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Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

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April 15, 2005

PyMusique Hackers Back to Crack Napster

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The group of coders that created a DRM-free interface to Apple's iTunes is now doing the same for Napster.

Derek Slater has the scoop in two posts: Napster's WMA DRM Cracked? and The Cracking of Napster WMA DRM. The latter post answers questions about the modus operandi and raison d'etre -- the fruits of Slater's AIM chat interview with one of the coders, Cody Brocious:


Cody and co. are apparently very near an implementation of a utility that will allow people to turn songs acquired through Napster Light (the a la carte service) and Premium (the non-portable subscription service) into unencrypted files. You have to have paid for the songs first to do this circumvention, because the keys have to be retrieved from Napster. This tool will actually circumvent and remove the DRM, rather than recording from the sound card or employing other similar workarounds to create unencrypted files.

[...]

Cody sees his actions as "ethical," irrespective of legality, and he is willing to "fight the DMCA." He wants to be able to play his lawfully acquired Napster music on Linux.

Comments (4) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Laws and Regulations


COMMENTS

1. Neo on April 15, 2005 6:23 PM writes...

They cracked the WMA DRM? It was inevitable I supposed. Microsoft's DRM is nastier and more restrictive than Apple's; it came from Microsoft, after all. One expects it's also less secure than Apple's; it comes from Microsoft, after all. And we've recently seen that Apple's is no great shakes. Not a big surprise then that Microsoft's is cracked quickly. The real surprise is that Microsoft's wasn't cracked before Apple's. :)

Permalink to Comment

2. jbelkin on April 16, 2005 3:48 PM writes...

No one has bothered to try to crack the WMA DRM since hardly anyone is buying any of the tracks. Loudeye, the big Euro supplier to DOZENS of WMA stores was happily trumping they sold 500,000 TYD! Then Apple enters the Euro market and sells 1-million tracks in 2 weeks. It would like designing a crack for LIQUID AUDIO - no one would care.

Permalink to Comment

3. Reggi on April 17, 2005 2:10 AM writes...

Neo says it is suprizing that Apple's DRM was cracked before MicroSofts.

That shouldn't be surprizing at all. In fact, it bears out the law of hacking - that the majority SW holder will be hacked first, and more often.

iTunes and Apple's DRM music is the leader of the pack, thus the biggest target - not MicroSofts WMA. Thus Apple's DRM becomes the main focus of hacking.

Permalink to Comment

4. BC on April 18, 2005 1:03 AM writes...

PyMusique didn't "crack" Apple's FairPlay DRM. They created a Linux front end to Apple's iTunes Music Store which--not by intent, and to their surprise-- bypassed the application of DRM to the songs being downloaded.

Permalink to Comment


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