Print 21 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Sep 28 at 3:12 PM

Microsoft has had enough of playing games with Viodentia

Earlier this week, DailyTech reported on an Engadget interview with the creator of the FairUse4WM digital right management (DRM) stripping utility. The author, who simply goes by "Viodentia," has been battling Microsoft for the past month releasing new updates as the Redmond-based company scrambled to patch the vulnerabilities. Today, Microsoft is stepping up their efforts against Viodentia by filing a lawsuit.

Microsoft makes the claim that the creator of FairUse4WM illegally obtained copyrighted source code to circumvent DRM. "Our own intellectual property was stolen from us and used to create this tool. They obviously had a leg up on any of the other hackers that might be creating circumvention tools from scratch," said an attorney for Microsoft. Viodentia responded with the following, "FairUse4WM has been my own creation, and has never involved Microsoft source code. I link with Microsoft's static libraries provided with the compiler and various platform SDK (software development kit) files."

Microsoft is hoping that by filing the lawsuit, it will be able to trace Viodentia's "digital trail" and bring him to justice. From CNET News:

However, the federal "John Doe" lawsuit, along with "dozens" of legal letters sent to Internet sites that are hosting the allegedly copyright-infringing tool, is a decidedly different tack for Microsoft. The copyright lawsuit was filed in Seattle federal court last Friday, without a name attached. Just as in the recording industry's many lawsuits against accused file swappers, it targets an unknown individual or individuals, whose true identity will be sought in the course of the case.

Viodentia has been rather elusive so far, so Microsoft is going to need all the help it can get.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

As if people didn't already hate MS enough...
By heulenwolf on 9/27/2006 10:45:45 AM , Rating: 1
Dumb move MS.

By pepsimax2k on 9/27/2006 11:46:35 AM , Rating: 3
another sign that they're so useless at fixing their own software problems, they decide to file a lawsuit instead?

RE: As if people didn't already hate MS enough...
By OrSin on 9/27/2006 11:55:04 AM , Rating: 3
Actually I'm on MS side for this. I'm total against the law sutis for RRAI but this a little different. This program does nothing but remove the protection on files you agrees to be protected when you got them. I'm all for ripping CD's you buy, but if you buy this DRM crap then you should really deal with it. As far a bugged software, the DRM on these songs works great, but can someone break it yes. Someone can always break anything, that doesn't mean it made badly.

RE: As if people didn't already hate MS enough...
By FITCamaro on 9/27/2006 12:29:22 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Don't complain to Microsoft because you bought DRM protected music. And its far from a bug for people to crack the DRM and remove it.

By ChugokuOtaku on 9/27/2006 12:43:51 PM , Rating: 3
then it's the users who use the tool who should be sued, since they violated the agreement. After all, they're the ones who chose to use it, not the creator.

By DarkZorro on 9/27/2006 10:35:43 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft's legal team must know that what they're doing won't stand in court. Microsoft doesn't actually know their source-code was stolen, they're suing Viodentia to make sure it wasn't stolen. You can't sue someone without clear indication of crime or tort; the judge will throw out this suit if it ever goes to court, regardless of what anyone thinks about the legality of removing DRM.

Call me an MS fan...
By therealnickdanger on 9/27/2006 11:04:42 AM , Rating: 5
I like MS. I use and enjoy their products every day. They may just be making a lot of noise in order to impress the MPAA and RIAA in order to secure licensing agreements or something, so I can't really blame them for wanting to sue the guy, however, I doubt they have the grounds to do so. Then again, I don't think the RIAA has grounds to sue the majority of people they have either. I don't think MS sucks for doing this, all it does for me is prove how stupid DRM is. What a waste...

RE: Call me an MS fan...
By mforce on 9/27/2006 12:46:02 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah , I like MS too , what would the world do without them ? Now if there's any way I can help MS , other then paying for or using their stuff I will gladly do it .
All hail MS , the nicest company in the world.

