the anvil problem

Carl Ellison cme at
Wed May 29 20:37:07 EDT 2002

At 05:04 PM 5/29/2002 -0400, Adam Fields wrote:
>"Hughes, James P" says:
>> Change the billboard for elevator music (which will be protected).
>> Will you be able to play back your digital dictations *if* they
>> were recorded in an environment that included background music.
>> IMHO, Silly does not mean they will not be successful. Look at
>> DMCA.    
>I'm curious - I've never seen any discussion of this, but it hit
>home quite forcefully when I was ejected from my battery park
>apartment on 9/11 and needed to temporarily install some software on
>a new computer - has anyone made the point that enforced
>technological copyright
>protections are detrimental to security because they eliminate the
>possibility of using that technology in an emergency?

We call this the "anvil problem".  Your copy protections must not
prevent you from moving all your soft assets over to another computer
when your first computer had an anvil dropped on it (or when it fell
under the roller of a steam roller).

|Carl M. Ellison         cme at |
|    PGP: 08FF BA05 599B 49D2  23C6 6FFD 36BA D342                 |
+--Officer, officer, arrest that man. He's whistling a dirty song.-+

The Cryptography Mailing List
Unsubscribe by sending "unsubscribe cryptography" to majordomo at

More information about the cryptography mailing list