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On the official raspberrypi.org forum, "Dom" - a moderator wrote:

I've fudged my board to have your serial number

How do I edit the serial number of a Raspberry Pi?

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Firstly why? Secondly I don't think it is possible. If it was possible then you could steal someone else's licence for mpeg2 playback. Granted Dom did do it, but he is magical. –  Vincent P Jan 8 '13 at 10:44
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1. Why? Why not? Isn't learning things the whole point of the PI? –  Another Simon Jan 9 '13 at 1:10
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2. Re stealing - my time is worth more than the 2 pounds I would save, but I'm sure you meant the generic "You" –  Another Simon Jan 9 '13 at 1:16
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3. Dom isn't magical, but is very knowledgable. Did he use a Pi version of the old HP setsys boot floppy, or write data to one of the GPIO pins, or something else? That is my question. –  Another Simon Jan 9 '13 at 1:21
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I've updated my answer and added an apology. We're not here to discuss the morality of things. We're here to ask questions and get answers. Also upvote as it's a very good question. –  Vincent P Jan 9 '13 at 5:48
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2 Answers 2

I'm copying this from this forum thread.

Dom has access to all the source code, the Videocore debugger and many closed VC specific tools. And releasing any information to allow you to change the serial number would break the mechanism for codec licencing, so will never happen.

Additionally as posted in the thread. The only reason for changing the serial would be to copy someone else's MP4 licence and use it. As that is the security around the licensing. Your unique serial is linked to the MP4 licence, so even if someone got your licence key, they will be unable to do anything with it (unless they could change the Raspberry Pi's serial number.

UPDATE: To answer the actual question. I'd say that as Dom has the source for the actual low level firmware. I'd imagine that he is really just changing the source code that reads the serial and forcing it to return a different value. I honestly doubt that it was actually changed (on the CPU I mean), more like he changed some of the firmware code to return a different serial. Also apologies to the asker, we all just gave you a "Why? Thats not nice. Your stealing" instead of answering the question. My bad.

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Thank you for your apologies and your attempt at answering the question. "I'd imagine that he is ..." type answers are great for discussion purposes, but the accepted answer will hopefully be in the form of "It is done via the xyz utility which is only available to Broadcom employees..." etc. –  Another Simon Jan 9 '13 at 6:27
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A correct answer to this question would actually be a significant breach of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, which expressly "prohibits circumvention of technological protection measures".

Since the only value this serial number has is the implementation of such a protective measure, this whole question is no different to a "can you please tell me how to hack and bring down xyz website. I swear it's for educational purposes and will not tolerate and suggestion otherwise".

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It's a shame that the OP hasn't filled in his country. Please remember that a lot of the world aren't bound by US laws. –  Alex Chamberlain Jan 13 '13 at 8:41
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FWIW, knowledge of how to break the law is itself not a crime. –  Jason Whitehorn Jan 13 '13 at 19:31
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