Dale Dietrich
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Microsoft’s PlayForSure DRM Successfully Hacked

Categories: DRM Arms RaceDRM Circumvention

Like Hymn did to iTunes' "FairPlay" in the past, FairUse4WM does to Microsoft's PlayForSure DRM. Engadget and others are reporting that FairUse4WM successfully strips out Windows Media Player's DRM 10 and 11, but not DRM 9. There is little doubt that Microsoft will quickly address this issues as Apple did before it (see "Apple Brings Discord to Hymn" on January 13, 2005).

Dale's Comment: With Hymn, the purchaser of music was able to strip out iTunes copy-protection technology so that the purchaser can exercise their fair use rights with their purchased content on any device. To the extent FairUse4WM does this for purchased content I believe the law should permit its use. However, use of FairUse4WM on songs accessed through music subscription services (such as Napster) hardly seems fair. The idea behind these services is that users are paying for short term rentals only – not purchases. As such, there is no credible fair use argument that can be made in the music rental case. The user is not purchasing the songs and therefore has no fair right to continue using the music after the subscription period is over. While I oppose DMCA-like Technological Protective Measures (TPM) restrictions on the consumer's use of content that is purchased by consumers, contrary to argument made in Engadget's open letter to Mirosoft, I wholly support it in the context of content rented by consumers via subscription services. In any event, I suspect like Apple before it, Microsoft will quickly send out a patch to nullify FairUse4WM.

Sources: Engadget | Engadget 2 (open letter to MS) | Gizmodo | eHomeUpgrade | techdirt

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