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[FYI] RIO: Security by Obscurity {broken}


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                     Mighty Rio Now a Two-Way Street
                     by Joe Nickell 

                     9:00 a.m.  26.Jan.99.PST
                     Software posted to the Internet in the past week
                     will allow owners of the Rio MP3 player to do
                     what manufacturer Diamond Multimedia had hoped
                     would remain impossible. The hacks permit users
                     to transfer data and music out of the portable
                     unit and back into a PC. 

                     "We're not happy," said Ken Wirt, vice president
                     of corporate marketing for Diamond Multimedia
                     Systems, based in San Jose, California. I think
                     it's clear we have not intended to provide this
                     capability with the Rio." 

                     The new software adds functionality to the
                     popular player, it also could put a chink in
                     Diamond's defense in an ongoing court battle over
                     the fate of the Rio. 

                     Last October, the Recording Industry
                     Association of America (RIAA) attempted to
                     block the release of the Rio, arguing that it was
                     a recording device and therefore should be
                     subject to provisions of the 1992 Audio Home
                     Recording Act. 

                     The law requires that manufacturers and
                     importers of digital audio recording devices must
                     notify the Federal Register of Copyrights, pay a
                     royalty fee of between US$1 and $8, and build in
                     controls to make it impossible for users to make
                     second-generation copies of material. 

                     Diamond argued in defense that, since files
                     couldn't be copied or otherwise transferred from
                     the Rio to other devices, the Rio is merely a
                     playback device and was therefore exempt from the

                     "We specifically disabled the ability to copy
                     files from the Rio to other devices as a form of
                     copy protection," said Wirt. "We've not released
                     the specs that allow people to interface with the
                     Rio outside its standard software interface." 


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