Print 40 comment(s) - last by mino.. on Sep 12 at 2:40 PM

The FairUse4WM creators once again break WM-DRM and this time in record time

Only days after Microsoft patched the FairUse4WM DRM hack, the creators of the program have released an update that once again breaks the restrictions on protected WMA and WMV files. The utility works by stripping the DRM information from protected windows media files allowing users to freely manipulate the files and play them back as they see fit.

The apparently failed update from Microsoft changed the IBX in PlaysForSure rendering v.1.1 useless to users who were forced to update through their content provider. FairUse4WM v.1.2 is backwards compatible with files that have yet to be updated. Unfortunately as of right now the software still doesn’t work Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 UR2 users or for the Windows Media Format 9. Although it only took Microsoft 3 days to issue its first fix it appears that the FairUse4WM creators are still one step ahead of the software giant. 

The cat and mouse DRM game is heating up elsewhere as well. Apple's FairPlay was recently circumvented openly as well.  Yahoo has opted to distribute music without DRM, bypassing the quagmire Apple and Microsoft are currently in. 

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I don't get it
By WxGuy192 on 9/3/2006 1:01:21 AM , Rating: 1
I don't get why people don't understand that buying a song on iTunes or other DRM music site does not give you the rights to copy the song for others, play it on any media you wish, etc. If this upsets you, then don't buy it! I can't understand why others think that once they spend a penny on something, they deserve to own it outright. You know darn well that when you download a song on iTunes, you are only 'renting' the content in accordance with the DRM.

Why do you spend the money on it if you don't like it? Nobody is forcing you to download the song, so it's not like you have no other choice. You don't have some unalienable right to own anyone's intellectual property, beit a piece of artwork, a book, or a song. If you are pissed at media companies for charging $0.99/song and still having restrictions on where it can be played, then don't buy it. It's that simple. Speak with your money, not with your selfish attitude, one for which you think that you ought to be able to do whatever you want with anything you spend money on.

"But musicians and movie actors make so much money"... Sure, and so do the CEOs of Dell, HP, Ford, GE, and Samsung. Why don't you go rent an appliance from some rental store and insist that you now own that appliance.

I don't mean to imply that I think the big media companies are just in their DRM usage. I do think many are taking consumers to the bank, but consumers keep coming back anyway. It's like those people that complain about some TV show, then always come on to talk about how bad the last episode was... If you don't like it, don't watch it! If you don't like the DRM system, then don't buy the dang music. You aren't owed anything.

RE: I don't get it
By QueBert on 9/3/2006 2:48:28 AM , Rating: 2
Thats nonsense, while I agree with you on people shouldn't be able to copy the songs for others. WHY are the customers (us) not given options? I will never buy a song from iTunes, simply because they want to restrict what I do with it. This is an apples to oranges analogy. But imagine going to Burger King and only being able to order a Whopper one way, no subsituations. In that case, you're "you don't have to buy it" mentality comes into play. But, companys should push hard to give the people what they want. And just because a lot of the people don't know any better, doesn't mean companies should shove DRM down our throats.
Now, I'd be all for DRM if it was actually something that was secure and hadn't been hacked (and rehacked) DRM is lousy. And until Apple and whoever else think's it's fair game to deliver the content people want, with an unacceptable protection, I think everyone should bitch.

RE: I don't get it
By WxGuy192 on 9/3/2006 11:03:36 AM , Rating: 3
But, companys should push hard to give the people what they want.

I agree. Good businesses do work to give people what they want -- it's a good way to maximize sales.

But my point is that if businesses want to give us (consumers) crappy choices, then that's their loss! We don't need to buy these crappy DRM files. That's how business works -- eventually, if they want to maximize sales, they give solutions that consumers are willing to spend money on. If all Ford vehicles were poorly designed and unreliable, people would speak with their money. Soon enough, Ford would realize that, in order to stay in business, they would need to change their designs, way of selling, etc. Stealing cars and justifying it by saying "these cars are crap anyway" (which I hear a lot about music -- "why would I want to spend money on that when it's all crap; give us something good for change") is not the right way to go about things.

