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Encryption Intel The Courts

Intel Threatens DMCA Using HDCP Crack 373

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the no-surprise-here dept.
mikesd81 writes "Intel is apparently threatening to use the DMCA against anyone using the HDCP crack under the DMCA's anti-circumvention clause. 'There are laws to protect both the intellectual property involved as well as the content that is created and owned by the content providers,' said Tom Waldrop, a spokesman for the company, which developed HDCP. 'Should a circumvention device be created using this information, we and others would avail ourselves, as appropriate, of those remedies.'"
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Intel Threatens DMCA Using HDCP Crack

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  • by Pojut (1027544) on Monday September 20, 2010 @10:22AM (#33635336) Homepage

    Which would explain why DRM schemes rarely last any significant amount of time...they want people to hack them, so they have a legally binding way to go after them.

  • Okay (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ledow (319597) on Monday September 20, 2010 @10:24AM (#33635364) Homepage

    What about those people in countries that don't have a DMCA, don't have software patents and have "interoperability" clauses in most things?

    Can't I just buy my HDCP stripper from them, instead? Fortunately, that tends to be the same countries that make lots of cheap electronics. Surprising, that, isn't it?

    (Not that I care - I don't own a single piece of HD equipment, and don't feel like I'm missing out either)

  • by vadim_t (324782) on Monday September 20, 2010 @10:25AM (#33635394) Homepage

    I wonder if it's possible to make a hardware HDCP to DVI converter without having to make a custom ASIC. That way there wouldn't be the need to depend on a lone (probably chinese) supplier.

    I'm sure more than a few people would be willing to donate for it to be developed.

  • LOC vs DMCA (Score:4, Interesting)

    by spikenerd (642677) on Monday September 20, 2010 @10:26AM (#33635406)
    So if the Library of Congress says jail-breaking is okay, and the DMCA says it's not, which one takes precedence in U.S. law?

    (You do not need to point out that this is Slashdot, not a legal firm. I do not expect all responses to be from lawyers. I will not take any responses to be authoritative. Heretofore therefore nonesuch nevertheless notwithstanding and yadda yadda.)
  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Monday September 20, 2010 @10:28AM (#33635436) Homepage

    Does this mean the industry will rally around a replacement for HDCP? Will we all need to buy new TV's again? New blu-ray players? New video cards and laptops? Or do they think they can keep this genie bottled-up forever? This here could be exactly why DRM should be illegal and why the DMCA should be repealed. Imagine that every 5-10 years -- every protocol, every connector, every player -- has to be replaced because the industry won't back it unless it has a new unbreakable DRM system. This would be bad for everyone except the select few at the top of the industry who are collaborating to profit off of re-selling new devices to everyone. It half-way makes me suspect that they collude to release these systems, then crack them just as the get adoption to force everyone to buy new systems.

    But this is a worst-case scenario. Time will tell...

  • BD not cracked (Score:4, Interesting)

    by scharkalvin (72228) on Monday September 20, 2010 @10:31AM (#33635480) Homepage

    If I understand this correctly, the BD encryption has NOT been cracked. THIS hack only opens the communication over the HDMI cable between the BD player and your TV. Cracking the encryption on the BD disks themselves is another matter that has not yet been fully cracked. However, this exploit should allow reading the digital data flowing out of the BD player to be captured and saved to disk. This might require some hardware hacking, I don't think there are any PCI video cards that have HDMI INPUTS available.

    Even if China or someother NON-DMCA country builds such devices they will (eventually) be destroyed by customs and whoever smuggles them into this country will be treated the same as a drug dealer.

  • by jabuzz (182671) on Monday September 20, 2010 @10:37AM (#33635574) Homepage

    The EU version of the DMCA specifically only provides protection for effective encryption measures. So for example the first time the CSS wast taken to the European Court the ruling was that it was not an effective encryption measure and the case was thrown out. The fact that due to flaws in the scheme an ordinary PC can crack the CSS encryption in less than a second makes it ineffective and thus not eligible for protection.

    If HDCP simply required gathering 40 public keys from 40 different bits of hardware to work out the master key then it is highly likely that it would be ruled and ineffective encryption measure and thrown out.

    Similarly your two bit scheme would also fall foul of the requirement to be effective.

  • by DeathToBill (601486) on Monday September 20, 2010 @10:37AM (#33635586) Journal

    The OpenGraphics project are building a graphics card with a big-ass FPGA on it. Seems like the right tool in the right place...

  • Re:Bring it on (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mattcelt (454751) on Monday September 20, 2010 @10:51AM (#33635842)

    All that has to be done is for a company to make a module with a flashable keyspace. Then the end-user can add the master key to the device themselves, and nobody gets in trouble (unless they start sharing the content).

  • by Sloppy (14984) on Monday September 20, 2010 @10:56AM (#33635904) Homepage Journal

    Unlike DRM which is present within media upon its receipt, HDCP does not exist on a BluRay or cable/satellite TV transmission. HDCP is something that is added by the user's machine. DMCA says:

    a technological measure “effectively controls access to a work” if the measure, in the ordinary course of its operation, requires the application of information, or a process or a treatment, with the authority of the copyright owner, to gain access to the work.

