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Tuesday, Sept. 02, 2014

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Professor of Computer Science Ed Felten makes statement regarding SDMI presentation

science Professor Edward W. Felten and colleagues have decided not to proceed with a scheduled presentation on the security of digital watermarks in music recordings because of the threat of litigation. The paper was to be presented Thursday at the Fourth International Information Hiding Workshop in Pittsburgh.

In a statement, Felten said:

"Our paper was submitted via the normal academic peer-review process. The reviewers, who were chosen for their scientific reputations and credentials, enthusiastically recommended the paper for publication, due to their judgment of the paper's scientific merit."

"Nevertheless, the Recording Industry Association of America, the SDMI Foundation, and the Verance Corporation threatened to bring a lawsuit if we proceeded with our presentation or the publication of our paper. Threats were made against the authors, against the conference organizers, and against their respective employers."

"Litigation is costly, time-consuming, and uncertain, regardless of the merits of the other side's case. Ultimately we, the authors, reached a collective decision not to expose ourselves, our employers, and the conference organizers to litigation at this time."

"We remain committed to free speech and to the value of scientific debate to our country and the world..."

The full statement and further background are available at http://www.cs.princeton.edu/sip/sdmi/ .

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