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RE: HP printers and currency anti-copying measures

Any decent counterfeiter would be aware of the rulesforuse.org website
and could easily make a tweak to their host files... Say point
rulesforuse.org to their own webserver which would then be designed to
return data permitting the copying of currency images... 

As for preventing image copying, it seems a half-witted attempt by
bureaucrats to stop kiddyfitters... It probably wouldn't take too much
to defeat it anyway (like cut the bill into thirds, then scan each third
seperately and stitch it back to together).  

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard M. Smith [mailto:rms@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Saturday, January 17, 2004 12:10 PM
Subject: HP printers and currency anti-copying measures


Last week, the Associated Press reported that Adobe has incorporated
anti-copying technology in their Photoshop CS software which prevents
users from opening image files of U.S. and European currency.  Here's
the article:

   Adobe admits to currency blocker

I did some investigating on my own computer and discovered that HP has
also been shipping currency anti-copying software in their printer
drives since at least the summer of 2002.  I have an HP 130 photo
printer and found the string "http://www.rulesforuse.org"; embedded in
the driver.  

According to a few newsgroup messages posted in 2002 and 2003, folks are
seeing this URL printed out when they attempt to print images of certain
types of bills.  An HP printer with this anti-copying technology only
prints out an inch of a currency image before aborting the print job.

Here is a list of HP printers which appear to have this anti-copy
technology embedded in their Windows printer drivers:

   HP 130
   HP 230
   HP 7150
   HP 7345
   HP 7350
   HP 7550

I suspect the list of affected HP printers is much longer.

I located these printer drivers simply by searching all files in my
Windows and Program Files directories for the string "rulesforuse".  If
other folks run this same experiment, please let me know of other
programs which appear to contain currency anti-copy technology.

There are some unanswered questions raised by this quiet effort by U.S.
and European governments to turn home computers into anti-counterfeiting

   1.  Besides graphic programs and printer drivers, what
       other kinds of software is this currency anti-copy
       technology being embedded in?

   2.  Are companies being required to include currency
       anti-copying technology in their products?  If not, 
       what incentives are being offered to companies to 
       include the technology on a voluntary basis?

   3.  Will future versions of this technology, "phone home"
       to the rulesforuse.org Web site with details about
       a violation of the currency copying rules?  It would
       be very easy to include an email address, name of the
       image file, software version number, etc. embedded in
       a URL to the rulesforuse.org when a violation has been

Richard M. Smith