Security Web Digest: DMCA Expansion, CD Copy Protection Gains, The Feds Go After PayPal ... and More
Music pirates don't care... Security execs think we're unprepared... eBay's payment service in hot water for online gambling work... and more from around the web.Copyrights Critics of the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act said Friday that they were disturbed by proposals for similar laws at the state level. Quietly, opponents said, state legislators are considering bills that would be even broader than the controversial DMCA, which restricts bypassing copy-protection measures. The movie industry however, says DMCA opponents are overreacting. The group primarily responsible for the state bills is the Motion Picture Association of America, one of the most vocal supporters of the federal DMCA. The MPAA rejects the characterization of the state legislation as similar to the federal law, saying the state measures update cable and satellite protection laws to catch up with todays hacking technologies. The peer-to-peer music file-sharing habit among 61 million Americans and millions more worldwide is "cemented," with only 9% of U.S. downloaders believing they are doing anything wrong, media analyst Eric Garland told the California state Senate Thursday. "We see only one trend," said Garland, founder of Beverly Hills-based Big Champagne, which analyzes Internet trends. "More people are downloading more copyrighted material." Instead of fighting the trend, which he called a losing battle, Garland said the entertainment industry should embrace digital distribution rather than file lawsuits that only make more people aware of free downloads.
Record labels have been experimenting with compact disc copy-protection technology for close to two years now and the techonlogy may be headed for the U.S. market in bulk this year for the first time, according to one Wall Street analyst. In a research note published Friday, J.P. Morgan analyst Sterling Auty said that Arista Records, a subsidiary of BMG Music, appeared to be moving to market with CD copy-protection technology produced by SunnComm Technologies. "We expect volume shipments of protected CDs to ship commercially in the U.S. as early as the May-June time frame using the SunnComm solution," Auty wrote. SunnComm recently struck a deal with Microsoft to work together on a package of copy-protection techniques for labels. SunnComm will protect the ordinary CD audio tracks against copying, while Microsoft will provide tools to put additional copy-protected versions of the songs on the CD that can be copied to a computer hard drive or MP3 player but not traded online.