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Re: Copyright of digital keys



>Hi,
>
>I've a question about the allegation that digital keys are too short to be
>copyrighted.
>
>Let's say I make a safe that opens with a key. Clearly I can copyright the
>lock mechanism and that would include the key geometry/shape because a lock
>isn't a lock without a key.

	That isn't clear at all.

	First of all, I don't think you can *copyright* a physical 
device. I think copyright is reserved for things *like* writing, 
videotapes, etc. Programs come into this because they are seen as 
analogs to writing.

	Second point (and only semi-related to the first) There are 
certain IP like things that cannot be "copyrighted". Typefaces cannot 
be copyrighted. The *names* can be copyrighted (as a 
description/label of the typeface), but the actual *form* of the 
glyphs cannot. That would lead me to believe that the shape of the 
key cannot be copyrighted either.

>While the key may not be copyrighted per se, as part of the entire
>encryption protection technology it would be.

	No, because at the root, the key is generated by a 
mathematical process and hence is not the creative production of a 
entity recognized by law. In other words, the key is not 
"Intellectual property" in the same way that this post is 
"intellectual property", or that Mickey Mouse is intellectual 
property.

	The key is more along the lines of an ethernet packet.
-- 
Some may be willing to rely on withering editorials in the New York Times
to preserve their liberty.  I'm counting on a sleek and tasteful SIG-Sauer.
If the courts started interpreting the Second Amendment the way they interpret
the First, we'd have a right to bear nuclear arms by now.--Ann Coulter