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Sony Hit With Canadian Class Action Suits

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Thursday January 05, 2006
With Sony slated to appear in a New York courtroom on Friday to seek approval for its class action settlement for the rootkit fiasco, its Canadian arm is now facing several Canadian class action suits.  The Merchant Law Firm, based in Calgary, launched class action suits in both the Ontario and B.C. courts yesterday (Ontario brief, B.C. brief).  This follows a less-publicized class action launched in Quebec against Sony last November.  All of these cases arise from the rootkit issue. The briefs make for interesting reading as the Canadian cases raise a long list of legal issues including the violation of Canadian privacy law, breach of contract, violation of the Competition Act, and a host of tort claims.

The cases should generate significant additional attention in Canada on the risks associated with technological protection measures and the need for statutory protections against their misuse.  This week I raised the prospect that the U.S. Sony settlement could provide the starting point for a model law protecting against TPM misuse in articles that appeared in the Toronto Star, BBC, and Ottawa Citizen.  At a minimum, however, the U.S. settlement terms seem likely to work their way up across the border for these Canadian cases as Sony begins to confront the global legal liability that is not going to disappear anytime soon.
Comments (6)add comment

Fred said:

It didn\'t take Tony long
While I like to see Sony get what it deserves for this latest farce, I laughed when I saw that the Merchant Law Group (Tony Merchant - who has run for the liberal party in the past) do it's usual 'ambulance chasing' . I hope both parties spend lots of money on this one, with neither making a dime.
January 09, 2006

TheNumber0point123 said:

How deep is the rootkit?
I'm writing from a computer that was formerly infected with a rootkit not acknowledged by Sony but which I called SPECIFIC HARM MUSIC (name of source) which installed AOL and a remote access program. In the past almost 2 years Windows has been un-runnable but a custom OS using Harvard Architecture has been used on it. (The simple solution to viruses that Microsoft willfully abandoned). However, connecting an MP3 player to the PC recently, loaded with CC and public domain and private works caused a BIOS error. Since I have built (and abandoned) among the first hardware mp3 players, I'm wondering how this could happen, and remain totally unsatisfied by anything SONY must but has not done to prevent such damage in the future.
I continue to promote the arithmetic digital extraction of normal numbers as a copyless and therefore disruptive to DRM concept. I do not agree to installation of DRM and still demand of SONY to clean up the mess left by their global act of piracy, which is, being a bunch of clowns screwing up technology. Play the number and let the saints come marching in! I proclaim 0.123...it is all-4-free! This is my contribution to digital sound technology since before CDs were invented.
April 05, 2007

James said:

Sonys arrogance continues
The sad facts of life are that people have not learned from this as they continue to buy sonys overpriced substandard product. Sony has not learned as they continue to dictate to paying customers how they use the shoddy products shills on all of us. The latest scandal comes on the heals of sony deliberately and illegally disrupting features millions paid for and thousands used on the Playstation 3. On mine and others as I've now heard this downgrade as its been dubbed has done more than disable the other os feature but gone on to delete other things without warning such as media files and game saves. This is not to protect sony from any kind of piracy as only legitimate customers are affected. What it is is yet another attack by sony on its paying customers from some baseless accusations that by using the product to do what it was designed and advertise to do somehow makes us all "criminals".
April 05, 2010

Mo said:

I'm mad.
I don't know a whole lot about legal issues but if "class action lawsuit" means sticking it to Sony when they are hurting the most, then sign me up. Just show me where and how. I am furious that my private data has been compromised.
April 27, 2011

Fed up in Canada said:

We need a class action lawsuit against SONY now.
Where are the governments? Why are they not protecting consumers. Where is our Privacy Commissioner? Forget about Google driving a car around taking pictures of houses. Here Canadians have lost their private information. This can't get any worse. Sony sues the A*s off of some kid because he put back what PSN owners paid for. The ability to use an alternate OS on the playstation. Can GM or Ford remove the back seat while you are having your car serviced and claim its for "security" reasons. What a croc. Its time so sue Sony's A*s off now!
April 28, 2011

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