FC: Princeton student is latest to say he could be sued under DMCA

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Mon Nov 25 2002 - 20:14:43 PST

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    [Yes, this fellow could be sued, I suppose, but the suit would almost 
    certainly be thrown out of court. (Rule 11 sanctions, anyone?) Also, I'm 
    confused: Princeton has guaranteed a legal defense, but the student 
    self-censored the paper anyway to avoid hypothetical DMCA liablity? Maybe 
    Alex can explain. See: http://news.com.com/2010-12-950229.html --Declan]
    "Straining Digital Copyright Law, Junior Paper Exposes Protection Flaws in CDs"
    Daily Princetonian Online (11/21/02); Tauberer, Joshua
    Alex Halderman, a senior computer science major at Princeton University, 
    has acknowledged the possibility that he could be sued by the music 
    industry for allegedly violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 
    (DMCA) if he presents a junior paper at the ACM Conference on Computer & 
    amp;Communication Security in Washington in the spring. His paper focuses 
    on weaknesses in the copy-protection systems of certain CDs, which exploit 
    certain software security holes. However, Halderman does not include any 
    methodology for bypassing such safeguards, and notes that he would only if 
    the DMCA did not exist. The student says the university has promised to 
    provide him with legal defense if a DMCA lawsuit is filed against him. 
    Princeton has previously supplied indemnification for students and faculty 
    when they were carrying out certain duties for the university, but General 
    Counsel Peter McDonough notes that defending research for research's sake 
    is without precedent. He adds that such a move carries the risk of having 
    his office accused of censorship if it refuses to recommend legal defense 
    for researchers; nevertheless, there are strong arguments that the DMCA 
    represents a serious threat to legitimate academic research. Last year, the 
    music industry sent a letter of warning to Princeton professor Edward 
    Felten, claiming that they would sue him for breaking the DMCA if he 
    published certain research. The university responded by forming a committee 
    that assesses threats to academic freedom by judicial strong-arming, 
    according to committee chair Edward Groth.
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