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Sony settlement gets judge's nod
Published: 2006-01-09

A prospective settlement to class-action lawsuits filed in New York over music company Sony BMG's use of surreptitious code to enforce copy protections will likely result in consumers getting free music and, perhaps, a small amount of cash, according to a news report.

U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald approved a proposed settlement, after attorneys outlined the deal, which included a commitment by Sony BMG to stop making CDs that carry the copy protection software made by SunnComm and First 4 Internet, the Associated Press reported on Friday.

The agreement could spell the beginning of the end of a public outcry aimed at Sony BMG for its controversial copy protection measures. After the software was first analyzed by two groups of security researchers in October, a backlash against Sony BMG left the company scrambling to contain damage to it public image. The debate also renewed scrutiny of the measures that copyright holders had started pursuing to protect their content.

The proposed settlement for the six cases in the Southern District of New York would allow consumers who bought CDs with the copy protections made by First 4 Internet to received $7.50 and a promotional code good for one download selected from more than 200 titles. Alternatively, the consumers could receive no money but download three albums, the Associated Press reported. In both cases, the consumer would receive a replacement for the original CD bought, but without the copy protections, according to the report.

Posted by: Robert Lemos
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