Greg Abbott, the attorney general for Texas, today filed a lawsuit against Sony BMG Music Entertainment, alleging that its controversial (and now recalled) "XCP" anti-piracy software violates the state's anti-spyware and consumer protection laws.
"Sony has engaged in a technological version of cloak and dagger deceit against consumers by hiding secret files on their computers," Abbott is quoted as saying in a press release on his official Web site. "Consumers who purchased a Sony CD thought they were buying music. Instead, they received spyware that can damage a computer, subject it to viruses and expose the consumer to possible identity crime."
Abbott's suit seeks civil penalties of $100,000 for each violation of the law, attorneys’ fees and investigative costs.
At $100,000 per violation, this lawsuit could really hit Sony's pocketbook hard. Last week, computer security researcher Dan Kaminsky published research showing that Sony's flawed anti-piracy software is installed in computers on at least 560,000 networks around the globe.
But the royalty checks for "Last Action Hero" and "Terminator 4" will have nothing to do with the decision, of course.