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FairUse4WM Breaks Windows DRM

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the not-so-secret-any-more dept.

617

An anonymous reader writes "FairUse4WM, according to engadget, "can be used to strip Windows Media DRM 10 and 11". What does the slashdot community think of this development in the ongoing cat-and-mouse game going on between big media and what is available online?"

cancel ×

617 comments

cool! (1)

rockytriton (896444) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994145)

cool, it's about time, maybe they will give up and start just giving mp3s with pay services.

Headline incorrect. (5, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994146)

FairUse4WM Breaks Windows DRM

should read:

FairUse4WM Fixes Windows DRM

'cause it makes something previously unusable, usable. (Not that I will ever be using this app, I've never been stupid enough to buy a DRM encumbered piece of content).

Oh - and for those hoping it stripped the DRM from WMV9. Nope, WMA DRM only.

Re:Headline incorrect. (-1, Troll)

MSFanBoi2 (930319) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994218)

Just because its not usable to YOU, doesn't mean its not usable to the rest of us.

Some of us don't have this fixation on the thought that software and music should be free. Regardless of what you think, its currently not, right or wrong. Piracy of software and music is still piracy and still illegal.

FairUse4WM is going to be rightly bitch slapped by Microsoft.

Re:Headline incorrect. (5, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994253)

Well just think about this. DRM is their way of saying "fork over your money, you'll get to use it on our terms."

You may not have hit a DRM wall but that could because

1. You're not an enthuiast
2. You don't know what your rights are anyways [fairuse?]
3. You're not doing anything special with your media.

Try making a backup [shock! that's legal!] or a clip for a class or ...

Try to watch that movie on a "non-approved" device? Try to listen to that music CD in your computer, try to ...

DRM breaks otherwise valid products in a futile attempt to extract more money out of you.

Tom

Re:Headline incorrect. (2, Interesting)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994354)

>Try making a backup [shock! that's legal!] or a clip for a class or ...

lame examples. with Apple's DRM (the only one I'm familiar with) both of these examples are trivial (in fact Apple encourgaes you to make backups when you buy from them).

on the other hand, if I wanted to start lending my "backups" to other people (or at least more than 4 other people), or if I wanted to email these "educational" clips to everyone in my class then I'd have some trouble. but should I really be able to do those things anyway?

basically with Apple DRM *I* can do whatever *I* want to do, I just can't give the same right to other people. and isn't that what copyright is all about anyway? it has never been legal for me to transfer rights to other people's work and that's all that (Apple's) DRM stops me from doing.

Re:Headline incorrect. (3, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994385)

or if I wanted to email these "educational" clips to everyone in my class then I'd have some trouble

What if you were the teacher? (dumbass)

basically with Apple DRM *I* can do whatever *I* want to do,

As the GP said:

1. You're not an enthuiast
2. You don't know what your rights are anyways [fairuse?]
3. You're not doing anything special with your media.

Oh - and congratulations. I've never seen a post disagreeing with it's parent backup the parents POV as thoroughly as you just did!

Re:Headline incorrect. (-1, Troll)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994400)

>What if you were the teacher? (dumbass)

then I'd show the clip during CLASS you freaking retard, not email it to students.

do you know what classes are? ever been to one?

Re:Headline incorrect. (2, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994447)

then I'd show the clip during CLASS

Every class I've been to, the teachers have made all of their teaching material electronically available to the students.

A good teacher will show the clip during class, and have that clip available for students if they need to refresh their memory, had a conflicting class, dentists appointment, were sick (or just at the beach) (d.a)

Re:Headline incorrect. (2, Funny)

MSFanBoi2 (930319) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994390)

1.) I have over 12,500 songs in my collection. All WMA. All play fine on my WMA playback devices, of which I have four.

2.) I know well what my rights are. They are listed right in the EULA when I installed the various Music Stores. They ARE NOT MY SONGS. They belong to the artist or the record label, right or wrong.

3.) Define special...

Making a backup of a song? I have most on three or four devices inlcuding my PC. Not to mention the fact that if I do lose the song, I simply go and download it again, for free, as I already paid the fee to download the right to use said song.

Why would I want to watch a movie on a handheld device? Thats why I own a large screen TV and DVD player. No need to be stuck to a tiny device with no surround sound, or having to squint to see anything.

It seems to me the only people that have problems with DRM are the ones that think everything should be free and the ones who do regularly steal music and software.

Re:Headline incorrect. (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994420)

My God your nick is appropriate!

I know well what my rights are. They are listed right in the EULA when I installed the various Music Stores.

