Feeds

SDMI boss bails out

Chiariglione lands safely in Telecom Italia research lab

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

The head of the SDMI - the music and IT industries' joint attempt to create a secure digital music distribution platform - has quit.

Leonardo Chiariglione is off to run the multimedia division of Telecom Italia's research centre, Telecom Italia Lab. He will be leaving the Secure Digital Music Initiative in a few months, the organisation said.

You can see why he's off - he probably wants a quieter life. As one of the brains behind the original MPEG-1 standard, Chiariglione was hired not only for his expertise but his independence from the vested interests behind the SDMI. The organisation was formed to seek an alternative to the MP3 music format, at least as far as the latter's lack of copyright protection technology went.

MP3 is, of course, part of the MPEG-1 spec. Chiariglione helped define. Indeed, he remains head of the Motion Picture Experts Group after which the compression technology was named.

However, after an initial specification for portable digital music players, the SDMI has almost nothing to show for its efforts but broken deadlines. And it hasn't been free from controversy. Last year, it unveiled a series of watermark technologies it hoped would form the basis for its proposed copyright protection mechanism. It brashly offered $10,000 to anyone who could break them in the hope that no one could.

Unfortunately, when they did, the SDMI made rather a fool of itself by blundering around denying the success of the crack on the grounds that while it zapped the watermark, it also had an audible impact on the music so encoded. The Princeton University team behind the crack, led by Professor Edward Felten.

Since then Prof. Felten has gone back on a pledge to reveal how the team did it because of a potential infringement of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The DCMA makes illegal any attempt to crack a copyright protection mechanism, and Felten's lawyers have advised him to keep quiet about it. The only reason they would say that is if the guy has been threatened with the Act if he goes public. And who's most likely to make that threat? That's right, the SDMI.

All this has tarred the SDMI's name somewhat - quite apart from allegations that it was always the music industry's puppet - so it's no wonder that Chiariglione might have had enough.

The organisation is apparently meeting this week to discuss work on Phase II of its copyright protection framework roll-out. SDMI members will also discuss finding a replacement for the departing head. ®

Related Stories

Prof hushes SDMI crack on DMCA terror
Hacker research team disputes 'hack SDMI' results
Uni team claims SDMI cracked, and 'inherently vulnerable'
SDMI hack: the 'golden ears' ride to the rescue
SDMI says hack stuff for money

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.