“Hey, Ben, have you heard the news about my brother, Jerry?”

“No, what, Harvey?”

“He’s one of the winners in that contest sponsored by the SDMI.”

“The Secure Digital Music Initiative? They’re my favorite copyright protection agency. What was the contest?”

“They posted several music files on the Net and challenged people to crack the copyright technology.”

“And your brother won?”

“That’s right. Five thousand big ones.”

“Wow! But how did he do it? I’ll bet those music files were tough.”

“It took a lot of Jolt Cola, Snickers bars and sleepless nights to defeat the security.”

“How long did it take him to figure out the encryption?”

“He worked for weeks on it. First he studied song files by Deftones and Fun Lovin’ Criminals.”

“What do you mean, ‘he studied?'”

“He studied the file structures. Then he spent a week reviewing popular digital encryption methods and then tried them out on Luther Vandross, Raze and Wayne ‘The Train’ Hancock.”

“Is that when he cracked the codes?”

“No. First he selected some songs at random, tracks from CDs by Smokey Robinson and Tony Bennett. Then he encrypted them, then reverse-engineered the tracks in an effort to learn how to break each encryption technique. That alone took him a couple of weeks. Finally, when he was confident, he had a go at the official files posted by the SDMI.”


“Piece of cake. I tell you, Ben, my brother knows his stuff. He can crack anything once he puts his mind to it.”

“Well, my hat’s off to him, Harvey. So, what’s he gonna do with the five grand?”

“I don’t know. Actually, he doesn’t even know he’s won.”

“Your brother wins $5,000 by cracking the encryption schemes created by the best brains in the record biz and you haven’t told him? How come?”

“Because my dad hasn’t brought him home from day care yet.”