The Taipei Times has an interesting article on HD DVD's digital rights management system, AACS. According to the article, critics of this system are concerned that it has given the entertainment industry too much control over how consumers can use both software and hardware.
AACS uses industrial-strength encryption technology and an elaborate key-based system for authenticating hardware and software.
These keys can be modified at any time, so that if unlicensed players or drives come on to the market, updated keys can be added to new video releases. The new keys could restrict playback to older title releases or even disable a Blu-ray or HD-DVD player by modifying its firmware. But Michael Ayers, a spokesman for AACS LA, says such steps would not be taken lightly: "It couldn't be done unilaterally by one party."
But as Seth Schoen, staff technologist of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (www. eff.org), points out, this system won't help reduce piracy: "The key management system is aimed at preventing people from making unauthorized players, not from making unauthorized copies, and it probably won't prevent file sharing either."
While most CDRLabs readers are probably well aware of these issues, the article is still a good read. If you'd like to check it out, the entire article can be found here.