Friday, September 17, 2010

HDCP DVD Blue-ray Hack: DMCA to the Rescue?

That's a whole lot of acronyms. Here's an excerpt from the news:

"Intel: Leaked HDCP copy protection code is legit"
CNET (September 16, 2010)

"Intel has confirmed that code posted to the Internet earlier this week is the master key that is part of an Intel-created standard used to make sure only authorized devices are playing copyright-protected movies.

" 'We can use it to generate valid device keys that do interoperate with the (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) protocol,' Intel spokesman Tom Waldrop told CNET today.

"HDCP is used in set-top boxes, DVD, and Blu-ray disc players, and other devices to encrypt the content, audio, or video, and verify that the devices have HDCP licenses and thus won't play pirated content...."

That's the bad news.

The good news is that a leaked master key is:
  • Not the end of civilization as we know it
  • Unlikely to keep us from using DVD and Blue-ray media
One thing that helps is that we've got the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA. It won't keep the technology from being hacked - but presumably can discourage hackers from violating intellectual property rights.

And that's something the Lemming has opined on before.

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