Intel and Warner sue over HDCP crack

Intel’s  Digital Content Protection has joined forces with the creators of Bugs Bunny to take down a company which makes products to bypass HDCP copy protection.

The devices use the cracked HDCP master key to convert digital to analogue signals and are really useful for connecting digital devices to analogue displays. The fact that they can also be used by pirates to copy pay-per-view, on-demand, and other premium content might be the reason why Intel and Warner are a little miffed.

The HDCP key was cracked two years ago and opened an “analogue hole” that allows everyone to copy digital video, including pay-per-view streams.

Intel promised to crack down on abusers of the key, claiming that if anyone created a circumvention device, they would feel the full force of Chipzilla’s mighty briefs.

That did not happen. The first circumvention devices were put on the market soon after the key was made public but neither Intel or the Hollywood studios did anything.

Now Warner and Intel have filed a lawsuit at a federal court in Ohio against the technology company Freedom USA and its CEO Alex Sonis. The Hollywood studio and the chip maker accuse the Ohio company of copyright infringement and violating the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions.

According to TorrentFreak, Freedom USA, which also operates under the names AVADirect and AntaresPro, makes several devices which allow consumers to convert HDCP-encrypted digital signals to analogue signals.

In the complaint, Warner said it required the use of HDCP in many of its distribution licences for pay-per-view, video-on-demand and other premium digital content delivery services.

Warner said the bypassing of HDCP leads to more pirated copies being made available, which in turn decreases the demand for legal movies.