Re: New paper on funding without copyright

Brian Atkins (
Wed, 09 Jun 1999 22:32:30 -0400

Harvey Newstrom wrote:
> Brian Atkins <> wrote:
> > Maybe related: there is an ad in the latest Wired for
> >
> > Purports to allow for safe posting of copyrighted images, plus
> > a purchase option. Requires user to download an ActiveX or
> > Netscape plugin.
> Ridiculous. You can do a screen copy, capture the data with a sniffer as it
> downloads, run your terminal output to a recording device, take a photograph
> of the screen, do a memory dump, reprogram the plug-in on their own machine,
> etc. All this scheme will do is prevent your browser from helping you steal
> the images. Anybody in control of their own computer can get to their own
> memory, their own disk, or their own screen. As a security professional, I
> consider these kinds of schemes bordering on the fraudulent.

Well they are making at least a bit of effort: the data stream is encrypted. The main missing pieces are still: recording screen images to tape or photograph, mem dump, screen capture via running Windows on an emulator. Since recording to tape or photo involves a digital->analog conversion, let's throw that out since you effectively do not have the original data. (actually of course even a monitor display is analog unless you're using a flatpanel with a digital interface)

Anyway, if this ever got to the point where it was distributed with the browsers or built-in, then I could see many web sites switching to it in order to prevent a lot of casual theft.

This same problem is also being worked on in the audio/MP3 arena; I wonder how that new SDMI (correct acronym?) is going to try to handle it.

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