Then you don't know what your rights are - because all those Music Store licenses allow them to change your rights, without notice, at any time, for any reason.

I hope you wouldn't accept the same conditions for your constitutional rights.

Re:Headline incorrect. (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994469)

Now, now. While DRM is not the devil it is sometimes made up to be, and while I agree that it is their music and they can do whatever they want with it (just like I could do with mine, and I'm free not to buy theirs after all), it is also true that it DOES come into the way of honest people, either by accident (eg, not really DRM but kinda sorta, the recent WGA-induced problems for legitimate users) or on purpose (eg Sony rootkit, or preventing from doing unusual stuff - multiple backups or anyway something that while honest was not expected to be attempted).
So, while "the ones that think everything should be free and the ones who do regularly steal music and software" certainly DO have a problem with DRM, they are by far NOT the only ones.

Re:Headline incorrect. (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994481)

Glad to see you don't mind wearing handcuffs (DRM media and players). Kinky. ;P

Re:Headline incorrect. (2, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994257)

Some of us don't have this fixation on the thought that software and music should be free. Regardless of what you think, its currently not, right or wrong. Piracy of software and music is still piracy and still illegal.

What does DRM have to do with Piracy?

Re:Headline incorrect. (5, Insightful)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994359)

What does DRM have to do with Piracy?


One encourages the other. And I'll let you in on a little secret, it's not the one the RIAA wants you to think.

Troll? (0)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994413)

Who would mod this as a troll? I It is a valid question based upon the previous poster's presupposition.

Re:Headline incorrect. (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994493)

What does DRM have to do with Piracy?

Because that's the whole justification for it? If you can't copy it, you obviously can't violate copyright*. Any other reason why you would want in whole or in part to copy it is collateral damage.

*It also covers public performance and a few other things.

Re:Headline incorrect. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15994299)

Some of us don't have this fixation on the thought that software and music should be free.

Yeah, yeah, blah blah blah. There's a clue in the name: Fair Use. DRM is being used to remove our legal rights to make compilations for our own use or just plain play the content we bought on certain systems or hardware. Copyright infringement was and is illegal and I've no problem with that. I do have a problem with stooges like you telling me crap like "you only bought the CD, not the music" and supporting price-fixing cartels like the RIAA and MPAA, to say nothing of third-rate software houses like Microsoft.

Re:Headline incorrect. (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994308)

Ahh, the love of the rule of law. How ironic is is to have built a country designed to have the population control the law when some of the people are actually blind enough to follow the law to the letter - never even hoping for change.

Re:Headline incorrect. (5, Insightful)

hyfe (641811) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994337)

FairUse4WM is going to be rightly bitch slapped by Microsoft.
It's only "rightly" if you assume Moraly==Legality.
Piracy of software and music is still piracy and still illegal.
Actually, in consumer-protecting sizzy-countries like the Scandinavians ones, where the rights of re-sale and free-use trumps contracts, terms-of-use and EULA's there's a good chance DRM-stripping is not only legal, but a civil right. Too bad we've never tested it in court (from the correct angle).

So even if you assume Morailty==Legality, legality does differ from country to country.

Re:Headline incorrect. (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994347)

Just because its not usable to YOU, doesn't mean its not usable to the rest of us.

But I was talking about me! Neither my preferred music software, nor my mp3 player support fairplay *spits* music. To me it is unusable.

Some of us don't have this fixation on the thought that software and music should be free.

Strawman.

I have a fixation that I should be free to listen how I like to music I've paid for.

Re:Headline incorrect. (4, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994461)

Some of us don't have this fixation on the thought that software and music should be free. Regardless of what you think, its currently not, right or wrong. Piracy of software and music is still piracy and still illegal.


This has nothing to do with privacy. It has to do with being usable under the rights granted by fair use under the United States Copyright Act and similar laws in other countries.

Under fair use, it is my right to be able to take copyrighted music that I have legally purchased and be able to play that on any device I own. That would include being able to burn music to CDs, listen to it on an MP3 player, convert it from one format to another (say, WMA -> OGG or MP3, listen to it on my PC regardless of underlying OS (i.e., under Linux or *BSD), sample it into my music synthesizer/audio sequencer, etc. DRM prevents me from excercising my legal rights.

Or maybe you don't care about your legal rights... but one day, you will get a right taken from you that you care about. We'll see who's complaining then.

