p2pnet news | music:- Under the, ‘You knew it was coming sooner or later’ heading, Sony BMG Music Entertainment is suing The Amergence Group, aka SunnComm International, the company which developed MediaMax, a spyware DRM application which, included on Sony music CDs, sparked an international scandal that’s still reverberating around the world.
That “Sony BMG should stop making CDs polluted with secret First 4 Internet XCP spyware and SunnComm MediaMax DRM (which opens users to security hacks), provide replacement discs, and make cash payments to affected customers” were the main demands in class actions filed in New York, p2pnet posted early on, also noting,
“There was no mention of Sony BMG, First 4 Internet or SunnComm executives being sued individually.”
An enormous public uproar resulted when Mark Russinovich at Sysinternals and Finland’s F-Secure separately discovered not only was the spyware hidden on the CDs to be installed without the knowledge of the people who’d bought them, it also opened hundreds of thousands of PCs to attacks from hackers and viruses.
Dozens of class action lawsuits followed and Sony ended up having to compensate victims in cash and kind.
Now Sony BMG, a joint venture between Japan’s Sony Corp and Germany’s Bertelsmann AG, is suing The Amergence Group, aka SunnComm, in New York, “seeking to recover some $12 million in damages from the Phoenix-based technology company, according to court papers filed July 3,” says the Associated Press, going on:
“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.’.”
But SunnComm (oops, Amergence Group), has “vowed to fight what it described as unwarranted allegations by Sony BMG,” story states.
It also suggests the lawsuits against Sony BMG, “primarily stemmed from Sony’s use of another technology”.
Polluted Sony music CDs also carried XCP, another spyware application developed by Britain’s First4Internet.
When the scandal first broke, Sony BMG executive Thomas Hesse tried to spin is as a “slight” issue.
p2pnet ran a blatant spoof on Sunncomm’s much-vaunted DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) consumer control technology and SunnComm took it seriously, issuing a denial in an international press statement.
(Thanks, Bill E)
p2pnet – Sony BMG rootkit DRM deal, December 29, 2005
Associated Press – Sony BMG sues CD software firm, July 12, 2007
Hollywood Reporter – Microsoft Plans to Cut Xbox Price to Compete With Wii, July 9, 2007
First4Internet – ‘New’ kind of DRM, December 18, 2004
a “slight” issue – Sony BMG tries to minimise scandal, December 10, 2005
SunnComm took it seriously – SunnComm falls for p2pnet spoof, November 9, 2005