[Politech] Company claims disclosure of shift key hack "possible felony" [ip]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Thu Oct 09 2003 - 23:22:06 PDT

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    Date: Thu, 09 Oct 2003 12:02:26 -0700
    To: dave@private, declan@private
    From: "James S. Tyre" <jstyre@private>
    Subject: Update on Shift Key Breking CD Copy Protection Technology
    Dave, Declan,
    Earlier this week, each of you had items about Princeton grad student Alex 
    Halderman's report on SunnComm's MediaMax CD3 copy protection technology.
    Subsequently, SunnComm's stock price has dropped precipitously, and today, 
    SunnComm announced that it will pursue legal action against Halderman:
    SunnComm Technologies Inc. (OTC: STEH - News), a leader in digital content 
    security and enhancement for optical media, announced today that it intends 
    to take legal action against the writer of a critical report titled: 
    "Analysis of the MediaMax CD3 Copy-Prevention System." According to Peter 
    Jacobs, SunnComm's CEO, "The conclusions contained in the Princeton 
    University grad student's report issued last Monday were derived from 
    incorrect assumptions by its author. The author did not ask for, or 
    receive, SunnComm's MediaMax 'white paper' documentation available on the 
    technology prior to concluding that 'MediaMax and similar copy-prevention 
    systems are irreparably flawed ...'"
    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. Based on several of these incorrect assumptions, 
    Halderman and Princeton University have significantly damaged SunnComm's 
    reputation and caused the market value of SunnComm to drop by more than $10 
    In addition, SunnComm believes that Halderman has violated the Digital 
    Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by disclosing unpublished MediaMax 
    management files placed on a user's computer after user approval is 
    granted. Once the file is found and deleted according to the instructions 
    given in the Princeton grad student's report, the MediaMax copy management 
    system can be bypassed resulting in the copyright protected music being 
    converted or misappropriated for potentially unauthorized and/or illegal 
    use. SunnComm intends to refer this possible felony to authorities having 
    jurisdiction over these matters because: 1. The author admits that he 
    disabled the driver in order to make an unprotected copy of the disc's 
    contents, and 2. SunnComm believes that the author's report was 
    "disseminated in a manner which facilitates infringement" in violation of 
    the DMCA or other applicable law.
    In another piece, Jacobs hints at one of Halderman's alleged failings:
    "The assumption that Alex makes about the ease with which the technology 
    can be circumvented is incorrect," Jacobs said. "Implicit in our 
    technology, but not privy to his knowledge, is the manner in which we are 
    able to improve the technology so it becomes harder and harder to 
    circumvent it."
    I'm sure you'll both agree that Alex should be criticized roundly for 
    analyzing only the currently existent technology while utterly failing to 
    laud SunnComm for future improvements that it says it will make.
    James S. Tyre                               mailto:jstyre@private
    Law Offices of James S. Tyre          310-839-4114/310-839-4602(fax)
    10736 Jefferson Blvd., #512               Culver City, CA 90230-4969
    Co-founder, The Censorware Project             http://censorware.net
    Politech mailing list
    Archived at http://www.politechbot.com/
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