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Re: HP printers and currency anti-copying measures



Or use Photoshop 7, 6, 5.5, 5, etc. I seriously doubt that there are any advancements in newer versions of Photoshop which make counterfitting significantly easier. Scanning is scanning, and given that what you're trying to do is reproduce an existing image, not create a new one, the editing features found in new versions of Photoshop will provide very little advantage in this regard aside maybe from a little clean up of dirt on the glass of the scanner.

The point is, they don't really raise the bar to counterfitting, all they do is raise the bar to legitimate use. Besides, there's always Gimp and open source software. Building in such restrictions to that software, given that the code source is available means that any serious counterfitter will recompile with out the protections. There'll therefore always be photo editing suites available which don't possess these limitations, and so there'll always be a way around it. It's the wrong approach to preventing counterfitting, it's kludgey and won't ever work well. I guess though what it *will* do is prevent teenagers from printing out $5 bills and tossing them in the coin machine at the arcade, or any other electronic eye. This is petty theft though, and it hardly seems fair to restrict legitimate consumers, costing them ultimately hundreds of hours to lost performance or costing them the fair use of money images to save $5 here and there.

It's the same problem as DRM enabled music. It'll always be defeatable, and given that in that case there's the "analog hole" problem, will not ever stop someone serious about committing the crime, thus all it does is inconvenience or prohibit fair use.

-Eric "MightyE" Stevens
http://lotgd.net
*note* If you wish to reply, please remove my spam blocking "[removethis]" from my email address.

Kevin E. Casey wrote:

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
To: BUGTRAQ@SECURITYFOCUS. COM
Subject: HP printers and currency anti-copying measures

Hi,

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
  http://tinyurl.com/2xnno

(http://www.sanmateocountytimes.com/Stories/0,1413,87~11271~1882929,00.h
tml)

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
"cops":

  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
      detected.

Richard M. Smith
http://www.ComputerBytesMan.com