Is SunnComm a sham or the next, big DRM success? | The Register

Sound familiar? Back in September 2004, this article was posted on The Register:

You might expect one of the world’s leading digital rights management (DRM) technology makers to have a rich history in either the computing or music fields or both. This is not the case for SunnComm International Inc. Instead, the firm’s experience revolves around a troubled oil and gas business, an Elvis and Madonna impersonator operation and even a Christmas tree farm.

SunnComm rose to national prominence in the Fall of 2003 when a Princeton University graduate student managed to undermine the company’s CD copy protection technology simply by holding down the Shift key on his computer when inserting an album. Countless news organizations, including this one, mocked SunnComm and music label BMG for distributing such thin CD protection, even though the average consumer would be unlikely to employ the Shift key block. The incident created a tight link between SunnComm and the word incompetence, prompting the company to issue legal threats against the Princeton student.

SunnComm’s suggestion of a lawsuit garnered even more negative press, as researchers rushed to point out that the student had every right to examine the DRM technology as part of his computer science studies. This prompted SunnComm to pull back on the lawsuit threat and focus instead on doing business as usual and improving its technology.

More info in the article.

SunnComm has an interesting past. Are they SunnComm, MediaMax, Quiet Tiger, Fan Energy, Desert Winds Entertainment? Who are they really? What does the Oil and Gas industry, or a floppy disk business that never made/sold a disk have to do with it? And roots beginning with Paloma, Bardasian and Desert Winds (as Elvis inpersonators?) and a securities fraud allegation? How could that be? Or a deal with Will-Shown Technology Co. who seems not to have even existed? Or a press release about this apparently vapor ‘contract’ which led to SunnComm’s shares tripling in value? And what of another equally interesting bogus contract apparently with Warner Bros? And where does Mario “Ike” Iacoviello play into all this? And what of the rather interesting number crunching Dstage.com Inc (now Camelot Entertainment) stock deal? So, what exactly do some shareholders have to complain about? And why would Microsoft and SonyBMG be involved with such a company? And why would you as an avid music lover be concerned about it?

Here’s a quote from the P2PNet’s Sunncomm into MediaMax article which I have noted several times in this posting:

So when you hear the name MediaMax Technology Corporation, think of SunnComm International.

It may have a new name, but it’s the same company that issued the press release on a $20M deal with Will-Shown Technology, a non-existent company.

It’s the same company that issued a press release on a $4M deal with Dstage, Inc that resulted in actually no revenues to SunnComm and a promise of dividends to SunnComm shareholders that were never delivered.

It’s the same company that told its shareholders it was going to merge with a floppy disk manufacturer that would product 5% of worldwide demand but never produced a single commercial disk.

It’s the same company that said it would develop an experimental CD and DVD manufacturing facility but never did.

It’s the same company that promised to distribute 96M shares in Quiet Tiger to its shareholders and then decided to keep the majority for themselves.

It’s easy to see why SunnComm isn’t a name they’re proud of.

It is quite interesting to me that all these questions are inter-related and each leads back to SunnComm/MediaMax and how they do business and their apparent disregard for not only the consumer and programmers, but their stockholders and ‘partners’ in their greed.

It will be very interesting to see how this all unfolds. I can not imagine that Microsoft, Sony or any other corporation can afford to NOT distance themselves from this situation.

I think the Risk factors released in the prospectus may well be the least of their worries.

Thinking of Peter Jacobs as Santa Claus has never entered my mind. How about you?

It is very annoying to see their blantent disregard for consumer rights in the implementation of their copy protection scheme on audio CDs from Sony, et al as clearly outlined in the prospectus.

All of the links noted throughout this posting are must reads to get a fuller picture.

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