SDMI crack team scurries away in fear again

The professor who cried wolf

Princeton University Computer Science Professor Edward Felten, who has credited himself and his team with cracking the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) Public Challenge, has once again wussed-out after threatening to do something frightfully daring like publish the results of his research.

Felten first backed down from publishing in January, after lawyers terrified him with horror stories of how the music Titans would punish him with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Felten subsequently appeared to have grown a pair when he arranged to deliver his results at the Fourth International Information Hiding Workshop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this week; but at the last minute, whatever endocrine tissues he'd managed to develop magically retracted whence they came.

Felten announced Thursday that he'd just as soon not reveal his research during the workshop because legal action had once again been threatened.

"Litigation is costly, time-consuming and uncertain, regardless of the merits of the other side's case," Felten whinged. "Ultimately, we....reached a collective decision not to expose ourselves, our employers and the conference organizers to litigation."

A 'collective decision' indeed. If there's anything worse than a wuss, it's a wuss who tries to implicate others in his cowardice. For those who still care, we've got the paper Felten can't quite bring himself to publish mirrored here. ®

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