The following is an open letter to Leonardo Chiariglione, executive director of the "Secure Digital Music Initiative".

Dear Mr. Chiariglione,

I am planning to boycott the challenge on the web site, and I will encourage all Linux users, hackers and reverse engineering practicioners to do likewise.

The site says:

"We are now in the process of testing the technologies that will allow these protections. The proposed technologies must pass several stringent tests: they must be inaudible, robust, and run efficiently on various platforms, including PCs. They should also be tested by you."

"So here's the invitation: Attack the proposed technologies. Crack them."

Thanks, SDMI, but no thanks. I won't do your dirty work for you.

I will never make or distribute a bootleg copy of a recording; but fair use is fair use.

I insist on my right to use copyrighted material I buy in accordance with the traditional rights of a music customer. I will play one copy at a time on the device of my choosing, and I will make a personal copy if necessary.

I will not participate in your organization's plan to seize total control over recorded music from the customer. I will not help test programs or devices that violate privacy or interfere with the right of fair use.

So, if you're going to say, "Hackers couldn't break our system even though we offered a $10,000 prize," you'll be wrong. Hackers should not, and will not, offer free consulting services to an organization that is using technical means to destroy the customary balance of interests of copyright holders and music listeners.

Sincerely,Don MartiTechnical Editor, Linux Journal