The Digg HD-DVD processing key debacle

Summary:Who would have thought that one 16 digit hexadecimal string could cause so much upset. I'm talking about the HD-DVD processing string. But it's all a fuss over nothing. Digg or no Digg, the information is out there in the public domain and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Who would have thought that one 16 digit hexadecimal string could cause so much upset.  I'm talking about the HD-DVD processing string.  But it's all a fuss over nothing.  Digg or no Digg, the information is out there in the public domain and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

HD-DVD processing key

The current upset goes something like this (I won't bore you with too many details).  A website hosting the HD-DVD processing key was submitted to Digg and got lots of Diggs (something like 15,000), Digg pulled the plug on the entry … and the whole world erupts into flames.  The folks behind Digg now have a change of heart (feeling themselves being buried by the users) and reverse the policy.

The AACS licensing authority don't like the processing key for all current HD-DVD (and maybe Blu-ray) titles being in circulation.  I can understand why, each page hosting the processing key is testament to the fact that AACS is a complete and utter failure.  On the other side you have people who want to spread the word about the processing key to make sure that everyone knows the "forbidden numbers" and used Digg to do this.  When the entries got binned people became upset.

I get the feeling that people feel the processing key is some magic number that they can type into their HD-DVD player or PC and out pops a copy of the disc.  It doesn't work like that.  The processing key is just a small part of the equation and I'm certain that most of those spending their time spreading the word about the processing key don't have a clue what to do with it anyway. 

Everyone needs to take a deep breath and relax.

Anyone wanting to make a legitimate backup copy of, say, a HD-DVD disc doesn't need to mess about with processing keys, all they need to do is fire up Google, do a quick search ("backup HD-DVD" is a good place to start) and find a tool that allows this to be done.  There are a few, and more and more are coming regularly.  By the time that HD-DVD and Blu-ray become mainstream, I predict that discs will be as easy to copy as a DVD disc.

Topics: Data Management

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.