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Sony sues DRM developer

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 12 Jul 2007 11:09 User comments (27)

Sony sues DRM developer Sony BMG Music Entertainment is suing a company that developed antipiracy software for CDs, claiming the technology was defective and cost the record company millions of dollars to settle consumer complaints and government investigations.
Sony BMG filed a summons in a New York state court against The Amergence Group Inc., formerly SunnComm International, which developed the MediaMax CD copy-protection technology.

Sony BMG is seeking to recover some $12 million in damages from the Phoenix-based technology company, according to court papers filed July 3.

The music company accuses Amergence of negligence, unfair business practices and breaching the terms of its license agreement by delivering software that "did not perform as warranted."

In a statement, The Amergence Group vowed to fight what it described as unwarranted allegations by Sony BMG.

The company also suggested that lawsuits against Sony BMG over CD copy-protection primarily stemmed from Sony's use of another technology.

It began including MediaMax on some of its compact discs in August 2003 and shipped about 4 million CDs equipped with the technology in 2005.

Last fall, the company agreed to pay a total of $5.75 million to settle the litigation and resolve investigations by officials in several states.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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27 user comments

112.7.2007 11:53

I'd love to be on that jury!

I guess Sony just doesn't understand all of this complicated technical stuff...

Hey Sony - If you put copy protection on a CD, but copy protection isn't part of the CD spec, then CD players might have trouble playing the CD.

Hey Sony - If you put unwanted "sneaky" software on a CD (i.e. a root kit) the customer might get angry. If that software messes-up the customer's computer, they are going to be really angry.

Hey Sony - If you put some new type of copy protection on a DVD, but that copy protection isn't part of the DVD spec, the software/firmware required to play the DVD won't be built into DVD players and there might be problems.

212.7.2007 12:34

*dies laughing*

312.7.2007 12:40
Snatched
Inactive

I hope the bastards don't see a penny. They're trying to recoop on their losses.

412.7.2007 13:28

sony your products are awesome your drm sucks

512.7.2007 16:38

Well if it isn't the pot calling the kettle black...

612.7.2007 17:21
oappi
Inactive

Originally posted by Snatched:
I hope the bastards don't see a penny. They're trying to recoop on their losses.
i totaly agree... someone like sony should know what they are buying.. and most importanltly what they are selling. i mean wtf. should i be able to sell drm software to sony that adds every computer to my personal bot net? EVERY copy portections is useless.. you only put your customers at risk with those.

712.7.2007 17:46

yeah really pirates have cracked every copyprotection thrown at them and all this copyprotection does in the end is hurt the honest consumers


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812.7.2007 18:36

seriously... half of you guys probably never bought a Sony DRM CD. so idk why you guys are following the crowd. and if you have.. sony paid you back.. so idk why bad mouth sony.. they hired a company to come up with a DRM.. so its not really sony that did it. i hope they get all their money.. and the drm company gets liquidated. and go back to good ol' crackable CSS.

912.7.2007 19:18

I guess whenever BD+ is cracked, then someone needs to sue Sony.

1012.7.2007 22:30
webe123
Inactive

Originally posted by lxfactor:
seriously... half of you guys probably never bought a Sony DRM CD. so idk why you guys are following the crowd. and if you have.. sony paid you back.. so idk why bad mouth sony.. they hired a company to come up with a DRM.. so its not really sony that did it. i hope they get all their money.. and the drm company gets liquidated. and go back to good ol' crackable CSS.

That is about the STUPIDEST POST I have read! Look, it may not dawn on you, but it is SONY that is responsible for the DRM they put on their products!

It is also SONY that tried to cover up the root kit scandal...So DON'T try post some junk about them being innocent! They are clearly NOT! End of story.

1113.7.2007 3:39

It all depends on what's in that license agreement between Sony and the DRM developer. If it stated they should have developed a DRM system that allows full use of the CD in a normal user environment while prohibiting copying, then that developer didn't deliver on the goods, meaning Sony might have a case.
I don't know the term in English, but there is something like a contract in which a company promises a certain result. If they can't deliver that result, it's considered a breach of contract. This might be the case here.

1213.7.2007 5:07

They are really stupid. Even if that companies DRM didnt hold its all a matter of time before all these companies DRM is broken. Sony needs to just deal with the fact that DRM and other technology will be cracked no matter what. Its always somebody or bodies around that will be waiting for them to develop new crap to crack or get around. Just think about like this if Sony has a 1000 man crew brainstorming to stop piracy on their media its over a couple million more people waiting to knock down all their attempts.

1313.7.2007 7:11

Originally posted by spydah:
They are really stupid. Even if that companies DRM didnt hold its all a matter of time before all these companies DRM is broken. Sony needs to just deal with the fact that DRM and other technology will be cracked no matter what. Its always somebody or bodies around that will be waiting for them to develop new crap to crack or get around. Just think about like this if Sony has a 1000 man crew brainstorming to stop piracy on their media its over a couple million more people waiting to knock down all their attempts.

