HP uses the Digital Millenium Copyright Act to Hide Security Problems

HP uses the Digital Millenium Copyright Act to Hide Security Problems

I didn’t think it could get even more idiotic than the Disney/RIAA shenannigans, but yes, Hewlett-Packhard has managed to wrench copyright to even new, more disgusting levels of idiocy.

You should read “Security warning draws DMCA threat “Declan McCullagh ‘s CNet article, but essentially, HP has threatened researchers from SnoSoft who publicized a vulnerability in HP’s Tru64 Unix operating system. The vulnerability is a bug, a serious one, and one HP had been alerted to last year. However, rather than acknowledging the flaw and fixing it as rapidly as possible, when an individual, independent of SnoSoft, published the information, HP sent a letter in which an HP vice president threatens SnoSoft with DMCA damages for copyright infrngement, including fines “up to $500,000 and imprisoned for up to five years”.

Let’s be very clear about this. This was a warning about a vulnerability, one that could allow an intruder to takeover a system. This was in no way an infringment of copyright!. Moreover, HP had plenty of time to issue a fix. They chose not to. Then, they sued the group, not the individual who released the information, and they still have not fixed the bug!

UPDAT 08/01/2002: CNET reports that HP is backing off the DMCA prosecution.