No, I haven’t lost the plot. Apparently, an organisation is trying to claim copyright on that configuration of numbers and letters. Some of you will know simply from a glance they are looking at hexadecimal, a method of numbering using a base of 16 rather than the decimal base of 10. This is what someone is trying to claim copyright to – a number. It is also why an internet storm has erupted as some sites try to censure the number and others, publish and promote.
I admit to being less than 100% clued-up on what a person can actually do with this number but I do know it has something to do with movies and well, viewing them. That, and you need Linux (an operating system) and some software to do the deed.
Big deal. Any movie you have ever wanted to watch is freely available for download from numerous sites across the Internet and you don’t need anything except a high speed connection – tv-links.co.uk is one such site that springs to mind so I fail to see what the fuss is all about.
The storm in a disk drive
Apparently the number is something to do with a HD DVD key. Which is apparently something to do with Blu-ray DVD’s.
Let me see if I can translate the gobbledegook of all these letters and cryptic references.
AACS (Advanced Access Content System) – From the Wikipedia – The Advanced Access Content System (AACS) is a standard for content distribution and digital rights management, intended to restrict access to and copying of the next generation of optical discs and DVDs.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) sent a ‘cease and desist’ letter to Google demanding they “remove or cause to be removed the above-specified AACS circumvention offering” – the number their entire encryption method for the Blu-ray DVD optical disc relies on to keep the discs encrypted.
This site gives the whole story from kick-off to the present in this entry, entitled, Sticking It To The Man, (be ready for a long read).
Where was I? Oh yes, deciphering the avalanche of cryptic acronyms.
Blu-ray – A Blu-ray Disc (also called BD) is a high-density optical disc format for the storage of digital media, including high-definition video.
High Definition (HD) – HD DVD, or High-Definition DVD is a high-density optical disc format designed for the storage of data and high-definition video.
Just for interest – this is the definition of HD Video from Wikipedia – High-definition (HD) video generally refers to any video system of higher resolution than standard-definition (SD), i.e. NTSC, PAL and SECAM. This article discusses the general concepts of high-definition video, as opposed to its specific applications in television broadcast (HDTV), professional acquisition (HDCAM, HDCAM-SR, DVCPRO-HD & D5-HD), consumer acquisition (HDV) and optical disc systems (Blu-ray and HD DVD).
I don’t know about you guys but that last one really cleared things up for me. 8o/
Here’s something of an English speaking version of the significance of the hex number as described in Wired blog.
By the way, here’s a wee acronym for the MPAA – GFY.