Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has expanded the number of allegations in his pending lawsuit against record label Sony BMG.
The state in November followed several civil lawsuits against the label and became the first government entity to file a legal complaint over Sony's use of the XCP anti-piracy technology on music CDs.
The expanded complaint alleges that the MediaMax anti-piracy technology violates local deceptive business laws. When a consumer first inserts a MediaMax CD in his computer, he is presented with a license agreement. But even if he declines the agreement, files are secretly installed, Abbott's contends.
“We keep discovering additional methods Sony used to deceive Texas consumers who thought they were simply buying music,” said Abbott. “Thousands of Texans are now potential victims of this deceptive game Sony played with consumers for its own purposes.”
Sony BMG last November came under fire over the use of the poorly engineered XCP anti-piracy software that was bundled with 52 of its CD titles. The software proved extremely difficult to remove and compromised the security of affected computer systems.
The lawsuit could turn into a costly affair for Sony. The Texas Consumer Protection Against Computer Spyware Act of 2005 allows for civil penalties of $100,000 for each violation. The expanded complaint could mean an additional $20,000 penalty per violation under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practice Act.
Sony has promised to stop using the XCP software that was developed by the English First 4 Internet, and the label has recalled all CDs from stores.
Abbott issued a stern warning against any Texas retailers who haven't yet removed the infected CDs from their store shelves.
"Retailers that continue to sell these CDs may be just as liable under the law as Sony," he said.
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