viruses, and expose the consumer to possible identity crime.”
The lawsuit seeks $100,000 for each alleged violation of the Texas law, along with attorneys fees and costs.
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