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A Number for Your Blackbook

This number


is the HD-DVD Processing Key used by AACS (Advanced Access Content System) to decrypt content for HD-DVD playback. A technique which utilizes this number has been implemented in a software program called BackupHDDVD.

My posting this number on this blog is not intended to assist the decryption of HD-DVD content, though I would be thrilled if my making this number available here helps people exercise their fair use rights. Rather, my motivation is after-the-fact and thoroughly pedestrian: the cultivation of solidarity against the attack on free speech conducted by media industries including copyright owners, hardware manufacturers, and the United States Congress (which too often acts as an extension of corporate media interest).

So far, at least one blog has fallen (Spooky Action at a Distance) due to legal threats issued by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) AACS-LA (Advanced Access Content System Licensing Authority)1 for posting this number, while Digg has halted a campaign of censorship after thousands of users insisted on speaking freely.2

Spread the number if you can. In this early age of the Internet, battles such as this will determine the nature and fate of free speech. Down with media incumbency and up with freedom.

In solidarity,

end of article

UPDATE: a number of excellent articles have been written about the HD-DVD Processing Key, one of the most informative and well-written pieces being Dan Moren’s “Digg users show who’s the boss in Web 2.0 world.”

1 Edited 06:00 (Eastern) on Thursday, 3 May.

2 My original lead is a post on Daringfireball which quotes Digg founder, Kevin Rose:

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.



Hee hee hee: I can has HD-DVD [cheezburger explains].