Re:Headline incorrect. (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994483)

s/privacy/piracy

Re:Headline incorrect. (1)

ConsumerOfMany (942944) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994249)

and even more unfortunately even after you strip out the DRM from the WMA file, its still a WMA file. You can use something like this [muvaudio.com] to convert anything played over your computer to MP3 or other format. And while it is real time like tunebite and the ilk, it will do 9 at a time in "real time"

Re:Headline incorrect. (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994256)

I can see this program being considered a "fix" for the masses. Most people don't understand what DRM is and how it limits their use. So when their content stops working, this will be viewed as a fix. I don't believe in FRM, but I understand why it exists. I can't wait until there's a killer app mp3 player that's non-iPod, and people want to copy their music from their iPod into this new device. There'll be a ton of pissed of people.

Re:Headline incorrect. (2, Insightful)

dsginter (104154) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994258)

Actually, it should read:

FairUse4WM Circumvents Windows DRM

Now, "fair use" is another argument altogether. I understand that, given the chance, most consumers will steal media without a second thought. I also think that the current DRM implementations are stepping on consumer rights. Is there a balance?

Yes. This discussion is left as an excercise for the reader.

What do I think? (3, Funny)

w33t (978574) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994147)

I think the industry should start wondering who the cat really is.

Re:What do I think? (4, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994290)

I think the industry should start wondering who the cat really is.
That's jumping the gun, a little bit.

First they need to figure out if it's dead or alive, and whether it should be treated as both.

Then when they are cetain that the cat is alive|dead, they need to figure out where they are.

Re:What do I think? (1)

w33t (978574) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994384)

First they need to figure out if it's dead or alive, and whether it should be treated as both.

Thanks, now I have much more uncertainty about the whole thing!

Re:What do I think? (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994445)

First they need to figure out if it's dead or alive, and whether it should be treated as both.

Well that depends; have they opened the box that it's in to check yet?

Microsoft ploy? (2, Interesting)

ssummer (533461) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994383)

Just a thought but this could be a strategic plan for Microsoft. How so?
1. This causes a huge swell in memberships to the WMA services (Napster, Yahoo! and URGE) before their launch of Zune. Looks good on paper and looks good for Wall Street. Not to mention they patch the hole shortly thereafter...
2. They significantly disrupt the other WMA services (since they won't be needed anymore after Zune product launch?).
3. They get a ton of people to adopt WMA, fix the hole, and then hope people say "this ain't so bad, I might just pay for the service and/or a player to avoid the inconvenience of converting/rebuilding my collection on the iPod platform".
4. Build a "blacklist" of IPs/computers prone to piracy.
5. Build a marketing list of people who likely object to FairPlay.
6. Great publicity stunt for WMA, it's services and devices (bad press is better than no press?).
7. Excellent way to grab marketshare from iTMS and not at their own expense (unless the RIAA tries to recoup it's losses from MSFT).

Any other suggestions?

ones and zeros (5, Interesting)

rjdegraaf (712353) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994152)

You have the right to manipulate the magnetization on your harddisk in any way, right?

Re:ones and zeros (4, Funny)

truedfx (802492) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994232)

No, you don't. What gave you that idea?

Re:ones and zeros (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994266)

That's a little like saying stabbing someone is justified, because you're allowed to manipulate objects in physical space in any way.

You have the right to, yes, but it doesn't make it ethical or right to do so.

Re:ones and zeros (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994293)

Just to clarify, I do think it's ethical to break existant DRM for the purposes of fair use (but no more than that), and that the DMCA is a crock.

Re:ones and zeros (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15994421)

Broken analogy. Manipulating bits on your own harddrive would be analogous to stabbing yourself and not another person.
"Your right to swing your fist ends at my face" is the relevant cliche.

Re:ones and zeros (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994450)

Depending on the circumstances, stabbing or cutting yourself may see you commited to psychiatric care in a hospital against your will - the medical equivalent, in a way, of being jailed.

What makes it ethical or right (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994452)

Is that it doesn't harm someone else. That's generally assumed whenever someone says people have the right to _______.

If only it were so easy... (2, Informative)

Electrawn (321224) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994271)

You have the right to tear down your home and put up a scale replica of the Taj Mahal, right?

As zoning laws apply to your property by precdent, licensing applies to the ones and zeros on your HD by precedent.

Silly nation of laws.

Re:If only it were so easy... (4, Insightful)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994321)

You have the right to tear down your home and put up a scale replica of the Taj Mahal, right?

As zoning laws apply to your property by precdent, licensing applies to the ones and zeros on your HD by precedent.


Wow. that's quite the analogy.

I don't understand how one is related to the other. Putting up a replica of the Taj Mahal is (arguably) an eye sore, and should have community consultation before said replica is built. I don't understand the parallels you've drawn. I don't understand how doing anything to my hard drive has any affect on my neighbours.

