Beleaguered Sony BMG will temporarily suspend the manufacture of CDs protected with technology from First 4 Internet and re-examine its copy-protection strategy, the media giant said on Friday.
The company has been widely criticized by consumers, security experts and digital-rights advocates for the surreptitious copy-protection programs that Sony BMG CDs install on consumers' computers. Digital-rights advocates and consumer attorneys are preparing nearly a half dozen legal actions against the music giant.
While the company is re-evaluating its inclusion of the Extended Copy Protection (XCP) technology produced by U.K.-based First 4 Internet, the company stood by its right to protect its music.
Here is the full statement:
We are aware that a computer virus is circulating that may affect computers with XCP content protection software. The XCP software is included on a limited number of SONY BMG content protected titles. This potential problem has no effect on the use of these discs in conventional, non-computer-based, CD and DVD players.
In response to these events, SONY BMG has swiftly provided a patch to all major anti-virus companies and to the general public that guards against precisely the type of virus now said to exist. The patch fixes the possible software problem, and still allows CDs to be played on personal computers. It can be downloaded at http://cp.sonybmg.com/xcp/. Starting today, we will also be adding this link to the SONY BMG label and corporate sites. We deeply regret any possible inconvenience this may cause.
We stand by content protection technology as an important tool to protect our intellectual property rights and those of our artists. Nonetheless, as a precautionary measure, SONY BMG is temporarily suspending the manufacture of CDs containing XCP technology. We also intend to re-examine all aspects of our content protection initiative to be sure that it continues to meet our goals of security and ease of consumer use. More information about our content protection initiative can also be found at: http://cp.sonybmg.com/xcp.
Posted by: Robert Lemos