Math in the Media

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Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Dispute over digital music muzzles academic," by Corie Lok. Nature, 3 May 2001.
"Music Industry Strikes Sour Note for Academics," by David Voss. Science, 4 May 2001.

These articles report on the decision Edward Felton and his computer scientist colleagues made to cancel the presentation of a paper that describes how they disabled anti-piracy systems for digital music. The researchers cancelled their talk, scheduled at the Fourth International Information Hiding Workshop, because they feared legal action by the recording industry.

"The dispute highlights the conflict between academic computer scientists, who claim that open investigation of weaknesses in security technology is necessary to improve protection in the long run, and the recording industry, which is trying to keep hackers from using this information to distribute copyrighted material," writes Corie Lok. The incident is certain to have an impact on other research and reports on encryption and on free speech.

--- Annette Emerson