03 May 2007

AACS

And so what happened over the last few days ? If you were watching the online world closely, you would have observed something. Something that makes me all the more believe in the fact that the power of community is something that is there to stay.

Now, to give you a brief background, there is this HD-DVD player. These players are protected by a secret key, which makes it impossible for someone to copy stuff, even if you are the legal owner of these players and the HD-DVD's.

So, someone at the Doom9 forums found out that all this anti-copying stuff is controlled by a single sequence of numbers and publishes them. I have to side with him on this issue. Heck, if you are the owner of a media, you have every right to do whatever you want to do with that media.

Now, if you are the guy who decides to incorporate this anti-copying stuff into HD-DVD's, would you be such a jack-assed moron that you would assume that no one would try to detect how it works ? That is plain stupidity.

Anyway, to cut the long story short, the key sequence gets out onto the internet. The guys who invented the key sequence should have either tried to change the sequence, or keep quiet. No, but what did they do ? They went after websites which were having the key sequence and threatened them with legal notices.

That sparked the first of the forest fires.

Digg is a user generated news site. Someone posted the key sequence in that site. The site owners, naturally, were not in favor of posting this key sequence because they did not want to get pulled up by the authorities, and hence, they removed those posts which were posting this key. The users were so very against this behavior that they started flooding Digg with more posts that had nothing but this key. So, for how long can the site owners keep controlling this thing ? They had to relent and finally they gave in saying that they will not delete any more posts.

Now, the point is not that. The point is this. Google, that big fat web crawler, starts crawling pages and indexing them to give us our search results. A simple search for the key "09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0" (which happens to be the key to crack the player), gives me results which are increasing by the hour. About four hours ago, I had 368,000 results and now, I have 676,000.

So, what is MPAA going to do now ? Shut down the internet ? It would be interesting to see what their next move is going to be !

As the saying goes, the more you try to protect something, the more it comes out into the open !! Shame on you MPAA for trying to implement such silly and restrictive laws.

Update: This is a very interesting article that gives a layman's perspective of the whole controversy.

K.Shyam

PS: Wikipedia has an interesting article on this whole controversy !

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 8:48 PM

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