A software company has dropped a threat to sue a US student who
published details on how to get around anti-piracy technology on a new
music CD. The company behind the software, SunnComm Technologies, said
it did not want to hamper academic research.
Last week computer science graduate John Halderman showed how to defeat
the copy-protection software by pressing a single computer key.
Several firms are looking at ways to make it harder to share music
Mr Halderman found that SunnComm's MediaMax CD-3 software could be
bypassed by holding down the shift key on a Windows PC when a
copy-protected CD was inserted.
This temporarily disables the autorun function on Windows, stopping a
anti-piracy program from installing itself on the computer.
SunnComm has originally said it was going to sue to Mr Halderman for
revealing the secrets of the anti-piracy measures.
But following publicity surrounding the case, the company's boss has
backed away from the threat of legal action.
"It wasn't our intention to strike a blow against research," Peter
Jacobs told the news agency Reuters.
"We sincerely thought that the research was not founded on the premise
for which the technology was invented in the first place."
"(The research) doesn't dilute our technology at all, nor does it
nullify our technology."
The music industry blames falling CD sales on digital piracy and
It is looking at new technologies to stop what it sees as rampant
copying of compact discs and the sharing of those files online.
But so far, most technologies developed to protect music against
copying have fallen short.