Putting encryption on DVDs was never popular, so it’s little surprise that making yet stronger copy-protection on HD DVDs has already resulted in someone cracking the code. Details of a software string that could be used to unlock the DRM (digital rights management) were posted online this week – and very quickly picked up on by bloggers and other web users worldwide.
The result was a ‘cease and desist’ order being issued to the likes of Google – which owns the Blogger service on which hundreds of blogs linking to the DVD DRM unlock details were posted – and to techno-blogging site Digg. The AACS (Advanced Access Content System) Licensing Administrator consortium responsible for putting DRM protection on HD-DVD discs issued the order to prevent further dissemination of the crack code.
While Google was quick to comply, Digg found itself caught between doing what legal eagles thought was right and doing what its users and rankers thought was right.
Yesterday, Digg invoked the ire of its users by bowing to pressure to remove links on its site to another website containing a code to unlock the copy protection on HD (high-definition) videos. Digg works by users giving a thumbs up – a ‘dig’ – or a thumbs down to whatever they read online and on the Digg site itself. By posting and reposting the DRM unlock code and by the sheer weight of their commentary and posts, Diggers briefly brought down the site and turned on its creators.
Shortly afterwards, it changed its tune and decided that its own interests were best served by letting users have their say.
"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,” said Digg CEO Jay Adelson.