Response to SDMI Press Release, November 8, 2000

We stand by our previous announcement that we were able to defeat the four watermarking technologies put forth by the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI). We remain convinced that we were and are able to defeat these four technologies.

Our focus has always been on the scientific question of whether the SDMI's technologies, if deployed, could be defeated by pirates. We demonstrated that they could be defeated, by making small modifications to the music files so that the watermarks were no longer detectable but the sound quality was still acceptable.

Instead of the scientific question, the SDMI has chosen to focus on who is eligible for the cash prize that they have offered. Since we chose to forgo the cash prize in order to retain our right to publish our results, we understand that the SDMI no longer considers us to be entrants in their contest. Their announcement regarding their contest does not invalidate our scientific results.

We expect to publish a detailed technical report describing our results some time in January. [Update: Our paper describing our results has been accepted for publication in the Fourth International Information Hiding Workshop. The workshop will be held in Pittsburgh, April 25-27, 2001.]

For more information, please see our Frequently Asked Questions document, or contact Edward Felten at (609) 258-5906 or

Scott Craver, Patrick McGregor, Min Wu, Bede Liu
Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University

Adam Stubblefield, Ben Swartzlander, Dan S. Wallach
Dept. of Computer Science, Rice University

Edward W. Felten
Dept. of Computer Science, Princeton University