I do not care about copy protection as long as it doesn’t interfere with my lawful use of media that I own (or own a license to—whatever). I get irate, otherwise. I was never particularly concerned with the Fairplay encryption on iTunes music files, because I never encountered any problems caused by it. HDCP, on the other hand, has me on edge.
I purchased a new Apple TV over the holidays. I unplugged the HDMI cable from the old one, plugged it into the new one, powered it on, and got it connected to my network. Everything was working smoothly until my wife and I sat down later to watch an episode of Glee. We got into the show late in the first season, so we had decided to purchase the first season from iTunes and have been slowly catching up on the back episodes. I selected the episode we wanted to watch and was confronted by a message stating that “Apple TV HDCP isn’t supported by HDMI”. Say what!?
After some time spent reading up on the Apple support forums, I tried unplugging the HDMI cable from both the Apple TV and the television and then plugging it all back in. Fortunately, that fixed the problem, and I haven’t had any recurrence. Other people have had to purchase new cables, and some seem to have older equipment that isn’t compatible. Edward Felton, professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University, and newly appointed Chief Technologist for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, wrote “The main practical effect of HDCP has been to create one more way in which your electronics could fail to work properly with your TV,” and that HDCP has been “less a security system than a tool for shaping the consumer electronics market.” (Wikipedia)
There are already methods of hacking HDCP, so as is usually the case, pirates will do as they please, while I have to needlessly suffer the aggravation of additional complexity.