And buying music is nothing like saying "I don't like our govt, so I'm moving to a different country". Music is entertainment! The comparison of not buying a DRM song vs. moving to a different country is ridiculous. It's not rocket science, and it's not difficult.

RE: I don't get it
By Kalessian on 9/3/2006 3:32:01 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah seriously, who are WE individuals to tell a big corporation what to do? Once in a while they try to grace us with some products they think we might like, and we get a little picky. Sheesh.

It's just like gas if you think about it. They could charge us $5/gallon if they wanted! If you don't like the price of gas, then why don't you walk to work you lazies!

In fact, I don't like some of the moves my government is making. I think it's time to speak with my money and move to some other country.

Wow, not trying to make things better and all that phooey nonsense is so easy!

RE: I don't get it
By PrinceGaz on 9/3/2006 8:39:54 AM , Rating: 1
It's just like gas if you think about it. They could charge us $5/gallon if they wanted! If you don't like the price of gas, then why don't you walk to work you lazies!

I think a lot of motorists here in the UK would be very happy if they did charge $5/gallon.

A UK gallon is equivalent to about 1.2 US gallons but fuel is sold in litres anyway, at a cost of about 95p/litre (£3.60/US gallon) which at current exchange rates is about US$6.86/gallon.

I assume from your comment that petrol is a lot less than seven dollars per gallon in the States?

RE: I don't get it
By baseball43v3r on 9/4/2006 12:52:43 AM , Rating: 2
prince its about 3 dollars a gallon in some places right now. over the summer here it got up in the 350s ans '60s. the summer lull is over so it should go back down. and btw people can't walk to work (at least in california) the population here has greatly increased the last couple of years and the trains and buses are nowhere near caught up to get people from the houses to the cities. idk what its like in other places but hours would have to change greatly and huge amounts of efficiency would be lost.

RE: I don't get it
By mino on 9/4/2006 2:01:40 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, that's the reason US pushes for oil so much.

Europe (and generally most of the world) has pretty efficient masss transport systems however the whole US economy is build around cheap OIL.
The time this will change is near and those comming high prices on oil will hurt US the most.

RE: I don't get it
By mindless1 on 9/5/2006 3:43:31 PM , Rating: 2
Put it in perspective though, the US is a wider expanse. I suspect if you lived in the US your annual mileage would be higher. What's the average daily commute in the UK by car? Part of why the US doesn't have the great transportation systems is the longer distances.

RE: I don't get it
By mino on 9/12/2006 2:40:12 PM , Rating: 2
Actually the mass transportation systems are more efficient the longer the distances.
Riding 2hrs to work and back is a far worse hassle the traveling 2hrs a day by train. Not to mention the train usually does the same distance by 1hr time. Same with subway.

RE: I don't get it
By european on 9/5/2006 8:57:56 PM , Rating: 2
In Norway the gasoline cost 7.16 $ a gallon (US). We're more concerned with our electric bill, since power now is at 0.13 $ per kWh. And a normal house uses 20-30000 kWh's a year. If i was american, i could heat my house with gasoline, cheap gasoline STOLEN from Iraq.
Open your eyes and you shall see.

Good thing...
By jamesbond007 on 9/2/2006 8:16:28 PM , Rating: 5
I like to think that we live in a world without limits in most areas of society. Rules and laws still apply, but I think DRM will take the path that prohibition took. At least Yahoo listens to customer requests. Hopefully Yahoo's decision will help curtail Microsoft and Apple's efforts to enforce the DRM movement.

RE: Good thing...
By Hypernova on 9/3/2006 12:24:03 AM , Rating: 2
Ditto, the best solution to a problem is not to have one in the first place.

