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MS DRM Version 2 - Cracked 348

As the title says: Microsoft Digital Rights Management Version 2 has been cracked. The Register has the story, including a link to a downloadable zip file which contains source code, explanation and a small DOS utility. Grab it while you can. You can also read the explanation directly here, and you can also find it with Google.
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MS DRM Version 2 - Cracked

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  • Well, of course (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TechnoVooDooDaddy ( 470187 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @08:40AM (#2450930) Homepage
    in the immortal words of someone who's name escapes me:

    "Information wants to be free."

    There's a lot of bored but bright minds out there, and putting mountains up in their way just BEGS them to be climbed. As the old adage goes, Why do people climb mountains? well, there's actually 2 reasons, 1) because they're there.. 2) they're in the way of where you're trying to go..

    *yawn* nice try MS, better luck next time eh?

    What I don't get is why not use some proven technologies to get this done right? secure key-based encryption, rotating key servers, etc?
    • by invalid_user ( 253723 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @08:54AM (#2450968)
      It's Stewart Brand, and it's one of the most abused quote of our time.
      [] bF .html
    • the spirit's still correct, eh mate?
    • Re: Well, of course (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Desco ( 46185 ) <> on Friday October 19, 2001 @09:48AM (#2451109)
      M$ DRM already cracked... What's really funny is there's not much media available that takes full advantage of this medium for it to make a lick of a difference.

      Thus continueth the cycle:
      1. A few people pirate software/music.
      2. Corperations get pissed at piracy.
      3. Corperation spends millions on development of an anti-piracy scheme.
      4. Corperation has to raise prices to compensate.
      5. Scheme gets cracked within DAYS of release.
      6. More people pirate because prices are higher.
      7. Goto 1.
    • by mblase ( 200735 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @09:49AM (#2451110)
      The notion that "information wants to be free" is a rather interesting case study of anthropomorphism gone horribly wrong. Information doesn't want anything. Truth, the facts, raw data, none of them want anything. They're just sentences, numbers, claims, opinions, ideas. Unless you're willing to extend the definition of a meme to the extreme, they're hardly capable of even Darwinian ambition.

      But people often want information -- want it to be free, or secure, or copyrighted, or burned, or locked away for the greater good. People want the latest news, the biased studies, the most accurate statistics. They want each other's secrets, their inventions, their inspirations, their dirty laundry . They want to be the first in the know, the winner in the argument, the smartest in the class. They want to be told what to think, to make others think like themselves, and to be the first with a new idea.

      People in the Western world are conditioned to believe that with a little applied brain power, they can be anything they want. So they insist that information should be free, despite omnipresent evidence to the contrary. They ignore the fact that library books cost ten cents per day late, that a reliable Internet connection costs fifteen dollars a month, and that university tuition costs four thousand dollars a year.

      Knowledge is power. The right kind of information is all that's needed to upend governments, bankrupt companies, exile citizens, and execute prisoners. It can turn a housewife into a millionaire, a CEO into an inmate, and a celebrity into a punch line. A poor man will kill for money, but a rich man will kill for secrecy. The patent office is filled with millions upon millions of facts which are worth anywhere from pennies to princedoms to the right people.

      Information doesn't want to be anything. Information just is, which makes it an asset, which makes it vulnerable to the economic laws of supply and demand. So if your information is about Linux, it's probably worth nothing at all, save your reputation as a programmer. But if your information is about, say, Microsoft Office... in that case, it's worth whatever Bill Gates can get you to pay.
      • by Nindalf ( 526257 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @10:19AM (#2451205)
        I don't consider the pathetic fallacy (describing a phenomenon as if the objects involved were humans acting it out) to be a fallacy at all, but a useful metaphorical device.

        "Water seeks its level." - no, sufficient quantities of water tend to be arranged by the force of gravity over time such that its open surface is roughly equidistant from the center of gravity

        "Opposite electrical charges are attracted to each other." - no, there is a force on any two objects of opposite electrical charge each toward the other

        "Information wants to be free." - no, it is difficult for one party to limit the distribution of information to only those parties it approves of

        The common quotes are shorter and more digestable, literal truth is not relevant compared to effective communication.

        On the other hand, the literal expressions are more likely to be left alone by those who don't understand them.
      • And water doesn't *want* to flow downhill, but I wouldn't stand in front of the next flashflood if I were you.

        The anthropomorphism is accurate. Once information starts to pass from one person to another, it is very difficult to stop the spread. How many movies are based upon the plot mechanism of a murderer having to kill more and more people to keep his secret? Keeping secrets is a very difficult business, because INFORMATION WANTS TO BE FREE!!

      • Information doesn't want to be free.
        Information doesn't want anything.

        People don't want to be free.
        People don't want anything.
        They are just bags of fluid, with chemicals moving around in the brain. Ascribing a motivation like 'want' is unwarranted.

        What is your point? This is a poetic statement, a metaphor, not a scientific equation.
      • The notion that "information wants to be free" is a rather interesting case study of anthropomorphism gone horribly wrong. Information doesn't want anything.

        You're nitpicking. Would you so angrily jump down the throat of someone who suggested that water wants to run downhill? Would you attempt to correct me what I suggest that the software I'm working on wants a 256 megabytes of RAM? Most people are perfectly capable of recognizing that anthropomorphism is not literal.

        No, information doesn't want to be free. But information damn well tends toward being free. People fundamentally like sharing information. We tend to tell others things we find interesting. We spend a great deal of effort inventing tools to help share information with each other. Writing, printing, movable type, telegraphs, telephones, email, usenet, web pages.

        Once you've given me a piece of information, you would be hard pressed to stop me from sharing it as I see fit. We've had to build complex legal systems of copyrights and trade secrets for the sole purpose of stopping information from spreading. In the absence of this legal system, information would tend spread. People spend huge amounts of effort developing encryption, copy restriction mechanisms, and similar mechanisms to stop information from being shared. It's always easier to make a technology that always shares information that a technology that can restrict the sharing of information.

        Human beings like sharing information. Stopping this free spread of information is very difficult. No, information doesn't literally want to be free, but the behavior of normal people tends to spread information. "Information wants to be free" seems to me to be a reasonable way of summarizing the situation.

    • Re:Well, of course (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      In this case, there *are* no "proven technologies", nor is it possible for there to be any.

