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Even worse, the AACS scheme allows movie companies to revoke authorized status for players. Already, the AACS LA has revoked the authorized status of the WinDVD media player, so anybody who invested in WinDVD will have to reinvest in a new player — at least, until that player's authorized status is revoked too.

The AACS, more than any other digital rights management scheme, has revealed that the Hollywood studios have formed a cartel with electronics manufacturers who will do anything to suck more money out of the public. If you want to watch lawfully purchased movies, the only sane thing to do is post the number. Stand up and be counted. *

Annalee Newitz is a surly media nerd who can't help but notice that you're reading this column on a nonauthorized device.

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