Remember that little bit of DRM software that Sony was surreptitiously installing on users' computers through MediaMax- and XCP-enabled CDs? No? You know, the one that Sony thought people shouldn't be making a big deal about, because if you don't know something is on your computer, it certainly can't hurt you? Well anyway, they've been getting hit with lawsuits left and right over this blogger-initiated fiasco, even after showing a small amount of penance by recalling the dirty discs and offering exchanges/free downloads to affected customers, and they've settled the first class action suit brought by New York attorney Scott Kamber. Neither side can comment before the settlement is officially announced, but court documents show that Sony has agreed to: 1. Stop making the sneaky CDs (duh), 2. "Implement consumer-oriented changes in operating practices" with respect to DRM-packing CDs, 3. Refrain from collecting personal info on the victims of the MediaMax and XCP tragedy without their consent, and 4. Pay out some cold, hard cash, along with replacement CDs and more free downloads. Even though this case looks like it's in the bag, Sony still has to do battle with the attorney general of Texas, the EFF, and other consumers/A.G.s who are mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore.

[Via The Washington Post, thanks Mack]

HD Beat predictions for 2006