Illegal Numbers

May 2nd, 2007

Publishing this number is illegal in the USA, because it’s something of a commercial secret used to protect copyrights:


or, decimal if you prefer:


or get it on a t-shirt (from the USA).

This number is the HD-DVD encryption key. If you know how to do it, it’s possible to decrypt HD-DVD disks with this key, making them copyable, downloadable or whatever. As you might expect, there are lawsuits abound over the pond at the moment.


Snarfed from Coofercat

All multimedia files on a computer can be represented as numbers or sums of numbers.

That means that you would have to make the publishing of numbers or certain mathematical operations illegal to protect peoples’ copyright.

That is clearly insane.

Numbers belong to everyone, and all possible numbers and sums and mathematical operations pre date the very existence of man. None of them are novel or new, and hence, none of them can be copyrighted. If your movie inevitably divides down into a simple sum, that is just the tough luck of numbers.

The only way to protect your movie from pristine copying over the internets is to distribute it on 35mm film to cinemas. If it is never digitized then it will never exist as a number that can be copied and which can never be protected.

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