I'm finding Cory Doctorow's rants on "owning" numbers are becoming irritating. I despise the DMCA and the organizations like the AACS that exploit it, but Cory is propagating lies whenever he talks about them copyrighting numbers or owning numbers. He's misrepresenting the legal claims made by the AACS. He's doing the very thing that we all hate when it seeps out of the think tanks, PR machines, political spin doctors and astroturf campaigns.
The piece of information that is illegal to publish is more that just a number; it is the fact that a particular number unlocks a particular protection system. If you publish the number without relating it to the protection system, then nobody can make a case against you. The number is just a number. If you do decide to publish the circumvention information, you are not breaking a copyright law that would control reproduction of that number, you are breaking a law that prohibits dissemination of that number + usage context.
Now Cory's a smart guy, so I'll assume that he's just a bit too carried away with the issue to be able to see how dishonest the "owning" numbers spin is. It's sitting right in his blind spot. I really hope that's it.