CD copy protection blunder costs Sony $1.5 million

Sony has settled lawsuits over a copy protection system included in some of its CDs that caused widespread outrage. Known as XCP, the copy protection scheme installed a rootkit on users' systems. That rootkit's purpose was to hide the copy protection software from end users, but the rootkit left machines vulnerable to malware that could potentially use it to avoid detection by anti-virus software. Not only that, but removing the rootkit was difficult and could make users' CD drives disappear from Windows.

For its poor choice of software, Sony will cough up a total of $1.5 million in civil penalties and reimburse users whose systems were damaged by the software. Yahoo News says customers in California and Texas—where the lawsuits were filed—can file claims with Sony in order to receive compensation of up to $175. The claims need to be filed in the next six months, and users must describe how their system was affected and document repair expenses. In addition to financial compensation, Sony has agreed to no longer distribute copy protection software that can't be easily located or removed by end users.

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