Understanding HDCP ... and the crap


I'm not weird, I'm a limited edition.
Mar 5, 2002
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Do you rip your DVD movies? Chances are, if you are like many of us, when you purchase a movie you like to keep it in good condition. It's not uncommon to rip or descramble DVD content to back it up, or play the stream directly from a local hard disk. This was all made possible by a young man by the name of Jon Lech Johansen (more widely known as DVD-Jon). Jon was instrumental in reverse engineering the protection methodologies in DVD content so that end users could rip to hard disk, and to save their pressed media from destruction. And in fact, without this, Linux users wouldn't even be able to play DVDs under Linux at all.
Here is an article describing the working of the new HDCP lockdown of our rights to view media we've purchased ...


This is the one where you need a hardware chip on your video card and a new special compliant monitor to view High Definition stuff. And the hardware "phones home" to make sure that you aren't doing anything squirrelly, or you are DISABLED REMOTELY. :mad:

The purpose of HDCP is to prevent the end user viewing or ripping high definition content on non-authenticated devices. This high definition content generally comes in three forms:

1. HD-DVD (High Definition DVD) or BD-ROM (Blue-Ray Disc) movie discs;

2. High definition digital television broadcast signals/digital cable set-top transmissions;

3. High definition VGA card sources (games, movies, other content direct from the PC to the digital display panel).

HDCP achieves content protection through the use of a key-exchange infrastructure. One of the key (yes, a pun) features of this is the ability to revoke keys from devices manufactured by vendors who violate license agreements between the content producer and the display device producer.

Here's a practical example: If the end user attempts to play back a HD-DVD or BD-ROM movie on their PC, using simple software hacks (think of it like using a version of AnyDVD on steroids!), the system can report back to the central key-authority, revoking and black-listing the keys used on the user's PC, thus rendering it useless for all current and future playback, within this configuration.
All these hardware companies are willing to sell us down the river for the benefit of a couple Hollywood companies??

This significant list of companies (approximately 368 at last update) represents all those willing to use HDCP in an effort to prevent content ripping and digital transferal of media other than for the exclusive private use of the end user, on a stand-alone dedicated, authenticated hardware platform. The key drivers in implementing the protection on the Hollywood movie studios side are Warner Brothers and the Walt Disney Company. This will translate to all Warner Brothers or Disney based movies (whether it be BD-ROM or HD-DVD) being in some way protected or locked down via HDCP. What of the other movie studios and companies? At this stage, they are yet to jump onboard, somewhat wisely waiting for the reactions of the general public, before making commitment to what amounts to a largely unknown Digital Rights Management technology.
Sony and their Blue-Ray can sink to the lowest regions of Hades, after the rootkit debacle I've sworn off ANYTHING Sony, and advise others to do the same.

And if I have to buy all this DRM hardware before I can watch an HD-DVD, then that's something I'll never experience. Sorry, no custom here!!

And to those companies wanting to see a reaction from the general public, come my way ... I have a very obscene gesture with your name on it ... FU!! !!!



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