January 3, 2006 | By Kurt Opsahl

Florida AG's Office Enters Sony BMG DRM Fray

Charlie Crist, the Florida Attorney General, has joined several other states in investigating the Sony DRM debacle:

Allegation or issue being investigated:

It has been reported that certain Sony music cd's contain a software program apparently intended to protect against unauthorized duplication of the cd by the purchaser. This software is referred to as digital rights management (DRM) software and is used to regulate the number of times a CD may be copied by that computer system. The consumer is not informed in detail of the DRM and the in order to listen to the cd, the consumer must allow the download of the software onto the hard drive. There is no uninstall feature offered. In Sony cds the DRM software has been designed to be almost undetectable on computers with Windows operating systems. It is reported and we have initiated our own investigation of the fact that the DRM file is very difficult to locate and even more difficult to remove, even by a professional, without damaging the Windows system and the overall operation of the computer. This software is not detected by the standard antivirus and antispyware software.

While a settlement for the private plaintiffs class-action suits has been propopsed, it allows for state Attorneys General to obtain further relief, which will be applied to all class members. The Florida matter is case number L05-3-1157, out of Crist's Tampa Economic Crimes office.

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