    And since we're talking about a process/treatment that occurs after access, it's not something that is needed to gain access.

    Just an idea. (Probably won't work.)

    Another tack here, is: how easily can you tell your equipment to use HDCP even when it's not playing DRMed media? Can you have your computer use a HDCP connection to its monitor all the time even when you're surfing Slashdot, typing your great novel, etc. Is this something that is happening all the time, anyway? (I just don't know.) If so -- if non-DRM-colluders can enable HDCP -- then 99.999999% of the time that someone uses a HDCP cracker, they would not be doing to circumvent a technological measure that controls access to a work without the authority of the copyright holder, since the user is the copyright holder. Likewise, the intended market and primary use of such a device, would not be to remove HDCP without the authority of the copyright holder. It would be legal to use and traffick.


      (This is why there can never be a real standard for DRM, because you have to prevent non-colluding parties from being allowed to apply that DRM, lest they authorize access.) Cracking HDCP and distributing cracks, is only prohibited if HDCP is normally only used when a copyright holder demands it.

  • Re:Prediction. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Joe U (443617) on Monday September 20, 2010 @11:04AM (#33636052) Homepage Journal

    Upload it to their completely legal hardware HDMI converter that doesn't decrypt HDCP and has a very easy to write firmware upgrade system.

  • Re:Prediction. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gnasher719 (869701) on Monday September 20, 2010 @11:07AM (#33636088)

    Someone will leak the C code for a HDCP decryptor into pastebin (ala DeCSS) and everybody will be happy (except for intel and the copy providers).

    It seems you haven't figured out yet what HDCP does. C code is useless. Someone could release the complete plans for a connector that accepts HDCP protected DVI or HDMI on one end and outputs unprotected DVI or HDMI on the other end.

  • by limaxray (1292094) on Monday September 20, 2010 @11:36AM (#33636598) Homepage
    As others have mentioned, an FPGA would be the way to go. This would also take care of the DMCA issue - some type of open digital video capture project could sell FPGA based capture cards to encode non-HDCP DVI/HDMI video sources, and thus not violate the DMCA. Since the FPGA is easily software upgradeable, the end-user could update it after purchase to also decode HDCP much like how libdvdcss is handled today.

    The biggest benefit is not for piracy (99% of pirates wouldn't bother and would just download the content instead) but rather to allow one to capture and encode digital HD video from their cable box for a home media server setup. It's unfortunate that such a practice isn't protected by fair use since it is a perfectly legitimate use case.
  • by BlitzTech (1386589) on Monday September 20, 2010 @11:42AM (#33636686)
    You're forgetting a key component in this legal wankery.

    You didn't purchase the media, you purchased a license for the media.

    If only greedy assholes were permanently barred from running this country...
  • Re:Bring it on (Score:2, Interesting)

    by aix tom (902140) on Monday September 20, 2010 @12:06PM (#33637128)

    One: Watching advertisements has value, too, so I should be able to charge the MPAA for it. So where do I send the bill?

    Two: So when I find out after watching a movie that it was worthless, I now can get my money back? ;-P

  • by GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) on Monday September 20, 2010 @12:32PM (#33637534)
    Yes, right ... DMCA ... Lucky, we don't all live in a country with such bad laws. This is only a threat for people living in USA and UK, where you have a DMCA. In a country like France, it's perfectly legal to do anything you want with a blue-ray disk, or with any device. You can open it, decompile it, reverse-engineer what you want, do as many copy of any material as you like (as long as you don't give it to anyone), etc.

    In other countries, like China, they absolutely don't care about copyright. Even more, in some web sites like pps.tv, you have access to absolutely all the films you can think of for free, with the benediction of the state (and I'd add a wild guess: that sees in it a way to reduce imports).
  • Re:Barn Doors (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sjames (1099) on Monday September 20, 2010 @01:01PM (#33638008) Homepage

    Exactly, this is just Intel's way of using the law to force people to pay them for a broken technology nobody wanted in the first place. Some might say the MPAA wanted it, but note that they're not the ones paying for it.

  • Re:Barn Doors (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mounthood (993037) on Monday September 20, 2010 @01:08PM (#33638128)

    There may be some Chinese manufacturers putting out a few cheaper devices, but anything the average consumer will buy at Best Buy still has to license HDCP from Intel.

    Only a handshake is needed so just like the video splitters of yore, a small, cheap device on the line can authenticate as a proxy for any device you want. They won't be sold in Best Buy, but they'll swamp the market once people realize a $20 "adapter" makes all your HDTV equipment work right.

    Personally I can't see how HDCP is not prosecuted as restraint of trade. I understand that corporations have the money, and money rules the politicians, and the politicians control the administrators, etc... but really, this is a cartel setup for the explicit purpose of restraining who can make and sell video equipment.

  • Re:Barn Doors (Score:4, Interesting)

    by icebraining (1313345) on Monday September 20, 2010 @01:20PM (#33638326) Homepage

    That depends on its colour [sooke.bc.ca].

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