Sony BMG Settles With More States in Software Case

Sony BMG Music Entertainment has reached a settlement with 39 additional states and the District of Columbia to resolve lawsuits filed after the sale of music CDs containing a hidden anti-piracy program that was installed when played on computers. The new settlement totaling $4.25 million follows similar agreements with the states of Texas and California totaling $1.5 million. The MediaMax and XCP software created security breaches on some computers and then damaged some PCs when consumers attempted to remove the programs. As part of the settlements, Sony BMG will no longer distribute any compact discs loaded with copy-protection software that hinders computer users from easily locating it or removing it from their PCs. The software was embedded into 52 CD titles, including new releases and reissues by several country artists. Sony BMG has agreed to pay up to $175 to consumers who can document that their computers were damaged by the software.