August 1st, 2007

dd2guy

eight six seven five three-oh naiiiiyiyaaayine

Okay. I know I have a (mostly undeserved) reputation for sitting on the fence over issues that other people get really riled up about. I generally believe in cooler heads, not flaming torches. I choose my battles carefully. But this is one of them. And this time, I take a stand.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

If you steal the key to a man's shop from his wife's key ring, that is wrong. And therefore it should be illegal.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

If you copy the key and sell it in the marketplace, that is wrong. And therefore it should be illegal.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

If the man comes to court against you, and says, "We must make sure that my key is never stolen again," and the court rules that anyone making, copying, or possessing a key just like his--with the same number of ridges and bumps and holes--that, friends, is legal.

But it is wrong.

45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B2

Doubly so, if that key is a number.

13,256,278,887,989,457,651,018,865,901,401,704,640

Imagine a world in which you were not allowed to use a mathematical formula in a textbook because its binary representation corresponded to an algorithm for disabling car alarms.

Imagine a world in which exactly one unpickable lock exists, and no one but its owner is allowed to use it.

Imagine a world in which bakers cannot use prime numbers in their measurements out of fear that cookbooks could be decoded to an illegal program.

Imagine a world in which computer science professors are forbidden to present research on DRM for the sake of improving it (oh wait, haha, we live in that world already).

Imagine a world where Bill Gates owns pi.

Intellectual property lawyers would like to call it flagrant disrespect for the rule of law. But I call it civil disobedience.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

The gauntlet is thrown. Shame on me, the AACS LA says. But I say, shame on you. This isn't about theft. It's about the number not being yours to begin with.

  • Current Music
    Joe Wecker - css_descramble, the Song
  • Tags