What do I think? (-1, Offtopic)

tpjunkie (911544) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994159)

Uh, yay?

Actually hope they fix this (3, Interesting)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994164)

I've used yahoo music for a year, and now Urge (Urge is far better from a user interface viewpoint). I think these services are great! I know this is against some singulatarians--but I hope this gets patched up quick. Look at the differences between iStore and this. I can download all I want--and the bookmarks are even saved so I can download to another computer! If you lost your tracks in iStore, you're out the money. I don't want the iStore to be the only game in town!

Yeah, information wants to be free and all that. But this service rocks. I haven't bought a CD since (probably not what they want to hear!) And it works fine with portable music players. You just have to plug it in every few weeks-which you can do to get more music anyway. Yeah, a bit annoying, but come singularity we won't have any limitations.

Re:Actually hope they fix this (4, Insightful)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994207)

Come singularity I want to be able to buy music, not just rent it.

But I'd rather these services died a market death than a technolocial one. Then maybe the media companies would realize that people don't want to pay for something continually.

And, well, if other idiots think that renting music is better than buying than maybe they should be allowed too.

Re:Actually hope they fix this (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994251)

Uh, come singularity, there won't be a money concept at all.

Re:Actually hope they fix this (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994303)

Uh, come singularity, there won't be a money concept at all.

Riiiight. Um, good luck with that.

Re:Actually hope they fix this (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994496)

Some say only death and taxes are certain. They are wrong. When one is completely self-sufficient and traveling through deep space, taxes are a non-issue. Death is because of heat-death.

Re:Actually hope they fix this (3, Informative)

eobanb (823187) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994262)

By 'iStore' I assume you're referring to iTunes. Maybe not, but it seems like it to me. You are simply wrong about losing iTunes tracks and never being able to recover them. Apple does, in fact, let you re-download tracks that you've bought in case they get deleted. I might also mention that being able to 'download all you want' from the Windows Media online stores doesn't mean that you actually OWN those tracks, just that you're renting them in the same manner that you can 'get shipped all the movies you want' from NetFlix.

Or maybe you knew this and were trolling all along.

From apple (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994370)

http://www.apple.com/ilife/tutorials/itunes/it7-3. html [apple.com]

"The best way to ensure you don't lose your music and videos is to perform regular backups"

Maybe they'll redownload it if you beg them, but there doesn't seem to be a willingness to use it as a repository to move from computer to computer--something I'd find useful. "Plays for sure" does this just fine. I did buy a song through Urge--I'm not sure if that will be transferable.

Re:Actually hope they fix this (2, Interesting)

NewWorldDan (899800) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994314)

Here's the thing from my perspective: the current DRM regime is flawed as a matter of design. Content that consumers own shouldn't come encumbered. And for subscription services, the best bet is to have some sort of smart card or dongle that does the decryption. Doing everything in software - when the end user inherently must have the decryption key to listen is completely flawed. Of course, working in hardware necessitates a trused hardware chain also. And that infrastructure currently doesn't exist.

Or then we'll see things really get clamped down with the 64-bit version of Vista. Ugh.

Follow-up; Cory Doctorow on DRM at MSFT (5, Informative)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994165)

They've already written a follow-up: An open letter to Microsoft: Why you shouldn't kill FairUse4WM [engadget.com] .

This whole thing reminds me of Cory Doctorow's DRM and MSFT: A Product No Customer Wants [boingboing.net] .

Re:Follow-up; Cory Doctorow on DRM at MSFT (5, Funny)

Ravensfire (209905) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994227)

Or more accurately titled "Dear Microsoft: Please don't bitchslap us"

-- Ravensfire

Also of interest: (3, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994172)

Perhaps also of interest, engadget's open letter to microsoft [engadget.com] on why they shouldn't kill FairUseWM.

Re:Also of interest: (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994330)

The music industry needs to accept that there is always going to be a certain amount of piracy, and then just get on with the business of selling digital.

This is a very interesting open letter, and has many truths in it. I just wish Microsoft would take the letter's advice and stand up to the music industry.

Bittorrent breaks Windows DRM (2, Interesting)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994174)

But seriously, if you've bought something with Windows DRM, you could spent a few minutes searching around on Bittorrent and download a DRM-free version of it.

The only thing I could see this being helpful for are cases where the media is unpopular and there's a fair use need to circumvent the DRM.

