Intel Promises To "Avail" Itself Of Lawsuit "Remedies" For HDCP Crackers

Intel intimated in somewhat disturbing understatement today that they and everyone else would be suing the pants off anyone who dares to make a HDMI/HDCP encryption workaround device. Listen to this:

There are laws to protect both the intellectual property involved as well as the content that is created and owned by the content providers. Should a circumvention device be created using this information, we and others would avail ourselves, as appropriate, of those remedies.

Sounds like a threat John Grisham might have made. Plainly, they mean business, and as the HDCP master key appears to be legitimate, the threat is real enough for them to respond in this way.

I wonder, though, whether it would stand up in court? It comes down to whether it is possible to use this key legally — not an easy matter to settle. I also expect it won’t be long before we see the first hardware running code to intercept and record the HDMI signal. The cat is out of the bag. Can Intel revise the standard? Can they sue a hardware maker for creating something that might be used in an illegal act? Seems like if you own the content and you don’t modify it, but simply circumvent a non-material part of it… but I am not a lawyer. I’ll leave this to people who actually study this stuff.

Stay tuned, folks. It’s going to get interesting.

[via Wired Threat Level]