Friday, May 04, 2007

In denial

Have you been following the HD-DVD crack code fiasco? It gets more hilarious by the day. Today I almost fell out of my chair laughing:
Michael Ayers, the chairman of the AACS-LA (the organization that sent hundreds of legal threats to websites that published the random 16-byte number that represented one of the keys for cracking the copy-prevention on HD-DVDs) has given an interview to the BBC in which he vows to use technical and legal means to shut down the 802,000+ websites that have reproduced the key.
Total lolz. He's also quoted as saying "...that the copy protection on the HD-DVDs was 'absolutely not broken.'" (BB Post)

How long can these people cover their eyes and ears and remain totally oblivious to the power of the internet??

I don't own a HD-DVD player or know anyone that does, but what the hell, all the cool people are doing it:

Nanny nanny, nanny fricking boo boo.

Oh, and another thing. I read this article from, "The First Amendment vs. Patents in Web 2.0" - and my newly minted knowledge from my Technology Transfer and Commercialization class (which I got an A in, thank you) showed me how the entire article is complete hooey. One snip from the author:
It was Abraham Lincoln who said that America's two greatest contributions to mankind were the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Patent (i.e., intellectual property) law. And while I empathize with the frustration of folks who find themselves impeded from the full use of the latest technologies, those morons who want to destroy private property (and that includes trade secrets) put at risk the very future of innovation itself -- not to mention that great creator of human freedom, entrepreneurship.
What's wrong with this paragraph?

The answer is, you can have trade secrets or patent protection, but not both. Patents give you the right to prevent others from using your technology without your permission for a set period of time; they do not give you the right to prevent others from creating "workarounds." In fact, the patent law was designed to *encourage* innovation by allowing this. Someone patents a mousetrap, someone else finds a way to build a better mousetrap. If you don't want to put information in the public domain and give up the rights to it after 20 years, you can keep it as a trade secret. Coke has done this for decades. But if information gets out, you have no legal recourse. Also, a 32-character code is not patentable, nor copyrightable (the protection technology itself, however, is patentable). It is no more possible to protect a character string than it is possible to protect the letters of a DNA sequence - in both cases, only the application can be patented.

UPDATE: As of 10pm, Google shows 1,420,000 hits for the HD-DVD code. Good luck with all those takedown notices, Mikey.

5PR34D T3H C0D3!

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