Re:Bittorrent breaks Windows DRM (1)

B11 (894359) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994237)

The only thing I could see this being helpful for are cases where the media is unpopular and there's a fair use need to circumvent the DRM.
Or it's usefulness lies in the fact that it shows people are going to continue to "break" (or fix, depending on your POV) DRM. People want free music, but there are a lot of people that are willing to pay for music (no really) but want to be unemcumbered by DRM and make the process of transferring music to their MP3 player to work, etc. Obviously anyone that is going to break this DRM is already paying a monthly serivce fee for access to music. If they didn't want to pay for the music, then yes they'd be using bittorrent sites that host music.

Re:Bittorrent breaks Windows DRM (3, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994244)

But seriously, if you've bought something with Windows DRM, you could spent a few minutes searching around on Bittorrent and download a DRM-free version of it.
IANAL etc.

But to me there is a clear distinction -- in one case, you're manipulating a file that you acquired (likely legally, since it's DRM'd). In the other case, someone is distributing a file that is a copyrighted work -- not fair use.

I don't want to get into the whole debate about whether copyright is Evil (tm), but from a personal liability point-of-view, I'd think it also much easier to justify fair use when you remove the DRM yourself than if you acquire a DRM-free version via bittorrent. Maybe not easier to justify it to **AA lawyers, but at least easier to justify it to yourself :)

Re:Bittorrent breaks Windows DRM (2, Interesting)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994352)

I think it should be lobbied that this not be the case.

I'd love to see a law that would make the acquisition of digital variants of legally owned materials legal.

That is to say, if I own a book and lose my eyesight, I should be able to download a digital version of the book for use with a screen reader without having to repurchase my entire library.

The same should go for downloading *exact* copies of music I already own; my CD gets wrecked in the sun so I keep it in the jewel case for proof and download a new copy off P2P services. Should this be legal?

Many of us live in democracies -- by the people, for the people, right? Go lobby your local representatives for the rights you believe you should have.

Re:Bittorrent breaks Windows DRM (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994375)

I agree with you 100%. If we're purchasing a license to the media, it should include that media in any form. However, this breaks the model for the media companies, so it's a hard sell.

Many of us live in democracies -- by the people, for the people, right?
Not anymore. The US stopped being anything close to a democracy sometime last century. It's a neo-fascist state run by corporations.

That said, there is some room for popular sentiment to sway politicians, it's just hard for the people to compete with moeyed interests regarding pet issues.

Re:Bittorrent breaks Windows DRM (2, Interesting)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994432)

I have to agree with you on this. I doubt that the record companies are too concerned about someone buying a cd and copying it to their computer or making a mix tape or cd. It's because there are people actively distributing their copies to the masses via p2p services. Personally, I use iTunes and purchase my music. I think Apple got it right by using the same distribution channel. Find a way to prevent mass distribution and I am all for it. I think the record companies will too. The DRM solution is no solution at all. It cuts off the nose to spite the face. But I also understand the real world and people are not perfect or 100% honest 100% of the time. There will continue to be piracy. The solution in my mind is to make the value of purchasing music more beneficial than the free download. Right now, users don't see a difference, so why pay for it. For me, I like the speed of the downloads, the quality of the rip, and the fact I do not need to update the mp3 tags.

Re:Bittorrent breaks Windows DRM (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994250)

Well there's another use; let's say you've used a particular store to buy a lot of music, and you'd like to kiss off that service and move to something else -- or move to another platform entirely, perhaps a non-Microsoft one. It seems like a tool like this would be handy to convert your music to a neutral format so that you could take it with you.

Granted, a better way to be would simply to have avoided buying DRMed music in the first place, but not everyone has that foresight.

Re:Bittorrent breaks Windows DRM (4, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994304)

Granted, a better way to be would simply to have avoided buying DRMed music in the first place, but not everyone has that foresight.

That would be better, if music distribution was not run by a cartel, repeatedly convicted of abusing their control of the market. I'd love to see everyone become enlightened and move to all DRM-free indy music, but realistically, the market will not properly counter a monopoly or cartel and the legal system and legislature are corrupt and easily bribed.

Who wants a notice from RIAA (1)

in2mind (988476) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994491)

But seriously, if you've bought something with Windows DRM, you could spent a few minutes searching around on Bittorrent and download a DRM-free version of it.

Good Idea - but it breaks the logic of not downloading illegal content to avoid getting a Notice from RIAA.

Good news (2, Insightful)

jay2003 (668095) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994220)

Now I can finally see Windows Media DRMed content on my mac. I really don't care whether M$ supports DRM on the mac or somebody else breaks it. I'm just sick of the "macs not supported" errors when trying to view video on the mac.

Bad News (3, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994280)

This doesn't have any effect on WMV. It's WMA -- that's audio content only.

So you're still stuck.

Not sure whether the DRM schemes are related at any fundamental level, though; perhaps a break in one of them could lead to a break in the other sometime soon? It's really surprised me that they haven't been circumvented earlier.

