Canada to Sue Sony BMG Over DRM Albums

Three lawsuits were launched in Canada. One in Quebec (English translation by Google) in November 2005. Recently, there were complaints from Ontario and British Columbia.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

All the moves are aimed at Sony BMG’s rootkit technology as well as the MediaMax “spyware”. The technology is found in music albums, as authorized by Sony BMG.

It’s not just Sony BMG that is being targeted, but a number of related companies as well including First 4 Internet. Six named individuals and one John Doe in total are planning on taking legal action against the media giants and cohorts.

The lawsuits raise a number of issues concerning the DRM in the CD’s. Complaints include: violation of the Canadian Privacy Act (since MediaMax gathers users’ information, uses their internet connection and sends information about the user to a third party – Sony BMG), breach of contract (as the rootkit technology was not mentioned in the End User License Agreement), violation of the Competition Act, and a host of other claims against the technology in the albums.

One complaint states, “The Plaintiff, Jarred Pacholko, is a resident of Calgary, Alberta. He purchased music CDs encoded with MediaMax and/or XPC software, and played encoded CDs on his computer(s) resulting in the installation of software on his computer(s)”

The court order also states, “If you fail to defend this proceeding, judgement may be given against you in your absence and without further notice to you.”

It seems that Sony’s troubles over these albums are far from over.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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