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."