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DVD Jon Creates DRM Killer 219

Posted by kdawson
from the copy-with-abandon dept.
Firmafest writes to let us know that 'DVD Jon' Lech Johansen's company has released an open beta of DoubleTwist, a desktop application that allows the user to copy media to any device. There's a Facebook app too. The software is available for download at Doubletwistventures.com. Currently only Windows is supported, but a Macintosh version is on the way.
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DVD Jon Creates DRM Killer

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  • by jskline (301574) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @04:34PM (#22479660) Homepage
    I wonder who will be first to be contacting these guys and threatening legal retaliation based on DMCA.

    "You can't copy that tune from there to this device. You must pay another fee!"...
    • by infonography (566403) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @04:40PM (#22479760) Homepage

      I wonder who will be first to be contacting these guys and threatening legal retaliation based on DMCA.

      "You can't copy that tune from there to this device. You must pay another fee!"...
      I would guess it would be Prince. [techdigest.tv]

      Who else?
      • by edwardpickman (965122) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @10:04PM (#22483538)
        He knows it's a safe bet suing them since they'd rather settle out of court than admit to having a Prince song on their iPod. That should teach people for bulk downloading without checking what they are downloading. If you've downloaded 30,000 to 50,000 songs then there's a good chance there's a Prince song in the wood pile so you might want to cull them out.
    • From Another Article:

      The company is confident there will not be any legal challenges from Apple. "All we are facilitating are friends sending things to one another," Ms Farantzos told the Reuters news agency.
    • by unlametheweak (1102159) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @05:53PM (#22480740)
      Well if we can get everybody here on Slash to keep this little secret to ourselves, I'm sure there won't be any problems with the MPAA, DMCA or any other organizations harassing the company with lawsuits, etc. To quote the eloquent and charismatic [wikipedia.org]Steve Jobs, "Loose lips sink ships".
    • by SethJohnson (112166) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @06:07PM (#22480946) Homepage Journal
      threatening legal retaliation based on DMCA.

      I'd like to see US law enforced over in Oslo, Norway. Wouldn't that be a hoot.

      Seth
      • by aitikin (909209) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @06:15PM (#22481046)
        Too bad Doubletwist was founded in California in the "USofA" and, as such, is subject to DMCA, regardless of where its programmer's reside.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          From what I can gather from TFA the only thing that is happening with this technology is that it is merely making a copy of the analogue version of a song. With 64-bit computers that support hardware and software base Trusted Computing Platform, and the 64-bit versions of Windows which support TCP software and hardware, this application may become antiquated in the not to distant future.
          • by Nazlfrag (1035012)
            Pardon? How does trusted computing plug the analogue hole, and what has 64 bits got to do with it?
            • by lgw (121541) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @06:41PM (#22481398) Journal
              Not trusted computing, but Vista attempts to plug the analog hole by not alowing high fidelity analog output (at leats of video). Trusted computing could be used to prevent driver-level work-arounds, but that's the direction Microsoft took. Instead they just invalidate all of your DRMed content if they detect a driver not on their whitelist (at least according to the NEtflix story a few weeks back).
            • by unlametheweak (1102159) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @07:07PM (#22481792)

              Pardon? How does trusted computing plug the analogue hole, and what has 64 bits got to do with it?
              The 64-bits is just a product of history. Microsoft's plan is to have all there 64-bit operating systems support TCP, and Microsoft plans to phase out all their 32-bit operating systems (much like they did with their 16-bit operating systems) circa 2010. One of the goals of TCP is to in fact "plug" the analogue hole. The idea being that hardware would be harder to crack than software, and the hardware thus helping the OS to police the software and policies set forth within, that designate user rights (such as copying). As lgw points out, the analogue hole is itself not fully plugged ATM (probably only because of compatibility issues with TCP High Def monitors and video cards for example (and those that are not fully compatible yet [we here such marketing phrases as HD-compatible for example]), and the marketing and PR issues that ensue when people cannot adequately use the products they purchased).
              • by wvmarle (1070040) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @11:53PM (#22484222)

