Root Kit DRM Company Gets Sued
In an almost comical turn about, the company that provided Sony with one of the two horrific DRM systems in October of 2005 is now facing a lawsuit. MediaMax worked on controlling the number of copies that a person could make with a CD, and has cost Sony some 5.75 million dollars to settle the lawsuits that arose from the use of MediaMax.
It began including MediaMax on some of its compact discs in August 2003 and shipped about 4 million CDs equipped with the technology in 2005. The record company also drew complaints over another type of copy-protection software that restricted CD duplication. Last fall, the company agreed to pay a total of $5.75 million to settle the litigation and resolve investigations by officials in several states. Source: Hollywood Reporter
The interesting part is that there has been little to no information on XCP was truly eventually solved, and if Sony is going to go after them for the same issue. People were entitled to a new free CD and/or money, as well as finding XCP protected CD’s on store shelves long after they had been recalled. The MediaMax part of the process is quieter, but still problematic because it altered how the CD would play on a windows computer.
That is the basic lesson of the whole event, that altering how a computer works is going to end up costing companies money as soon as it is discovered. This also alters that landscape in regards to how damages are collected in DRM lawsuits should Sony prevail in this one.
Rarely is a computer software manufacturer held responsible for their products, and the loss or damages that result from the use of those products.
If MediaMax is found responsible for the issues that Sony eventually had to pay for, with the product, recalls, and general bad publicity in the longer run. This will alter the process that DRM manufacturers have to abide by.
This might just be the death knell of DRM, if they are going to get sued by the people who buy the product, no one is going to want to go into that business. The music industry has no one else but itself to blame for this one.