FairUse4WM breaks Microsoft DRM again

FairUse4WM breaks Microsoft DRM again

Summary: A hacker "Divine Tao" has released a newer version of FairUse4WM that appears to have ripped Windows Media DRM wide open. It is interesting to note that "Divine Tao" is an anagram of the original author of FairUse4WM going by the name of "Viodentia".

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TOPICS: Microsoft
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A hacker "Divine Tao" has released a newer version of FairUse4WM that appears to have ripped Windows Media DRM wide open. It is interesting to note that "Divine Tao" is an anagram of the original author of FairUse4WM going by the name of "Viodentia". This latest release posted on Doom9 forums seems to work on Windows Media audio and video files on Windows XP or Vista so all those conspiracy theories about Vista DRM were wrong.

Unlike the Apple FairPlay cracks which relies on the capturing of a decoded audio stream, this literally strips out the DRM in the file within milliseconds per file with zero degradation to the digital content. The significance of this crack is that a lot of Microsoft's customers use the content subscription model which means someone could theoretically download thousands of songs and unlock all of them during just the trial period. When FairUse4WM was released last year, Microsoft rushed out a patch in just three days but was immediately countered by a patched version of FairUse4WM. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft responds to this latest attack and how "Divine Tao" counters.

There has never been a DRM scheme devised that couldn't be cracked and any attempt to silence the crack or information on cracking is met with a massive user revolt as Digg found out. When DRM finally dies - at least for large-volume low-margin content - it will die because of the lack of ROI (Return On Investment) and not because of all the protest and conspiracy theories about DRM.

Topic: Microsoft

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71 comments
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  • So we need to stop buying DRM Music?

    Does that mean we should pirate everything, or only buy items that don't have any DRM like some of the Apple iTunes. Even though they are watermarked with sales info, they are still free of DRM.
    nucrash
    • I said no such thing

      I said DRM didn't have ROI. I didn't say you should buy or not buy DRMed content or products that implement DRM.

      If anything, this seems to be the kind of DRM you can easily remove after you buy the content so it gives you the freedom of doing anything you want with the music.
      georgeou
      • OT--George, how is your name pronounced

        George, when I want to talk with coworkers about topics you've written about, I am unsure how to pronounce your last name. Is it like "ow", "woo", "ooo", or something else. Thanks.
        bmgoodman
        • Say it with silent U. As in Oh.

          Say it with silent U as in Oh. It's the Chinese pronunciation and it?s spelled with the character for Ocean or Europe.
          georgeou
          • Thanks

            I hate to mispronounce peoples' names! Funny that I never considered "Oh" in all my guesses!
            bmgoodman
          • Different countries use different pronunciation rules

            Different countries use different pronunciation rules. For example, the Brazilians (or Portuguese) pronounce Roger as Hoger. It just so happens the Chinese pronounce Ou as Oh in their new phonetic system that they implemented in the last couple of decades to make Chinese compatible with the western alphabet.

            Don't worry though, everyone botches my name. I would say 95% of the time people botch it until I tell them the correct pronunciation. It makes me wonder if my parents made the right choice in using the Chinese spelling rather than the English spelling.
            georgeou
      • Not so quick George ...

        [i]If anything, this seems to be the kind of DRM you can easily remove after you buy the content so it gives you the freedom of doing anything you want with the music.[/i]

        According to the DMCA it's not freedom, but a liability to strip the DRM punishable by fines/prison. The entire issue of DRM is not to protect the music itself since it can be easily circumvented, but allows the industry to CYA so enforcement of the DMCA can take place.

        It creates a cloud over everyone's head that circumvention is illegal. This is just typical of the fear of criminal wrong doing that is applied unjustly in the United States on a daily basis, but that's another topic for discussion. :)
        MisterMiester
        • They might go after you for pirating stuff

          They might go after you for pirating stuff, no one is going to go after you for stripping DRM from content that you actually purchased.
          georgeou
          • DVD Jon and 2600

            DVD Jon wrote DeCSS so he could play the movies he owned on Linux and they sure as snot went after him - twice no less.

            Then they went after 2600 for witting about DeCSS.

            There are two examples.
            Edward Meyers
      • Watch yourself George.

        "If anything, this seems to be the kind of DRM you can easily remove after you buy the content so it gives you the freedom of doing anything you want with the music."

        You don't want to appear to be urging others to strip the DRM from DRM-laden content. That would be another criminal act on your part, since inciting others to commit criminal acts is itself a criminal act.
        Letophoro
        • Fair use is not a crime

          They might go after you for pirating stuff, no one is going to go after you for stripping DRM from content that you actually purchased. There are provisions for fair use in the DCMA.

          I would never tell people to steal content or condone it in any way. But exercising your right to fair use is perfectly legitimate and I truly doubt the RIAA or MPAA wants to test this in the courts by trying to sue someone for stripping DRM for personal use on content they own.
          georgeou
          • Doctrine of Fair Use Not Applicable ...

