Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sony Rootkit Settlement Finalized

I'm seeing many news stories today about a settlement reached between Sony BMG and the US Federal Government. This is the same settlement I wrote about back in March, but it is now finalized. If the CD you bought had the XCP rootkit on it, you can either get some cash and a free music download, or no money and 3 music downloads. If you have a CD with the MediaMax digital rights management software on it, then you only can get the free music downloads.

If you do not know what Sony BMG CDs qualify for this settlement, take a look at this page that lists the compact discs included in the settlement. An additional part of the settlement says that Sony BMG can not use either program on their music discs anymore. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a web page to help people with the settlement process.

This all started back in November 2005 when Mark Russinovich discovered that Sony was using trojan like behavior, called a rootkit, to hide the anti piracy software. Eventually, Sony was forced to recall all of the CDs with the rootkit program on them.

There are still other lawsuits against Sony, however. The Texas Attorney General has brought enforcement action against Sony BMG for it's spyware like activities. The settlement between Sony BMG and the Federal Government has no effect on the Texas case. The Federal Trade Commision and several other US states are still investigating the matter.