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F & F


DRM Thwarted by Shift Key
posted by scubacuda on Wednesday October 08, @11:56AM
from the it's-called-disabling-autoplay,-folks dept.
Copyright c|net: Princeton Ph.D. student John Halderman disabled a new kind of copy-protection technology, distributed as part of a new album by BMG soul artist Anthony Hamilton, by simplying hitting the shift key to prevent Windows' AutoRun feature from loading the copy-protection software. The technique was confirmed by BMG and SunnComm Technologies, the small company that produces the anticopying technology. Both companies said they had known about it before releasing the CD, and that they still believed the protection would deter most average listeners' copying.

Misconceptions of Copyright Piracy | LeapFrog Sues Fisher-Price Over Interactive Book  >


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    DRM Thwarted by Shift Key | Login/Create an Account | Top | 5 comments | Search Discussion
    The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
    shift key violates DMCA? (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 09, @02:56AM (#1316)
    Since the shift key circumvents a copy-protection scheme, does this mean that possession of a shift key is in violation of the DMCA?
    Re:shift key violates DMCA? (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 10, @03:25AM (#1321)
    Technically it is not the shift key per se that bypasses the copy protection scheme, it is a feature of the Microsoft operating systems that is activated by holding the shift key. Thus it is that feature of the MS operating systems that is a circumvention device...
    SHIFT_infringement (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 09, @05:35PM (#1318)
    Lets see -- if any of the three questions is answered yes, it infringes. (its a disjunctive test)

    is the primary purpose of the shift key circumvention? No.

    is the shift key being distributed with the intent to circumvent? No.

    does the shift key have no substantial commercial noninfrininging use? No.

    So does the shift key violate the DMCA access control provisions? No.

    ...but wait...

    However, maybe this is the wrong question? How about whether the current windows Automount command (which allows circumvention by using the shift key) violates the DMCA?

    is the automount code being distributed with the intent to circumvent? Possibly! The software allows circumvention of automount via a keypress. If the automount is being used as an access control mechanism, this is an express intentional circumvention of a product that circumvents an access control. This seems wacky but a variant of this argument worked for the MPAA.

    is the primary purpose of the automount code circumvention? No.

    does the automount command have no substantial noninfrininging use? No. You can use it to avoid automatically starting a CD, or avoiding licensing click-wrap agreements (oh wait, that's a circumvention).

    So does the shift key violate the DMCA access control provisions? Possibly!

    Re:SHIFT_infringement (Score:1)
    by TomWiles on Thursday October 09, @09:28PM (#1319)
    User #396 Info
    Your point and argument is well taken. If we establish as fact that the SHIFT Key infringes and is therefore in violation of the DMCA, then let us look at an extrapolation of this argument.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\Cdrom

    Set the Autorun key to 0.

    If we take as PROVED that the SHIFT key is in violation of the DMCA, then the above registry entry must also be in violation of the DMCA.

    Since the Registry is an integral part of the WINDOWS kernel, then the kernel itself infringes.

    I am afraid that the only possible legal solution is to ban the sale of all WINDOWS operating systems in the US.

    Where is the logical flaw??

    Re:SHIFT_infringement (Score:1)
    by wal9000 on Friday October 10, @12:31AM (#1320)
    User #892 Info
    whoa... Princeton Student Sued Over Paper on CD Copying [yahoo.com]

    Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. - Isaac Asimov

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