Sony BMG Settles Lawsuits in California and Texas

Sony BMG Music Entertainment has agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle lawsuits brought by the states of California and Texas over music CDs that installed a hidden anti-piracy program on consumers’ computers. Certain audio CDs loaded with one of two types of MediaMax or XCP copy-protection software caused security breaches on computers, and some PCs were damaged when consumers tried to remove the software. In separate settlements, each state will receive $750,000 in civil penalties and costs. Sony BMG has also agreed to reimburse consumers whose computers were damaged while trying to uninstall the software. Sony no longer sells CDs featuring copy-protection software that causes computer problems. The previous software was initially embedded into 52 CD titles, including those by Buddy Jewell, Earl Scruggs, Flatt & Scruggs, George Jones, Keith Anderson, Montgomery Gentry, Patty Loveless, Rosanne Cash and Van Zant.