I'm liking the new Slashdot. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15994226)

I'm liking it: a simple no-nonsense question in the summary, and no bullshit editorializing by the submitter or editors.

Hope to see more of you, Slashdot,
  -AC
  XOXOXO

CmdrTaco just broke the law (DMCA) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15994231)

by posting a link to a device to defeat a DRM device. I've sent his domain's WHOIS info to the DHS. Hopefully, once he's jailed we'll get some good links around here.

He also *DELETED* my previous post with this same message. FASCISM ON SLASHDOT.

DMCA arrest (3, Interesting)

kabloom (755503) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994233)

I think the next Slashdot story will be about the authors' arrest for DMCA violation. :-(
I doubt Microsoft will let this slide.

Re:DMCA arrest (1)

deviantphil (543645) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994402)

I think the next Slashdot story will be about the authors' arrest for DMCA violation. :-(

Sad....but prolly true

obligatory porn reference... (1, Funny)

phlegmofdiscontent (459470) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994234)

Does this mean I can use it to strip the DRM from pr0n I've downloaded?

Re:obligatory porn reference... (2, Funny)

kemo_by_the_kilo (971543) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994457)

Why would you want to watch porn of DRM stipping... sicko.

Re:obligatory porn reference... (1)

NJVil (154697) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994464)

Yes, but more importantly, you can also strip the DRM from the soundtracks.

I think... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994235)

> What does the slashdot community think of this development in the ongoing cat-and-mouse game going on between big media and what is available online?

Big Media is screwed.

Unless of course they develop new business models.

Re:I think... (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994395)

Unless of course they develop new business models.
They have, they are called buy-legislation-that-enforces-the-old-model and extort-from-people-who-lack-the-resources-to-defen d-themselves-in-a-court-of-law.

Cat and Mouse? (4, Insightful)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994240)

the term cat and mouse game implies that there is a chance for the big media companies to win. For every programer that they employ to create DRM, there are at least 10 hackers sitting around with nothing better to do than to break this, and many of them come from countries that either do not respect US IP laws (Korea, China), or that do not have such insane IP laws like ours to begin with (Sweden). To be blunt, they do not have a chance to win at all.

Re:Cat and Mouse? (2, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994327)

the term cat and mouse game implies that there is a chance for the big media companies to win.
Nah, it just means they are being constantly played with by crackers. Like a cat letting a mouse 'escape' just so it can pounce on it again. It's inevitable that the cat wins in the end (assuming the mouse doesn't find a hole in the wall to run through, like the DMCA in the US).

Re:Cat and Mouse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15994443)

For every programer that they employ to create DRM, there are at least 10 hackers sitting around with nothing better to do than to break this, and many of them come from countries that either do not respect US IP laws (Korea, China), or that do not have such insane IP laws like ours to begin with (Sweden).

You're ignorant of the laws you mention. It is not illegal in Sweden to use a program that circumvents DRM if you'd otherwise have the right to view (or listen to) that content. As explicitly stated in 52d of the Swedish copyright law, and this happens to be case here. (In fact, since the program requires active keys, it _must_ be the case).

Nor is it illegal in Sweden to distribute or create a program that circumvents DRM, as long as you don't do so commercially (52e). This doesn't seem to be the case here either.

What a scoop! (-1, Flamebait)

illtron (722358) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994248)

Extra! Extra! Slashdot travels back in time to retrieve everybody else's headlines from last friday! Read all about it!

Re:What a scoop! (2, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994356)

Extra! Extra! Slashdot travels back in time to retrieve everybody else's headlines from last friday! Read all about it!

Good for Slashdot. I'd rather read some well-thought out comments and great links to other material on the topic than see the inanity that passes for comments at other places -- which you've obviously been a part of creating.

Re:What a scoop! (0, Offtopic)

Dysson (457249) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994364)

No kidding. I sent this story in to Slashdot early Friday morning. It was summarily rejected a half hour later.

Way to keep on top of things, /.!!!!!

DRM doesn't have to be unbeatable (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994252)

The goal of DRM is to make content harder to pirate than most people are willing to work. IE, make DRM easier than piracy. However, since only one or two people (hi-fi and low-fi versions) need to crack a CD/song to get it into the filesharing networks, DRM as it stands is failing. However, a non-crippled DRM, that can do almost everything pirated music can do, can work well. It's easier to use, legal, and can play on most players. That sounds like something that can beat piracy, because most people want easy, legal, and affordable music. $10 or $15 a month for music is reasonable, and if you get decent rights to go with it (any MP3 player, all your computers, etc.), it sounds like a great deal.

