Microsoft working to update Windows Media DRM cracked by FairUse4WM

“Microsoft has said it is working to close a breach of its technology that protects music digital files from copyright infringement,” The BBC reports. “A program called Fairuse4wm has been posted on the net and is said to be capable of bypassing Microsoft’s Digital Rights Management (DRM) system.”

“It could spell problems for internet music shops, potentially enabling users to download unlimited files,” The Beeb reports.

“Microsoft said it hoped to deploy an update to fix the problem soon. DRM is used to control people’s access to digital data. It is commonly employed on music downloading sites to restrict the use of music purchased and downloaded online to ensure copyright is not infringed,” The Beeb reports.

The Beeb reports, “The program apparently strips Windows Media audio (wma) files of Microsoft’s DRM 10 or 11 protection, removing any usage restrictions.”

The Beeb reports., “Marcus Matthias, senior product manager, Windows Client Division, said: “Microsoft is aware that a tool recently surfaced that circumvents Windows Media Digital Rights Management technology. ‘Fortunately, the Windows Media DRM system has built-in renewability, we have an update to address the circumvention, and are working with our partners to deploy this solution.'”

“Some internet music sites, including Napster, offer monthly subscription services where users can download an unlimited amount of music. This is controlled by DRM technology, so if a payment is missed, the user can no longer listen to any of their songs,” The Beeb reports. But by removing DRM protection from the files, users could potentially download and keep many files. Microsoft was not available for immediate comment.”

Full article, in which Jupiter Research analyst Mark Mulligan hilariously and ridiculously calls Microsoft “the big gorilla of the digital media space,” here.

Related articles:
Microsoft’s PlaysForSure cracked: FairUse4WM strips Windows Media DRM – August 25, 2006


  1. In terms of desktop penetration and ubiquity…they are. They just haven’t managed to get much traction as a revenue generator for the company through its DRM licenses.

    You don’t think that if MS were to put out an “update” that “broke” iTunes and/or iTMS that Apple would feel it?

  2. HA HA

    We have been downloading terabytes of songs for months and have been using this crack for the last few before someone made it public.

    We are now selling Mp3 filled 60GB iPods by genre on the black market for $200 over what a new iPod costs.

    I love this company >>>Microsoft

  3. Just for fun, after this was originally announced the other day on MDN I downloaded and installed Napster and Urge on windows xp I’ve got running in parallels. Besides the fact that it was a weird, and sometimes painful install process, both programs “felt” weird. Probably because I’m a mac man.

    I opened both, downloaded one song each, and tried out the FairUse4WM. It worked with Napster, but not the Urge version. And it actually doesn’t strip the DRM of the original file. It copies the music into a new file that has no DRM on it. So if you have a large music library this require a lot of space, or consistent throwing away of DRM’d music.

    Then the whole process of trying to convert it from WMA to ACC was too confusing, then how do I get it off the windows portion and onto the mac portion of my machine.

    It’s just too much of a hassle ripping off music.

    I’ll stick with paying .99 a song with Itunes thank you.

  4. Let’s see if the liberal commie media goes after this one the way they went after Apple’s iTunes!

    Yeah! Those Liberal Communists suck! I prefer the Conservative Communists. Those guys really knew how to throw a military parade! Swift justice via mock trials and Kangaroo Courts, Secret Police, parties in the Kremlin… ahhh… th’ good ol’ days…

    “Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out,
    They leave the West behind.
    And Moscow girls make me sing and shout…
    That Georgia’s always on muh-muh-muh-muh-my mind!!”

  5. All of this DRM crap sucks. Its easy to get around any of it if you want to. None of it will ever work. Let the artist make most of their mony on tour like they have always done. Screw iz and the Dixie Chicks too. Well at least one of then is worth screwing.

  6. It was still working with Napster downloads as of last night, I’ll have to check it again once I get home from work to see if they’ve closed the loophole yet.

    As for the conversion process, it’s quite simple actually. All you have to do is import the the DRM-stripped music files into iTunes for Windows, and it will automatically convert them from WMA to AAC. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  7. This may be the end for subscription-based music “rental” services. Even if Microsoft does plug this hole, the DRM will be circumvented again, no doubt. The flaw is that users can download an unlimited number of song files. Restricting access to those files, after the user has them, is the weakest link. Apple’s DRM is not necessarily more secure than Microsoft’s, but potential damage is limited by not allowing unlimited downloads.

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