Hacker halts DVD launch

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Hacker halts DVD launch

Japanese DVD makers Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and Victor Co. were forced to postpone their launch of long-awaited new audio devices after a European hacker cracked the copyright protection of DVDs, raising new piracy fears.

Matsushita will shelve the launch of DVD audio/video players until May or June, while Victor Co. of Japan plans to withhold its new equipment indefinitely.

Pioneer Corp. may also delay the launch of its new DVD audio equipment, currently scheduled for later this month.

The setback is the result of a Norwegian hacker, who stymied the industry by posting instructions on the web last month, detailing how to override the copy-protection function installed in software for connecting computers with DVD-ROM drives.

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