Sony BMG Music and BMG Music are suing two of the companies involved with the label's ill-fated effort to place DRM protections on its CDs.

Amergence Technologies, formerly SunnComm International, and its sales agent MediaMax Technology, were served with a summons from Sony BMG and BMG Music seeking damages related to the class action lawsuits the labels settled last year related to its CD copy protection initiative.

The summons claims MediaMax's CD copy protection technology was defective, and that the software licensing agreement Sony BMG signed to use the technology contained both a warranty and an indemnification clause designed to protect the label from the resulting fallout. It also accuses Amergence of negligence, unfair and deceptive acts and practices, and false advertising.

Sony BMG is asking for $12 million in damages plus attorney's fees.

Representatives from Sony BMG declined to comment.

In a statement, Amergence defended itself, saying the problem resulted in "Sony's under-tested release of a competitor's technology and BMG's 'final authority' input in determining the functional specifications of the MediaMax copy protection."

MediaMax was one of two technologies Sony used in 2005 to limit CD copying. The other was First4Internet's Extended Copy Protection. Critics accused both technologies of installing spyware on any computer used to either play or copy a CD containing it.

SunnComm subsequently made available a patch to remove the software that later was discovered to have a design flaw that unintentionally left the user's computer vulnerable to Internet attacks. Ultimately, other patches resolved this vulnerability.

The other technology from First4Internet installed the now-infamous "rootkit" software in users' computers which hackers could use to hide malicious files unbeknownst to the user. The First4Internet rootkit issue came to light first, and resulted in several class action lawsuits which quickly were expanded to include the 27 CDs that included the MediaMax technology.

Sony began recalling affected CDs and then settled the class action suits in May of last year, offering either cash or free downloads to anyone who purchased CDs containing either technology.

In addition to the cost of the recall and subsequent free downloads, Sony BMG also paid around $5.75 million to settle various state investigations into the issue.

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