An interesting detail about DRM for DVD and HD movies came to light last week as news of the hacking of the HD DVD and Blu-ray formats spread.
The "hacking" is really just the publicizing of a single, previously legitimate key that one manufacturer was given by the Hollywood backed AACS digital rights management (DRM) agency.
As a result, all future high def DVDs will include an "exceptions" list for the DRM algorithm that prevents this key from working. Legitimate buyers of products from the manufacturer whose key was copied will be quite frustrated when future discs don't play -- though older discs will play fine.
For manufacturers, the experience serves as a poignant reminder of the need to keep keys secret. And pity the manufacturer who, through no fault of their own, becomes the victim of such a "hack" and then has to make good on thousands of products that no longer work properly.
Let's assume this isn't a single isolated incident, and that it continues happening, and the "exceptions" list burned onto every Hollywood movie disc gets longer and longer.
To avoid the hassle of dealing with non-functioning equipment models whose codes have been hacked and excluded, over time, consumers may start seeking "vintage" discs, ones burned with fewer DRM exceptions.
With computer software, consumers usually want the latest version. But with movie discs, it may be the first version that proves most desirable.