Posted by: Cliff Edwards on May 2, 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.