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Court OKs Sony "rootkit" CD settlement

A New York judge has given a preliminary approval to the settlement of consumers' lawsuits against Sony BMG Music Entertainment, according to an Associated Press report.

The suits were filed after the exposure of serious security risks to computers that had played one of dozen Sony CDs, which had copy protection software included. In the settlement, Sony has agreed to stop producing the CDs, and replace the purchased versions of the CDs with ones lacking copy protection.

Consumers who bought one of the CDs will also be given the choice of receiving a cash payment of $7.50, and the rights to download one album online, or the ability to download three albums online.

Sony had previously announced that it would recall all the affected CDs, and would replace the discs for consumers who had already purchased one. The settlement agreement was announced in late December.