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Sony BMG hit by lawsuits over XCP

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 10 Nov 2005 11:54 User comments (27)

Sony BMG hit by lawsuits over XCP Sony BMG is now facing at least three lawsuits (so far) over the XCP copy protection. The Digital Rights Management (DRM) software behaves like a rootkit, which are increasingly used by virus writers to hide malicious software in a Windows Operating System and shield them from virus scanners. A class action lawsuit has been filed in California and another is expected soon in New York. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is gathering information from affected users to determine whether a case can be brought.
All of this started when Mark Russinovich discovered the rootkit-like installation of XCP, a DRM technology by UK based First4Internet. Ever since the issue has just escalated and escalated until now, with lawsuits filed against Sony BMG. One particular lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles by attorney Alan Himmelfarb and it aims to stop Sony BMG selling any more CDs protected by anti-copying software.

It also seeks damages for Californians who have bought CDs protected this way. The lawsuit claims that three Californian laws have been broken by Sony BMG. Scott Kamber, a New York lawyer is planning a class action lawsuit for all affected Americans. The EFF is also compiling a list of albums protected with XCP. The organisation is seeking stories from anyone who purchased XCP protected CDs.

"We're considering whether the effect on the public, or on EFF members, is sufficiently serious to merit a lawsuit." the EFF said in a statement. In Europe, the Electronic Frontiers Italy has asked the nation's government to investigate Sony over the use of the anti-piracy software. Computer Associates said that it would be releasing a tool to completely uninstall the XCP program.

Source:
BBC News

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27 user comments

110.11.2005 12:59

For those interesred read: AnyDVD tackles Sony DRM Rootkit Virus ------------------------------------- Since March 2005, Sony BMG is using a rootkit-based DRM system on some newer audio CDs. This DRM system is a serious hazard to each Windows based PC. Well known websites like F-Secure.com and SysInternals.com (URLs below) are confirming this exposure. If AnyDVD is installed and active on a PC, this new so-called "Sony DRM Rootkit Virus" has no access to the operating system and the affected audio CD appears unprotected regardless! "What the heck Sony thought to themselves," SlySoft's CEO Giancarlo Bettini was kidding, "maybe they wanna build their own bot net?". This "anti rootkit protection" is not a new function of AnyDVD, rather it is the nature of AnyDVD to filter all undesired stuff between a CD/DVD drive and the operating system. It is just one example, how well AnyDVD's option to "Remove CD Digital Audio Protection" is working. AnyDVD v5.5.1.1 New: Added functionality to remove invalid VOBUs from a title set to the option to remove "Protection based on unreadable Sectors". This fixes the error message "Out of memory" from DVDShrink with some DVDs, which suffer from a certain mastering error. Fix: The option to remove "Protection based on unreadable Sectors" could cause DVDShrink to abort with an "invalid Navigation structure" error with some DVDs, which suffer from a certain mastering error. Fix: Setup program did not delete obsolete RegCheck.exe file from previous installations Fix: Undesired high CPU use for several minutes when checking for program update via internet connection http://www.bitburners.com/News/Software_Updates/AnyDVD_tackles_Sony_DRM_Rootkit_Virus/

210.11.2005 13:58

Ok, just one BIG, MALICIOUS thought, now everybody, run to your nearest store and buy one, just one of sonys drm protected cd, then find around in astalavista or some site alike the trojan, then wait and if sony starts paying for damages on pcs all you have to do is instal drm, then install trojan, and finally cash your check, hahahahahaha then we can all watch sony bleed to death.

310.11.2005 16:05

Class action Sony!!!!! First ARccOS then this $hit....

410.11.2005 18:57

Wow, look at this from AOL poll. Does this latest hack make you more or less likely to use Sony BMG music on your computer? I won't buy Sony BMG music now 71% Less likely 23% Just as likely 4% More likely 1% Total Votes: 1,515 Note on Poll Results 11-10-05 Ya' think that looked at all the angles on this one?

611.11.2005 12:13

http://blog.sonymusic.com/sonybmg/archives/xcp.html I thought I'd share that one with you guys...

