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A Brief History of the Book


"Hacking the Xbox" was originally a work commissioned by the respected technical publisher Wiley & Sons. Shortly after completing the final chapters, Wiley & Sons notified the author that publishing of the book had been cancelled, due to their concerns regarding the Digital Millennium Copyrights Act (DMCA). This happened despite the author taking special care not to include any Microsoft-copyrighted material or materials that could be directly applied to copyright circumvention.


Furthermore, on the second day of book pre-sales, the original e-commerce provider Americart elected to decline offering cart services due to concerns over the DMCA:

Now for the bad news. We are going to have to decline to offer you cart service for selling hacker materials, which is our right to do so per the Americart Merchant Service agreement. It's too risky for us to be involved in, especially in light of the fact that now I know about it. $15 per month doesn't pay for us to take the risk of being named in a DMCA suit. From what I understand, Microsoft is pretty agressive on such matters. It is nothing personal on our part.

Many have argued that an unintended consequence of the DMCA is a stifling of free speech. Clearly, this fear of publishing is an example of the chilling effects of the DMCA. The dissemination of knowledge in cryptography, reverse engineering and security is crucial to sustaining our nation's lead in technology and security. Books on these topics are widely published, even if the principles taught in the books could be applied for both good and ill. 


 "Hacking the Xbox" presents material on cryptography, reverse engineering and security in a didactic fashion, with the Xbox used as an widely available, consistent teaching example that has a broad appeal. The concepts taught in this book are generally applicable, as the Xbox's architecture is very similar to the common desktop PC.


For these reasons, the author, Andrew "bunnie" Huang, has decided to exercise his right to free speech and publish the book independently.


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