Lessons from the Sony CD DRM episode

J. Alex Halderman, Edward W. Felten

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In the fall of 2005, problems discovered in two Sony-BMG compact disc copy protection systems, XCP and MediaMax, triggered a public uproar that ultimately led to class-action litigation and the recall of millions of discs. We present an in-depth analysis of these technologies, including their design, implementation, and deployment. The systems are surprisingly complex and suffer from a diverse array of flaws that weaken their content protection and expose users to serious security and privacy risks. Their complexity, and their failure, makes them an interesting case study of digital rights management that carries valuable lessons for content companies, DRM vendors, policymakers, end users, and the security community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages16
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006
Event15th USENIX Security Symposium - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: Jul 31 2006Aug 4 2006


Conference15th USENIX Security Symposium

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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