By LIZ AUSTIN Associated Press Writer
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Sony BMG Music Entertainment's troubles over anti-piracy technology on music CDs deepened Monday as Texas' attorney general and a California-based digital rights group said they were suing the music company under new state anti-spyware laws.
The Texas lawsuit said the so-called XCP technology that Sony BMG had quietly included on more than 50 CD titles leaves computers vulnerable to hackers. Sony BMG had added the technology to restrict to three the number of times a single disc could be copied, but agreed to recall the discs last week after a storm of criticism.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation said Sony BMG needs to further publicize the recall and compensate consumers for costs associated with removing the software, an onerous process. It was filing a lawsuit in California Superior Court in Los Angeles.
When XCP-enabled discs are loaded into a computer _ a necessary step for transferring music to Apple Computer Inc.'s iPods and other portable music players _ the CD installs a program that restricts copying and makes it extremely inconvenient to transfer songs into the format used by iPods. Critics say consumers aren't adequately told what the program actually does.
Security researchers say XCP is spyware because it secretly transmits details about what music the PC is playing. Manual attempts to remove the software, which works only on Windows PCs, can disable the PC's optical drive.