"...A US computer scientist will this week present research revealing key weaknesses in technology developed to stop people illegally copying music. In April, the Recording Industry Association of America, which created the watermarking technology, threatened Edward Felton of Princeton University with prosecution under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) if he made his research public.
The DMCA prohibits trafficking or promoting "any technology, product, service, device, component or part" that circumvents copy protection systems. The RIAA has now backed down following a counter lawsuit brought by Felton and his colleagues, alleging that the DMCA was used to restrict their first amendment right to free speech. Computer scientists are still up in arms about the DMCA. They claim that the Act is being used to control academic free speech.
"Not only in computer science, but also across all scientific fields, sceptical analysis of technical claims made by others, and the presentation of detailed evidence to support such analysis, is the heart of the scientific method," says Felten. "To outlaw such analysis is to outlaw the scientific method itself."..."