[JPL] don't mess with texas!

Garrett Shelton garrett at sunnysiderecords.com
Mon Nov 21 18:47:02 EST 2005


By Reuters

Story last modified Mon Nov 21 10:11:00 PST 2005 

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a civil lawsuit on Monday against
Sony BMG Music Entertainment for allegedly including spyware on its media
player designed to thwart music copying. 
According to the lawsuit filed in Travis County, several of the company's
music compact discs require customers to download Sony's media players if
they want to listen to the CDs on a computer. 
Software included with that media player "remains hidden and active" after
installation and makes users vulnerable to security risks and possible
identity theft, the Attorney General's office said in a statement.
Sony said on its Web site that it had recalled all CDs that were installed
with the XCP technology designed to prevent illegal music copying. But
Abbott said that Texas investigators were able to purchase several of the
CDs at Austin retailers on Sunday. 
Texas is seeking civil penalties of $100,000 per violation of the state's
Consumer Protection Against Computer Spyware Act, which was enacted earlier
this year. 
"Sony has engaged in a technological version of cloak and dagger deceit
against consumers by hiding secret files on their computers," Abbott said in
a statement. 
Sony was not immediately available to comment on the lawsuit. 
The CDs, from 52 popular artists, including Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra,
Louis Armstrong and Celine Dion, prompted a user agreement to appear on
consumers' computer screens. 
Users are required to accept the agreement in order to play the CDs on their
computer, and Sony's media player is automatically downloaded to their
computers with the hidden files.

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