Warner/Chappell

There’s an interesting post over in the hymn forums by a user calling himself laudmusic:

I work for major music publisher. We buy and convert files from ITMS as it’s cheaper than buying a whole CD from a one-stop when we need a master of a song we control.

Would love to have it AppleScriptable so I can incorporate Hymn into our creative system.

Searching for laudmusic turns up Michael Lau at Warner/Chappell.

From perennial favorites such as “Happy Birthday,” “Rhapsody In Blue,” “Winter Wonderland” and the ballads of Cole Porter to the hottest hits of recent years by such megastars as: R.E.M., Michael Jackson, Elton John, Sheryl Crow, Jewel and Madonna, Los Angeles-headquartered Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. now ranks as the premiere music publishing company in the world. Experiencing tenfold growth in revenue over the past decade, core businesses include exploitation of compositions, development of new writers and artists, licensing and printing of English and foreign language music, collection and payment of royalties on a worldwide basis, and the ongoing acquisition of music catalogs.

Did Warner/Chappell’s legal department review the iTMS TOS and come to the conclusion that it’s not worth the paper it’s, uhm, not written on? 😉

DeDRMS 0.3

If you’re having trouble playing your legally bought music, you might want to try this command:

find ~/Music -iname ‘*.m4[a,p]’ -exec perl -pi -e ‘BEGIN{$b=0}if(!$b){if(s/geIDx00x00/DIegx00x00/){$b=1}}’ {} “;”

If iTunes plays your fixed files but won’t transfer them to your iPod, delete the entries from your iTunes library and then readd the files.

MD5(DeDRMS-0.3.tar.gz) = 9a3fe1940771e8b55fdf1f77d019bd8d

Hunting playfair

Apple has succeeded in having playfair removed from sarovar.org. The cease and desist notice does not specify which paragraphs of the laws mentioned sarovar.org was supposedly violating. That’s not surprising. When the MPAA’s lawyer contacted me regarding DeCSS four years ago, he failed to specify paragraphs as well. Such is the nature of frivolous charges.

I’m not mirroring playfair for two reasons:

  • playfair is licensed under the GPL, but links to mp4v2 which is licensed under the MPL. The MPL is not GPL compatible. The developer of playfair could easily rectify this by changing the license of his code to MPL. Update: I forgot that playfair also links to mp4ff which is licensed under the GPL. Thus my previous suggestion wouldn’t solve the problem.
  • The playfair tarball is 0,5 MB. That’s way too much.

What’s a copyfighter to do in such circumstances? I give you DeDRMS. Tarball is 10 KB. 210 lines of code. Written in C# using MonoDevelop.

MD5(DeDRMS-0.1.tar.gz) = 934a471f20d6580d5aad759bf0d97ddc

playfair

An anonymous developer has released a M4P decryptor called playfair. It uses the updated FAAD2 DRMS code I posted one week ago.

Note to the developer: Sam Hocevar’s entry is missing in the drms.c copyright header.

iTunes Music Store

Apple yesterday launched their music service. Encrypted AAC 128 kbps. DRM enforced by iTunes 4. Apple reserves the right to modify the Usage Rules at any time. US only. Compared to other music services which use DRM, it’s the least fair use-hostile.

Here’s a VLC fortune for the occasion:

<JMunakra> nah you have zip with password protection
<jlj> that’s not classified as DRM
<JMunakra> where does DRM start?
<Meuuh> I don’t know, but I know where it ends : at my doorstep

Linux and DRM

Linus has chimed in on DRM:

I want to make it clear that DRM is perfectly ok with Linux!

Not surprising considering what he is quoted as saying when InterVideo announced their fair use-hostile DVD player for GNU/Linux:

This is another exciting day for the Linux community. The OS continues to attract industry-leading software companies like InterVideo. Their digital video and audio products will greatly enhance the Linux multimedia experience.

I haven’t Hurd about anyone getting their GNU/Linux experience enhanced by LinDVD. The product is still only available to OEMs. IBM even bragged about rolling out “legal” DVD playback for GNU/Linux.

I’ll stick to fair use-enabling DVD players such as VLC and Ogle. They’re certainly legal in Europe. Denmark has already implemented the EUCD and the Danish Ministry of Culture has stated that circumvention for playback is legal. They have even commented on my acquittal, stating that they believe I would have been acquitted in Denmark under their implementation of the EUCD.