                Pardon? How does trusted computing plug the analogue hole, and what has 64 bits got to do with it?
                One of the goals of TCP is to in fact "plug" the analogue hole. The idea being that hardware would be harder to crack than software, and the hardware thus helping the OS to police the software and policies set forth within, that designate user restrictions (such as copying).
                There, fixed that for you.
                Remember, DRM stands for Digital Restrictions Management. It doesn't give you any rights, it at most takes away some. DRM just adds restrictions.
        • all I could find on their company website was mention of venture capital incubation in Oslo Norway.
        • You're both wrong. They're based in the Cayman Islands.
    • by TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @06:35PM (#22481316) Journal

      "You can't copy that tune from there to this device. You must pay another fee!"...
      From the DMCA: [copyright.gov]

      Section 1201 divides technological measures into two categories: measures that prevent unauthorized access to a copyrighted work and measures that prevent unauthorized copying of a copyrighted work. Making or selling devices or services that are used to circumvent either category of technological measure is prohibited in certain circumstances, described below. As to the act of circumvention in itself, the provision prohibits circumventing the first category of technological measures, but not the second.

      This distinction was employed to assure that the public will have the continued ability to make fair use of copyrighted works. Since copying of a work may be a fair use under appropriate circumstances, section 1201 does not prohibit the act of circumventing a technological measure that prevents copying. By contrast, since the fair use doctrine is not a defense to the act of gaining unauthorized access to a work, the act of circumventing a technological measure in order to gain access is prohibited.
      I am not a lawyer, or by no means competent in reading laws. However, from what I can gather, unless the DRM is designed to prevent you from accessing the content (e.g. napster after your subscription expires), then you may circumvent for fair use. It actually does prohibit "making or selling devices or services that are used to circumvent either category of technological measure", but not owning or being in possession of such goods or services. That means that as long as DVD Jon's actions are legal in whichever country he chooses to stay, he can continue to make and distribute his DRM-circumventing programs, and we can legally download and use them, so long as we don't distribute the programs ourselves (e.g. give it to a friend).
      • Firstly, that's not the DMCA. It's a Copyright Office summary, which is interesting but not law. Secondly:

        By contrast, since the fair use doctrine is not a defense to the act of gaining unauthorized access to a work, the act of circumventing a technological measure in order to gain access is prohibited.

        Most interesting copying, like excerpting or converting to another format, requires access. You might think that the rightful owner of a copy of a work is implicitly authorized to access it in any way the

  • Supported Formants (Score:5, Informative)

    by milsoRgen (1016505) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @04:37PM (#22479698) Homepage
    Supported Media Formats

    Video: 3gp (used by most cell phones), MPEG4 (.mp4, .m4v), wmv, avi and MPEG2 (.mpg, .mpv, .mpeg) Audio: mp3, aac/m4a, wma, wav Pictures: jpg, gif, png, bmp
    • Quotable Quotes (Score:5, Informative)

      by milsoRgen (1016505) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @05:52PM (#22480720) Homepage
      The EULA [doubletwist.no]
      The Privacy Policy [doubletwist.no]
      The Terms of Service [doubletwist.no]

      Quotable Quotes

      Please note that this Privacy Statement is not a binding contract and does not create any legal rights. It is made available to you so that you can make an informed decision about using the doubleTwist website and services after considering the steps doubleTwist takes to protect your private personal information

      doubleTwist" means the SpiceFlow Corporation, a company incorporated under the laws of Cayman Islands, having its registered office at PO Box 309GT, M&C Corporate Services Limited, Ugland House, South Church St, George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, and any SpiceFlow Corporation subsidiaries or affiliated companies.

