Southern Man

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Blu-Ray and HD-DVD Key DiggStorm!

Just before Valentine's Day this year, a sixteen-digit hexadecimal key that can be used to unlock, decrypt, and decode pretty much any Blu-Ray or HD-DVD movie hit the 'net. A few sites attempted to spread the word; in response, the RIAA worked swiftly to suppress them.

For whatever reason, this didn't garner a lot of attention until today. Then today it made it to Digg.

Southern Man watched with unbelieving eyes as a Digg article about this key accumulated fifteen thousand Diggs in just a few hours before the site pulled the plug. But too late - when the levee breaks, the waters are gonna rise. With Digg moderators quickly cancelling both posts and the Digg accounts of the posters, the Digg community is in open rebellion and user are finding increasingly clever and ingenious ways to get the story back up. Earlier this evening every single story on the Digg front page was related to this key. Stories and posts containing this key are also running rampant on Slashdot and other popular tech news sites. The key can be found on t-shirts and coffee mugs. It's in song lyrics and YouTube videos and haiku. Googling portions of the key returns a quarter-million hits. For cryin' out loud, domain names containing the key have already been reserved.

Both the RIAA and Digg have let genies out the bottle - the RIAA has suffered a crucial breach in their prized DRM and Digg management has engaged in open warfare with their own user base. It'll be interesting to see the lengths to which they go to stuff them back in.

Southern Man's life is already interesting enough and he doesn't need to spice it up with his very own DCMA takedown notice, so there is no potentially copyright-violating information or links to such in this post. But he is gonna get himself one of those t-shirts.

UPDATE: Late last night Digg founder Kevin Rose apparently decided to go with the flow and has retracted Digg's own take-down policy regarding this story, which currently (Wednesday morning) owns the top five spots on Digg. One user has estimated that this story has earned an aggregate 50,000 Diggs over the last day or so. If nothing else, this has been a watershed event for Digg and it'll be interesting to see how it all plays out.


At Saturday, May 05, 2007, Blogger neighborsgrrl said...

Ok, so this code is out there -- but do enough people actually understand how to use it?


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