Declaration of Min Wu
in Felten v. RIAA (Aug. 13, 2001)
Grayson Barber (GB 0034)
Frank L. Corrado (FLC 9895)
(Additional Counsel listed on signature page)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
MIN WU, of full age, hereby declares:
1. I am a named plaintiff in this action. I received my Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University in 2001, and have recently been appointed to the faculty of the University of Maryland. I am one of the authors of the paper entitled “Reading Between the Lines: Lessons from the SDMI Challenge” (the “SDMI paper”), which has been filed under seal as Exhibit D to the Complaint.
2. My doctoral dissertation is entitled “Multimedia Data Hiding.” Chapter 10, entitled “Attacks on Unknown Data Hiding Algorithms,” discusses the work I did during the SDMI Public Challenge. I wrote the chapter long before the current controversy arose in April. After I successfully defended my dissertation, and in accordance with customary practice, I posted it to my web site at: http://www.ee.princeton.edu/~minwu/research/phd_thesis.html This was on approximately May 4 or 5, 2001.
3. I was aware that Professor Felten had been threatened with liability for publishing the SDMI Paper. However, it did not immediately occur to me that those issues might also affect Chapter 10 of my dissertation. After consulting with Professor Felten and my advisor, Professor Bede Liu (who is also a named plaintiff), I began to fear I might be risking a legal threat by having the chapter on my site. After speaking to one of Princeton University’s lawyers who told me it would be risky to leave the entire dissertation on the web, I removed Chapter 10 from the Internet website on or around May 17, 2001. Chapter 10 has been filed under seal as Exhibit F to the Complaint. I published the rest of my dissertation at
4. My dissertation research at Princeton University has focused on the fundamentals of multimedia data hiding, designs for a variety of applications, and the study of attacks and countermeasures.
5. I expect to continue research on digital multimedia in the areas of (1) multimedia security, (2) multimedia representation and content analysis, and (3) multimedia communication over network and wireless channels.
6. Research in cryptography has been very useful to detect tampering, to unearth schemes to embed secondary data in digital media, and to study attacks and countermeasures. New value can be offered by combining the disciplines of “data hiding” (also known as “stegnography”) and cryptography. This combination of disciplines can be used to complement the weaknesses or limitations of other technologies. The combination of cryptography and data hiding techniques would lead to a basis for designing practical media security systems and to solutions of digital rights management for digital multimedia data.
7. The study of attacks and countermeasures is a legitimate field of academic study.
8. Another active topic both in research and in industrial standardization has been content-based analysis of multimedia data. Current web search engines are mainly text-based, but there will be increasingly high demand on more intelligent search for relevant audio, image and video. This demand is driven primarily by the increase in the creation of these multimedia contents by consumers, who use more than one component among image, audio and text. Research needs to be carries out to understand how these elements can be integrated to enhance the overall understanding of multimedia material.
9. I also intend to undertake research toward the integration of error resilience, transcoding, network condition measurement, dynamic resource allocation, and admission control in a multimedia communication system, aiming at studying the relations and the interplay of various modules that were generally addressed individually.
10. These areas of research are also legitimate fields of academic study, and recognized as valuable throughout the information technology industry. Many papers have been written on multimedia security, content analysis and multimedia communication. A number of those papers are cited in the bibliography of my dissertation and attached to this declaration.
11. I am concerned that my proposals for future research may be thwarted by threats of litigation under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Just as Professor Felten was threatened by RIAA and SDMI, I may be threatened for publishing the results of my research. I am especially concerned because my areas of interest involve multimedia technologies as I described above. I cannot tell whether I would be allowed to pursue these avenues of study and to publish the research results, even though my new employer, the University of Maryland, hired me to continue my research into multimedia security and the other fields I mentioned. I also would not know how to advise graduate students who intend to undertake research into these areas on the legal implications of their research, which they should be aware of.
12. I have been approached by a prestigious publishing house, Kluwer Academic Publishers, with an offer to publish my dissertation as a book. On May 16, 2001, the Kluwer publishing manager sent me a prospectus questionnaire and invited me to suggest reviewers for the peer-review process. I replied that I would be interested, but I put the proposal on hold and explained that I was concerned about liability under the DMCA in light of the threats Professor Felten received in April 2001.
13. A major reason for putting the proposal on hold was that soon after May 16, 2001, I became aware of potential problems with Chapter 10 of my dissertation, which has been filed under seal as exhibit F to the complaint.
14. I received a reply e-mail on June 13, 2001, from the Kluwer publishing manager saying: “We want to publish your work (subject to peer and market review, of course.) Let’s proceed with the process. I will look into the legal circumstances, but the first question that arises is whether you can simply remove the controversial parts, or will this ruin the book?” The same day, the publishing manager sent me another e-mail saying: “You have a great topic and we are anxious to move forward.”
15. To publish my dissertation as a book, some revisions may be required based on the technical peer review and marketing review conducted by the publisher. I may also want to make additions or revisions in the book manuscript. Omitting Chapter 10 would weaken one of the three parts of my dissertation, and might negatively affect the quality of the book.
16. I have held the proposal from Kluwer because I am afraid of prosecution and civil liability under the DMCA, in light of the threats of April 2001. I explained my concerns to the Kluwer publishing manager.
17. It is important for faculty members, especially new Ph.D.'s like me, to be active in publishing and to have peer-reviewed book publications by prestigious publishers. To publish my dissertation as a monograph would enhance my visibility among my colleagues and in the technical community. To publish my research results would contribute to the enhancement of technical knowledge generally.
18. After RIAA, SDMI and Verance wrote letters to the judge saying they would not sue over my dissertation, I sent Kluwer and another publisher who has shown interest, Springer-Verlag, my dissertation with Chapter 10 included. The dissertation is presently being reviewed by Kluwer. Springer has completed its preliminary review and has offered me a contract (specifically, Springer sent me a draft contract to review).
19. After talking with Prof. Liu, I asked him if he would co-author the book, and he agreed.We are both taking Springer's offer very seriously, but have not yet signed a contract. We are both very clear that we want to include the material from Chapter 10 of my dissertation. Whether we can or not depends on this lawsuit. If we do sign a contract, we expect to make additions and changes once we receive comments from the technical reviewers.
20. I would also like to do follow up research on the SDMI project. Professor Liu and I have talked about doing further analysis to see if we can discover general properties of the kinds of technologies that we examined during the public challenge. However, I do not want to even begin this research as long as I'm uncertain about my liability. In other words, I will forgo this research rather than be in the same position I am in now and have been in since we were threatened by RIAA, SDMI and Verance.
I certify that the foregoing statements made by me are true. I am aware that if any of the statements are willfully false, I am subject to punishment.
Grayson Barber (GB 0034)
Grayson Barber L.L.C.
68 Locust Lane
Princeton, NJ 08540
phone (609) 921-0391
fax (609) 921-7405
Frank L. Corrado (FLC 9895)
Rossi, Barry, Corrado & Grassi, PC
2700 Pacific Avenue,
Wildwood, NJ 08260
phone (609) 729-1333
fax (609) 522-4927
Gino J. Scarselli
664 Allison Drive
Richmond Hts., OH 44143
(216) 291-8601 (phone and fax)
James S. Tyre
10736 Jefferson Blvd., # 512
Culver City, CA 90230-4969
phone (310) 839-4114
fax (310) 839-4602
Cindy A. Cohn
Electronic Frontier Foundation
454 Shotwell St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
phone (415) 436-9333
fax (415) 436-9993
Joseph P. Liu
Boston College Law School
885 Centre Street
Newton, MA 02459
phone (617) 552-8550
Attorneys for Plaintiffs
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