Tuesday, May 08, 2007

My very own integer

Courtesy of Ed Felten, and triggered by the AACS threats against people publishing a hexadecimal number which is part of the copy protection technology on high definition DVDs, I'm now the proud owner of my very own integer:

A3 73 7B 2F FB EF D8 8E 98 FA EE 24 D0 25 DC F8

Ed generated the random integer and then used it to encrypt his copyrighted senryu (a form of Japanese poetry). That means my integer is a circumvention device, capable of decrypting the senyru without Ed's permission. He has, however, granted me all the rights to decrypt the poem using my integer.

Should anyone else use my integer to decrypt Ed's senryu, however, they will contravene the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998 and the European Copyright and Related Rights Directive of 2001, since my integer has very few commercially significant uses other than to circumvent the encryption on Ed's senryu. (When Ed's then student Alex Haldermann demonstrated in 2003 that the shift key on a computer keyboard could be used to circumvent the then latest superdooper CD drm (SunnComm Technologies' MediaMax CD-3), the shift key and the keyboard avoided becoming outlawed DMCA cicumvention devices because they had many other uses).

Ed's post has already drawn 147 comments and presumably issued virtual ownership deeds to the title of even more randomly generated numbers.


Update: Fred von Lohmann has posted a very helpful legal primer on the posting of AACS LA's 09 f9 key.

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