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.
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.