Intel threatens over cracked Blu-ray key

Intel, the company largely responsible for the development of the HDCP copy prevention system, has announced that it will sue anyone who attempts to use the recently-leaked 'master key.'

In a statement reported over on Wired, Intel's Tom Waldrop warned would-be pirates, "There are laws to protect both the intellectual property involved as well as the content that is created and owned by the content providers."

In case that wasn't clear, Waldrop goes on to say, "Should a circumvention device be created using this information, we and others would avail ourselves, as appropriate, of those remedies."

Waldrop's warning comes after the company confirmed that a text file leaked on document sharing site PasteBin last week did indeed contain a complete copy of the master key code used in the High Definition Content Protection system, as featured on Blu-ray players and other HDMI-connected devices.

The file contains full instructions on how to generate the two types of key required - 'device' keys and 'sink' keys - to bypass the HDCP system entirely, allowing hardware chips to be created that can play protected content back without a licence, or that can produce perfect copies of supposedly protected discs.

It's not hard to see why Intel is keen to warn people about the dangers of bypassing HDCP - licensing the technology is a lucrative business, and the threat of cheap knock-off players from the Far East cutting in to its profits is likely to be far more concerning than the key's use in content piracy.