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Intel confirms legitimacy of HDCP 'Master Key'

updated 12:55 am EDT, Fri September 17, 2010

Company likely to battle circumvention in court

Intel has confirmed that the alleged HDCP 'Master Key,' leaked earlier this week, is the specific code used to secure the copyright-protection standard. The code presumably could be used to create usable source and sync keys, effectively circumventing the DRM protections used in many Blu-ray players, DVD players, displays and set-top boxes.

"We can use it to generate valid device keys that do interoperate with the HDCP protocol," Intel spokesman Tom Waldrop admitted to CNET.

The company downplayed the significance of the leak, which could presumably allow manufacturers to build devices that support HDCP content without establishing a licensing agreement. Consumers attempting to modify existing hardware may also find the process "difficult and costly," as it would require chips to be flashed.

"There's a large install base of licensed devices including several hundred licensees that will continue to use it and in any case," said Waldrop. "Were a device to appear that attempts to take advantage of this particular hack there are legal remedies, particularly under the DMCA."

By Electronista Staff
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  1. loltree

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2010



    HDCP Master Key T-shirts are already on the market
    The speed of light, kids these days.

  1. nowwhatareyoulookingat

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2009


    of course

    The DMCA is ONLY applicable in the US, unless of course that new ACTA copyright treaty thing gets rammed through...

  1. chefpastry

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2005



    Suddenly, I find myself liking HDCP and HDMI much more.

  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    This is, of course, the whole point of the abomination that is the DMCA--it's functionally impossible to create uncrackable DRM, but you CAN (in the US, anyway--thanks, Disney) make it illegal to even think about circumventing it, even if your reasons are completely legal under US copyright law.

    So really, this isn't that big of a deal, although I'm still glad it happened. And of course the Library of Congress did manage that decision recently that allows DRM circumvention without running afoul of the DMCA, so long as your intended use is legitimate fair use.

    I'm 100% for the rights of content creators and I'm not some "information wants to be free" zealot, but man does copyright law make me angry.

  1. Saint_Stryfe

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2001


    Thank Goodness

    It's funny. Just last night, I got a new HDMI switcher - and shock and awe, HDCP is preventing my Cable Box working with it. I went with a VGA Component cable instead, but I was really annoyed. Any word on when an inline adapter to remove HDCP is coming?

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