According to an article on CNN Money, Jon Johansen, the hacker who cracked the DVD encryption, (aka DVD Jon) has now broken the ironically named FairPlay. FairPlay is the Digital Rights Management (DRM) software which Apple puts on songs sold through its iTunes store – this DRM stops songs bought through iTunes playing on devices other than an iPod.
DRM is an evil, market restricting, anti-consumer device (why shouldn’t I be able to play DVDs bought in the US on my DVD player in Ireland?).
Any and all cracking of DRM should be applauded.
Way to go Jon.
14 thoughts on “FairPlay cracked”
Settle down cowboy. DRM doesn’t just protect media companies it also keeps your private data private.
It seems to me that “DVD Jon” has cracked FairPlay with the intent, at least in part, of selling his own implementation of it to companies other than Apple which wish to “sell copy-protected songs that play on the iPod.”
My opinion of DRM is that it is a necessary evil. While I agree with you that it is ludicrous that a DVD purchased in the US will not played on a European DVD player, I can see its merit when it comes to online sales of music, particularly the model Apple uses for iTunes.
I don’t think that iTunes/iPod would have been anything like as successful as it is now if it hadn’t been for DRM. The music companies would never have come on board, as by selling non-DRM’d music, it would be effectively the same as giving the music away.
The DRM Apple uses is to my mind quite fair. You can load the music you buy from the iTS on to five computers and as many iPods as you like, and burn up to seven copies onto CD. If that doesn’t suit you, there is nothing stopping you buying a CD instead and ripping that to your iTunes Library and using it as you wish. (Or of course, you can buy from a non-DRM’d source like emusic.com) If you could only play DRM-protected music purchased from iTS on your iPod, then yes, that would indeed suck.
If you buy an album in the iTS, you’re usually getting it for a good bit less than if you bought a CD in a shop or on Amazon, and you get it there and then.
There are two banks to this river – on the one side there is the consumer who wants to be able to play the music they legally purchase as they wish, and on the other side there are the artists and record companies who want to be able to distribute their music without it becoming a free-for-all. A well thought-out DRM system is the fairest compromise to bridge that river.
I wonder Tom, if you were a professional musician, would you make a statement like “Any and all cracking of DRM should be applauded.”
Or would you react to someone stealing your music like you react to someone stealing your bandwidth? 😉
You can’t play US regios DVDs in Ireland, because the RIAA said so.
Now, sit down, and be happy!
LOL – Good answer Gerry.
I think there’s an important distinction though. If anyone steals a service I’m paying for, I’ll get mad – same as if I found someone siphoning the petrol from my car.
However, the content I create on this site and on my podcasts is given away freely under a Creative Commons Licence. And that content is my “music” – so if I was a musician, I’d be giving my music away, not trying to DRM it.
I can’t remember where, but I once heard a very insightful comment on the iTMS, and DRM.
In reality, it’s not the music you’re buying; it’s the licence to use it legally – the DRM. You can get the music anywhere, in the real world or through numerous online sources. When you buy a song through iTunes, what you’re really buying is the right to have it on up to five computers at a time, or un any number of ipods, or to burn as many times as you like (although only up to ten times, before re-ordering your playlist).
Technically, you have more rights with music you buy from the iTMS than when you buy a CD in Ireland. In ireland, there is no “fair-use” provision in Copyright law (as exists in the USA), which means you can’t legally rip music to a hard drive, or make a mix-cd, or transfer CD tracks to an MP3 player. You can with iTMS tracks.
Personally, I think the iTMS DRM is a necessary evil to get the labels onside, and I wish they would change a number of things about how it works. Including the price. But it’s not likely.
Here’s two links to backup my point:
Sunday Business Post article
I’m guessing that the content of this blog and your podcasts are not major sources of income for you, (the advertising generated by both might well be, but that’s another issue entirely). So I can’t see how you are comparing licencing your content here under a CCL with a musician/record company selling music with DRM protection.
If making music was your livelihood, and you depended on the sale of that music to put food on your family’s table, you wouldn’t be giving it away, would you? And you would go to reasonable lengths to make sure that no-one else did either, surely?
Funnily enough Gerry, you are guessing incorrectly!
The advertising nets me next to nothing but the speaking and consulting gigs I get from the blogging and the podcasts are where I earn the majority of my income.
Similar to the concerts a musician gets booked for on the back of their music.
OK, I can see where you’re coming from, Tom. Apologies for the incorrect assumption.
But I still maintain that comparing your output in this blog (protected by CCL), to a musician’s recorded output (protected by DRM), is not comparing like with like.
Musicians (well, the established ones anyway) don’t give away their recorded music in order to make money from gigs, the rough equivalent of what you do. Sales of their recorded output is part of their income, and (in my opinion anyway) they are entitled to go to reasonable lengths in order to protect that revenue stream.
I don’t particularly like DRM, but the region encoding of DVDs is not entirely the same thing. DRM stops you from playing media unless you have a license. Regional encoding attempts to stop you playing US DVDs on Irish DVD players (and vice-versa). It’s not the same thing.
Michele, you better go into the Wikipedia definition of DRM (specifically the portion dealing with CSS) and edit the following entry so it corresponds to your definition in that case:
Only catching this thread now. Hopefully somebody is still reading! 🙂
Gerry, have you ever considered why it’s only the record companies, not the artists, that ever get excited about piracy and DRM?
Consider that artists typically get about 5% of the retail price of a CD; the retailer and record company split the rest 50-50.
Consider that artists increasingly see the value of not treating their fans like freeloaders and criminals.
A freedom that works: the upside of download – Janis Ian
Slashdot | Canadian Music Stars Fight Against DRM
Consider that artists increasingly realise that they don’t even need record companies; that they can cut out the middleman and deal direct with their fans.
Who needs record companies? – CNN
The reality is that record companies are trying to use DRM to prop up a very profitable (for them) but increasingly untenable business model.
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