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Document: HP backs off DMCA threat

Hewlett-Packard abandons legal threats it made against security analysts who publicized flaws in the company's software. Read the company's statement here.

Hewlett-Packard Thursday abandoned legal threats it made against security analysts who publicized flaws in the company's software.

In a statement released late Thursday, HP said it would not use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a controversial copyright law, to pursue a loosely-organized team of researchers who demonstrated a bug in the company's Tru64 Unix operating system.

The following is the company's statement:

1) HP is committed to protecting our customer's security environments.

2) We have verified that there is a security vulnerability with Tru64 UNIX, the details of which were brought to our attention July 18. The problem has now been isolated and HP has been preparing a fix, which will be available within the next 48 hours.

3) We won't comment on the specifics of our discussions with SnoSoft. However, we take our customers' security requirements very seriously and have a strong track record following industry-standard security practices.

4) Where and how the DMCA should be applied is a matter of great controversy. The reported letter to SnoSoft was not consistent or indicative of HP's policy. We can say emphatically that HP will not use the DMCA to stifle research or impede the flow of information that would benefit our customers and improve their system security.