713.11.2005 19:49

Well it didn't take too long from the rest of the world to start bitching. They also got the homeland security involved just read this latest news story. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051112/ap_on_hi_te/sony_copy_protection;_ylt=AnB55qyYd3qry.24Xa7zajNj24cA;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

814.11.2005 4:04

no one has given the big picture a look... ok it works like this over the last year Sony has been putting thease cds on the shelf of every store in the world now there will be a recall and there will be shipments still in hong kong or where ever they press them out of in the billions of cds this is the end of the(ir) world(sony) as we know it.........think of the world wide recall and expence it will bankrupe the company not to mention the law suits that will drive the point home... can we say broke because after this that is where Sony and all its employees will be.. why no one at the company hq was bright enough to say isnt it illegal to install software on systems wrong .... maybe their lawyers (riaa) were to busy going after 12 year old downloaders to think about a world wide lawsuit that will bankrupe them under liability laws ans hacking laws and oh yeah laws about virus writing by installing trogens so lets see if our government will side with us or them

914.11.2005 5:10
Reasons?
Inactive

Microsoft is releasing in it's weekly update the removal tool for it's anti-spyware software if you have it. If not, then you'll have to wait a week or so and the Microsoft Malicious Software removal tool will do it.

1014.11.2005 22:29

how the mighty have fallen

1115.11.2005 5:22
Reasons?
Inactive

So, so many Sony haters. You all look at this like it's a first, HELLO, Microsft has been responsible for much more damages simply for negligence.

1215.11.2005 6:19

Reasons? and all, Its the border crosser sony this time causing the crap from the land of the falling sun that is the {jerks} {screwer }{screwy} { wacky} {nutty} {fruitcake} {bizarre} {crazy} you pick the word ye like..or add the word ye like. and i do love microsoft,not!

1315.11.2005 12:14
Reasons?
Inactive

DVDXCopy Chief, what's that? Off-topic I know, but the B*tching in this thread has gone enough without a break.


Fanboy is a term used to describe someone who is utterly devoted to a single subject. This generally is followed by the devotion and support even when proved wrong.

Anecdotal, by my definition, it's the way too many people here think. It's also all the evidence you have.

Xbox 360 GT: NEGATIVE 273K

My advice: Wait for PS3.

1416.11.2005 12:01

The only correct and appropriate response is for consumers to boycott all Sony products (music cd's and electronics) for this Christmas season. Hit Sony hard in the pocket book and they and other corporations will think twice before unleashing this kind of evil on their loyal customers. (Is this how Sony treats people who loyally buy their music? Turns out it might be safer just to download it instead!) Pass this news on to all of your contacts to boycott Sony now!

1516.11.2005 12:52

I have the Santana and Ricky Martin CD's that is by BMG and Arista from the following site listing all effected CD'S and information on the CD's: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004144.php I had Santana CD in PC, the software did not load; ofcourse, I use Musicmatch to record songs to MP3. The Ricky Martin CD ripped without any problems.I only do this for Sony Minidisc I use. Here are a listing of CD's: Trey Anastasio, Shine (Columbia) Celine Dion, On ne Change Pas (Epic) Neil Diamond, 12 Songs (Columbia) Our Lady Peace, Healthy in Paranoid Times (Columbia) Chris Botti, To Love Again (Columbia) Van Zant, Get Right with the Man (Columbia) Switchfoot, Nothing is Sound (Columbia) The Coral, The Invisible Invasion (Columbia) Acceptance, Phantoms (Columbia) Susie Suh, Susie Suh (Epic) Amerie, Touch (Columbia) Life of Agony, Broken Valley (Epic) Horace Silver Quintet, Silver's Blue (Epic Legacy) Gerry Mulligan, Jeru (Columbia Legacy) Dexter Gordon, Manhattan Symphonie (Columbia Legacy) The Bad Plus, Suspicious Activity (Columbia) The Dead 60s, The Dead 60s (Epic) Dion, The Essential Dion (Columbia Legacy) Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten (Epic) Ricky Martin, Life (Columbia) (labeled as XCP, but, oddly, our disc had no protection) Several other Sony-BMG CDs are protected with a different copy-protection technology, sourced from SunnComm, including: My Morning Jacket, Z Santana, All That I Am Sarah McLachlan, Bloom Remix Album Rich

1616.11.2005 19:32
Reasons?
Inactive

You can't boycott Sony PAL, they own to much of to many markets to be reckond with. I can't believe the lack of level headed poeple on this site. Sony is forced to walk thin ice due to personal bias, damn. Microsoft and Intel can monopolize their markets and sell a $40 "Extreme Edition" CPU for $1000, and Microsoft can force businesses into tens of thousands of dollars of software worked on less than Windows XP, and yet you love them. You love Microsoft and Xbox ireegardless of serious fact. I dont' understand, someone explain it to me. Microsoft can increase it's profit by releasing software too early, and open up similar holes to many many more people, but no one cares? No one cares the programming negligence and corporate kissing stockholders asses has cause exponentially mor epoeple to have zeroed drives, lost photo albums, and thousands to millions in financial damages?? It's stupid, no one here is level headed and has an ounce of common sense. You just are biased, and hump this oppertunity to death.


