Sony Settles Rootkit Class Action (Part the First)

It appears the Sony rootkit fiasco may be approaching an end. Techdirt is reporting that the company has settled one of many class action lawsuits, offering three free albums’ worth of MP3 downloads or $7.50 plus a single albums’ worth of downloads. As a poster on Techdirt points out:

According to Sony, 2 albums’ worth of music has an actual value of $7.50. That’s $3.75 per album.

Bear this in mind when the RIAA quote higher figures. Also if they sold albums for under $4 maybe Sony wouldn’t need DRM.

The real question out of all of this is whether or not Sony will return to selling plain ol’ unencumbered CDs, or if their agreement to abandon the MediaMax and XCP means only that they will be migrating to another DRM system in the near future.

We suspect the latter, but remain hopefully optimistic while we continue to purchase our music from Russian download services.


Edit Your Comment

  1. WMeredith says:

    How is that russian download service? I’m getting sick of iTunes crippling my music with DRM…

  2. mrscolex says:

    WMeredith: What does iTunes have to do with the sony rootkit fiasco? I don’t want to sound like an iTunes apologist, but FairPlay is most certainly one of the nicest of all of the terrible DRM infrastructures.

    * Music can be licensed legally to 5 different devices at one time (thats enough for an average sized faimly, or one person with a couple of friends).
    * You can burn your music to CD’s of any particular mix 10 times– of which you can also reimport your burned CD’s.
    * Every year you have the option to reset your 5 licenses in case you have lost a laptop or licensed it out to an ex you despise.

    I don’t know of the licensing restrictions on Video that comes from the itms, but their song licenses are certainly very usable by the “average” person without them bumping up into any restrictions.

    The worst of the restrictions:

    * You can only play the music on iTunes or your iPod. Solution: Burn your music to a CD. Make backups of your purchased music.

    I can’t imagine why the average person would have a problem with iTunes DRM. To me, people whom are complaining deserve a nice play of the “World’s smallest violin”.

  3. AcidReign says:

    …..The best way is to first listen to the album free, on a service like on AOL Music, admittedly at less-than-optimum quality. That way, you know if you’re buying a hit + 9 clunkers, or if the album is good.

    …..Pirates will note also that if it’s ported out across your sound card, it can be recorded. It’s a software engineering problem. If the record companies actually succeed in making it impossible to digitally duplicate CD tracks, you’ll see analog-output-back-to-digital versions on the warez sites. Folks have been illegally copying ever since the first consumer reel-to-reel tape deck came out. It won’t end. Ever.

    …..Then you go buy the CD and rip ’em yourself, probably at better quality than the lousy 128K downloads. And you can do the tags correctly, yourself! I haven’t seen a copy-protection scheme yet, including the sony rootkit virus, that isn’t defeated by disabling auto-play. (Or holding the shift key down, if you just can’t live without CDs and USB drives installing crap without intervention! Just don’t forget…)

    …..Then, you end up with a nice collection of high-quality, well-tagged, and unfettered mp3s; perfectly legal under the Betamax ruling! And a hard copy backup is sitting right in your CD-rack! Artist gets paid (maybe), record company makes money, and no monthly charge on your credit card! Of course, if everyone started previewing whole albums before buying, music sales would tank worse than ever, I think!

    Rock On