RE: Call me an MS fan...
By tree234 on 9/28/2006 10:20:04 AM , Rating: 1
> Yeah , I like MS too, what would the world do without them?

Easy. Switch to Linux and get your OS and Open Office Software Suite that's compatible with MS file formats for free.

Hey, No Fair
By rklaver on 9/27/2006 12:09:18 PM , Rating: 5
They obviously had a leg up on any of the other hackers that might be creating circumvention tools from scratch.

Yeah that's not fair... :-)

RE: Hey, No Fair
By modestninja on 9/27/2006 12:53:19 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously, Microsoft is once again sticking their neck out for those hard working hackers that don't want to use shortcuts to success.

Guys this smart need to do something useful with it
By Staples on 9/27/2006 1:03:56 PM , Rating: 2
Hopefully a lawsuit by MS will encourage these crackers to do something productive with their time.

By Suomynona on 9/27/2006 1:56:53 PM , Rating: 2
I can't come up with anything better than helping consumers use their products like they want to. Now what do you suggest he do instead?

By shantiwuvstevin on 9/27/2006 2:54:53 PM , Rating: 3
Now what do you suggest he do instead?

Get a haircut and get a real job;-)

I like this guy "Viodentia."
By JackBurton on 9/27/2006 10:54:25 AM , Rating: 2
He went about putting his program out on the net correctly, anonymously. I'm rooting for you Viodentia. Keep up the good work. :)

RE: I like this guy "Viodentia."
By DukeN on 9/27/2006 11:02:39 AM , Rating: 3
Is that the dude from V from Viodentia? ;)

By matthekc on 9/27/2006 4:49:09 PM , Rating: 2
i think the bigger issue here may be cost of the digital media itself. which is the source of the drm and theft. i know some people have had tens of thousands of dollars worth of mp3's and movies. Obviously owning this much media legally under the current pricing system is taxing for the average man. people want more media than they can afford while the copyright holders make billions in spite of out right theft. clearly there must be room for middle ground so people can have the media they want without becoming paupers and the media industry can still turn a tidy profit. perhaps some sort of new pricing system is in order.

By Dactyl on 9/28/2006 1:39:18 AM , Rating: 2
perhaps some sort of new pricing system is in order.

The "all you can eat" music pricing was an experiment at that.

FairUse4WM completely ruined that, because people who use those services can now strip the DRM off their entire downloaded collection of music.

They don't have to subscribe any more if they're willing to forego the absolute newest music.

By RogueSpear on 9/27/2006 8:35:48 PM , Rating: 2
From what I have read this new device named after a French Canadian penis will not play anything that is "Play4sure". What an ironic twist on that brand name. Maybe this crack opened up a crack in Microsoft's strategy to get people to buy the same thing twice.

And I really love this whole strategy where if you can't beat 'em with solid code, just call in the lawyers. I seriously hope this guy opens up the source code. He should make about a million t-shirts with the code printed on them. I seem to remember that was done with an encryption algorithm once.

RE: Zune
By Hare on 9/28/2006 1:46:45 PM , Rating: 2
I seem to remember that was done with an encryption algorithm once.

Wrong angle
By mindless1 on 9/28/2006 3:12:26 PM , Rating: 2
If MS thinks he obtained source code, they should first present this evidence, not trying an end-run around to their pet peeve of being outdone.

It's all ego now, MS could have just left WM DRM alone but instead wants to be control freaks. They want to force their will upon paying customers which, though in some ways is legal, and illegal to circumvent, still never works out well in the long run. Customers do not like and will, whenever possible, avoid limitations in their use of product towards such obvious ends as traditional uses they'd enjoyed already.

Music should not be dolled out at a premium, it is our culture and society as a whole will be worse off to limit access to it.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
Related Articles
Engadget Interviews Author of FairUse4WM
September 25, 2006, 1:45 PM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki