I was intrigued to hear over the weekend that Sony BMG Canada is going to compensate those CD buyers who purchased audio CDs loaded with anti-piracy software.
This isn't altruism on the part of Sony, however; it's due to an Ontario court ruling against the company in favour of Canadian citizens and offering them C$8.40 in cash (about four UK quidlets), a free replacement CD and a free e-downloads of selected other albums.
The reason for the ruling? Apparently a range of Sony BMG audio CDs contained rootkit anti-piracy software that was auto-loaded onto the host PC - allegedly without the punter's permission - when the CD was played on a PC.
The software, the court ruled, didn't just prevent the CD being copied, but it also opened the PCs to hackers and viruses.
Hey - nice one Sony BMG -Ed.
The settlement applies to all affected customers in Canada except those in Quebec and British Columbia.
What about Sony BMG discs sold in the UK? The company won't even say whether the discs sold over here had the protection built into them, and, even if they did, I doubt the company would offer compo unless a court case was in the offing...