RE: Good thing...
By xsilver on 9/3/2006 12:46:38 AM , Rating: 2
true although companies will argue that the problem is that they are losing revenue.
consumers will argue that their rights are being infringed.

so which party has the problem?

also, which large media outlets have this MS drm in place, I havent noticed any as yet...

RE: Good thing...
By trabpukcip on 9/3/06, Rating: 0
By headbox on 9/2/2006 8:43:41 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder how much the big dogs spend on DRM technology.

RE: $$$
By stmok on 9/2/2006 9:24:41 PM , Rating: 3
Its quite a bit apparently...But its more than monetary cost though, when you try to restrict people in what they can do, and once they become annoyed and aware of its limitations, they'll go elsewhere. (And you've lost the people that you depend on for a profit).

From what I've seen so far, NO DRM technology has been successful in winning the audience over. It gets worse when such technologies can also be exploited such that it can make an entire OS vulnerable to security issues. (recall the infamous Sony Rootkit case). In such cases, it becomes more costly, as now you need a Marketing/PR department doing "damage control". Then there's also the very likelyhood of people sueing you for your DRM implementation. So you need a legal department!

The problem is, corporations are trying to resist change, they still believe in their old models of making a profit. They are not reacting quickly enough to the dynamic nature of the Internet. They're doing really stupid things, just to protect their profits. They should be stepping back and exploring new ways that work well with the Internet...Not implement draconian style technology to control their customers!

In the case of RIAA, they're sueing people and getting lawyers onto websites that Index, etc files. Essentially, its nothing but a fear mongering campaign. (Haven't you noticed the people they catch for sharing on P2P are non-techie or no-clue PC users? Notice how the RIAA releases press releases as soon as a P2P site is raided? Its all part of a scare campaign!)

Unfortunately for them, its essentially backfiring! The numbers of P2P users are actually increasing! Instead of falling!

So much so, that even Yahoo is trialing a non-DRM'ed music service. Granted, it costs more than an iTunes song, but there doesn't seem to be any limitations, once you paid for the song.

DRM technology doesn't lead to happiness and I highly suspect that its being promoted as some "miracle cure" for the corporations. (Its a known fact that RIAA has no f**king idea of how to handle P2P, that's why they're doing all this nonsense!)

In reality, DRM costs more than not having it. Being smart about how to make a profit with new opportunities is far more cheaper than spending money on implementations that are often overcome or drives your customers away. Granted, you can't get rid of piracy with 100% effectiveness, but when is the line drawn with DRM? Do we start complaining when chips are a mandatory part of our lives? (as in implants that control what we can or cannot watch?)

Sure, I reside in Australia, and our rules are very different to the USA, but the fundamental issue of balancing making a profit and providing sufficient freedom to the user is actually a worldwide problem for all content providers.

Cracks like these are clearly a message to content providers. People don't want DRM. They demand the flexibility of the content to put it where ever they want, no matter how many times. Flexibility doesn't necessarily mean it should be free, charge an acceptable price on it that people are willing to pay, and they'll be coming in droves.

Only morons think DRM is actually a good idea.

RE: $$$
By Sharky974 on 9/4/06, Rating: 0
RE: $$$
By littlejim68 on 9/3/2006 4:43:25 PM , Rating: 2
I can completely understand the people that are angry over DRM. But I can not be that excited about it because I know market forces will prevail and wipe out DRM. Its not the crackers with their programs that hurt DRM, not the P2P networks either. It’s the two people sitting down over lunch chatting casually.

John Doe “Have you heard the new ‘Hit Band’ song that came out last week?” Jane Doe, “no not yet, wanted to, but I have to get the balance down on my credit card first.” John, “I got it from Pete last night, his player and mine have blue tooth and he flashed it to me.” Jane “oh that’s nice, my player doesn’t do that.”

Bring market forces into the above situation, John and Jane have no idea what DRM, all they know is they like to listen to a song. One open player open media will get the song heard, the other hampers it. The one thing the media industry lives and dies by, getting their product heard.

