August 15, 2001

EFF: Professor Felten to present suppressed research at USENIX conference

Author: JT Smith

Professor Edward Felten will present a
paper at a conference today describing research on digital
music copy control technologies initially suppressed by the
recording industry.

Felten will present the paper at the "Reading Between the
Lines: Lessons from the SDMI Challenge" session today from
6:00-7:30 PM Eastern (3:00-4:30 PM Pacific) at the 10th
USENIX Security Symposium conference in Washington, DC.
The session will take place in the Grand Ballroom, Salons
II/III/IV, of the JW Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania
Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20004, (tel. +1 800 228-9290 or
+1 202 393-2000).

A simultaneous webcast of the presentation will appear at

Professor Felten and a team of researchers from Princeton
University, Rice University, and Xerox discovered that
digital watermark technology under development to protect
music sold by the recording industry has significant
security vulnerabilities. The recording industry,
represented by the Recording Industry Association of America
(RIAA) and the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI)
Foundation, threatened to file suit in April 2001 if Felten
and his team published their research at a conference. On
behalf of the research team, the Electronic Frontier
Foundation (EFF) then filed a lawsuit seeking a clear
determination that publication and presentation of this and
other related research is speech protected under the US
Constitution both at this conference and at other
conferences in the future.

For background on the legal challenge:

RIAA/SDMI April 2001 letter threatening Professor Felten and
his team:

Professor Felten's website:

For more information on the USENIX Security Symposium:

About EFF:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil
liberties organization working to protect rights in the
digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF actively encourages and
challenges industry and government to support free
expression, privacy, and openness in the information
society. EFF is a member-supported organization and
maintains one of the most linked-to websites in the world:


The USENIX Association, an organization representing some
10,000 computer research scientists is dedicated to the
free exchange of scholarly information through its many
conferences and publications. See its website at:

Click Here!