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High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is a specification geared toward eliminating source and display data interception. HDCP enhances security during electronic data transport of high-bandwidth media, such as videos and audios. A key exchange occurs between the source and display device prior to the authentication process.
HDCP was launched by Intel Corporation in the mid-1990s and later licensed by Digital Content Protection, LLC.
Digital conversion devices, like DVD players, query display equipment to verify HDCP standard compliance. Once established, the HDCP encrypted video may be viewed. Without compliance, a video may not function properly.
Any copyrighted digital entertainment content that uses the Digital Video Interface (DVI) also uses transmission encryption technology. HDCP is proprietary in nature. Technically, HDCP provides content protection, versus copyright protection, as it enforces current content restrictions through a transmission and receipt verification process.
In 2001, cryptanalysis research experts revealed an easy technique for cracking HDCP.
In 2004, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved HDCP, which was struck down. However, the FCC attempted a mandate on all HDTV signal devices that displayed copyright protected videos or audios.