Saturday, July 16, 2005

DRM Advocate Hacks DRM

As explained here on Slashdot, Michael Gartenberg has helped disprove his own defense of Digital Rights Management (DRM).

One year ago (in response to Cory Doctorow), Gartenberg argued that DRM "can be good for business and acceptable to consumers." Last month, however, Gartenberg got sick of waiting for Microsoft to help him with his inability to use legally purchased, DRM-protected media products:

While I'm still waiting for MSFT support to help me get back into the content I purchased for MS Reader (so far two emails and a rather fun 45 minute session with MS Tech support by phone, which is totally clueless about Reader. I was sent to Office support, Windows Activation and even though I kept telling them that there's no product activation code for Windows, my words fell on deaf ears). I finally took matters into my own hands. With a little help from a lovely free program, I was able to take all my MSFT .lit files and convert them to unprotected .PDF files for Tablet viewing and Word files that converted easily to eReader format. Took about a minute for each book.
Of course, while Gartenberg may possibly be within his legal rights to do so (he may not be, too, depending upon whether the DRM in question is an access control or a use control technology), he knows full well that it's illegal for him to help others find the software to do the exact same thing:

UPDATE - As has been pointed out, the link itself might have been a violation so it's been taken down.
Gartenberg elides the fact that his ability to do so depends upon the willingness of generous coders who expose themselves to legal liability by developing and posting such helper programs in the first place. See 17 USC, Section 1201 for details.


Post a Comment

<< Home