      It's one thing if you want to send a message from a source to a destination in such a way that only the destination has the key, and the message is protected from third parties. There's lots of good, solid math explaining various types of ways to do that. But that's not what DRM is. DRM (or ANY name you wish to give the plague known as 'copy protection') is you want to send a message from a source to a destination in such a way that you give a key to anyone who asks, and you don't care about whether the message is protected at all *but* you want to make absolutely damn sure no one can manufacture keys but you.. well, that's just silly, since the point is to keep the way that the key works secret *from someone who has a copy of **and uses** the key*. That just doesn't work; the key can always, in some way, be disassembled. Yes, the DRM such far (CSS and such) were cracked because the people who designed them made mistakes and left their systems vulnerable to various attacks. But how would 'proven technology' possibly help with that? Even if there weren't the kind of bugs that led to DeCSS being possible, in the end your untrusted party still has a copy of both the key and the message and can watch the two working together in as close detail as they wish..

      Anyway, how on earth are you supposed to get a 'proven technology' based on security through obscurity? In my book the definition of a 'proven' encryption technology is that many people know how it works and have examined its algorithm, and none have found a crack. But in the case of something like CSS or microsoft DRM, if you tell someone what your encryption scheme is, you've already lost.. so how can you possibly have any kind of publicly scrutinized 'proven technology' used?
  • by SealBeater ( 143912 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @08:41AM (#2450936) Homepage
    Its not like ANY protection scheme that I can think off hasn't been broken. So far, it looks like nothing will ever not be broken.

    Corps: 0, Hackers:...shit, I lost count.

    • by Slak ( 40625 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @09:41AM (#2451093)
      As Thomas Jefferson said, "The price of Copy Protection Schemes is eternal vigilence and endless lawsuits."

      • This is a reply to the Titanic comment which is a sibling to this comment's parent, but /. is having a formkeys problem today, and I thought my post was worth putting in.

        Wasn't it later determined that the Titanic sank because they forgot to adequately shield a heat exhaust vent, which led to a chain reaction that sunk the boat?

        The way I see it, as long as you have some Jeff Goldblum-type with an Apple laptop, no computer system is safe.

        The problem with this is that the RIAA types want to use encryption to enforce a scheme that users generally think of as unfair, especially since it gives them fewer rights than they have enjoyed in the past. The sooner they stop shoring up the crumbling edifice of trying to extend monopoly on physical distribution to a monopoly on digital distribution, the sooner they can find a way to do business which won't piss off the majority of their customers. I don't have any problems buying and paying for music in order to listen to it, but I expect certain rights with what I purchase, and I also expect that increases in technology should result in lower prices. Music CD's are not significantly cheaper than when I first saw them for sale in the mid-80's. This is total gravy for the music industry and I'm getting really tired of paying it, especially since I buy a lot of music.

        You can get blank CD's 2-3 for a dollar, tell me again why a music CD costs $17? If $14 of that went to the artists, I wouldn't even mind that, but from what I understand only about a buck or two goes to the geniuses that actually create the product, the rest is skimmed off by middlemen whose jobs mostly involves perpetuating their jobs.

  • to no end (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rinikusu ( 28164 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @08:41AM (#2450939)
    You know, the antics of the music industry (and the kind of thing that MS is kowtowing to with their DRM scheme) really pisses me off, but also convinces me that there will eventually come something to replace them both.

    But, know what? It's their property. If they want to fuck up their distribution channels, fuck em. I can do without "so-called" modern music anyway. I go see live bands locally, get lit, and have a great time and I didn't need to buy a fucking copy-protected by the DMCA CD or cassette or anything. These guys are out there trying to make a living, maybe you should check em out. And if you catch them after the show, you might can convince them that they should distribute their songs on CD's for cheap and ask them (ask them) about how they feel about MP3's and music-sharing in general. Of course, they might not agree with you (or myself), but they have that *right* to do so.

    So, I encourage, nay I *challenge* each and every one of you who would boycott MS or the RIAA to pick up a local newspaper and see what's going on in y our town this weekend. Chances are, there's a band or two actually worth checking out, and hey, it's not like you're going to meet chicks sitting behind your monitor.

    Oh, and on-topic: Rock on Beale! I'm encouraged to see that grassroots hactivism coming alive! :) (hacker used in "coder" definition) Keep up the good work and keep fighting the good fight.

    • Re:to no end (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 19, 2001 @09:10AM (#2451020)

      But, know what? It's their property.

      No it's not. That's the whole point - US copyright does not create property rights. The actions of the copyright holders in shifting the terminology of the debate to the language of property rights means they've already almost won. After all, who agrees with stealing? But if they don't own it (and they don't - you paid for it), it ain't stealing...
      • Re:to no end (Score:3, Interesting)

        US copyright does not create property rights.

        I used to agree with this, but now I'll have to differ on this point. Here come the flames...

        How do you define property? Quite simply, it's the right, given to you by law and society, not nature, to control something. It's my house because I can decide who can enter in and who cannot. It's my car because I can decide that, if you drive it, you're commiting a crime. I control those things.

        The control is completely artificial. It's been decided in our culture that people should have a right to control these things they call "possessions." There have been plenty of cultures in which the right to control was out of the hands of the people.

        Now, I will admit that it is much easier to understand possession as it relates to physical things than as it relates to ideas or art. However, our current system has defined the control of the latter as property, and we accept it.

        Removing control of my house from me is stealing. Likewise, removing control of my artistic works is also stealing.
    • by sydb ( 176695 ) <`michael' `at' `'> on Friday October 19, 2001 @09:13AM (#2451027)
      So, I encourage, nay I *challenge* each and every one of you who would boycott MS or the RIAA to pick up a local newspaper and see what's going on in y our town this weekend. Chances are, there's a band or two actually worth checking out, and hey, it's not like you're going to meet chicks sitting behind your monitor.

      Chicks, take this as a warning: stay home this weekend.
    • hey, it's not like you're going to meet chicks sitting behind your monitor.

      Hmmm. That's funny. I've met a few women over the net, while nothing's stuck so far, they weren't utter instant failures either, and they've all been better than the women I've met at live music venues. In fact, come to think of it, I don't know that (in spite of seeing literally hundreds of live shows) that I've ever actually met and developed a relationship with a woman from a bar.

      On the other hand, I fully support the idea that it is time to seriously boycott all RIAA-affiliated music companies, the MPAA, and television (on general principle). The world is bigger than that and plenty of classical music, world music, and alternative music is available that does not need to be bypassed during a boycott. Not so easy with film, but there is always used VHS. And the library-- mine has movies in addition to books (which make great movie substitutes).
      • Re:to no end (Score:3, Insightful)

        by unitron ( 5733 )
        How surprising that you were unable to develop a meaningful relationship with a young lady WHILE SCREAMING BACK AND FORTH IN ORDER TO BE HEARD OVER THE MUSIC.
    • And remember, too, copyright has always been framed as a "temporary" notion. True, the temporality of a single copyright has been extended, but as it was framed by the founders, copyright was never meant to be a sweeping, draconian notion of something *absolute*.

