wikilegal at inbox.org
Thu May 10 23:02:33 UTC 2007
On 5/10/07, Andrew Gray <shimgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 09/05/07, Yann Forget <yann at forget-me.net> wrote:
> > That's exactly what I ask. A number can't patented. A number can't be
> > copyrighted. A number is just a code. To get useful information, you
> > need to know how to decode the information hidden in the number. So it
> > seems to me that a number alone is not usefull information (except as a
> > pure mathematical object) unless you know how to get the information out
> > of it. So where is the limit?
> > Is 09-f9-... + 1 illegal?
> > Is x * y * ... + ... + z (= 09-f9-...) illegal?
> > I hope that people start to realise how the discussion stands on the head.
> I am afraid there is a fundamental misconception here; law does not
> make sense in this way. Law, confusing as it may seem to those of us
> reared in technical backgrounds, is illogical and fuzzy and vague; it
> is designed to cope with people, and emphasises very heavily the role
> of undefinable factors like "intent" and "purpose".
> What the law here is prohibiting - let us assume for a minute that the
> law would stand in court, and that the interpretation of the key as
> forming such a tool is valid - is possession of a tool intended to
> bypass copy protection.
No. You are very very wrong. That is not what the law is
prohibiting. It prohibits trafficking "in any technology, product,
service, device, component, or part thereof" that "is primarily
designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing a technological
measure that effectively controls access to a [copyrighted work]" OR
"has only limited commercially significant purpose or use other than
to circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access
to a [copyrighted work]" OR "is marketed by that person or another
acting in concert with that person with that person's knowledge for
use in circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls
access to a [copyrighted work]". It most certainly does not cover
mere possession of a tool intended to bypass copy protection.
> It isn't really in dispute that there are legitimate uses for any
> fourteen-digit hex string, including this one - there is a
> sufficiently huge amount of digital data created, processed, and
> transferred each minute that, even were it all to be random noise,
> you'd find that string embedded innumerable times as part of perfectly
> legitimate data.
The second part of that sentence is also very very incorrect. The
chances of a random 128 bit string being the key is about one in
(give or take a couple trillion...). A computer one million times
faster than current computers could generate random data for 6
thousand, trillion years before coming up with the number by accident.
> The legally dubious thing isn't the integer as a
> concept; it's the "aspect" of that integer that is a tool.
> But once you add context - by adding the words "the HD DVD encryption
> key" in front of it, for example, or for quoting it in a discussion
> such as this one - which shows you are aware it has that aspect, and
> that you are referencing it with regard to that aspect, *then* you get
> thumped by the statute...
> ... because you're knowingly providing something which was produced
> with the intent of circumvention.
No you're not (IOW, you are once again very very very incorrect).
You're knowingly providing something which was produced with the
intent of encrypting and decrypting DVDs. You've actually stumbled
upon what is probably the best argument so far that distribution of
the HD DVD encryption key itself does not fall under the DMCA.
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