Princeton Student Faces Law Suit For Publishing Defect In Copy Protection
Published on October 10, 2003 By Larry Kuperman In Personal Computing
Princeton doctoral student John A. Halderman published an article about how easy it was to defeat some of the newly implemented anti-piracy measures- in this case as simple as pressing the Shift Key. Now SunnCom is suing him for bringing that defect to light.

You can read John Halderman's original article here: It hardly seems like a "pirate manifesto." John said "I find that the protections may have no effect on a large fraction of deployed PCs, and that most users who would be affected can bypass the system entirely by holding the shift key every time they insert the CD." That hardly seems controversial to me.

Yet SunnCom's CEO Peter Jacob's sees the article differently. "We feel we were the victim of an unannounced agenda and that the company has been wronged," Jacobs said. "I think the agenda is: 'Digital property should belong to everyone on the Internet.' I'm not sure that works in the marketplace."

I'm not sure what "unannounced agenda" Mr. Jacob's sees in the Halderman article, which seems to me a scholarly discussion of why copy protection in general doesn't work and the flaws in this particular implementaion.

SunnCom's stock (STEH) was trading at $0.10 at the time of this article, down by 7% today.

on Oct 10, 2003
Update: SunnCom is backing down after all the bad press.

Interesting how when it is a kid it's "SUE NOW", but when it's Cnet, Wired and others talking about how to defeat copy protection with a Sharpie it is just fine.,1282,52665,00.html

I have to admit that I find the new copy protection from Macrovision to be very intersting. The idea of slowly causing the game to get wonky is rather clever.

on Oct 10, 2003
man that's annoying. Most users know pressing shift can avert an action.