Fanboy is a term used to describe someone who is utterly devoted to a single subject. This generally is followed by the devotion and support even when proved wrong.

Anecdotal, by my definition, it's the way too many people here think. It's also all the evidence you have.

Xbox 360 GT: NEGATIVE 273K

My advice: Wait for PS3.

1716.11.2005 21:26

Hey "reasons?". I suppose the question mark behind your name implies you don't know your reasons. I can boycott whoever the heck I want. My money is going elsewhere this Christmas. I believe the consumer has the power of choice in this country. If Sony lost 5% of their customers for a short time, it would send a message to them. Did I say I like Microsoft? No, I didn't. (sure, Microsoft has a role for failing to produce good security in Windows, but this thread is about SONY and their eeeevil role here. Try a Microsoft thread if you wish to bash them.) I don't own an XBOX and don't like Microsoft either. Am I biased against Sony? I wasn't until they pulled this krap. I believed Sony was a reputable company, but I have my doubts now that they have attempted to spy on people and control people's use of their product in a manner that was unexpected, unreasonable, misleading and dishonest. Who has time to read all the fine print every time they buy a music cd or new software? By obscuring their software in this manner, they tried to pull a fast one on joe consumer. Will I buy Sony products again? perhaps, but they have to regain my trust. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

1817.11.2005 14:14
Reasons?
Inactive

I was reffering to forum users as a whole, internet wide. Not you, don't flatter yourself, it's a horrible personality trait. So, when microsft releases a patch for a security problem that has existed from the first day the OS was concieved, you don't lose any trust in them? That's an example by the way, don't start on a whole "I don't liek Microsoft anyway" speech. Please, you should get my drift, or do I have to write a formal research paper on it, citing exact companies and individual issues with statistics on public damages due to the incident?


Fanboy is a term used to describe someone who is utterly devoted to a single subject. This generally is followed by the devotion and support even when proved wrong.

Anecdotal, by my definition, it's the way too many people here think. It's also all the evidence you have.

Xbox 360 GT: NEGATIVE 273K

My advice: Wait for PS3.

1919.11.2005 3:30
jackcasey
Inactive

Thirty years ago I had to decide where to save my black and white memories. Sony said as long as there was a vhs format, there would be a beta video format. I went with beta, and that meant Sony. Today after 26 recorders and 3000 beta tapes I have 4 walking wounded recorders left, virtually no replacement parts available, and they wouldn't even put out a lousey player to help me move everything over to dvd. I don't think I would sink my hopes in Sony. Jack

2019.11.2005 7:12
Reasons?
Inactive

Yours is a rare case, you can and could have moved eveything over to your comp and to any storage media you want, you just have to do it at the right time, before the tech gets out-dated and no one sells the equipment to make the transition. You could've and also could still have it professionally done somewhere, I don't know anywhere specific, but it's quite obvious someone has that equipment and might offer that service.

2119.11.2005 10:41

This last comment by reasons?............Do you and these companies think we are all made of money? Why should Jack have to pay someone? OH, blueray or what ever will come out and sorry Jack, you can start over again. Why are the majority of titles that contain the rootkit geared towards people in their 60's / 70's or older? Do they honestly think that they are going to BUY these cds and pirate them? Get real! This is absolutely vile behavior on the part of Sony. Let's get the suckers that are totally computer illerate. GREAT IDEA......NOT As a note, I bought a digital camera so I could send photos over the internet to relatives that live 3000 miles away. Thank god, it wasn't a SONY!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 19 Nov 2005 @ 10:42

2220.11.2005 11:33
Reasons?
Inactive

See it from my and many others stand point then. Why should I be restricted to DVD, if I can afford a 1080p 70" DLP TV and Blu-ray and HD-DVD. It's not like DVD will be wiped out, it'll take a little while to make the transistion, and by then you should have a BD or HD-DVD player hooked up to your tv for a couple hundred. And if you can't afford it, don't collect. To switch to HD-DVD and Blu-Ray will cost a $1,000, a new tv that's HDCP compatible and the player. If you can't afford it, don't get into all the other stuff like illegal copying. You've had a year of solid notice to get together that money. And if anyone is so poor to not manage that, don't watch so much damn tv and get a better job. It's a simple concept, if you don't have the money for it, don't do it, and if you can't do it, get off your ass and get a job. One of my best friends never graduated and never got a GED, and he makes $60,000 a year on carpet installation. He works very hard, and strange hours, but he's off his ass doing it, and comes home in a brand new avalanch to his 65" HD TV.