            [i]There are provisions for fair use in the DCMA.[/i]

            There are exceptions for security testing purposes, certain educations uses and a few others narrow descriptions, six in total, but as far as stripping the DRM there are [b]NO PROVISIONS[/b] in the DMCA for exception under the doctrine of fair use. Don't believe me? Read the summary for yourself:

            http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf

            Until the DMCA is tested in court against the doctrine of fair use, conflicting statues, exceptions not listed in the DMCA are violations which are subject to fines and/or imprisonment.
            MisterMiester
          • Fair Use does not apply.

            In a nutshell: Under the DMCA, the stripping of DRM simply for the purposes of an archival backup that would otherwise be fair use under copyright law is illegal.

            I was not saying that you were implying that others should commit copyright infringement. Copyright infringement BTW is not the same as stealing content. I was simply saying that if you tell others to strip the DRM, which is an illegal act, you could conceivably be charged with inducing others to commit a criminal act.

            "I truly doubt the RIAA or MPAA wants to test this in the courts by trying to sue someone for stripping DRM for personal use on content they own."

            Given their recent behavior, I wouldn't count on that.
            Letophoro
          • Nonsense, speech is not illegal

            "I was simply saying that if you tell others to strip the DRM, which is an illegal act"

            Nonsense, speech is not illegal. Wearing the decryption key on your T-Shirt for cracking HD DVD code is not illegal. The RIAA and MPAA would be crazy to try and prosecute someone for that.
            georgeou
          • Charles Manson would disagree.

            "Nonsense, speech is not illegal."

            Uh-huh, try this then: Walk into a crowded movie theater and yell "Fire!!!" Alternatively, you can try inciting a riot. After you post bail, you can do a blog about how speech isn't illegal. Charlie Manson didn't kill anyone - he simply told others to do it. By your logic, Charlie's an innocent man doing time for the crimes committed by others.

            "Wearing the decryption key on your T-Shirt for cracking HD DVD code is not illegal. The RIAA and MPAA would be crazy to try and prosecute someone for that."

            Wearing a decryption key is not the same as telling others to do something. And the AACS-LA crew tried to claim copyright over their keys, which if they are upheld [b]would[/b] make wearing the key illegal under copyright law.
            Letophoro
          • Re: Nonsense, speech is not illegal

            [i]Wearing the decryption key on your T-Shirt for cracking HD DVD code is not illegal. The RIAA and MPAA would be crazy to try and prosecute someone for that.[/i]

            I wouldn't be so sure that wearing the code on your T-shirt isn't illegal. It wouldn't be appropriate for the *AA to prosecute the crime in any case.

            They would do what Adobe did with Sklyarov: sic the FBI on the "criminal" then disavow the subsequent prosecution.



            :)
            none none
    • It would help though

      George said it correctly, DRM on music will die. There is no value, it is a pure drain on any revenue. The sooner the industry is forced to re-invent itself, the better. It would happen quicker if people refused to purchase DRMed wares.

      TripleII
      TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827
  • ROI is the killer for sure

    I've always said that will kill DRM. DRM salesmen are snakeoil salesmen. Even Microsoft has had people admit DRM won't work to secure content. The thing with Microsoft is if they will create what people want not what they need. Seeing as they can't provide what customers need they are more than willing to take money giving them what they want knowing full well it won't do what they need. This isn't an attack on Microsoft just pointing out a common business practice. Supply customers wants is very profitable. Supply a customers needs can be profitable but the problem is customers often don't know what they need but know wha they want.

    So all the companies selling DRM solutions know that their solution will fail. The gamble is how long it takes to fail and how much profit they can rake in before it does. At some point the content people will realize that they can't keep buying DRM scheme after DRM scheme only to find it does nothing in the long run, no ROI.
    voska
    • Microsoft has no choice but to offer DRM

      Microsoft has no choice but to offer DRM to the RIAA and MPAA or else they won't permit their content to play on Windows. DRM is the price of admission. This is why I will buy a monitor with HDMI and HDCP so that I can play HD-DVD or Blu-ray content. I don't like it but that's life. That doesn't mean that Windows Vista prevents you from using non-DRM content or even strip DRM.

      So in a sense, including DRM in Windows simply pacifies the RIAA and MPAA so that they will publish content for Windows, but it's really a meaningless protection.

      Where I do think DRM is useful is for very low-volume content like proprietary white papers and E-Books. This is for the little guys who depend on getting paid for their content. No it doesn?t stop people from stealing it if they really want to have it, but it?s enough to make reputable people and companies pay for it. In general you?ll have a hard time finding low-volume content being pirated and it?s only the popular stuff that gets seeded. Large-volume content like music needs to figure out a new business model where they exploit the popularity of the content for targeted marketing. What they need to do is figure out how to monetize all those viewers and listeners.
      georgeou
      • I don't buy that

        If MS had said "no", then either the MPAA or RIAA would have had to accomodate them, or the studios and record companies would have had to tell their customers that high definition DVDs could not be played on a Windows PC (not something they would have wanted to say, I'm sure).

        MS should have told them where to go; would have saved all manner of Vista-related headaches.
        John L. Ries