p2pnet.net News:- A week ago Jon Lech Johansen (yep – that Jon Johansen : ) posted the FAAD2 DRMS patch FAAD2 2.0 (an AAC decoder) that included an old version of the VideoLAN DRMS code (download the latest version here).
Now, “an anonymous developer has released a M4P decryptor called playfair which uses the updated FAAD2 DRMS code,” says Johansen on his blog.
And, “Wow. The storm has begun,” he/she [the author] says.
“I have been contacted by the New York Times and CNet for interviews, as well as a professor at CMU and someone at macrovision.com. What people aren’t paying attention to, of course, is that *I* did not crack the DRM. Jon Lech Johansen (http://nanocrew.net/) did.”
When Apple opened the iTunes Music Store, they incorporated a technology called FairPlay, says the developer, who’s keeping his/her identity under wraps to avoid being prosecuted under DMCA.
“FairPlay is a Digital Rights Management (DRM) system that limits a users rights on a digital media file that they’ve purchased and presumably downloaded. In the case of Apple’s iTunes Music Store, when a user downloads an audio track from iTMS, it is a “Protected AAC Audio File”. When used as intended, these files can only be played through the iTunes program itself. Furthermore, a particular computer must first be ‘authorized”‘ to play the given file. FairPlay allows up to three computers and unlimited Apple iPods to be authorized to play the file. As DRM schemes go, FairPlay is only moderately offensive.”
Playfair takes one of the iTMS Protected AAC Audio Files, decodes it using a key obtained from your iPod or Microsoft Windows system and then writes the new, decoded version to disk as a regular AAC Audio File, says Playfair’s creator, continuing that it then “optionally copies the metadata tags that describe the song, including the cover art, to the new file.”
But, surely, this encourages piracy?
“First of all, I buy all of my music,” says the author in a FAQ here.
“In fact, most of the music I buy I buy from the iTunes Music Store. However, I want to be able to play the music I buy wherever I want to play it without quality loss, since I PAID FOR that quality. I want musicians to make money. I want Apple to make money. I don’t condone sharing music through P2P networks with the masses, though I believe making a mix CD or playlist for a friend is okay. I also think the RIAA are a bunch of crooks, but that’s another story.”
But if you don’t promote “piracy”, why release the program to the public and not just use it for yourself – after all, don’t you know that people will misuse it? – asks the FAQ, answering:
“I believe there are other people who want to use my program legitimately, just as I use it. I don’t believe the majority of the people who use my program will use it so that they can share their files on Kazaa. After all, in order to use my program, you had to pay for music on the iTunes Music Store to begin with. These are the people who are WILLING to pay for their music. Secondly, should a baseball bat manufacturer stop manufacturing baseball bats just because someone MAY use the baseball bat to beat another person’s head in?”
And on the the DMCA:
“I didn’t actually write the code that cracks the DRM. other people did. I’m just using their code in my program. For what it’s worth, I think the DMCA is an abomination and, furthermore, un(-US-)constitutional.”