It seems that the latest generation of high definition DVDs have already had their copy protection code cracked.

According to an article in Computerworld, a hacker going by the name of Muslix64 has cracked the HD-DVD code after becoming frustrated when trying to play a copy of Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket encrypted with HD-DVD technology, on his X-Box.

Is this tantamount to a violation of copyright acts? While the US Millenium Copyright Act prohibits users circumventing copyright controls without express permission of the copyright holder, is there some legitimacy to a user being able to customise and enhance their viewing experience after investing in new technologies that should be providing them with greater satisfaction? The Computerworld article muses:

…the software seems to have been written out of a legitimate sense of frustration with onerous copy-protection mechanisms, [Fred] von Lohmann, [senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation] said. “He went out and bought a fancy new product that he thought would improve his experience and despite the fact that he’s a legitimate buyer, it didn’t work.”