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HDCP 'Master Key' Discovered, DRM Enters Death Spiral

Quake, ye masters of content.

Sep 14 2010, 11:36am CDT | by

HDCP 'Master Key' Discovered, DRM Enters Death Spiral

Today could mark a momentous victory in the war between "people who want to steal content" and "people who want to sue children as a way to fight piracy". It isn't a battle with any particularly sympathetic sides, which means we can cheer every development in the ongoing struggle with lurid enthusiasm

Engadget reports that someone has cracked the HDCP protocol. This acts as the "master key" for all HDCP-supporting devices. Blu-ray players, HDTVs, media boxes, all can now be cracked to play any sort of data. The potential implications are fairly staggering. Full HD rips of any media may now be easily manageable by sufficiently skilled hackers. The instant iTunes releases a 1080p stream or download? It'll be up on torrent sites in its full, uncompressed glory.

A major advance like this won't be met with silence from the anti-piracy crew. Get ready to see a real throw-down (or at least a flurry of PR fluff) in the coming days.

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