      Copyright was meant to *promote* not meant to *inhibit*. It was not meant as an essentially permanent hedge for questionable constitutional and monopolistic manipulations.

      Believe me, I don't expect the record company execs to understand this, let alone act within the spirit of the notion as it was originally proposed and written. But I do expect our own legislators to rap the collective heads of these executive fuckers and wake them up to the essential *spirit* of the law. A spirit, I would add, that transcends any temporary monetary gains for fat cat record exectives like Hilary Rosen or the ultra-ultra fat-cat film geriatric named Jack "America was great under Jack Kennedy" Valenti.

      Copyright is not about money. It's about the promotion of art. Remember this. This should be the mantra. Someone should paint this slogan on Hilary's office door.

      Copyright was never about money.

      Copyright was never about money.

      It's all about *promotion*. And the founders took this "promotion" to be integral to a diverse society.

      In fact, I'm quite sure Jefferson would be disgusted by the actions of the music and film industries. Disgusted, too, by their abohorrent actions in light of the recent terrorist attacks -- attempting (if you recall) to attach their legislative riders to the bottoms of the recently passed terrorist legislation. It's disgusting and demeaning and proves that these fucking record executives will stop at nothing -- literally -- to keep their golf club memberships, Lexus', and summer homes in the Hamptons.

  • Good news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aurorascope ( 466416 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @08:41AM (#2450941) Homepage
    This is good news. Why? XP is just about to be shipped into retail stores. MSFT can't really do much about it now unless they release some Windows update - which is unlikely to catch 56k'ers attention much.
    • MSFT can't really do much about it now unless they release some Windows update - which is unlikely to catch 56k'ers attention much.

      I don't thinks many 56k'ers download digital music ...
    • Re:Good news (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Dashslot ( 23909 )
      Not really. From the readme:
      WARNING!!!!! I have just learned that the new Microsoft Media

      Player EULA includes a clause that says they can *automatically*
      modify the software on your system, without any confirmation from
      you required! In other words, they can disable your software, or
      force an upgrade so that FreeMe won't work, just because they feel
      like it. Be careful out there!

      It will work for a while but for how long?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 19, 2001 @08:47AM (#2450954)
    MS digital rights management scheme cracked
    By Thomas C Greene in Washington
    Posted: 19/10/2001 at 09:19 GMT

    An anonymous coder named 'Beale Screamer' claims to have broken the Version-2 Microsoft digital rights management (DRM) scheme, and has produced the source code and a DOS utility to un-protect .WMA audio files.

    The author's zipped file contains a lengthy description of the MS DRM weaknesses, a philosophical tract explaining why he thinks it necessary to crack, the source code, and the command-line utility.

    The alias Beale Screamer, incidentally, derives from the lines of 'Howard Beale' in the movie 'Network', we're told. "Just yell to the publishers 'I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!'"

    The motive here is said to be an assertion of fair use and a check against the abuse of copyright for purposes of consumer extortion.

    A DRM scheme "used to give the consumer more possibilities than existed before," Screamer tells us. "I think the idea of limited time, full-length previews, or time-limited Internet-based rentals is excellent. If DRM was only used for this, in order to give us more options than we previously had, I would not have taken the effort to break the scheme. What is bad is the use of DRM to restrict the traditional form of music sale. When I buy a piece of music (not rent it, and not preview it), I expect (and demand!) my traditional fair use rights to the material. I should be able to take that content, copy it onto all my computers at home, my laptop, my portable MP3 player....basically anything I use to listen to the music that I have purchased."

    Well said; a tremendous amount of thought and effort has obviously gone into all this, and we have to wonder who this crusader is. A university connection seems all but certain. We've got a few feelers out, and hope very much that he'll submit to an interview soon.
  • by CProgrammer98 ( 240351 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @08:51AM (#2450962) Homepage
    This from the "readme" that comes with the zip:

    Not only can MS revoke the certs used, it looks like they can also screw your system if you use tricks like this....

    WARNING!!!!! I have just learned that the new Microsoft Media Player EULA includes a clause that says they can *automatically* modify the software on your system, without any confirmation from you required! In other words, they can disable your software, or force an upgrade so that FreeMe won't work, just because they feel like it. Be careful out there!

    • by fermi's ghost ( 215002 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @10:58AM (#2451409)
      Zone Alarm just told me that Windows Media Player is tring to ping my default gateway.

      Now WHY would it want to do that? Is it part of a security scheme?

      If it tell ZoneAlarm to not allow Internet access to WMP, am I in violation of DMCA? Is ZoneAlarm a circumvention tool?
  • Shocking! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Smuffe ( 152444 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @08:52AM (#2450964)
    A Microsoft security hole?
    Anonymous M$ exec1: We're hacked? Again?
    M$ techie: No, we're not hacked. The MDRM v2 is hacked. We... (is interrupted)
    Anonymous M$ exec2: We're hacked! Didn't the hacker read our last bulletin on that? It's wrong to post exploits we don't know about. It's almost against the law! Or rather, it should be!
    Anonymous M$ exec1:Good idea. I'll give our lawyers a call! I'm sure its in the DCMA somewhere. Thats why we invented it, remember?

    • by cybercuzco ( 100904 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @09:35AM (#2451078) Homepage Journal
      I'm sure its in the DCMA somewhere. Thats why we invented it, remember?

      microsoft didnt invent the DMCA, that would have actually required INNOVATION. The music and movie industries invented it, MS is just embracing and extending.

  • by Johnno74 ( 252399 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @08:53AM (#2450965)
    ... He's got a real pair of clangers for doing this and releasing it! I really hope he stays anonymous.

    He's done a very thourough job of reverse-engineering too. Read his README file, very interesting... some quotes:

    "One very important effect of this scheme is that Microsoft fully controls who gets to write modules that interact with the basic Microsoft media modules. Without a certified public key (and the corresponding private key) it is impossible to write a compatible DLL that interfaces with their code. Since Microsoft controls the issuing of certified public keys, they also have complete control over who is allowed to make compatible and competing products. Microsoft's reputation for being generous to competitors is well-known, so this effectively gives Microsoft a technically guaranteed monopoly power."