Fanboy is a term used to describe someone who is utterly devoted to a single subject. This generally is followed by the devotion and support even when proved wrong.

Anecdotal, by my definition, it's the way too many people here think. It's also all the evidence you have.

Xbox 360 GT: NEGATIVE 273K

My advice: Wait for PS3.

2320.11.2005 16:26

Unreal, GOOD FOR YOU!......been there, done that! Tired of replacing system after system. BTW....last month, we helped out a friend, as he was locked out of work due to the teacher's strike in British Columbia. Last week, I helped a young mom who went to hawk her TV so she could feed her two week baby as her milk wasn't coming in. She went to social services for emergency aid, they turned her down. I didn't even know her, but wanted her to know SOMEBODY CARES! I guess it comes down to what one thinks is more important!

2421.11.2005 4:38
Reasons?
Inactive

That's definitely a bad thing, and it's really is deplorable to see that, but my point is that they don't need to be concerned with the latest movie format. They have mor eimportant things that come first, and so the new formats go on for those who can afford them. I don't see how someone who has to sell their tv has to be concerned about being able to watch the latest movie releases. It costs alot of money, but you don't have to do it.


Fanboy is a term used to describe someone who is utterly devoted to a single subject. This generally is followed by the devotion and support even when proved wrong.

Anecdotal, by my definition, it's the way too many people here think. It's also all the evidence you have.

Xbox 360 GT: NEGATIVE 273K

My advice: Wait for PS3.

2522.11.2005 9:00

Hi reasons?....I'm happy that you showed some sympathy for the young mother. Her TV was probably the only thing of value that she owned. Most likely had an old vcr hooked up to it, her only form of entertainment. I know many, many people who have lost their jobs due to unfortunatel circumstances. People in their late 40's and on, and it's very hard to start again. GM is shutting their plants down ......30,000 people affected. However, there is always a trickle effect within the communities. http://www.canada.com/national/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=c6... If everyone just looked around them, they would see so much. There are plenty of very poor people. Getting a better job is not always possible without support in the meantime. Dvd players are at a price that some of the unfortunate, if they saved hard enough, can now afford them. The big corportations don't care..........their profits used to be in the millions, now it is in the BILLIONS. They're played out, so let's start again with a new format. Similiar to games systems, overpriced, and egads $50-$60 a game? As a parent, I've stopped.....NO MORE. If my kids want to waste THEIR money on something that will become obsolete in 10 years......they can fill their boots and find out the hardway. Same with software, I only buy essentials now, make due with what I have. I really did think dvd was "THE" format, I, a FOOL bought into it. Collected a mass over the last five plus years. My investment has dwindled to very little. I can now buy titles that I already spent a fortune on, for as little as $3 Canadian. I was quite satisfied, even though I don't own an HDTV. What ever format comes in, I would hope that I could transfer what I own over.....but these 'corporations' are making that harder and harder......they just want us to buy, buy, buy, and line their pockets. I have one son at home. 2 that live away...food, rent, and utilities are are their priorities. They all like the Simpsons....I bought each of them "Season1" because they can't afford it! I guess I am a fool when I have the capability? As far as Sony is concerned.....have a look at the titles of the cds, they are duping the older, UN computer savvy consumers. What else have they done that we don't know about? When companies, people, lie and play deceptive games, then my trust goes down, down, down. Just my 2 cents.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Nov 2005 @ 9:05

2622.11.2005 9:05

just info his web site http://hatch.senate.gov/ [Senator Hatch] said damaging someone's computer "may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights." The senator acknowledged Congress would have to enact an exemption for copyright owners from liability for damaging computers. He endorsed technology that would twice warn a computer user about illegal online behavior, "then destroy their computer." "If we can find some way to do this without destroying their machines, we'd be interested in hearing about that," Hatch said. "If that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines. If you have a few hundred thousand of those, I think people would realize" the seriousness of their actions, he said. "There's no excuse for anyone violating copyright laws," Hatch said. http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/260643

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Nov 2005 @ 9:13

2722.11.2005 9:05

double post..

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Nov 2005 @ 9:05

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