Intel, Warner sue over device that strips 4K copy protection

The industry isn't happy that you can yank anti-copying measures out of 4K Amazon and Netflix streams.

The media industry was more than a little alarmed when 4K bootlegs of Amazon and Netflix streams showed up this November. Weren't these feeds supposed to be relatively safe from pirates? It's no surprise, then, that they're doing something about it. Intel (through its Digital Content Protection brand) and Warner Bros. are suing LegendSky for offering HDFury, a series of devices designed to strip HDCP copy protection from many sources, including streams. The two plaintiffs claim that HDFury violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's anti-circumvention measures, making it all too easy to rip and share 4K video. They also allege that LegendSky is dishonest when it says it meets HDCP's licensing requirements.

LegendSky hasn't said how it's handling the lawsuit, although it may not have much success fighting back. As TorrentFreak notes, 4K stream rips started surfacing mere days after the first HDFury boxes started shipping. Even if Intel and Warner can't draw a direct link between the two events, the timing certainly looks suspicious. And while HDCP is notorious for being a nuisance to legitimate viewers, it's not very likely that people are buying HDFury solely to reclaim some convenience.

As it stands, it wasn't too hard to see this coming. With 4K Blu-ray movies on the way, Warner and other studios are no doubt eager to minimize the related piracy before it really takes off -- streaming was just the tip of the iceberg.