TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Lessons from the Sony CD DRM Episode

Lessons from the Sony CD DRM Episode

Monty Solomon (
Thu, 16 Feb 2006 22:02:08 -0500

J. Alex Halderman and Edward W. Felten Center for Information
Technology Policy Department of Computer Science Princeton University

Extended Version
February 14, 2006


In the fall of 2005, problems discovered in two Sony-BMG compact disc
copy protection systems, XCP and MediaMax, triggered a public uproar
that ultimately led to class-action litigation and the recall of
millions of discs. We present an in-depth analysis of these
technologies, including their design, implementation, and deployment.
The systems are surprisingly complex and suffer from a diverse array
of flaws that weaken their content protection and expose users to
serious security and privacy risks. Their complexity, and their
failure, makes them an interesting case study of digital rights
management that carries valuable lessons for content companies, DRM
vendors, policymakers, end users, and the security community.


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