One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them
JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The outrage over the exposure and subsequent attempts by AACS lawyers to suppress the spread of the HD-DVD encryption key continues. This morning, a NY Times story hit the front page of Techmeme along with subsequent commentary. Yesterday it was Kevin Rose buckling under pressure to not censor Digg.
It's been characterized as a freedom of speech issue, but that's not the real issue driving the outrage. After all, isn't the distribution of an illegal number (an encryption key) conceptually similar to the distribution of an illegal image (for instance, child pornography)? Society accepts restrictions on free speech when there is a clear and greater good. In child pornography, the enemies are those who would harm our children, even by participating vicariously. Who's the enemy when a number is declared illegal? What good is being protected by this law?
Clearly huge numbers of people see the DMCA, and those it was designed to "protect" as the enemy. In bowing to corporate interests, and enacting the most onerous and overreaching copyright "protection" racket in the world, the US congress has made themselves the enforcers for the capos of the entertainment mafia. And so, by virtue of a dramatic revolt, the AACS legal teams have been reduced to pencil pushing bureaucrats futilely attempting to stem the tsunami of outrage by sending letters threatening legal action to the transgressors who have dared to publish the secret code.
Perhaps the entertainment cartel's "ring of power", the DMCA, is finally near its own Mount Doom. Perhaps saner heads, both in Congress and the entertainment industry, will now start to seriously examine other alternatives.
Then again, maybe not. And what would I know anyway? According to US lawmakers, Canada is a piracy haven.