Re:DRM doesn't have to be unbeatable (2, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994488)

The goal of DRM is to make content harder to pirate than most people are willing to work. IE, make DRM easier than piracy. However, since only one or two people (hi-fi and low-fi versions) need to crack a CD/song to get it into the filesharing networks, DRM as it stands is failing. However, a non-crippled DRM, that can do almost everything pirated music can do, can work well. It's easier to use, legal, and can play on most players. That sounds like something that can beat piracy, because most people want easy, legal, and affordable music. $10 or $15 a month for music is reasonable, and if you get decent rights to go with it (any MP3 player, all your computers, etc.), it sounds like a great deal.


I think you make an important point here. One thing that people have lost sight of is that copyright is, in effect, a deal. Companies are too frightened of changing their business models to propose reasonable deals to consumers; and in their fear they place complicated restrictions on their customers.

Like many acts borne of fear, it is bound to produce the effects it fears most.

This puts me in mind of Lord Macaulay's speech on copyright extension:


I will only say this, that if the measure before us should pass, and should produce one-tenth part of the evil which it is calculated to produce, and which I fully expect it to produce, there will soon be a remedy, though of a very objectionable kind. Just as the absurd acts which prohibited the sale of game were virtually repealed by the poacher, just as many absurd revenue acts have been virtually repealed by the smuggler, so will this law be virtually repealed by piratical booksellers. At present the holder of copyright has the public feeling on his side. Those who invade copyright are regarded as knaves who take the bread out of the mouths of deserving men. Everybody is well pleased to see them restrained by the law, and compelled to refund their ill-gotten gains. No tradesman of good repute will have anything to do with such disgraceful transactions. Pass this law: and that feeling is at an end. Men very different from the present race of piratical booksellers will soon infringe this intolerable monopoly. Great masses of capital will be constantly employed in the violation of the law. Every art will be employed to evade legal pursuit; and the whole nation will be in the plot.


Lord Macaulay's position on intellectual property was one of moderation and pragmatism. He had no truck with either form of absolutism: that which states and absolute right to use whatever information falls into our hands, or that which states and absolute right of an author to control his work as his personal property. He sees this as a deal whose terms should be set in a way that provides income to the author while minimizing inconvenience to the public. In the case of copyright extension, I think this position is sound: the gulf between what a copyright term needs to be to incent an author and the point at which the public is seriously inconvenienced is large enough to permit a whole range of pragmatic solutions that maximize the production of new books equally.

DRM for recorded music performances is possibly a different situation, and more challenging to forge a pragmatic solution for. A service like the original Napster is so convenient the bar for inconvenience is set very low. Low enough that the business models for music distribution that worked at the start of the 1990s no longer work. Apple has shown the way here: low price with high convenience converts into high volume. Keeping the DRM relaxed, basically only strict enough to prevent wholesale redistribution, keeps convenience reasonably comparable to the original Napster service. I don't think a monthly subscription service works, because it is inherently more complicated, because you are buying a relationship, not music.

The problem is greed, which I'd define as demanding more than is good for you. Or at least demanding what, if others in your position did likewise, would encourage the kind of reaction Macaulay envisions to excessive restrictions.

in related news (1)

ptr2004 (695756) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994255)

yahoo / napster subscriptions increase ten fold overnight :-)

DRM doesn't make sense (3, Insightful)

WatchTheTramCarPleas (970756) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994273)

It only takes 1 realy angry 12 year old to make a copy of a piece of media (un DRMed through various means including cracking and the analog hole) available freely on the internet for it to be available to anyone everyone. Why would you alienate your consumers with a technology that doesn't fix the problem but creates more?

easy (3, Insightful)

scenestar (828656) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994275)

What does the slashdot community think of this development in the ongoing cat-and-mouse game going on between big media and what is available online?"

Information is public property, DRM is just a challenge

Re:easy (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994398)

Can I have your ATM card number and PIN please? How about your Slashdot account password? DO you think your Doctors notes and medical history would look good pinned to the company notice board?

Information does not want to be free, its a non entity. People want access to information, and some would like it on their own terms and noone elses.

Good question (1)

vondo (303621) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994285)

What does the slashdot community think of this development...?
Good thing you asked this, otherwise we would have never told you.

