October 13, 2003

My question to SunnComm (CD paper DMCA bullies) president

Greplaw ran a story pointing out that SunnComm (the company which threatened to use the DMCA to sue a Princeton student over his research) has an "Ask The Prez" form.

The question currently on the top of the page doesn't look very "legit" to me ("I've heard your technology can be hacked. Does that mean it won't "work?"" - PR ensues). Though maybe it's just a FAQ. Anyway, I decided to submit my own query to the oracle:

Is it true that the RIAA - or other similar organization - asked SunnComm to retract the lawsuit threats against the Princeton student, because it was obvious that SunnComm would lose a DMCA case, and then that would provide a strong First Amendment precedent against the DMCA?

Let's see what, or if, they answer.

Maybe people would like to submit some interesting questions of their own, and post the replies. Or lack thereof.

Update: I must admit, they got back to me quickly. I assume the reply was public and OK to post:

No. We don't work for the RIAA. It's not so obvious that publishing proprietary file names and workarounds for someone's digital property is a losing battle. We withdrew because we didn't want our issue to leave a larger wake than it deserves given that we, too, place a high value on legitimate research and not political activism masquerading as research (which Mr. Halderman's paper was).

Thanks for writing,


Peter H. Jacobs
Chief Executive Officer
SunnComm Technologies, Inc,

[Hmm ... they don't have to "work for" the RIAA to have the RIAA or similar ask them to retract. But I don't want to keep asking here]

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in dmca | on October 13, 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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I find much humor in the weakness of SunnComm's MediaMax software...... SunnComm says it was not thier intention to stop large scale piracy, but come on!!! A child could circumvent the MedaiMax software!! That's my 2 cents............

Posted by: ike at October 15, 2003 05:38 PM

Maybe you should have asked the URL for Will-Shown.

SunnComm accused Halderman of wrongdoing for exposing their weak copy protection. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone". Is SunnComm without sin?

In December 2000, SunnComm announced a $20M deal with Will-Shown, who they described as a major Pacific Rim CD Manufacturer.

SunnComm Inks $20+ Million Copy Protection Deal With Major Pacific Rim CD Manufacturer


People are asking who is the Will-Shown Technology Company. Why would a CD manufacturer license copy protection? It is not a record label. Why would it commit so much to an untested product by a penny stock with no track record? How could a major Pacific Rim CD manufacturer not have a web site? How come it is not even mentioned on the web by anyone else? The stock price tripled in the days after the announcement. Who can find Will-Shown and clear up the mystery? A major Pacific Rim CD Manufacturer couldn't just vanish like that, could it?

SunnComm was previously named Desert Winds Entertainment. The SEC found a little problem with them: http://www.sec.gov/litigation/complaints/complr17462.htm

Paloma appointed Jacobs as president and Jacobs, who accused Halderman of wrong doing, was the person responsible for the Will-Shown press release.

Posted by: ataboy at October 17, 2003 10:21 AM