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SunnComm Technologies, a developer of CD antipiracy technology, said today it will likely sue a Princeton student who early this week showed how to evade the company's copy protection by pushing a computer's Shift key.

John A Halderman is the same guy who showed how silly Sony's key2audio was - it could be defeated with a felt-tipped pen.

Four days after the release by BMG of the first CD with SunnComm's new attempt (the last one was also foiled by Halderman) all tracks on the CD were available for download on Kazaa.

Halderman, who did not put the tracks on Kazaa, but only studies copy protection at the Department of Computer Science at Princeton University, noticed that when inserting the copy-protected CD into a Windows PC, he need only hold down the Shift key to prevent the copy-protection software from running.

Writes Ed Felten, Halderman's mentor at Princeton:

Is this the end of the road for CD copy protection? It ought to be. At the very least, I hope people in the industry will learn to ask for proof before they believe the next DRM vendor peddling 'an incredible level of security'.

Wrote Halderman in the conclusion of his paper:

Once more robust CD hardware becomes dominant, support for any new protection mechanism will require only software upgrades, which can be delivered easily using the Internet, and this will permanently undermine the usefulness of audio CD copy prevention. It may be proposed to prohibit such adaptations through legislation, but to do so would be to mandate buggy software and poor hardware design.

We conclude that these schemes are harmful to legitimate owners and will not reduce illegal copying in the long term, so the music industry should reconsider their deployment.



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