Note: This post is an updated version of an older post. The outdated infomation is displayed in strikethrough text.

A fairness hearing in the Sony BMG Settlement will be held on May 22, 2006 at 9:15 am at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse for the Southern District of New York at 500 Pearl Street, Room 2270, New York, NY. During this hearing, the proposed settlement will be evaluated by the Court and objections to the settlement can be heard by class members who have not opted out of the class. It does not matter if you have accepted the settlement benefits, as long as you have not opted out (as of today, I am not aware of anyone being allowed to opt out). You must, however, have purchased, received, came into possession of, or otherwise have used a Sony BMG XCP or MediaMax infected CD.

If you are able to attend the hearing, I encourage you to do so. Pursuant to the Hearing Order of January 6, you must file a notice with the Court Clerk before May 1, 2006 that indicates your intent to appear, and serve copies of the notice along with any documents you intend to use during your statement to the Court upon the attorneys involved in the case. For more information about this process, see Section 15 (Page 7-8) of the Hearing Order of January 6. I have created a sample form that you can use in order to notify the Court Clerk and the attorneys. Simply download the template in your desired format [doc | wpd | rtf | txt] and fill it in with your information. The instructions are on the first page.

If you have nt done so already, read the settlement agreement and the Hearing Order of January 6 carefully. I encourage you to focus your arguments around the terms of the settlement agreement and the Hearing Order. If there are other related issues you wish to discuss, please do so, but it is important that you express your opinion on the settlement agreement itself.

It appears that Sony BMG is going to oppose my attempt to speak at the hearing. Because of this, I encourage anyone who wishes to have their voice heard but who is not certain that they will be able to attend the fairness hearing, to use this modified notice [doc | rtf | txt]. It requires that you notarize Exhibit "A", the Affidavit, and asks that th Court accept it as your testimony in the event that you do not, or are not able to, appear. You can attach copies of your CDs, receipts, emails, and any other information that supports your affidavit. You will have to mail the origional to the Court, and copies to the attorneys.

I understand, however, that many class members simply can't make it to New York. I plan to attend, and also plan to speak to the Court about the merits of the settlement. While I will not be there to represent anyone other than myself, I would like to be able to use the opinions of others to support and strengthen my argument.

To that end, I have prepared a template affidavit that you can use to explain your experience with Sony BMG, XCP, and MediaMax. Simply download the template in your desired format [doc | wpd | rtf | txt] and fill it in with your information. You can attach copies of your CDs, receipts, emails, and any other information that supports your affidavit. An example of a completed affidavit is available in PDF format.

Once your affidavit is assembled, you MUST sign it in front of a notary. There are many public notaries in your area; they can often be found at banks, law offices, and even most "pack and mail" type centers. There is typically a small fee of a few dollars for this service. Take the complete affidavit, along with any attachments, and your identification when going to the notary.

After the affidavit is completed, signed, and notarized, mail the original to me (along with all of the attachments) by first class mail. My mailing address is:

Mark Lyon
123A Highway 80 East, #238
Clinton, Mississippi 39056


Please mail your affidavit on or before Thursday, April 20, 2006 so that I will have time to assemble all of the affidavits and file them by May 1. I will be responsible for the costs of copying and mailing a copy to each of the attorneys, and to the Court Clerk. I will submit every signed, notarized affidavit I receive, regardless of your position as to the fairness of the settlement.

Your notice must be recieved by the Court before May 1, 2006. Make certain to mail it in time.

I feel that it is important for your voice to be heard. Please encourage all class members to get involved. The more information that the Court has before it, the better the end result of the class action will be.