Actually all that doesn't matter if the DRM developer signed an agreement in which he said he could deliver such anti-copy protect. Failing to deliver on the goods equals breach of contract. Moreover, this DRM caused some customers to not be able to play the CD's, leading to financial losses for SONY, directly resulting from this DRM.

Think of it like this: you hire a contractor to build a house on a near impossible mountain top. He agrees to building it, gets your money and then when the house tumbles down, the reasoning is "ah well, it was to be expected". That doesn't hold up in court: you sign a contract to deliver certain goods or services, then non delivery is considered breach of contract.

But I stress that all this depends on the kind of agreement they signed.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 13 Jul 2007 @ 7:12

1413.7.2007 10:06

No, a better example is a criminal hiring another criminal to help him steal. That criminal fails to deliver. So what does the first criminal do? Take him to court.

Makes no sense to me.

1513.7.2007 18:23
webe123
Inactive

Originally posted by gallagher:
No, a better example is a criminal hiring another criminal to help him steal. That criminal fails to deliver. So what does the first criminal do? Take him to court.

Makes no sense to me.



Makes no sense to me either.

1613.7.2007 19:02

Tsk, tsk...trying REALLY hard to pass the buck!

Imagine that...get caught, find a scapegoat.

1713.7.2007 19:05

Originally posted by venomX05:
Tsk, tsk...trying REALLY hard to pass the buck!

Imagine that...get caught, find a scapegoat.
prehaps it will scare off any non sony protection scheme,I cant wait till hey sue BR partners for a faulty live key system for BR :P

1814.7.2007 5:11
hughjars
Inactive

Chalk up another great PR coup for the Sony guys!

Hilarious.

1917.7.2007 16:18

Quote:
The music company accuses emergence of negligence, unfair business practices and breaching the terms of its license agreement by delivering software that "did not perform as warranted."
The matter is that ok the product did not work as it was said to but copy protection has a short life span which consists of its only as good as long as some one doesn't break it. Once some one has cracked the code then its not worth the investment.

2020.7.2007 21:34

Sony is resposible period, nobody should be making excuses for these moguls, I hope they dont retrieve a dime.

2121.7.2007 11:28

Originally posted by tucker001:
sony your products are awesome your drm sucks
Well...Their products kinda suck lately. I mean they are not what they used to be. Long time ago Sony meant quality all around. Nowadays, except for the HD Tv's (LCoS or SXRD) some handycam models (specially the Professional models) and the innovative Ebook Reader, Sony is just another name. Sony's sound systems have gone down the drain, and they are overpriced. Digital cameras are good, but the proprietary media is a bad idea. They didn't learn from the MiniDisc fiasco. It was (and still is) a great piece of hardware, but they had to lock it down with proprietary ATRAC format. I guess they'll never learn from mistakes so expect more bad DRM and more lawsuits.

2221.7.2007 11:53

Maybe there is a God!

2325.7.2007 14:37
RNR1995
Inactive

Most software EULA's basically state that even if the manufacturer knows of defects the user cannot sue. So this will depend on the agreement
As far as the rootkit thing goes Sony is NOT the only company responsible
until Mark found this thing Symantec, McAfee, Sophos and all the rest did not detect it as a virus when in reality the code was more than a year old
OH and FYI to the person who said we probably never got one of these....
The company I used to work for made a lot of money clearing this crap off peoples PC's..Me I have autorun off all my machines though a group policy
and I personally own a cd with the technology on it

2425.7.2007 14:45
RNR1995
Inactive

OOPS I almost forgot...F $ony I have not purchased or will ever purchase another $ony product since that root kit fiasco..that's the only way companies will learn

2528.7.2007 18:14

Hmm... This could set a precedent. Imagine being able to sue a software company because the software doesn't perform as advertised. (Better watch out, Micro$oft, they're gunning for you, next!)

On a more serious note, I can't imagine Sony incorporated it into their audio CD's, without first understanding how it works. The DRM company had to have explained it to them, at least as a selling point. But it was Sony that made the mistake of treating their customers property as their own, not the DRM company. Ultimately, it was Sony that chose to violate the trust of their consumers. They could have chosen not to use it, or chose to use another one. But they didn't. Now they (Sony) want their vendor to pay for a corporate decision that turned into a major fiasco, generated alot of backlash against it, cost alot of money to fix, and tarnished their corporate image. I guess in this day and age, "Corporate Responsibility" has become an oxymoron. It's a shame, really...

2630.7.2007 5:51

RNR1995, not ever buying another sony product after the root kit scam, I had said the same thing a while back after they did this, I never heard any body mention they are done with sony besides myself, nobody wants to go that far.

I did, and I have been a sony customer for about 40 years, after that I made my vow and will keep, its a shame most people dont think the same way, just image the lesson this big moguls would learn if most people did.

271.8.2007 10:42

Actually, the BEST thing that could happen is if Sony absolutely takes them to the cleaners! You'd be amazed at how quickly true programming talent would dry up for such underhanded efforts IF the writers were found retroactively liable for their efforts.

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