Company offers repair, replace to users

Sony BMG Music is reaching the end of its legal travails over the virus-like antipiracy software it installed on CDs in 2005.

Diskery has reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission requiring it to pay $150 to repair any damage its software caused to buyers’ computers, provide free replacement CDs and clearly label any discs containing antipiracy software in the future.

Sony BMG already reached a $4.25 million settlement with 39 states last month (Daily Variety, Dec. 22) and settled a class-action lawsuit.

Controversy arose over the antipiracy software that prevented users from copying music from a CD to an iPod and created security vulnerabilities on computers. Software automatically installed when users played a disc on a computer, even though there was no warning on the case.

As part of the settlement, Sony BMG isn’t allowed to use any listening data it collected for research or to deliver advertising.

Diskery also has to provide a free downloadable patch so people can uninstall the program from their computers.

Several labels tried installing antipiracy software on CDs in recent years, but they have largely abandoned the practice due to consumer complaints about incompatibility with the iPod and the Sony BMG scandal.

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