Friday, February 18, 2005

Cracking iTunes' DRM

With iTunes and Napster slapping each other back and forth about whose copy protection is better, it's good to remember that there will NEVER be an uncrackable music copy protection... mark my words!

infoAnarchy || QtFairUse: Cracking iTunes' DRM: "QtFairUse extracts DRM-free AAC data from a DRM'd AAC stream as it plays in the Quicktime player. A Register article describes more of the details. Note that this is not tapping the decompressed audio, but instead actually tapping the decrypted AAC data before it gets decompressed. Thus, the DRM removal process results in no loss of quality.

A few caveats: the software only works for Windows, and the dumped streams are raw AAC without headers, so they cannot be easily played. QtFairUse is not quite ready for everyday use, perhaps, but it is at least a proof of concept.

This serves as another example of why 'uncrackable' DRM in the real world is a ridiculous idea. If the sound plays through your speakers, it must exist in decrypted form somewhere in your computer's data path. If it exists in decrypted form, you can tap it and extract the decrypted data."

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