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Cat out of the Bag

One of the funniest things over the past few weeks has been the results of the attempts by the Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator (AACS LA) to suppress the publication of the number that unlocks the copy protection on HD-DVD disks.  They sent out letters to various web companies demanding that they take down pages containing the number.  Google received one of these letters, their reaction was apparently to post a copy of the letter at the Chilling Effects web-site and to leave the page that the letter explicitly complains about untouched.  Indeed, entering the number into Google search returns "about 1,670,000" hits.  But the most interesting reaction was at the user-driven news site Digg.  Initially they started to comply with the AACSLA demands, but then the users started posting and 'digging' (ie: voting for) lots of news items mentioning the number.  Eventually, the Digg front page was filled with such items and founder Kevin Rose chose to give up and just let them stand, apparently preferring to face litigation rather than commit commercial suicide.  He must be left wondering at the power of the monster he has created.

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