    And his 'Messages' at the bottom:

    "Microsoft: You guys have put together a pretty good piece of software. Really. The only real technical flaw is that licenses can't be examined for their restrictions once they are obtained. My real beef is with the media publishers' use of this software, not the technology itself. However, it's easy to see where software bloat and inefficiency comes from when this code is examined: every main DLL has a separate copy of the elliptic curve and other basic crypto routines, and parameters passed back and forth between modules are encrypted giving unnecessary overhead, not to mention all the checks of the code integrity, checks for a debugger running, code encryption and decryption. Perhaps you felt this was necessary for the "security through obscurity" aspect, but I've got to tell you that this really doesn't make a bit of difference. Make lean and mean code, because the obscurity doesn't work as well as you think it does.

    Justice Department: Maybe this should really be addressed to the state officials, since it looks like the current U.S. administration doesn't care too much about monopoly powers being abused. But for whoever is interested, there is a very serious anti-competitive measure in this software. In particular, for various modules of the software to be used, you must supply a certified public key for communication. Guess who controls the certification of public keys? Microsoft. So if someone wants to make a competing product, which integrates well with the Windows OS, you will need to get Microsoft's permission and obtain a certificate from them. I don't know what their policy is on this, so don't know if this power will be abused or not. However, it has the potential for being a weapon Microsoft can use to knock out any competition to their products."

    Well said.

    • by BLKMGK ( 34057 ) <> on Friday October 19, 2001 @10:57AM (#2451405) Homepage Journal
      Read it all - Microsoft used SHA-1, Eliptical Curve Encryption, a bastardized version of Base64 encoding, and I think even the kitchen sink to try and keep this from being reversed. They encrypted the comms between DLLs (!) to prevent anyone from being able to get anything from the calls going back and forth must have added a ton of overhead with all of this encryption. They even move the location of the key pairs on each machine that this junk is installed upon in order to prevent the keys from being easily extracted. Kripes, Microsoft went so far as to build in the capability to REVOKE the keys if they were ever published - this hack must be killing them :-)

      All of that would've worked except that the code that actually USES the keys has to know where they're located and THAT code's location is static (lol). The author simply used THAT code to pull the keys for the decryption - I love it. I'll bet some poor schmuck MSFT techie is smacking his head going "Dammit!" right about now.

      I'm not sure how Microsoft could've stopped this - obviously their bulletproof EULA didn't work (lol). At some point in the code something has to know how to pull the needed keys and I cannot imagine how they would've been able to shift the code that does the calling in every copy of Windows - something has to be static somewhere or at least the code to find the location does :-)

      Since Microsoft used code to detect debuggers I have to wonder how he did this - hacked the debugger too? Hack the code to stop the detection of the debugger? Or decompile the code in some fashion and step through it? (shiver)

      If this was the creation of a single individual or even a team it's damned impressive! I hope that The Reg gets it's wish for some sort of an interview granted and that this person or team of persons releases more insightful cracks. This was pretty sweet IMO, my hat's off to this effort!
  • Just like deCSS (Score:4, Offtopic)

    by teraflop user ( 58792 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @08:56AM (#2450975)
    This is just like the deCSS hack - a good piece of work exposing a flawed implementation of a rights management scheme.

    However, at the moment two little differences are apparent:

    1. This doesn't allow you to decode .wma files on Linux - the decoder still requires the MS dll to get the keys out for you.

    2. The author has remained anonymous! No DMCA prosecutions here, assuming she has covered her tracks properly.
  • by zarathustra93 ( 164244 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @08:58AM (#2450981) Homepage
    When are MS, Sony and others going to learn that any sort of system like this will be broken? They should take a tip from the gaming industry.

    I was excited to get a sony mp3 player as a gift last year. Until I realized that it used a proprietary format, atrac3. It will only allow me to load a particular piece of music 4 times. I've even loaded the music I make on it, but I am still subjected to this limitation. HELLO, it's my music, I made it,I own the copyright.

    Digital Rights Management is there only to help support the massive amount of proffit that the recording industry is used to making. Well, I have a message for these people: The days of the $20 CD are long gone. Charge a fair amount of money for your product, and people will buy it. If you continue sticking it to the customer, they will break your systems and get it for free. Evolve or die. It's that simple.
    • Yah, I've been saying that since Napster. P2P was supposed to destroy the traditional pyramidal economy. Well, it's appaerntly just gonna take a little longer. But its hell watching them try to keep their little toe-holds, in't it?

      So many laws and lawyers and schemes and provisions to hold back the dam!

      Boys oughta just step aside and let the information river flow freely; some people might lose their 'free lunch', but the rest of the world will finally realize the promise that was the internet.
  • DRM impossible (Score:2, Insightful)

    DRM usually relies on Encryption. Encryption itself has always depended on evolution. The idea that algorythms that need a system at least several orders more powerful than the one required to encrypt the data to break the data (without the key). DRM is a logistical nightmere, as it requires being able to run on last years hardware and next years regardless of the system invented next year.

    Secondly, effective DRM requires a central authority and encryption method which the media available locally will nearly always exceed the bandwidth. (HDTV today, UHDTV tomarrow...all on 1 ghz? probably not)

    • DRM usually relies on Encryption. Encryption itself has always depended on evolution. The idea that algorythms that need a system at least several orders more powerful than the one required to encrypt the data to break the data (without the key). DRM is a logistical nightmere, as it requires being able to run on last years hardware and next years regardless of the system invented next year.

      No, that is not the problem. Encryption, when used to keep third party eavesdroppers without the key from understanding your communications, works just fine.

      The problem is that DRM tries to keep the intended recipient, who must have the key (in a hidden form), from sharing the information. That is another problem and it is one that encryption is not good for.

  • A mirror for the zip (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mik!tAAt ( 217976 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @09:00AM (#2450989) Homepage
    Here's a mirror [] to the .zip file. Hope it helps.
  • by Rob Kaper ( 5960 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @09:00AM (#2450990) Homepage
    During a (anti-)DMCA presentation at school, the smartest question I got was
    the following: is fair use a birth right or simply a result of the sale

    If it's the latter, there's nothing we can do but informing people and
    refusing to buy products with fscked up sale contracts (limiting fair use).

    Maybe fair use is nothing more than a tradition and something we've grown
    used to. And not "right", by all means. Is the limitation in copyright
    (which it is) written in the books of law?

    • by firewort ( 180062 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @09:19AM (#2451041)
      Much of fair use comes from 17 USC 107:

      Sec. 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

      Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include -

      (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether
      such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit
      educational purposes;
      (2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
      (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in
      relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
      (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or
      value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

      The rest of fair use comes from tradition. What is codified here, we need to fight to protect. What rights we assert from tradition, we need to fight harder to codify.
      • by jms ( 11418 )
        Actually, fair use comes from the First Amendment. The concept of fair use was judicially created, and recognized long before it was codified when the copyright laws were rewritten in 1976.

