[LINK] The impact of DRM on the market for new content [Was: alternate media formats]

Alex (Maxious) Sadleir maxious at gmail.com
Sat Mar 5 16:47:56 AEDT 2011

On Sat, Mar 5, 2011 at 3:45 PM, Rick Welykochy <rick at praxis.com.au> wrote:
> Tom Koltai wrote:
>>> Anyone recall the
>>> release of a the DVD DRM cracker on the net in the 90's?
>> I think it may have been called:
>> |==================================|
>> | Program Name: | DVD Decrypter    |
>> |==================================|
>> | Author:       | LIGHTNING UK!    |
>> |==================================|
>> http://www.dvddecrypter.com/
> I remember now. It was a REALLY simple program, only a few lines
> in Perl, called DeCSS. The file de-css.zip went viral minutes
> after being released. The cat was out of the bag and DVDs were
> forever more "open".
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeCSS>
> "In protest against legislation that prohibits publication of copy protection
>  circumvention code in countries that implement the WIPO Copyright Treaty
>  (such as the United States' Digital Millennium Copyright Act), some have devised
>  clever ways of distributing descriptions of the DeCSS algorithm, such as through
>  steganography, through various Internet protocols, on t-shirts and in dramatic
>  readings, as MIDI files, as a series of haiku poems, and even as a so-called
>  illegal prime number. However, the CSS algorithm seems to require more characters
>  to describe in a computer programming language than the RC4 algorithm by RSA Data
>  Security; one of the shortest implementations of DeCSS (called "efdtt") is 434 bytes.
>  Because of this, it has not been distributed by some of the more "inventive" methods
>  used to distribute the RSA algorithm during the days of ITAR — it is not suitable
>  for tattoos, email signatures, etc."
> I like that ... "an illegal prime number".
> The same is bound to happen to Blu Ray and similar schemes. And I
> see no reason that Apple and Mickeysoft's DRM cannot be easily
> cracked, since the keys are either online or on your HDD.

This artistic expression of illegal prime numbers has occurred for
many forms of DRM: Blu-Ray/AACS (they change the keys on new releases
but perfectly secure key exchange to millions of devices isn't really
possible, right?), HDCP (controls the transfer of decoded Blu-rays
between hardware devices), Texas Instruments calculators (Math geeks
are the worst audience for secret prime numbers) and most recently the
Playstation 3 (which had in it the keys for systems it emulates such
as the Playstation Portable and Playstation 2).

The absurdity of illegal prime numbers seemed clear when Sony PR
accidentally retweeted one of the PS3 keys thinking it was Battleship
co-ordinates because it was represented in hexadecimal form:

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