This is the sort of thing that should be making the movie studios drop to their collective knees and wonder why the god of motion pictures has forsaken them. With this news, it won’t be long before kids on the corner in China will be selling decoders, to make the playback of any DVD or Blu-ray title simple on just about any equipment.

You can also take the fact that they are beefing up the next version of encryption as this is written. Soon, the majority of the electronics in any player of content will be to ensure copy protection, not for proper playback, or anything else of that nature.

A little more comes this morning by way of Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, at his ZDNet space –

When news broke on Tuesday that the High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) master key had been leaked, no one was sure if it was the real deal or not. Now we do, as Intel, one of the companies that helped develop the HDCP, confirms that it is genuine.

“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.

But … Intel believes that the code won’t open the floodgates to unlicensed HDCP devices capable of playing back pirated discs because the key needs to implemented on a chip. However, the company has not ruled out the possibility that it could be incorporated into a software decoder:

As a practical matter, the most likely scenario for a hacker would be to create a computer chip with the master key embedded it, that could be used to decode Blu-ray discs. A software decoder is unlikely, “but I’d never say never,” Waldrop said.

I wouldn’t be so sure. Time and time again the hype surrounding the encryption and DRM mechanisms used to protect media has come crashing down to earth as hackers find ways to defeat them.

If I had to place money on either big business or the hackers, I’d bet on the ingenuity of the hacking community to leverage this find.

Still no word on how this master key was uncovered.


I’m sure we’ll find this discovery was one of a disgruntled ex-employee, wanting to get a little well-deserved revenge on his  former masters.

With things of this nature, the math is so complex, it makes finding serial number for Windows XP through the use of a generator (remember that?) pale by comparison.

This will make for an interesting Christmas season – a time of giving for sure…


Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Albert Einstein

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