Princeton Researchers Publish Paper on Sony XCP & DRM
“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.
“This paper is a case study of the design, implementation, and deployment of anti-copying technologies. We present a detailed technical analysis of the security and privacy implications of two systems, XCP and MediaMax, which were developed by separate companies (First4Internet and SunnComm, respectively) and shipped on millions of music compact discs by Sony-BMG, the world’s second largest record company. We consider the design choices the companies faced, examine the choices they made, and weigh the consequences of those choices. The lessons that emerge are valuable not only for compact disc copy protection, but for copy protection systems in general.”
J. Alex Halderman and Edward W. Felten. Lessons from the Sony CD DRM Episode. (.pdf, 157 KB) Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University. Feb. 14, 2006.
CopyCense™: K. Matthew Dames on the intersection of business, law and technology. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.