Brad Messer Commentary
Friday, October 10, 2003


Shift Key Allows CD Copying

Music CD sales have been falling because of piracy. The CD sellers are going nuts trying to figure out how to prevent illegal copying. One company with an anti-piracy product is SunnComm Technologies.

It sells software that makes it impossible to copy a CD.

 
Alex Halderman

Well, impossible if you don't know one little tactic. A computer genius - Princeton graduate student Alex Halderman - says that all you have to do to defeat the SunnComm anti-piracy software is to hold down your Shift key.

Since word got out, SunnComm says its stock has tanked about $10-million.

Reuters reports SunnComm plans to sue Halderman for blabbing about the Shift key.

This is unsettling. The right response would be to acknowledge the flaw, recall the software, fix the Shift key problem, and then offer the new, improved release. Instead, the company will use its resources to sue a guy with a better brain.

Is anyone surprised their stock plunged off the cliff?

Brad Messer commentary, KTSA.


Reuters 10/9/2003
CD Protection Shifts to Courtroom

John A. Halderman. Analysis of the MediaMax CD3 Copy-Prevention System -- Princeton University Computer Science Technical Report TR-679-03, October 2003
 

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