Intel has confirmed that the supposed HDCP master key – which can be used to unlock the anti-copy protection used on Blu-ray and other media – is legitimate, with company spokesman Tom Waldrop saying that he expects a DRM decoding chip to be the next challenge facing the content production industry. “We have tested this published material,” Waldrop told PCMag, “[and] it does produce product keys … the net of that means that it is a circumvention of the code.”
HDCP is the encryption and handshaking technology Intel developed to secure the different components used with digital media hardware, to prevent like-for-like copies being made. It relies on each piece of hardware being HDCP compliant (and thus not allowing for duplication or non-encrypted distribution); if one component isn’t, the whole chain is shut down.
Intel don’t expect a software product to use the “forty times forty element matrix of fifty-six bit hexadecimal numbers” the master key comprises, though they’re not counting it now. The company says it has contacted licensees of the HDPC technology, but doesn’t necessarily consider the copyright protection to be entirely undermined.