This story was written by Keith Dawson for the Industry Standard's Media Grok email newsletter. It is archived here for informational purposes only because The Standard's site is no more. This material is Copyright 1999-2001 by Standard Media.

CPHack Programmers Throw in the Towel
Mar 28 2000 12:00 AM PST

Two cryptography buffs, a Canadian and a Swede, figured out the secrets that protect the Internet filtering program Cyber Patrol. They distributed their own program, CPHack, on the Web. When Cyber Patrol's parent company, Mattel (MAT), went to court and got a restraining order against the programmers and their ISPs, press coverage was widespread. Yesterday, when the suit was unexpectedly settled in a Boston courtroom - the two programmers gave Mattel the rights to CPHack - the major outlets passed on the story.

ZDNet's Margaret Kane reported that ACLU attorney Chris Hansen seemed "stunned" in the courtroom when the surprise settlement arrived. (Hansen wasn't representing the CPHack programmers, but three other activists who had mirrored CPHack and had been "served" with injunctions by e-mail. Hansen wanted to make sure that the settlement of the main case meant an end to his clients' problems as well.)

Hiawatha Bray's story for the Globe gave an overview of the issues raised by the case, including the collision of copyright with the techniques of reverse engineering - tools programmers consider essential. Bray quoted the judge joking with the ACLU's Hansen, "Why don't you go away and make life easy?" Still, the judge saw merit in Hansen's arguments, according to Bray, and promised a ruling on the mirror sites within two days. - Keith Dawson

Hackers Settle in Cyber Patrol Case
The Industry Standard

Hackers Settle Cyber Patrol Suit

Mattel Stays on the Offensive

Filtering Firm, Hackers Settle Copyright Case

Maker of Cyber Patrol Settles With Hackers Who Spilled Secrets
Boston Globe