Sony Hit With Second Texas Suit

By Jon Newton 12/23/05

The eyes of Texas are already upon Sony BMG as it looks for damages following a, "technological version of cloak-and-dagger deceit against consumers by hiding secret files on their computers," as attorney general Greg Abbott recently described Sony's DRM rootkit spyware invasion farce.

Now Abbott has expanded his lawsuit, "alleging that a second form of anti-piracy technology used by the label violates the state's spyware and deceptive trade practices laws," says the Associated Press.

And this time, SunnComm's wholly ineffective MediaMax DRM application is the subject.

Jon Newton

The new allegations involve "an unrelated CD copy-protection technology known as MediaMax," which was loaded on 27 Sony BMG titles.

"We keep discovering additional methods Sony used to deceive Texas consumers who thought they were simply buying music,'' Abbott is quoted as saying.

But, "BMG officials said in a statement that they are working with Abbott's office and believe they can prove they have responded appropriately to his concerns," says AP.

Would said officials include Thomas Hesse, the head of Sony BMG's global digital business, one wonders?

He recently characterized Sony BMG's attempt to secretly penetrate customers' computers via music CDs loaded with hidden spyware as a "slight" issue.

"The security issues with MediaMax are not uncommon and are completely addressed by a software update which we already have made available, as is standard practice when problems with consumer software are identified,'' the statement said.

Texas can recover up to $100,000 in damages for each violation of the spyware law and $20,000 in damages for each violation of the deceptive trade practices law, says AP, adding:

"Individuals whose computers were affected by the anti-piracy technology also can recover damages."

Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.

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Ipsos-Reid: Only 2% of Consumers Care About Legal Issues With Downloading Music


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