"Programmers don't want to help the recording industry test
its new security "solution." But the technology insiders behind the
system say hackers could kill it once and for all by
"On Sept. 15, the Secure Digital Music Initiative issued the
"Hack SDMI" challenge, offering enterprising hackers $10,000 if
they could successfully break the proposed SDMI watermarking
system. The response from the hacker community -- led by vocal
leaders of the open-source software developer community -- was
immediate, negative and even vicious. Everyone from the editor of
Linux Journal to the readers of Slashdot to the founders of the
Electronic Frontier Foundation lashed out against SDMI. If they
weren't denouncing it as a corporate attempt to freeload off of
hacker brainpower, they were railing against the damage SDMI would
wreak on the possibilities for online distribution of music."
"But hackers aren't the only people unhappy with SDMI. The
hack-SDMI challenge is revealing deep fissures within SDMI itself
-- a rift separating the technology companies charged with
implementing digital watermarking from the entertainment companies
that want their music protected now. Specifically, the technology
companies are convinced that the watermarking "solutions" SDMI has
created are fundamentally flawed."
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