        Let me explain.

        Copyright places a restriction on speech -- specifically, the right to repeat and build upon other people's speech. However, the First Amendment, passed after the original Constitution, outlaws the suppression of speech. It is a general principle of law that if a new law is passed that contradicts an older law, then that new law is considered to have superceeded or struck down the old law.

        So, the courts were faced with a dilemma. Either the First Amendment had outlawed the granting of copyrights, or some interpretation needed to be found that would allow the two to coexist. This led to the concept of "fair use" -- which essentially restricts copyright holders to controlling commercial use of their works. This is consistant with the doctrine that commercial speech may be less protected then expressive or non-commercial speech.

        So fair use serves a very important Constitutional role -- it is the doctrine that allows copyright to coexist with the First Amendment. It is NOT merely a statutory grant.

    • > During a (anti-)DMCA presentation at school, the smartest question I got was the following: is fair use a birth right or simply a result of the sale contract?

      Perhaps more to the point, is copyright a birthright, or simply the result of a legislative process that (supposedly) has the public's best interests as a guide?
    • Fair use is part of the copyright law itself. Its intention is to prevent people from having to pay to excerpt from works for educational or other purposes, and it's been interpreted to also include what's known as 'time-shifting'. Basically, you can record a broadcast or make oa copy of a work so that you can read, watch, or listen to it later. You can even share it with your friends, i.e. you can give/loan your ST:TNG tapes to a friend without having to pay Paramount. You can't sell them, however, or profit in any way from the exchange (or broadcast or whatever).

      The problems began when someone figured out how to share a copyrighted work with 16 million people at once... the fair use section of the copyright law makes no mention of scale, because it never occurred to anyone that you might be able to saturate the market with unlimited perfect copies while also charging $0.00 per copy.

      Of course it's not only possible, but easy and convenient. The root problem is, copyright enforcement and fair use of digital material are now mutually exclusive concepts. It's no longer possible to have both.

      So to answer your question, it's part of the law itself, and could conceivably be amended, repealed or restricted with new legislation. The holder of a copyright binds himself to the fair use doctrine when he applies for the copyright, not the purchaser when he agrees to an EULA or buys a work. 'Fair use' is not a right enumerated in the Constitution, though some may argue (convincingly IMHO) that perhaps it ought to be.
    • is fair use a birth right or simply a result of the sale contract?

      Before answering this question, you must first answer the question, "Is copyright a birth right, or simply the result of government fiat?".

      The free market governs the price of physical property by natural law; when I have this block of cheese, you cannot simultaneously have it. Therefore, if you want it, you must give me something which I value more, and you value less, than the block of cheese. Great system, and it is a natural byproduct of the laws of physics.

      Intellectual property does not follow these natural laws. Therefore, copyright is itself a fiat of government. Given that, everything regarding IP rights is a fiat of government and subject to the desires of the governed. There is no natural law regarding any part of IP law, including "fair use".
    • If fair use is a birthright, then they can't take it away from us.

      If fair use is a result of the sale contract, then they can take it away from us... but they won't. What kind of twisted record store is going to make me sign a contract (necessary to override the implicit contract of copyright law rights) before I walk out with a CD?

      Repeat after me:

      If you open the box, and see a piece of paper claiming that you have forfeited some rights, throw that piece of paper away. It is not a contract.

      If you start up a piece of software that you have completely paid for (e.g. there is no continuing online service), and you are supposed to click through some dreaded EULA before it will install, then unless you're in one of the damned UCITA states, ignore that EULA. It is not a contract.

      If someone wants to take away your rights, they need to do it with an actual contract, which can be read and agreed to by you before you give them your money!

      The current practice of deceiving people out of their rights with unenforceable legalese-sounding claims should be considered fraud. Can anyone out there afford to buy a congressman and get this looked into?

      Disclaimer: IANAL, and I suspect that the violations of corporate perogative above may be dangerous even if not violations of law. Don't blame me if you listen to some random Slashdot user and end up as the next Dimitri.
  • Not that useful (Score:4, Informative)

    by CProgrammer98 ( 240351 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @09:01AM (#2450991) Homepage
    This ONLY applies to version 2. The vast majority of protected fiels are protected with version 1. This code DOES NOT crack version 1 files, so it's not a good deal of use yet. I suspect that by the time v2 is in wide use, MS will have done something to stop this (see my other post about how MS can modify your software if you break the EULA)

    Of course, Linux users don't even have to worry about this.

  • by eulevik ( 258261 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @09:02AM (#2450995)
    Lots of people encode with WMA, reformat their machines or whatever and have lost their keys.

    Would it be possible for someone to use this work to create a fix for these people?

    • A while back, some really smart dudes discovered that this type of situation can be avoided by means that are far less complex than cracking, hacking, and other DMCA-unfriendly actions...


      Pure genius, if you ask me...
  • Nice timing (Score:3, Funny)

    by CaseyB ( 1105 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @09:03AM (#2450998)
    including a link to a downloadable zip file which contains source code, explanation and a small DOS utility.

    What a wonderfully timed response to Microsoft's recent complaint about releasing sample code []!

  • RTFPPINZ ! (Score:5, Funny)

    by kc0dby ( 522118 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @09:04AM (#2451000) Homepage
    PPINZ you ask? Philosophy Paper In The Zip. Pretty good read, if you ask me. An Excerpt- Making a copy of an item doesn't in any way remove that item from the original possessor, so "theft" is clearly an inaccurate terminology. However, the publishers' insistence on using that word, and the public's acceptance of it, means that a much more negative light is cast on an action that, while wrong, is nowhere near the severity of a true "theft." After reading this I feel I owe the world an apology. Dear World. I am profoundly sorry for 'stealing' all that music. I am not a selfish person, but apparently I am an ignorant one. Here, all this time I thought I was copying all that music, not moving it. And to think, all those songs I have on my hard drive are no longer held by the publishers and radio stations. I was beginning to wonder if the worlds tastes were suddenly changing, as all I heard were boy bands and implanted teenage girls on the radio. Now, I come to find, that I am the reason for this trend. All the good songs are on my hard drive, and this is all the publishers had left. They even went to the extent of "manufacturing" artists to compensate for all those I have stolen from them. For this as well, I apologize. I know this music sucks, and nobody should have to listen to it, but in my ignorance I thought the old standbys would remain, even if I downloaded them. And to think of the moral implications of downloading the music of deceased artists. Never again will these songs be heard! I will be burning all of these songs to CDR and mailing them to the RIAA, so that we may have the beautiful music of our culture again. Sorry O-town, I have a feeling you'll be the first to go.
  • by Nindalf ( 526257 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @09:05AM (#2451004)
    To me, fair use rights aren't a big concern. If you can see it or hear it, you can get an adequate sample for fair use with a cheap camera or audio recorder. You don't need perfect digital video samples to make your point for a review.

