Microsoft blocks FairUse4WM v2 after 3 months of DRM free music

Summary:Just over a year ago when hacker “Viodentia" wrote FairUse4WM and broke Microsoft's Windows Media DRM scheme wide open, Microsoft responded with record urgency in a mere 3 days. But when Viodentia came back as "Divine Tao" and wrote a second major revision of FairUse4WM this July and broke Microsoft's Windows DRM scheme wide open again, Microsoft didn't seem to be as concerned and spent their usual 3 months to patch the issue.

Just over a year ago when hacker “Viodentia" wrote FairUse4WM and broke Microsoft's Windows Media DRM scheme wide open, Microsoft responded with record urgency in a mere 3 days. But when Viodentia came back as "Divine Tao" and wrote a second major revision of FairUse4WM this July and broke Microsoft's Windows DRM scheme wide open again, Microsoft didn't seem to be as concerned and spent their usual 3 months to patch the issue. As of the last patch Tuesday, the current version of FairUse4WM no longer works so the ball is in the hacker's court again to break Microsoft's latest DRM revision.

Services like Napster, and the recently shut Urge service all rely on Microsoft's Windows Media protection scheme for their music subscription services. The instant you stop paying the monthly subscription fee, all the music that you've downloaded stop working. If you can just rip out the DRM protection in a matter of seconds for a hundred songs, then one could conceivably download the entire music library in a month's time, rip out the DRM, and have all the music indefinitely.

This is precisely what FairUse4WM can do though it was written for paying customers who wanted to have more flexibility with there music. There are many portable music playback devices that support the Windows Media format but not Microsoft's PlaysForSure DRM scheme. So even if you are a paying customer, your music won't work on many of those devices and it can be a frustrating experience for consumers. For those customers who wish exercise their fair use rights, they'll have to go back to the old analog method of converting their music until the next version of FairUse4WM comes out.

Topics: Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Security, Software, Windows

About

George Ou, a former ZDNet blogger, is an IT consultant specializing in Servers, Microsoft, Cisco, Switches, Routers, Firewalls, IDS, VPN, Wireless LAN, Security, and IT infrastructure and architecture.

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