      You acknowledge and agree that doubleTwist, in its sole discretion, may modify or discontinue or suspend Your ability to use any version of the doubleTwist Software, and/or disable any doubleTwist Software You may already have accessed or installed without any notice to You, for the repair, improvement, and/or upgrade of the underlying technology or for any other justifiable reason...

      We may use Personal Data to: provide services and customer support You request; resolve disputes, collect fees, and troubleshoot problems; enforce our Terms of Service; customize, measure, and improve doubleTwist Software, VoIP Service and Website content and layout; inform You about targeted marketing, service updates, and promotional offers (unless You opt out)
    • by arodland (127775)
      Formants? So it has speech recognition then?
    • by _KiTA_ (241027)

      Supported Media Formats

      Video: 3gp (used by most cell phones), MPEG4 (.mp4, .m4v), wmv, avi and MPEG2 (.mpg, .mpv, .mpeg)
      Audio: mp3, aac/m4a, wma, wav
      Pictures: jpg, gif, png, bmp

      I'm hoping they add PDF support someday. I have a few PDFs using a DRM system called "KeyringPDF" that makes it pretty much impossible to backup (although they have a scary, use-once backup "bookmark" system that you can use to reclaim your media), and you can't even do the screenshot trick -- your screen captures nothing but "Protected by KeyringPDF". I finally backed it up to JPGs via a second copy of WinXP and "Virtual PC 2007", though.

  • This looks like the same old FairPlay crack, just with a better GUI. It doesn't strip any other kind of DRM.
  • by Thelasko (1196535) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @04:38PM (#22479718) Journal
    1)Convert all of my HD DVD movies into Blue Ray movies?

    2)Run on Linux
    • by arj026 (878802)
      You mean convert all the new blu-ray movies into HDDVD so i can watch it in my defunct player..
  • by Compuser (14899)
    How is this different from Virtual Audio Cable?
  • Is this just a frontend for the same technology that exists now? I mean, is this just a program that centralizes DRM cracks for common media?
    • Same same (Score:2, Insightful)

      by themushroom (197365)
      Yes, it does appear to be a centralized way of converting A to B. And contrary to the article title, it does not kill DRM -- it just converts what you rightfully own to another format. You still have to purchase those iTunes songs in order to convert them, you can't just convert what you find on the net, thus is no different than using WMP or iTunes to burn to disk then rip the disks to files (if those two programs don't convert directly to MP3 or your preferred flavor without the intermediary disk step).
      • by Protonk (599901)
        Cool, that what was I was thinking, but the article was pretty slim on details. Thanks. :)
      • by Protonk (599901)
        Also, totally out of curiosity, where did you come upon the expression "same same"? :) I have a friend who used it constantly or said "same same, only different". It was also quite common in Hawaii.
  • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @04:46PM (#22479858) Journal
    Every time this dude releases a hack I'm not interested in using, I end up being forced to download a new patch from Apple for my iTunes/iPod if I want to buy new music.
  • Registration (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lucifig (255388)
    The install page doesn't mention anything about having to register for some reason. I think I'll go ahead and pass on that until after the subpoenas come through.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @04:49PM (#22479914)
    On a whim, I tried installing this. Once the setup is complete, it wants my e-mail address to create an "account" for me... and it installs a couple of other programs I didn't agree to. Sorry, not interested - deleted.
    • by d3ac0n (715594) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @05:26PM (#22480344)
      Looks like this is an "Online Only" program. Basically, if you don't have an account to sign into, it doesn't work. It is NOT a standalone application, but a networked application.

      Looks to me like they are trying to create another Kazaa or Napster.

      Too bad. It seemed much nicer when I thought it was a standalone. I have no interest in running yet another networked application just to gain access to what should be a standalone function.