Here is my prediction for music industry 5 years from now. Billboards with links to webpage’s where all of top bands songs can be downloaded, free without DRM. Why? Because they need their songs heard and will do anything to get it. Sure you have the big three music publishers crying foul now but and a handful of computer geeks fighting it. It’s the market forces of people that don’t even know what DRM is that will kill DRM.

The cracks are already in the wall, sit back and enjoy the flood waters pour through.

By vhx500 on 9/4/2006 7:50:46 PM , Rating: 2
DRM (as per the EFF) = Digital Restrictions Management

By vhx500 on 9/4/2006 7:51:28 PM , Rating: 2
Wait, I think it was the FSF (Free Software Foundation)...

By RW on 9/5/2006 2:14:49 AM , Rating: 2
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Digital Rights Management (generally abbreviated to DRM) is any of several technologies used by publishers to control access to and usage of digital data (such as software, music, movies) and hardware, handling usage restrictions associated with a specific instance of a digital work.
The position put forth is that copyright holders are attempting to restrict use of copyrighted material in ways already granted by statutory or common law applying to copyright. Others, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation consider some DRM schemes to be anti-competitive, citing the iTunes Music Store as an example.
Some critics of the technology, including the Free Software Foundation, suggest that the use of the word "Rights" is misleading and suggest that people instead use the term Digital Restrictions Management
DRM vendors and publishers coined the term digital rights management to refer to the types of technical measures discussed here, applying it only to digital media (and analog media that has been released in digital form).

It's still Digital Rights Management .

By protosv on 9/2/2006 11:20:50 PM , Rating: 3
I tried out eMusic the other day. It's small-label stuff, but there's no DRM, and the songs are sold at high-quality VBR mp3 files. You pay to download a set number of songs each month, but there's no restrictions. It's an interesting model to say the least....

RE: eMusic
By kkwst2 on 9/3/2006 12:15:39 AM , Rating: 2
eMusic is great. There's a lot of great music on there. It's relatively obscure stuff from independent labels in general. Unfortunately, most of the good bands I've found have subsequently signed with major labels, so I have to then 1) quit listening to them, 2) buy the overpriced CD's, or 3) put up with DRM.

I usually choose number 1 but occasionally I'm too weak.

By freon on 9/3/2006 3:00:58 PM , Rating: 2
Companies claim lost revenue all the time over this stuff.. I do not condone piracy, but the reality of the situation is in all the years I have downloaded music from the net I have never downloaded anything I would have bought instead. I download a song or two here and there that sits on an album of 10-13 other songs I wouldn't listen to if you paid me. So did they lose revenue? Technically, since I have the song and they didn't get a cent from me...I guess a hardcore bean-counter could say yes. Realistically, however, they never would have received a cent from me anyway.
Dont get me wrong, I still buy plenty of music. I just wouldn't call my downloads "lost revenue."

RE: Blah
By Sharky974 on 9/4/2006 8:35:06 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah. Bullshit.

You're saying "I'll voluntarily pay for this music I could get for free!"

You're a liar.

This is the internet age. Any company can give away all the free music they want, and then reap the bonzo sales this supposedly (illogically) causes.

So where are those companies and bands doing that? Can you point me to some? Thanks. You know, the rich bands giving away all their music for free on the net? Yeah those. Links please.

RE: Blah
By mino on 9/4/2006 2:03:54 PM , Rating: 2
Calm down dude.

Reality is not that simple as you think.

We can dream
By hechacker1 on 9/2/2006 6:38:33 PM , Rating: 4
I can only hope that the author of this tool takes some initiative and hides his identity before MS's layers come knocking.

I support this tool because if we are lucky the music/video industry will see that users are more than happy to pay for entertainment that isn't laden with so many restrictions, DRM.

RE: We can dream
By Desslok on 9/2/06, Rating: -1
RE: We can dream
By proamerica on 9/2/06, Rating: -1
RE: We can dream
By Samus on 9/3/2006 5:59:32 PM , Rating: 2
wow, what a great tool. i didn't even know this existed. now i feel less raped when i download music and am told how many times i can burn it and where i can play it back from.

