Microsoft plugs DRM hole

Written by Brett Thomas

August 29, 2006 | 14:29

Tags: #drm #engadget #wma #wmv

"Plays for Sure" just got redefined to "Plays Anywhere You Want" last Friday, when Engadget released a short blurb about a new program that was taking the DRM off of Windows Media files everywhere. If you haven't heard of it until now, though, save your bandwidth - Microsoft has now already closed the gap.

The program, called FairUse4WM, successfully pulls the copy protection off of most WM files, including those downloaded by internet radio subscription services like Napster. Though we here at Bit-tech haven't tried it, the guys at Engadget say that they "tried FairUse4WM and we can verify that it quickly and easily stripped the DRM from our Napster To Go tracks, and made them freely available to play on our Mac (which, of course, has Flip4Mac installed)." Pretty neat, huh?

Of course, there is a problem when a big site like Engadget picks up underground news like FairUse4WM - it thrusts the program into the limelight, right under Microsoft's nose. The writer further went on to explain how "easy" and "lossless" the process was, which is practically thumbing one's nose at Microsoft's "Plays for Sure" crew. I'm sure that helped light the fires under some people's rears in Redmond...some techs over at MS must have been busy little bees this weekend, because there is already a patch that has been released to service providers, rendering the software useless.

There's a reason that most sites don't post specific coverage of things like this program, aside from the fact that programs like FairUse4WM have pretty much no legal popular and easy a piracy tool (of any form) is directly relates to how short a lifespan it has. As it stands, we're back to "Plays for Sure" for the (assuredly short) time being.

Got a thought on Engadget's report, or Microsoft's quick response? Let us know in the forums.
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