Another illegal number

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

It might not look like it, but the string of characters above is one of the Big Secrets of Mankind. It is the so-called AACS processing key, which allows you to decrypt every single HD-DVD movie released until a few days ago. Now, AACS is sending threatening letters to anyone who dares to utter those magical incantations, because they are EVIL! So, of course, everyone and their cousin are posting them on the web.

Actually, knowing those numbers is not enough to crack AACS. You still need to know how it works (and of course, a proof of concept already exists.) So it's not like we're talking about a cracking service.

The point being: any DRM-enabled system needs to give both the encrypted data and the decryption mechanism to the hands of the user. A smart user will figure out the decryption mechanism. And once one smart user figures it out, the whole world will know. So I just don't really understand why people bother. It's just so futile, and the money used in all this crap would probably be better used in doing other things - like given to the artists, or to hunt the real pirates - the guys who copy the disk 1:1, copy protection and all, and sell them for a cheap price on the markets and the internet. Those are the ones who're damaging the industry, not the people who are trying to play their legally purchased movies on their own hardware.

We all know a lot of things, which are dangerous and illegal. I know how to kill people with my bare hands and a bunch of different weapons - I trained it for years (though I probably would lose in any real fight; haven't been training in ages). I'm even a pretty decent shot, if you give me a gun. Knowing how to do that is not illegal - but using that knowledge for the wrong purpose is, and absolutely should be. The same thing should apply here: knowing a number should not be illegal. Using it to distribute a movie is, and it should be. And in my book, knowing how to kill people is a lot more dangerous than knowing how to decrypt a movie.

(Here's the number in decimal, so knowing and copying the following number into your blog could be illegal, depending on your legislation: 13,256,278,887,989,457,651,018,865,901,401,704,640.)


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"Main_blogentry_010507_1" last changed on 02-May-2007 00:38:37 EEST by JanneJalkanen.