    The larger issue here is this desperate attempt to cling to a ridiculously outdated and inefficient method of securing profit in return for desirable intellectual production.

    Put in simple terms, DRM hurts our economy. Very, very badly.

    Economic growth comes from improvements of efficiency, clearing out the dead wood and finding a use for it elsewhere. Following the analogy, DRM is better systems of stakes and cables holding the dead wood from being carted off.

    There is a whole ridiculous, unproductive structure built around milking every penny out of copyrighted works. This is justified essentially by accusing every citizen of the stupidest kind of miserliness, unwilling to give a dime to make they're favorite movie studio make another next year, but willing to pay a dollar as long as you don't let them into the theater otherwise.

    Yes, there are people out there like that, but I don't believe they're the majority for a second!

    The tools [] are out there, and could be supported and working everywhere in weeks if people want them to be. Don't like the details of that system? Propose another. It's not rocket science: donation doesn't need real-time verification, so it's an easy problem, as long as we agree on some system.

    Once people get in the habit of freely parting with their pocket change for things that they'd gladly pay much more for, copyright will be a ridiculous anachronism, and we can finally get on with reaping the benefits of the information age.

    • You claim that copying in an analogue format is sufficient for fair use rights exercises.

      That's fine and well, but analog formats are slowly being phased out and replaced with digital ones. When all the analogue equipment is gone, what will you use to exercise your right, then?
    • You know, I wrote a long reply to this post which keeps getting rejected by the Slashdot engine because of an "Invalid form key". So I'm condensing a reply one last time.

      The evidence that your proposed donation system won't work is in the very records of donations to the site you advertise ( A measly $5.60 has been collected for this tool which you purport can take the place of conventional payment schemes. If people are so willing to pay for things they find useful but do not have to pay for, why isn't raking in the money ?
    • Yes, there are people out there like that, but I don't believe they're the majority for a second!

      And I do believe that the majority of people are MORE THAN WILLING to download MP3s of songs they have never purchased. I believe that lots of people are buying CD burners ONLY to burn verbatim copies of their friends' CDs, or to burn discs full of songs they downloaded off Napster (songs which they never bought), and that almost all CD-R media sold goes towards this purpose. I believe that the "people are willing to pay for it if you give them a chance" hyperbole here is nothing more than hyperbole, spouted off by people who more often than not also possess MP3s/CDs to which they have no claim of fair use.

      I say this because the vast majority of people I know with computers do this as well, or are always asking their friends to do it for them. And before you charge me with having particularly dishonest acquaintances, I challenge you to take a good, honest look around at the people you know - are you really trying to say that the majority of them own all the CDs containing the songs in their MP3 collection ? I doubt it.

      I also believe that most - perhaps the majority - of people would be more than willing to steal *real*, physical goods, if there was no fear of repercussion and if there was no way they could be caught or identified (as is the case with MP3s and the like now). Look at all the apparently normal people who engage in looting in times when the police obviously would not be able to do anything about it. I'm specifically thinking of situations like the LA riots, where lots of normal people (and lots of thugs, also, to be sure), looted everything in sight wherever they could do so freely. This is why we have locks on our doors. This is why we have security systems and surveillance. Would you have this "dead wood" cleared as well ? Do you have equal confidence that the store in the mall would be in business a month from now if they just put all their merchandise out in an empty store, fielded queries through videoconferencing to a remote site, and just put out a donation box for payments, with no security at all ?

      Come on, the record studios aren't stupid, despite what many would like to believe. There are some extremely smart, well-educated, and business-and-tech-savvy people in their ranks, and they are all charged with the responsibility of making good business decisions for their (rightfully) self-interested companies. If there really was evidence that most people were willing to pay for music then there is no way they would waste time trying to implement rights management. If there really was evidence that they could make as much money by pure electronic distribution, sans rights management, they would do it in a second. The very need to implement these schemes points to the fallacies in your assumption that the majority of people are willing to engage in a donation system, or even that the majority of people are willing to pay for things they could easily steal for free.

      As for your claims that "DRM hurts our economy...very badly", well I have to basically leave that since you provide no evidence - just faith - that the absence of DRM would HELP the economy. I can't see how preventing people from illegally distributing and copying music and software they don't own can possibly HELP the economy.
      • The whole industry was created to satisfy a market: the desire to pay for quality music. When that market was established, very few had the ability to promote, record, manufacture and distribute music. Large companies grew up to fill that niche, where economies of scale made music available to the masses.

        The problem is that the major premises have gone away. The internet allows easy promotion and distribution. The cost of decent caliber recording equipment has come down and many independent sound studios exist that cater to home-town artists. MP3s and Ogg Vorbis reduces the manufacturing requirements to a computer and compression software. If a CD is requested, the cost to burn a CD is less than a couple of dollars, including the shipping.

        The music industry as we have known it is based on premises that no longer are based in real world technical or logistical limitations. They realize that the only way to continue their existance is to artificially constrain access to their product. If they do not, they will continue to lose potential business to the artists who choose to publish themselves and to the businesses who cater to them.

        The US constitution grants patents and copyrights to promote science and the useful arts. If they are using copyright law to limit the spread of good music by closing down distribution and manufacturing channels that are more efficient than their own methods, then they are doing so illegaly. I don't see how it is possible to promote a useful art by constraining its difusion.

      • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @12:25PM (#2451885)
        > As for your claims that "DRM hurts our economy...very badly", well I have to basically leave that since you provide no evidence - just faith - that the absence of DRM would HELP the economy. I can't see how preventing people from illegally distributing and copying music and software they don't own can possibly HELP the economy.

        Really? Consider this:

        Suppose I produce $50,000 worth of code in a year. My employer hands me a fat check. After taxes and living expenses, I have about $10,000.

        Scenario 1: I purchase 588 compact discs (at $17 each, for $10,000) of RIAA-approved content.

