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December 29, 2003

NPR’s Morning Edition [9:12 am]

Today’s Morning Edition had a piece on CD copy protection, with Prof Ed Felten and Alex Halderman as well as the head of SunnComm, Peter Jacobs.

Music Copy Protection (Javascript audio link on the NPR page)

Record labels have spent years trying to install technology on compact discs to prevent them from being illegally copied. But the vast majority of CDs are still easily burned. NPR’s Rick Karr reports on the technology that keeps hackers and the recording industry at odds.

Jacobs floats the interesting theory that copy protection as absolute protection will never work, but tying adherence to copy protection to other benefits (ticket discounts, lyrics, etc.) will. Ed Felten points out that it only takes one hacker to get music files onto the P2P networks.

And, most surprisingly, there’s a theory raised by Prof. Doug Lichtman (U of Chicago) that there are those who hack on the basis of purely political/moral arguments, suggesting that copying should be completely legal.

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