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May 1, 2007
Oh Nine, Eff Nine - the Song
Looked at simplistically, a song is a string of words set to music. It's quite possible to write nonsense songs or songs containing nonsense words - just ask any parent of a small child.
So if a song happened to be a series of words and not-quite-words (hush you Scrabble players, "eff" is not a normal word) then that'd still be a song, copyrightable and protected in the usual ways, right? This is sort of bad news for the Cartel, because in this case the sequence of lyrics is the sung-out version of the key used to crack HD-DVD encryption. Oops.
I was strongly reminded of the "Gallery of CSS Descramblers" that appeared in response to the legal requirements to take down the DeCSS executable code tools. The Gallery contains many versions of the De-CSS algorithm, including at least one sung.
Code that cracks HD-DVDs probably isn't redistributable. Nor are you likely to be able to publish a Web page saying "Here's the key you can write into your own code to crack HD-DVDs." But a song? Song lyrics? Good luck getting takedown orders for those.
"Oh Nine Eff Nine" is currently available on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9HaNbsIfp0
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