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HD-DVD versus the world?

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on May 02, 2007

Lost in the whole Digg brouhaha, is whether backers of high-definition DVD formats are trying to fruitlessly stuff the genie back in the bottle.

It’s been a while now since hackers revealed they had unlocked a crucial key that lets you copy a high-definition DVD to your computer or burn a disk to share with your friends. Since then, that key has proliferated on the Web, while the AACS licensing body that created the supposedly unbreakable key has remained mostly silent.

Only now are we finding out because of the Digg controversy that the group has been quietly sending legal notices to any website that publishes their intellectual property to cease and desist.

If the idea was to keep the successful hack of high-definition discs from the public eye, that plan has backfired. What’s more, it’s left the group with a few unpleasant choices. It can pursue legal action against Digg and others who refuse to remove the offending material and receive even more unwelcome attention, or it can use its fail-safe plan and prevent any people who purchased HD-DVD (and potentially Blu-ray) players with the now-cracked software from playing movies with new keys. Either would be a public relations nightmare.

No doubt, studios worried about their content being distributed far and wide prodded the AACS licensing body to act. In the end, it may have been better for all those involved if they hadn’t.

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Reader Comments

Joe Consumer

May 2, 2007 09:32 PM

It truly is amazing that they would think they can unring that bell.

Even if they succeed in scouring the key off the net, it can still appear in other forms.

The below number, for example, is completely different from the key in question. How can it be banned?

10 FA 12 03 9E 75 E4 5C D9 42 57 C6 64 57 89 C1


May 3, 2007 10:57 AM

I said it before and I'll say it again: You content providers have been AMAZINGLY stupid about this whole issue of content protection. You've hurt YOUR OWN interests in ways that are hard for me to believe. How long will it take for you guys to wake up?

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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