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What is Content Scramble System (CSS)?

Content Scramble System (CSS) is a data encryption and authentication scheme intended to prevent copying video files directly from DVD-Video discs. CSS was developed primarily by Matsushita and Toshiba. Each CSS player licensee is given a key from a master set of 409 keys stored on every CSS-encrypted disc. The theory was to allow a license to be revoked by removing its key from future discs. The CSS decryption algorithm exchanges keys with the drive unit to generate an encryption key that is then used to obfuscate the exchange of disc keys and title keys that are needed to decrypt data from the disc. DVD players have CSS circuitry that decrypts the data before it’s decoded and displayed, and computer DVD decoder hardware and software must include a CSS decryption module. All DVD-ROM drives have extra firmware to exchange authentication and decryption keys with the CSS module in the computer.

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