By LARRY NEUMEISTER Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- A proposed settlement of lawsuits against Sony BMG Music Entertainment would let consumers receive free music downloads to compensate them for Sony including flawed software on millions of CDs, lawyers said Thursday.
Lawyers said the deal requires the world's second-largest music label to stop manufacturing compact discs with MediaMax software or with extended copy protection or XCP software that could leave computers vulnerable to hackers.
The proposed settlement was submitted to U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Wednesday. A judge was expected to decide in January whether to tentatively approve it.
According to terms of the settlement, Sony BMG will let consumers who bought the CDs receive replacement discs without the anti-piracy technology and will let them choose one of two incentive packages.
The first package allows consumers who bought XCP CDs to obtain a cash payment of $7.50 and a promotion code allowing them to download one additional album from a list of more than 200 titles.
The second package permits them to download three additional albums from the list. The court papers said Sony BMG would try to offer Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes as one of the download services available to the consumers.
Those who purchased MediaMax CDs would receive additional compensation to allow them to download non-content protected versions of music on their MediaMax CDs and to download one additional album.