Thank God (2, Funny)

kemo_by_the_kilo (971543) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994295)

all Ican say is So long and thanks for all the DRM

Predicted. (4, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994298)

Everyone knows the DRM is nothing but an inconvenience to normal users suckered into repurchasing music they have owned for decades in format after format. It had zero impact on wholesale media rip off, where "pirates" duplicate the original distribution medium. It's had zero impact on file sharing. Sooner or later, legitimate users are going to get fed up with format changes and eternal copyright. DRM is the last gasp of industries that depended on expensive physical distribution and government broadcast franchises to survive. No one else wants it and it's going away. Until it does, I've given up on their content. Big media won't be seeing any of my money till they make life easier for me and their artists.

kewl, two thumbs up (0, Redundant)

swschrad (312009) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994313)

anything locked by windows DRM is not useable on anything else. so it's a good think to crack that crystal cage. data wants to be freely used, not enslaved to only brand X equipment.

Let Them Keep Their "Secrets" (1)

Catiline (186878) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994334)

My opinion of Digital Rights Mangle-ment is quite simple.

Let them build their walled, locked garden of delights. Don't ask for admission; don't steal tickets; don't even wonder what's inside. Convince everyone else you can to do the same -- don't buy DRM'd products (but only the open ones).

Shortly those who thought "their" product was so sacrosant will learn they rule only at the pleasure of the peasants.

i have a question... (0, Troll)

acedotcom (998378) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994339)

who encodes/downloads in WM anyway?

What is the future of rental? (3, Interesting)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994358)

If a company rents discs with digital data on them, many Slashdotters will claim the right to rip them before returning. If a company rents DRM'ed files, tools will be created to strip the DRM. Is rental an unenforceable, and thus obsolete, business model? Or will companies simply accept the "shrinkage"?

Hilarious (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15994365)

It's highly amusing how different the reaction here is than to any of the "FairPlay DRM Broken" stories.

Particularly since this seems to be far less legitimate than Hymn and the like, in that it actually does let you have access to songs you have no legal access to - songs purchased on the subscription model where you've stopped paying the subscription.

Why does anyone want wm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15994373)

Does this mean more people are going to use the wm format? That's a bad thing

Where there is a will... (2, Insightful)

steve-o-yeah (984498) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994422)

This further proves that in spite of the best efforts of media companies, some brave souls on the Internet will continue to fight the good fight...and more often than not, win.

sigh, if only they could remove the analog hole (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994444)

They may be able to legislate the analog hole out of America, but there will always be someone, somewhere, with a device capable of getting an analog signal that's 99.9% as good as the digital one. Remaster the video from that signal and distribute it and it's game over.

Wrong Analogy (1)

fishdan (569872) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994470)

The Cat v. Mouse battle is not a good analogy here -- a better one is the age old battle between armor and warhead. As soon as new armour comes out, a new weapon comes out. This will conclude in the same way the battle between sword and armor ended -- with the ultimate evolution in a killing blade and method of swordplay -- the rapier (and its derivatives, the sabre and smallsword), and fencing. The rapier (in the hands of an expert) was so fast and applied such pressure at the point that it could puncture any armor that had joints. It was so light that the unarmoured duelist could easily avoid the swings of a man in mail. The only armor that could stop the ultimate sword was too cumbersome to be of any use to the wearer, and a duelist wearing armour and wielding a heavier sword tired so quickly that an adroit fencer could win any contest of individuals.

DRM will meet the same fate. Better armor, then better weapons in a cycle till the ultimate blade comes to pass.

And then we'll move on to guns.

DRM (1)

Jacer (574383) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994472)

While it is true that each time a new DRM scheme comes out, some prodigy out there reverse-engineers/cracks it so that anyone can listen to it. Unfortunately, they're in violation of the DMCA each and everytime they do this. Any US citizens are at an extreme liability. Any non-citizens who accomplish said goal better be in a non-extraditing country, and making no future plans for travel within the US's boarders.

Isn't it a shame (1)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994475)

That we (as 'comsumers') have to purchase DRM-free (and other assorted rootkit-style malware) music/movies/etc. from 'shady' dealers overseas if we wish to enjoy our purchase any way we wish?

And by 'any way we wish' I mean 'in the same fashion our fathers enjoyed their purchases'

Boo DRM, hooray allofmp3!

Download (1)

snib (911978) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994490)

Download directly from FileForum here [betanews.com] . I couldn't get the forum thread with the download link to load.

What I wonder is... (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994498)

1) Does it run (on) Linux?
2) How does it work?

As for 2, I would like to know whether they just remove some bytes from the files and then everybody can play it anywhere or is it a special driver/codec that doesn't care about the WMDRM. In the first case, it should be fairly easy then to play your stuff on other hardware and platforms (as you should always be able to do without evil companies) using eg. VLC in the second case, you will have to transcode using this software to DivX or other formats to play your stuff on other players
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