[Foundation-l] 09-f9-...

Andrew Gray shimgray at gmail.com
Thu May 10 23:55:54 UTC 2007

[apologies to Anthony for the double mail]

On 11/05/07, Anthony <wikilegal at inbox.org> wrote:

> > 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" ...
> It most certainly does not cover
> mere possession of a tool intended to bypass copy protection.

My apologies; that was an error left in from a previous draft, when
I'd been working on starting with analogies about the dubiousness of
possessing innocuous items in certain contexts. I did mean to say
something other than possession - perhaps supplying? Making available?
Disseminating? "Trafficking" is the term the statute uses, but I
confess to not being very fond of it - it does have overtones that
confuse matters a bit.

> 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
> 339,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
> (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.

Huh. I got something on a much lower order. (This is probably due to
something exceptionally stupid like having done the calculation
assuming digits were bits, and juggling numbers mentally... some days,
I am amazed I ever passed my exams)

> > ... 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.

I'm not sold on the distinction here. Surely the key was released to
the world ('released' by the guy who studied the system, not by the
manufacturers) for the purposes of encrypting/decrypting *in order* to
circumvent the protection?

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