Fred von Lohmann at the EFF posted a very interesting article on why you can’t just go around posting “09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0” on every public website in the world and hold “09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0” parties in your home, office, or school. Essentially, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act states that you cannot publish public keys or parts of keys to copy protected content without previous permission and “09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0” is clearly a key and is clearly a violation of the DMCA.
What can complainants do to those who publish keys like “09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0?” Well, they can bring lawsuits to folks to publish the keys and will definitely get you a C&D letter, resulting in lots of scared running around at any organization or individual who publishes a key like “09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0.”
So don’t blame Digg for freaking out. This is serious stuff. As we remember, the entertainment industry collapsed when DeCSS appeared on the scene, resulting in worldwide famine, bank loan foreclosures, and the death of 4 major studio heads in a freak DRM testing accident deep under the New Mexico desert. The results of these experiments — the protection method now known as AACS — was slated to protect the world from another onslaught of poverty and drought for years to come yet folks like Digg’s own Kevin Rose still continue to post keys, including a key that begins with 09 and ends with f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0.
This could have been heaven, people. You ruined it.
09 f9: A Legal Primer [EFF]