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Student sued after revealing CD copying secret

dquan97

Lifer
Jul 9, 2002
12,011
1
0
Student sued after revealing CD copying secret
Friday, October 10, 2003 Posted: 10:07 AM EDT (1407 GMT)

LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- Three days after a Princeton graduate student posted a paper on his Web site detailing how to defeat the copy-protection software on a new music CD by pressing a single computer key, the maker of the software said Thursday it would sue him.

In a statement, SunnComm Technologies Inc. said it would sue Alex Halderman over the paper, which said SunnComm's MediaMax CD-3 software could be blocked by holding down the "Shift" key on a computer keyboard as a CD using the software was inserted into a disc drive.

"SunnComm believes that by making erroneous assumptions in putting together his critical review of the MediaMax CD-3 technology, Halderman came to false conclusions concerning the robustness and efficacy of SunnComm's MediaMax technology," it said.

SunnComm, which trades on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board, said it has lost more than $10 million of its market value since Halderman published his report.

The software was used on a CD, Anthony Hamilton's "Comin' From Where I'm From," released last month. Halderman, who has done research in the past on other CD protection technologies, said the software could also be disabled by stopping a driver the software loads on the computer when the CD is played.

SunnComm alleged Halderman violated criminal provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in disclosing the existence of those driver files.

Halderman -- who received an undergraduate degree from Princeton earlier this year and is now pursuing a doctorate in computer science with an emphasis on computer security -- said he had not yet heard directly from SunnComm in regards to litigation but was unconcerned.

"I'm still not very worried about litigation under the DMCA, I don't think there's any case," he told Reuters. "I don't think telling people to press the 'Shift' key is a violation of the DMCA."

A spokesman for BMG, the unit of Bertelsmann AG that licensed SunnComm's software and released the Hamilton CD, declined to comment on the planned suit.

The music industry, claiming a sharp decline in CD sales is the result of digital piracy through online file-sharing services, has worked to develop methods to secure music on discs and restrict its copying.

Halderman's graduate advisor at Princeton is Ed Felten, a computer science professor who once sued the Recording Industry Association of America in a challenge to the constitutionality of the DMCA.

The RIAA had threatened action under the DMCA against Felten and colleagues after they said they would publish a paper disclosing flaws in an industry security initiative. That suit was eventually dismissed.

Link
 

phillyTIM

Golden Member
Jan 12, 2001
1,940
10
81
now THIS is truly ludicrous

it's Suncomm's fault for coming up with such an easy solution to this copy protection

if I were SunComm, I'd fire those employees who let this inferior product out. Not the consumers who just use the stuff.

It's SunComm's RESPONSIBILITY to not put out an inferior product.

do you see Microsoft getting sued for the swiss-cheese security in their OS's? i thought not!
 

Descartes

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
13,968
0
0
Not sure if this is the same issue, but one can hold down shift to kill the autorun facilities of Windows when a CD is inserted. What he said in his paper is then not a "workaround", but just noting functionality within Windows itself.

Either way it's absurd.
 

Vadatajs

Diamond Member
Aug 28, 2001
3,475
0
0
Originally posted by: dmcowen674
Let's not have this Forum like Off Topic with a million threads of the same thing.

There is a DMCA thread that already has this News.
cram it!

those threads are too long to be useful, time to put them out to pasture
 

43st

Diamond Member
Nov 7, 2001
3,197
0
0
Originally posted by: shinerburke
Originally posted by: phillyTIM

do you see Microsoft getting sued for the swiss-cheese security in their OS's? i thought not!
Do you ever get tired of being wrong?
Link doesn't work. Do you have an alternate?
 

dmcowen674

No Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
54,912
46
91
www.alienbabeltech.com
Originally posted by: Vadatajs
Originally posted by: dmcowen674
Let's not have this Forum like Off Topic with a million threads of the same thing.

There is a DMCA thread that already has this News.
cram it!

those threads are too long to be useful, time to put them out to pasture
Hmmm, Perfectly OK to already have 3 people post the same "Suncomm sues student story" within 2 hours and have this Forum look like Off Topic.

History books are long too, must be why no one bothers to read them. No wonder History repeats itself.


Edit: Ah, I see one of them got locked as I was typing this. The Mods are trying to keep a clean house here. It;s a tough job, thanks for the hard work guys.



 

phillyTIM

Golden Member
Jan 12, 2001
1,940
10
81
well ok, i used the wrong word here, sue me!

what i meant was: do you see Microsoft getting convicted & made to pay restitution for the swiss-cheese security in their OSs?
 

dmcowen674

No Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
54,912
46
91
www.alienbabeltech.com
10-10-2003 In an abrupt reversal, SunnComm Technologies said Friday that it would not sue a Princeton University graduate student

SunnComm's threats had drawn enormous attention in a short time, with some legal analysts saying a lawsuit would represent an egregious abuse of the DMCA...

Halderman could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday. "I expect I will be well-represented in the case of a lawsuit," the computer science student said Thursday. "If pressing the Shift key is a violation of the DMCA, then the law needs to be changed."
 

tnitsuj

Diamond Member
May 22, 2003
5,446
0
76
Originally posted by: dmcowen674
Originally posted by: Vadatajs
Originally posted by: dmcowen674
Let's not have this Forum like Off Topic with a million threads of the same thing.

There is a DMCA thread that already has this News.
cram it!

those threads are too long to be useful, time to put them out to pasture
Hmmm, Perfectly OK to already have 3 people post the same "Suncomm sues student story" within 2 hours and have this Forum look like Off Topic.

History books are long too, must be why no one bothers to read them. No wonder History repeats itself.


Edit: Ah, I see one of them got locked as I was typing this. The Mods are trying to keep a clean house here. It;s a tough job, thanks for the hard work guys.
Shouldn't you be off installing SETI or something, Mr. Forum Police???
 

phillyTIM

Golden Member
Jan 12, 2001
1,940
10
81
Thank God we have the power of the Internet now, in forums just like these, to prevent these abhorrid crimes against citizens.
 

dmcowen674

No Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
54,912
46
91
www.alienbabeltech.com
Originally posted by: tnitsuj
Shouldn't you be off installing SETI or something, Mr. Forum Police???


Originally posted by: phillyTIM
Thank God we have the power of the Internet now, in forums just like these, to prevent these abhorrid crimes against citizens.
These Forums have already proven to be quite a force.

As for installing SETI, other Countries are dedicated to furthering Mankind, the U.S. is just full of itself these days unfortunately.



 

Lucky

Lifer
Nov 26, 2000
13,126
1
0
well its a good thing they are not suing anymore but just the threat of it was ludicrous. Claiming market damage was pretty stupid of them too, because it meant that interest in their product had waned now that the "secret" was out. Only that's quite disengenious, because if you already employ their "technology" and just found out that they hid how easy it is to defeat it, I'd think you'd be pretty pissed.

This company will be toast in a year.
 

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