        • Some artists get $600 to spend on tax, living expenses, guitars, and syntheziers.
        • The music seller gets about $2500 or so. He buys food with it.
        • A CD pressing factory gets about $1000. They buy fancy chemicals and mastering equipment with it.
        • Hilary Rosen and her friends get about $4100 to spend on hookers and booze Congresscritters, to pass more laws to restrict my freedom.
        Scenario 2: I download the music "for free".
        • A premium USENET provider gets $500 to buy servers and fat pipes with.
        • My ISP gets $500 to buy servers and fat pipes with.
        • 588 CDs is about 700 hours of music, and at 192kbps. A CD-R pressing factory gets about $50 for a spindle of 200 quality CD-Rs. (one for originals, one for backups)
        • A hard drive manufacturer gets $250 for a 100G drive.
        • I drop about $1000 on hardware - mostly wiring and cabling and speakers - and wire my entire house for sound. When my friends can hear any song they want, in any room of the house they want, any time they want, they ph33r me, and want to do the same themselves.
        • Oh, shit, I still have $7700 left!
        • ...$7100 when I'm paying $600 through Fairtunes.
        • In the pretense of evening this out, I decide I'm willing to operate under the same economic handicap that Hilary Rosen has, so I drop the $4100 to EFF and let them buy Congresscritters instead.
        • Even after this, I still have $3000 of capital left over to invest in an IPO - the direct funding of new ideas and businesses.

        Now... explain to me again why paying $17 per CD is good for overall economic growth?

  • by FeatherBoa ( 469218 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @09:10AM (#2451021)
    are exposed in Beale Screamer's Technical Details document enclosed in the Zip:

    Microsoft has decided to use the non-alphanumeric character '*'
    instead of '/', and '!' instead of '+' in some places, and in other
    places they replace '/' with '@' and '!' with '%'. This means that
    any software dealing with these strings cannot use a standard Base64
    decoder, but must use a custom-build decoder.

  • by derrickh ( 157646 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @09:11AM (#2451022) Homepage
    I'll put this in the same folder as DeCSS. I wonder how much money it cost to develop MSdrm? All that cash...wasted.Buahahahaha

  • Copyright Regulation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by javilon ( 99157 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @09:16AM (#2451035) Homepage
    I really like the quote he/she makes on the Philosophy paper:

    "One final quote from Vaidhyanathan, this time talking directly about
    the DMCA:

    This law has one major provision that upends more than 200 years
    of democratic copyright law. It forbids the "cracking" of
    electronic gates that protect works - even those portions of works
    that might be in the public domain or subject to fair use. It puts
    the power to regulate copying in the hands of engineers and the
    companies that employ them.

    As it happens, this is an "autoemployed" engineer using the power that the U.S.A. laws have given engineers to regulate the use of this copirighted material, in this case allowing access to it :-)

  • Would that more coders/hacktavists/1337 h@X0rs were so informed, and so capable of forming a cogent argument that Joe Q. Public might actually understand. Congrats for a piece of good software, and BRAVO for an excellent posistion paper.

    I can only hope that someone in the mainstream media picks up on this aspect... in a perfect world, the NY Times would publish it as an Op-Ed column.
  • by WildBeast ( 189336 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @09:20AM (#2451045) Journal
    I cracked the thing the first time I used it. I don't know about other versions but with Windows Media Player 8, the first time you start copying a CD to WMA it'll ask you if you want to use the Digital Rights Management and explains what the whole thing is. I simply answered NO.

    Sometimes you people are too complicated.
  • Another zip mirror (Score:2, Informative)

    by shut_up_man ( 450725 )
    Since the reg seems pretty clogged, here's a copy of the zip [].

    shut up man
  • I think that it would be appropriate to queue up:


    Roll out the barrel... We'll have a barrel of fun...
  • Zip file mirror (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @09:36AM (#2451080)
    Register is handling its slasdotting with grace... but not perfectly. Here's a mirror of the zipfile. It contains an EXE and several C src files. []
  • "We've got a few feelers out, and hope very much that he'll submit to an interview soon."
    I sincerely hope they don't find him, because if they do, how easy would it be for microsofts $$$?

    I am very impressed with this efford, keep up the good work and for the love of god please don't make us wear "free Beale Screamer" t-shits....
  • Before you mod me down for been flaimbait, please read... Let say I am part of an up and comming pop band, and manage to put together enough money to release a limited set of CD's to the masses. We would have to pay Rec. Studio costs, cd replication, shiping, marketing, etc etc. Now, I would find it would piss me off should within the first days of release, the my track ended up on Gnutella, available for download by anyone for nothing.... But, what pisses me off even more, is that DRM wasn't invented to protect the rights of bands, but rather the profits of the record companies. What there should be is a format of music, that 'pseudorandom' noise can be added to at the time of recording, by whoever decides to record it. The music would still be listenable, but be of poor quality. - The pseudo-noise, can be removed by entering a key, that is purchased from the band (for a few $ at most). At this point, however, not only will the sound file become clear, but a id that is tied to keycode will be added to the sound file (This would be 'noise', but hopefully inaudiable to none but the most sensitive ears. It would be mathematically difficult to decide what is keycode, and what is ID. Should 'in the clear' music be found on gnutella, then the author can trace who purchased the code, via the ID, and take relevent legal action against them. This is how shareware works at the moment, Eg, I Download some 'cripple' ware, and should I like it, I pay the author for it, after all, they deserve it. I am usually unwilling to share the unlocked program with others as if my unlocked program ended up on a warzes site, and author finds out, (from the registration info) then I could well be in deep trouble! I am sure that this must be possible, and it will give a huge finantial gain to the people who make good music, rather than the record lables who skim the profits off other peoples work.
    • This really is a wonderful idea, and I love it... but how long will it take before this is hacked?
      If they can make a furby talk english [] they can also hack this... ;-)
      I also think that most people that love music or the band will buy their music, and the people that pirate it would never have bought it in the first place, so why spend millions of dollars on some kind of encryption that will be hacked in a few weeks (at most) anyway?
    • 1) since you're an up and coming pop band, where are you going to get your promotion/exposure from?

      2) if people are downloading your stuff that means you might actually be good

      3) if you are good and people are downloading your stuff, some people will want to buy your stuff and go to your concerts

      4) if people dont know about you they wont purchase anything from you

      so how do you want it?

      (thanks to napster/gnutella/ I have found MANY new up and coming artists, and have bought their stuff... stuff I wouldnt have bought if I hadnt heard of them...
    • THis is the wrong place to argue this point. Slashdotters only want free stuff. If it costs anything they will try to find a way to get is for free. They don't care about you as an artist. To them, you should be thankful that they listen to your music. If they pity you enough they'll send in a few dollars through that website that takes contributions for starving artists and musicians.

