Who would have thought that users are begging Microsoft not to release a patch to fix a flaw?
The flaw we are talking about regards Windows Media files and a vulnerability which allows FairUse4WM to strip the DRM off music files.
FairUse4WM provides users with a GUI to run a program to strip the DRM off music files containing the Windows Media DRM from versions 10 and 11 of the Microsoft music player software.
DRM is a big issue in the media industry because this way they try to protect their content. On the other hand, some say that if you buy a movie or a music file you should be able to do whatever you want. This is what Norway and France are telling Apple and this is why Apple might get out of Europe.
Like Apple, music sites like Yahoo, Napster or MTV Urge restrict the downloads to play only onto players that license the Windows Media DRM.
There have been a number of tools circulated on the web that enable consumers to strip the DRM out of downloads they’ve paid for so that they can be played freely on different media. The difference FairUse4WM makes is that it allows users to strip not only the bought music but also the rented one. So you can copy and keep music that has not been permanently acquired. Which is kind of wrong.
Here is what Microsoft has to say about the problem:
In response, on August 28, 2006, Microsoft released an update to the individualized blackbox component (IBX) designed to ensure that client applications using the Windows Media Format SDK version 9.5 who individualize to this latest version are robust against a new circumvention tool.
Consumers are not at risk in any way. Content services can require that the updates be present in order to issue licenses by following the instructions below. Please note that the version number of IBX was not incremented as part of these updates to avoid delaying the release of these critical breach mitigations. Consequently, the only way to determine if the update is installed is to query the build number of the IBX. This requires code executing on the client.
This means that soon we will have an update for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 UR2 and Windows Media Format 9 series.
Only three days took Microsoft to fix the DRM flaw but they release security patches only once a month.
They are forced to fix this flaw quickly because it’s in Microsoft’s best interest do to this. The content that is in jeopardy doesn’t belong to them but to the media companies, the same companies that will provide content for Microsoft’s upcoming Zune.
This thing also raises an alarm. If Microsoft wants, they can fix it really quickly. If not, you can wait for a solution months and months.