Fun_People Archive
5 Nov
A bad week at RealNetworks.

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri,  5 Nov 99 16:23:04 -0800
To: Fun_People
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Subject: A bad week at RealNetworks.

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Forwarded-by: Nev Dull <>
Forwarded-by: "Michael A. Olson" <>

On the heels of the announcement that Real Networks collects private data
on its users and transmits it secretly to company headquarters (see, eg,
[1]), Wired is reporting that the recently-cracked DVD encryption fell
because a Real subsidiary, Xing, failed to properly encrypt its decryption
key (see [2]).

The cracked encryption algorithm is significant because the established
stakeholders, notably the MPAA and big studios, were betting on a technical
fix to preserve their royalty structure.  This is, in my opinion,
short-sighted:  there is no unbreakable encryption scheme, and a business
model that relies on one is foolish.

The movie industry and the DVD consortium are still reeling over the crack
announcement, and no one at Real is answering the phone.  That's hardly a
surprise.  In a week, we've learned that Real steals your private data and
can't keep a secret.


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