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Discussion in 'Safety valve' started by Halen5150, May 2, 2007.

  1. Halen5150

    Halen5150 Regular member

    Aug 17, 2005
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    Digg's DRM Revolt

    Digg.com has become one of the Web's top news portals by putting the power to choose the news in the hands of its users. Just how much power they wield, however, only became clear Tuesday night, when Digg turned into what one user called a "digital Boston Tea Party."

    When the site's administrators attempted to prevent users from posting links to pages revealing the copyright encryption key for HD-DVD discs, Digg's users rebelled. Hundreds of references to the code flooded the site's submissions, filling its main pages and overwhelming the administrators' attempts to control the site's content.

    Tuesday afternoon, Digg CEO Jay Adelson had posted a message on his blog explaining that the site was removing links to articles that featured the newly cracked HD-DVD encryption key, which can be used to decrypt the high-definition discs and copy their content. "In order for Digg to survive, it must abide by the law," he wrote. "Our goal is always to maintain a purely democratic system for the submission and sharing of information. ... In order for that to happen, we all need to work together to protect Digg from exposure to lawsuits that could very quickly shut us down. Thanks for your understanding."

    But Digg's users were not understanding. Instead, they covered the site's main pages with links to blogs that revealed the HD-DVD code and criticized the site's decision to censor content. Because Digg gives users the ability to rate news stories, pushing their favorites to the site's most visible positions, thousands voted to bring links to the top of the site with titles like "Revolt at Digg?" and "Digg Punched me in the Face for Posting This." By midnight, the site's entire homepage was covered with links to the HD-DVD code or anti-Digg references.

    And at that point, Digg's executives conceded. In a note published on the site, Digg founder Kevin Rose said the site would no longer try to prevent users from publishing the code. "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," he wrote. "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."

    Digg.com, whose executives couldn't be reached for comment, isn't the first site to face legal problems from user-generated content. Viacom's (nyse: VIA - news - people ) $1 billion lawsuit against Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) similarly faults the company for allowing copyrighted material uploaded by users to remain on YouTube, which Google acquired last October.

    LOCOENG Moderator Staff Member

    Feb 4, 2005
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  3. Jaybo

    Jaybo Guest


    HD DVD cracks: there's no going back

    By Eric Bangeman | Published: May 02, 2007 - 02:22PM CT

    When AACS was revealed as the encryption format of choice for HD DVD and Blu-ray, bets were placed on how long it would take for it to be cracked. Since the first HD DVD and Blu-ray discs began shipping, hackers have been hard at work figuring out how to break the encryption; DVD Jon even registered DeAACS.com. We've covered both crackers' efforts and the attempts by the AACS Licensing Authority to keep those cracks from seeping into the public consciousness. Yesterday, all of that came to a head.

    A submission on Digg which contained the recently uncovered encryption key for HD DVD discs was removed yesterday by the site's admins after the site was served with a DMCA takedown notice, according to Digg CEO Jay Adelson. Such takedown notices are not uncommon. The AACS LA has issued them far and wide in an attempt to give the crack as low a profile as possible—Boing Boing blogger Cory Doctorow was the recent recipient of just such a notice after students of a class on copyright he was teaching at the University of Southern California posted the key and a link to the infamous Doom9 forum where AACS cracks have been openly discussed.

    The futility of the AACS' actions was demonstrated last night when Digg was hit with a barrage of submissions containing the forbidden key. For a few hours, Digg's front page consisted of little more than a succession of links to the hexadecimal HD DVD key. After several hours, Digg cofounder Kevin Rose said that the site had received the message loud and clear, pledging that Digg would no longer kill stories and comments containing the key.

    While the shenanigans at Digg were fascinating to watch as they unfolded, in the grand scheme of DRM it serves mostly as a reminder that the Internet holds no secrets. Like it or not for the AACS LA, DVD Forum (which backs HD DVD), and the Blu-ray Disc Association, Pandora's Box is opened wide. Not only is the key out in the open, but perhaps more damagingly to the HD lobby, public awareness of DRM and its cracks has been raised.

    How will HD DVD, Blu-ray, and AACS LA respond? We don't know, and chances are that they don't either. Last night and this morning, Ars contacted all of them, along with the MPAA, to ask that very question. We haven't had a single phone call or e-mail returned from any of them.

    We're nearing the point of ready availability of tools like DeCSS for HD DVD and Blu-ray, but Blu-ray has a couple of extra layers of protection (ROM Mark and BD+) that have yet to be deployed. Also, both HD formats have an antipiracy weapon in their arsenal that DVD lacks: the ability to revoke device keys, which has already happened to Corel's WinDVD. Unfortunately for both HD DVD and Blu-ray, that looks like it's going to be as effective as a suit of chain mail against a bazooka shell; Doom9 forum member arnezami claims that the hack at the center of the latest maelstrom is irrevocable. Even if arnezami is wrong in his evaluation, the AACS LA's vigilance in trying to keep the existence of HD DVD cracks out of the public eye has backfired in a truly spectacular manner.


    When some people are told it can't be done, they quit. When others are told it can't be done, , , ,they succeed in proving it can.

    Never say never, , , never is a short time.

    Just my AACS 2cents.

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