News Users Rebel Over DVD Copy-Protection Locks

Operators of a Web site that ranks and displays items based on recommendations from its users relented this week in allowing people to post information and links on breaking the locks on high-definition DVDs. initially said allowing such messages could subject it to liability under the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Digg said that by law, it must respond to removal requests that came from the owners of the DVD copy-protection system.

But in a signal that sites that give people control over ranking news items elsewhere also lose control over their own operations, users rebelled against Digg's decision and simply posted the messages again every time they were deleted.

By late Tuesday, Digg co-founder Kevin Rose said the site would stop trying.

"Today was an insane day," Rose wrote in a company blog.

He said Digg agreed to the removal to "avoid a scenario where Digg would be interrupted or shut down."

"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," he wrote. "If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying."

The key in question could be used to break copy protections on HD DVD discs. Although the group behind the security measures, AACS License Administrator, says it has fixed a flaw in its Advanced Access Content System, keys have already been circulating to break the locks on DVDs using the older versions of the system.


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