As most of you have heard by now, a certain number is the focal point of a major controversy between the a small an mostly insignificant, but loud portion of a minor industry segment on the one side and the majority of people living on this planet on the other. Somewhere in the middle are folks like Wikipedia, Google, and as of yesterday digg.com.
The root cause for all this nonsense is – of course – the DMCA, which
states that even parts of a DRM “circumvention device” are illegal.
I find it completely intolerable that such a very small group has the audacity to claim protection rights for a simple sequence of 32 hexadecimal numbers that are on equal basis with the protection rights for intellectual property. This is – by all due respect for *actual* intellectual property – completely ridiculous. In fact, I think that this claim undermines the value of intellectual property per se, since – if this would hold in a courtroom – literally anything could now be claimed to be protected by the DMCA:
Consider the following situation: I am using the number 20 07 as my secret key to unlock ‘protected work’. As such, any reference to this number that is even remotely associated with DRM or content protection is a violation of my DMCA guaranteed right. So, if you, or your company should happen to work in the DRM field, be sure to not write down years in any of your communications. While this example is a little over the top, it still illustrates the extremes that are possible in this legislation.
Another interesting question would be: What happens to a person getting a tattoo of a part of a circumvention device? Can he/she be ordered to get skinned? Or terminated?