      As an artist you don't need money. You're doing this for the love of music. All the kids who dream of being rich rock stars aren't real musicians. Real musicians starve. Besides the music isn't yours. Once you burn a CD and sell it, it's theirs. They can buy one CD from you and share is with 10,000 of their closest friends over the internet. If you're lucky you'll sell it to enough people to pay back the cost of the PC and the CD burner. Then you'll have to worry about the rent, food and musical instruments.
    • Of course, when I hear something that sounds like sh*t, I don't buy it. I suppose if you're using just a traditional "singer/guitars/bass/drums" lineup it's probably not that big of a deal, but how can I make a decision whether or not I like Autechre or Aphex Twin if the music SOUNDS bad? Go listen to the sound samples available at Amazon or CDNow for more experimental bands, and then buy the albums. Did the samples give you anywhere NEAR a good feel as to what the music sounds like? Absolutely not.

      On a more philosophical note, you're complaining about the possibility of having your stuff found on Gnutella, and then you're out however much money the downloader's theoretically not spending on you anymore. I can't speak for anyone but myself, but personally, getting me to like your music is the absolute best thing you could possibly do. If I download your music and like it, you can be sure that eventually I'm going to buy it. I don't listen to radio or watch MTV, so how do I find new music? Online. Through file-sharing systems. But I like owning CDs. I like the tangible feel of them. Maybe I won't purchase the album I downloaded, but you can bet I'll purchase the next one. If I like you enough, I tend to become rather completist, too. I'll end up with every last EP you've ever put out, just because I'm that obsessive about it.

      Now without your songs ending up on my hard drive, how am I going to know you even exist? Your argument is based on an assumption that if I download your music, I'll never give you any money. That's just not true.

  • by Kamel Jockey ( 409856 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @09:44AM (#2451098) Homepage
    This kid we had interning with us for a few months. Said using MS Visual C++'s built in RSA encyrption schemes was "too hard" so he thought he could go and write "something better" in 3 hours. :)

    I'm just gonna stick with Windows 98 First Edition for now hehehehe
  • Another mirror (Score:2, Informative)

    by rbb ( 18825 )
    I've got a mirror up and running containing both the The Register article and the zip file []. mirror []

  • emtool/ []

    For link-wary: emtool/
  • Does anyone think this is useful? Yes, M$ has the right to sell whatever fucked up version of protected audio there is, and publishers have the right to *ATTEMPT* to market this crap. We have the right to refuse to buy it, and show them it won't sell. But what purpose does this crack have? Yes, I guess it shows that besides not being popular, it's also no secure... but won't people just use this to go rip protected .WMA files now?

    Hmm, I guess actually this ties in pretty closely with some points announced in microsoft's argument against "full-disclosure". Some would argue unless this stuff is widely deployed (the crack that is), then the music publishers won't ever beleieve it's been "broken", since theoretically breaking something doesnt pose much of a financial risk.

    But you still have the equivelent of the "script-kiddy" mentality at work here. How many people do you think are downloading this right now, so they can go get the latest Christina Aguilera album online, then crack it and "release" it to their l33t w4rez group? *sigh*

  • DRM stands for Doesn't Really Matter?

    (ya, ya, Digital Rights Management... wait a sec, People have Rights, how the #$%^&* do digits/bits/code get Rights?)

    Ok, wait just a fscking minute here, a brief recap for those who missed it:
    1) Court says "Code is not free speech", correct?
    2) Code, on paper (analog), or compiled or not is in 'digital' form, is still not free speech. (yes/no?)
    3) if code is not free speech, and free speech is a *human* right, someone explain to me how the phrase/buzzword "Digital Rights" came to be accepted.

    Apologies for the lateral thinking and leaps of logic. Sorta like "here, look at the shiny object in my left hand...smack with the right".

    When it comes to the "Battle of the Bits" 'we' are winning, but in the arena (no, not q3 arena) of Law and Language, 'we' are losing (or loosing as the incorrect/common use goes).

    Two outta 3 ain't bad, but we only got the one win, arugh.


  • by Telek ( 410366 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @10:40AM (#2451309) Homepage
    Let me ask one question...

    You have a DRM technology that is OBVIOUSLY crackable (as all are), and a stupid industry that has just decided that they should use this technology, but hasn't yet implemented it in many places yet.

    Do you:

    A) crack it NOW and therefore allow the industry to quickly switch to a "better" scheme because it's not implemented yet
    B) wait until it's in use everywhere and THEN crack it once it's too late for them to switch back?

    What do you think would have happened if CSS was cracked after the first 2 DVDs were released? They would have changed the scheme really quickly.

    HAVE PATIENCE. WAIT until THEY CANNOT SWITCH BACK, and then hack to your hearts desire.

    Argh. This just puts more ammo in the pockets of the industries to give us MORE RESTRICTIONS instead of a stupid scheme that doesn't really hamper things a lot and can be cracked AFTER they commit.

    Argh. Sorry needed to vent.
  • Enjoy! []

  • Well I tried it.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blowdart ( 31458 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @10:52AM (#2451378) Homepage

    Well as I'm working on stuff based around the MS DRM platform right now (look just shut up ok?), I was interested to see if it would work. From the comments here it looks like no-one tried it yet.

    Guess what. It doesn't work. At all. I generated a whole bunch of protected files, with varying license rules, and it couldn't work with any of them.

    Still, the technical documentation was a nice read.

    It's bound to be cracked at some stage, this just isn't it. Even microsoft themselves say that there are ways to get around it, unfuck for example.

  • Hello there Beale Screamer. I just want to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your recent work, which was great. Keep up the good work, and stay low.

    eloj bows.

  • FreeMe mirror [] ack.html

  • by ssimpson ( 133662 ) <slashdot&samsimpson,com> on Friday October 19, 2001 @11:58AM (#2451716) Homepage


    * 2001-10-18 23:08:39 Microsoft Digital Rights Management broken? (articles,news) (rejected)

    Yeah, I'm the person who spotted this on sci.crypt and got it mirrored on

    If Slashdot would have published my story last night then they'd have been breaking the news rather than chasing after the register. Sigh.

  • Excellent! (Score:3, Funny)

    by sulli ( 195030 ) on Friday October 19, 2001 @12:17PM (#2451847) Journal
    Now I can listen to WMAs!

    Oh, wait, I don't have any! Oh well.

"Remember, extremism in the nondefense of moderation is not a virtue." -- Peter Neumann, about usenet