October 10, 2003

SunnComm v Halderman - recanted!

LawMeme brings news that SunnComm wont sue "Alex Halderman for writing a report critical of SunnComm's MediaMax CD3 DRM technology" (see also Ed Felten) There's a Princeton newspaper report, but I also found a SunnComm press release for primary source.

They have seen the light! They have had a revelation!

Where before they roared:

The act of publishing instructions under the cloak of "academic research" showing how to defeat MediaMax such as those instructions found in Halderman's report is, at best, duplicitous and, at worst, a felony.

Now they reassess:

Because SunnComm is, itself, a company which relies on research and development for its survival, we feel that bringing legal action for damages against researchers in a higher learning environment may contribute to a chilling effect on the type of research that faculty, staff, and students elect to pursue.

Look, look, no more "hackers". It's now "researchers in a higher learning environment". And they're worried about a chilling effect, not a "cat-and-mouse game". Oh, they have undergone such a change of heart!

What a difference a day makes ...

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in dmca , legal | on October 10, 2003 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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There's even more going to this story than meets the eye.

Starting in May 2003, the stock zoomed from 10 cents up to 40 cents. (The stock was under a nickel as late as April 24th); The subsequent "precipitous" drop was nothing more than the stock dropping back to its prior trading range -- back under a dime.

I found it curious that the SunnComm stock had this huge May 2003 move occurred in the middle of a long news blackout. That aroused my curiosity, and makes, in my opinion, the activity in this pink sheet stock suspect.

So I went back and looked at all the news releases this year. Because there appears that there were no offical news released between April 4th 2003 ("Tattoo Media joins forces with SunnComm Technologies") and June 2, 2003. (Macrovision, SunnComm Race To Protect Music From Pirates) that could explain the stock's thrust upwards.

I did, however, notice that sometime in August, the company announced a 2 Million Share buyback. Why a microcap pink sheet company feels the need to buy back stock, I couldn't possibly tell you.

But if I was advising the Princeton student, I would suggest the first thing he do is have his lawyer find out if any insiders, officers, board members, or major shareholders did any buying during that period.

Posted by: Barry Ritholtz at October 13, 2003 03:28 PM