Friday, May 4, 2007

AACS: Users Revolt, AACS LA Threatens Action

Update: Some good coverage on Ars that draws parallels between this situation and CSS:

When "DVD Jon" was targeted for his involvement of DeCSS, geeks around the world rallied around him and the idea of DeCSS. If the AACS isn't careful, they'll simply make another generation of hero out of a problem they created. What makes it even more deplorable this time is that it's now 2007, and the writing is on the wall: DRM is a failed idea, and a waste of time and money.
Original Post:

Nobody seems to learn their lesson anymore. It is fairly common knowledge that the more you attempt to suppress something on the internet, the more widespread the content becomes. The latest example of this is the fiasco over a leaked key for the AACS protection used on both next-generation optical formats (HD-DVD and Blu-Ray).

It all began when a blogger posted a copy of the key on his blog, which was later posted to Digg. The AACS LA (LA stands for licensing authority) quickly issued cease and desist notices to both Blogger/Google and Digg, both of which promptly removed the content. Afterwards, all hell broke lose, with a full user revolt on Digg which saw copies of the key posted on every front-page story and everywhere throughout the comments section.

Digg finally backed down, with this posted on the Digg blog:
Occasionally we step in to remove stories that violate our terms of use (eg. linking to pornography, illegal downloads, racial hate sites, etc.). So today was a difficult day for us. We had to decide whether to remove stories containing a single code based on a cease and desist declaration. We had to make a call, and in our desire to avoid a scenario where Digg would be interrupted or shut down, we decided to comply and remove the stories with the code.

But now, after seeing hundreds of stories and reading thousands of comments, you’ve made it clear. You’d rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company. We hear you, and effective immediately we won’t delete stories or comments containing the code and will deal with whatever the consequences might be.

If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying.

Apparently the AACS LA is now threatening to pursue Bloggers and others who post the key online. Apparently they didn't learn their lesson the first time they tried to suppress the key (which resulted in the key being spread to the 4 corners of the internet and everywhere in-between), and are now on to step 2: try try again!

This should be interesting to watch.


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