With all this hullabaloo about the revelation of one of the AACS keys I thought I'd contribute my own anecdote illustrating the hilarious futility of and aggrivation caused by DRM schemes.

I recently bought a new DVD player, one that has an HDMI port to connect to a fancy digital monitor and can upscale standard def DVDs so they don't look as crappy in high def. Now, I do not yet own a high definition television and instead use a widescreen Dell computer monitor with a wide variety of inputs. Along with the DVD player I purchased an HDMI to DVI adapter, as the Dell monitor lacks an HDMI input but certainly has a DVI port. Okay, fine and wonderful.

However, to my horror I discovered that the player detected that my monitor was not HDCP compliant. It proceeded to blink the feed to the monitor on and off every few seconds, and fill the screen with static. Mind you, I was attempting to play a standard definition DVD that I legitimately bought and paid for. This was, in a word, infuriating. I could not watch content that HDCP wasn't even invented to protect, simply because Philips complied with the HDCP extortion.

But here is the kicker.

I have several DVDs I've received from an unnamed source who ripped commerical discs, recompressed them using DVDShrink, and burned them onto DVD-R discs for me. And guess what? I can play these in my new player and the video is passed over the HDMI->DVI adapter with no problem at all.

So suck on that, DRM-fanatics. HDCP has created a situation where it is greatly to my advantage to acquire only "pirated" discs. Legitimately buying content, in this case, screws me to the wall. Ha de ha ha ha ha haaaa.

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