"You hear that Mr. Anderson?... That is the sound of inevitability..."

Digital Rights Management (DRM) has drawn much ire from consumers who complain that it prevents them from making backup copies of fragile media like CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs.

DRM on DVDs and CDs has long since been obliterated by software cracking, allowing more law-abiding tech-savvy users to easily make backup copies and less law-abiding ones to post illegal torrents of the cracked files online.  High definition movies and Blu-ray, though, remain relatively protected by a scheme called HDCP -- until now.

An unknown party using the account IntelGlobalPR has posted what appears to be a master key (" rel="nofollow, may be removed) for the scheme on Twitter.  With that key burning up the internet, the end may be nigh for HDCP.

Having a master key allows you to generate source and sink keys, enabling you to pose as a legitimate copy and device.  Using the master, new ripping software programs should be just around the corner -- which users will be able to apply for good or evil.

Before high-definition rippers relied on hardware HDCP rippers like the HDfury2 and DVIMAGIC, which converted HDCP HDMI into unprotected DVI or RGB video.

Of course there's always the possibility that the key is farce, but sooner or later it seems inevitable that the scheme will be broken -- like the others before it.  Perhaps that day is now.

And it seems equally inevitable that the entertainment industry will continue its crusade to lock users in and prevent them from copying content they legally purchase.  After all, to err is human, and to err again and again is in the nature of some humans.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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