Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

IP as Censorship

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.

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What I want to know is whether it's legal to patent a TPM circumvention device?

Who needs to manufacture or sell them eh? Just go to your friendly patent office who will let you inspect the details.

Perhaps one can then innovate by patenting improvements to such devices - as you appear to have done above?

What circumvention device? You don't mean 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0 do you? Because if 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0 is a circumvention device, then my keychain is a set of burglary tools and I could be arrested for carrying them in my pocket.
Even physical keys on your keychain are circumvention devices when used to open locks (TPMs) that you are not authorised to unlock.

And, manufacturers of locks, especially old padlocks like the Squire 220, have been known to provide the same key with the same model.

In this case AACS LA is discovering what happens when you've locked everything up with a single key that's so easy to duplicate you only need to mention a single number.

The funny thing is, the purchaser of a copyrighted work is authorised to use the respective key (via various electronic agents) to view the copyrighted work - but not to infringe its copyright. All that they have to do is to find a device that enables them to use their key to view the copyrighted work on an arbitrary viewer. This would therefore not be a circumvention device, but a device that enhances the copyrighted work's viewer compatibility.

Crosbie: I think your overall question is a great one. The fact that such a question would even inspire debate points out hust how problematic the anti-circumvention laws are right now. They must be overturned/reformed - plain and simple.
"Even physical keys on your keychain are circumvention devices when used to open locks (TPMs) that you are not authorised to unlock."

My keys on my key chain aren't burglary tools if I use them to open my own front door. 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0 therefore isn't a circumvention device if I use it to decrypt my HD-DVD. Maybe if I decrypted somebody else's HD-DVD, it would be another story, but I certainly don't feel that anyone who slaps a lock on my door and then insists I'm not authorized to keep a key to my own door is deserving of any sympathy whatsoever; and this seems like the equivalent.

NN: Yes, you're right.

But, being right, being legal, and being clearly legal are all slightly different situations.

Let's find a way whereby we can all find a significant use for the keys within our devices that isn't primarily for the circumvention of TPMs of copyrighted works in our possession, e.g.

  1. the use of a cross platform, software based HD-DVD viewer.
  2. the use of a HD-DVD writer that requires the keys in order to apply the same TPMs - in order to let our friends play our holiday footage on HD-DVDs on their HD-DVD players (without letting them infringe our copyright - the blighters).
No doubt there's a risk of patent license violation, but that's another bridge to cross.

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