SunnComm Sues Student Who Discovered Shift Key Copy Protection Workaround
from the the-DMCA-in-action dept
It was just three days ago that a student at Princeton made all sorts of news for discovering that the new copy protection system from SunnComm - being used on new CDs from BMG - had a pretty gaping hole: the copy protection could be defeated by holding down the shift key. Instead of taking this information and thanking the student for his free research into how their copy protection system was incredibly weak, SunnComm has decided to sue Alex Halderman for revealing that information, saying it was (of course!) a violation of the anti-circumvention rule of the DMCA. They say that their market value has collapsed because of the paper - but Halderman says he isn't worried. He points out: "I don't think telling people to press the 'Shift' key is a violation of the DMCA." Of course, the irony in all of this is that Halderman's graduate adviser is Ed Felten, the man the RIAA threatened to sue when he tried to present a paper showing how to break SDMI, an earlier copy protection scheme. After the publicity surrounding that threat, the RIAA insisted they were kidding, and it was insane to think they would ever sue a professor for presenting such a paper... Update: Another article on the suit suggests they may sue him for "maligning the company's reputation". I'm confused how it's maligning the company's reputation if it's true.