      Excuse me, I have to go uninstall this now.
    • >Sorry, not interested - deleted Ditto that. It also installed something called "ffdshow" and doubletwist's uninstall leaves ffdshow intact. *sigh
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by d3ac0n (715594)
        ffdshow is just a media codec. Nothing to worry about there. I already had it since I have the Matroska community pack installed on my machine.
      • ffdshow is an open source video codec. This sounds more like an issue with their uninstaller. I'm curious to see what the other "programs" are that people are complaining about.... I guess that's why I run Windows in a VM these days. Easy to roll back in case something goes wrong.
  • RIAA Creates DVD Jon Killer
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Unique2 (325687)
      DVD Jon? Come with me if you want to live.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by SpydeZ (1196075)
      Except when they sent it back in time, the orders got a bit scrambled and it ended up trying to kill someone named John Connor...
  • It Required MSdotNET (Score:3, Informative)

    by Soloact (805735) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @05:10PM (#22480158) Homepage Journal
    Went to give this a try. Upon starting the installation, the application required MS' dotNET and started to download it. That's when I hit the CANCEL. Don't want that dotNET on my computer at all.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Billly Gates (198444)
      How can the mac version run if its written with .NET?
  • by wethion (871311) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @05:14PM (#22480212)
    Umm.. after reading them relatively carefully, I don't think I'll be using that software. Basically, you give us your info, we update ourselves on what you're doing, we send it to the Cayman Islands and we promise promise promise never to give it to anyone else unless you agree, we're bought, subpoena'd or otherwise compromised. Somehow... I don't think so. Peace.
  • Aww, no Blu-Ray? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Thagg (9904) <thadbeier@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @05:16PM (#22480248) Journal
    At some point, I do expect that very large organizations will break the DRM on Blu-Ray, and they'll probably present it to DVD-Jon, much like they did with DVD's. Probably be a while, though.

  • by jpellino (202698) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @05:17PM (#22480264)
    "My Life As A Nail"

  • by Anonymous Coward
    "The software automatically plays the song files in the background (sans volume) and re-records them as MP3 files so they can be transferred to any device."

    This is not stripping DRM, this amounts to a generational loss of quality when its decompressed and recompressed. Why would someone known for cracking DRM protections start a company that recodes the files with loss of quality instead of strip the DRM from the existing file? Isn't this the same thing as connecting a SP/DIF cable to your output and feed
    • Don't be foolish, it is cracking DRM. It does it seamlessly and in a way transparent to the user. Sure, you get negligible loss of quality.. but the concept is what media sharing is all about.

      If you can see it or hear it, it can be replicated, no matter what you do.
    • by zoips (576749)

      Thats a poor mans solution to overcoming DRM.
      It's also a legal method that completely bypasses the DMCA.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by argent (18001)
      Decompressing does not cause a loss of quality. Recompressing in a lossy format may, but there are a variety of lossless formats you can use if you find that you can hear a difference (I can with some files, but not with most), or if you want to retain the option of recompressing the music with a different codec in the future.
  • I installed it this morning (finally, after the downloader managed to complete successfully) and each time I click on the "Sync" button my PC reboots. So much for that.
  • by BoRegardless (721219) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @08:53PM (#22482964)
    After you've bought 250 movies, and the DRM they made "back then" is no longer supported, DVD Jon will have made sure you can still see what you bought.

    OK?
  • by heroine (1220) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @09:03PM (#22483066) Homepage
    My startup is a Web-based social network portable media player plug & play standards based open media file swapper with AJAX Google enhancement.

  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @09:32PM (#22483294)
    It sounds like a GUI front-end for Sox, Image Magic and ffmpeg. As such, it should be immensely useful, since running those utilities from a command line is quite a challenge.
    • Now dont you guys do anything that we would do... From their EULA (http://www.doubletwist.no/dt/Legal/EULA.dt) "C. You agree not to circumvent, disable or otherwise interfere with security-related features of the doubleTwist Website and/or Services or features that prevent or restrict use or copying of any Content or enforce limitations on use of the doubleTwist Website and/or Services, and the Communications Content made available by use of the Website and/or Services." I guess only DVD Jon is allowed to

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