Digital Transport for Content Protection (DTCP) uses two approaches to provide content protection: one based on technology, and one based on licensing of intellectual property. The technology makes it extremely difficult for the consumer to copy or distribute protected content, while the licensing rules provide a way to use the legal system to shut down professional pirates and providers of decryption and key-busting equipment.

This paper is focused on the technology of DTCP where the content is transmitted as native IEEE 1394 isochronous streams and rules that drive that technology. Note, however, that DTCP can also be used in a somewhat different way when the data is transmitted using Internet Protocol (“IP-1394”).