Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott reloaded his shootin’ iron and has spyware killers as he filed new claims against Sony BMG. Abbott levied charges of deceptive trade practices for hiding spyware in the disc against the multinational music company.
Texas started this feud back in November when they filed suit over notorious rootkit rodent loaded on to 52 different titles of CDs. These new charges stem from the MediaMax package put onto the discs to stop copying of music. The reason is a nasty one too. The disc downloaded the MediaMax DRM software whether uses accepted the license agreement or not.
A few weeks ago, researchers at Princeton determined the patch Sony made available was actually as bad as the problem because it really didn’t fix anything. There were some slight changes but the problem still existed. They advised not even putting the disc into the computer.
The penalties for all this could be quite costly for Sony BMG as Texas law says civil penalties for each of the rootkit counts is $100,000 and the new penalties are $20,000 per incident based on the Texas Deceptive Trade Practice Act. There are a lot of people in Texas. One could bet more than a few probably purchased these CDs.
Abbott wasn’t done there though. He also was barking at retailers, saying if they’re caught selling the tainted CDs then they’ll be held liable too. Reuter’s quoted his statement, “Retailers that continue to sell these CDs may be just as liable under the law as Sony.”
One doubts Sony BMG anticipated the fallout when they planned all these actions. One can safely speculate they rued the day they made that choice. But like the old proverb says, “you reap what you sow.”