By mindless1 on 9/2/2006 8:20:31 PM , Rating: 4
It's good that so many people are already mirroring this, but bad that there are so many people already dealing with these DRMed files in the first place. Don't people GET IT?

So long as the revenue stream from the DRMed content is there, it's not going anywhere. You're not fighting the man or doing any nobile thing by cracking something you bought (a license to use), because they're still being paid to DRM you. You agreed to that limited use license when you paid, or at least you should have been aware of it, so coming back later and claiming you don't like the restrictions in what you paid for is a bit silly, like claiming you don't like the restrictions of not being able to eat soup with the fork you just picked up. You chose that product, live with it or don't buy it.

On the other hand, do whatever you like I suppose, but I just say NO to DRM. I won't pay for DRMed content. That doesn't mean I pirate it, it means I have one more reason to choose different entertainment in a time when there's plenty that's entertaining.

When will Big Media Learn?
By AlexWade on 9/2/06, Rating: 0
RE: When will Big Media Learn?
By SteelyKen on 9/2/2006 11:18:20 PM , Rating: 4
DRM is not really about fighting piracy. It's main goal is to accomplish exactly what it is doing: limiting the consumer's rights to fair play in order to increase the number of revenue streams. Piracy is the excuse for digital rights mangling and "Big Media" is counting on us to go along.

By psychobriggsy on 9/3/2006 1:34:48 PM , Rating: 3
Considering that in my one and only attempt at buying a song from iTunes (with a free Coke code) resulting in the file downloading and then disappearing forever, I don't think I'll be personally worrying about DRM on music for a while.

DRM is about trying to put physical constraints on digital data, to keep the status quo. CDs have only become viably rippable in the past 10 years, the first 15 years they were uncopyable (apart from to tape, with a quality loss), and that's what the DRM is trying to recreate - a mechanism where you'd buy a CD for the house, a cassette for the car, a ringtone for the phone. Instead people are wise to the fact that data is easily copied and modified to their own uses, and know that if they're buying the music, they should have the right to use it in their house/car and upon their person with no restrictions. Once copy for everything. If the companies want to get more money, then they should sell unfettered downloads that include the ringtone, the 128kbps portable version and the lossless hifi version in a package for around 1.5x the 128kbps version.

Music is different from 20, 30 years ago. It's everywhere, it's disposable, it's background. You don't buy and cherish a record, then three months later get another one. That's why people don't want to be paying £15 for an album in this day and age, and why there's so much more copying. Anyway, there's only so much money, and there's DVDs and Games vying for it as well these days. People know the value of music, and sadly for the music companies most people seem to think it's far less than £15 for 12 songs, 8 of which are a bit crap.

I think that Apple's DRM is reasonably fair, to be honest, it does seem to be set up in a way to enable reasonable personal and home use, without blatant copying for other people and households.

I had a point here somewhere, but I've mumbled my way to forgetfulness. It was probably related to getting the music companies to get with the times or something.

Human Nature
By Angry White Man on 9/3/2006 9:41:43 AM , Rating: 2
If people can get music for free, then they will. It's just human nature. If I have to pay for music in order to get it, then I will. If there's a way to get it free, then I'll get it free. I can see the equation already: Naptser (lets you download music with subscription) + DRM stripping software = free music. I've paid for music online when there wasn't an alternative. But when there is...

By derdon on 9/3/2006 10:15:21 AM , Rating: 2
haha where is the funny guy who claimed it was ridiculous companies would consider selling MP3s any time in the near future and that we should all stick our heads into the sand...

By RW on 9/5/06, Rating: 0
By mindless1 on 9/5/2006 3:47:12 PM , Rating: 2
I can't see the future in my crystal ball, but sometimes your cage is only as big as you make it. I suppose that applies to tin-foil hats too.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard
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