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This is an old page from Rod Begbie's blog.

It only exists in an attempt to prevent linkrot. No new content will be added to this site, and links and images are liable to be broken. Check out begbie.com to find where I'm posting stuff these days.

Filed under 'drm'

December 30, 2010

Lending Kindle Books

Just launched, Amazon now let you “lend” Kindle books. A fab feature, but sadly crippled in this (initial?) form.

1) You need to initiate the process from Amazon.com — you can’t do it from a Kindle
2) Publishers have the right to disable lending, and a quick scan through my Kindle purchases show that most large publishers have blanket blocks in place.
3) Loans are currently limited to 14 days, and you can lend a book once and only once. Publishers currently cannot adjust these limits.

Despite these gripes, this is clearly a big step in the right direction. Hopefully this is just Amazon’s first stab at shifting the digital-media-lending Overton window.

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July 9, 2010


Current cutting-edge DRM removal for iTunes store purchases. Can theoretically be used to unlock HD video purchases so they can be played in full res on Xbox 360s. I imagine.

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March 30, 2009

Circumventing Adobe ADEPT DRM for EPUB

A pair of interesting Python scripts. One of which grabs your decryption key from the Windows version of “Adobe Digital Editions”, the other using the exported key to decrypt legitimately purchased eBooks and output DRM-free copies.

I imagine if one were to use them in conjunction with some sort of ePub -> Mobi converter (such as the open source “calibre”), one could purchase eBooks which are not available for the Kindle, conduct some sort of potentially illegal (Fuck you DMCA) wizardry, and enjoy reading said eBooks on the portable device of one’s choosing.

Unrelated: Currently reading “The Damned Utd” by David Peace on my Kindle.

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December 31, 2008

30GB Zune apocalypse arrives as devices enter digital coma

All 30Gb Zunes go kaput simultaneously. The only reason these devices care what day it is? The secure clock used by their DRM.

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September 25, 2007

Amazon.com MP3 Downloads

Amazon’s un-DRMed 256kbps MP3 store launches. It’s got the full EMI and indie catalogues that iTunes has DRM-free, plus the Universal catalogue.

There’s an optional downloader for Windows and Mac that allows you to queue up entire albums and import them into iTunes automagically, but you can also download individual tracks without any software.

My only problem with it? The first track I tried buying — “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond — turned out to be a live recording without being marked as such. So now? I get to test Amazon’s refund policy!

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August 13, 2007

Dinosaurs with Jetpacks. at Shots Ring Out

This was my read too. Universal’s DRM-free experiment is mostly an attack on Apple’s success with the iTunes Music Store.

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June 2, 2007

Call Me Fishmeal.: NEWS FLASH! Adobe Hides Customer Information!

Sums up how I feel about the whole fucking stupid “email addresses stored in iTunesPlus files” storm in a teacup. I’m ashamed to be an EFF supporter sometimes.

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April 2, 2007

Apple Unveils Higher Quality DRM-Free Music on the iTunes Store

Apple will be selling DRM-free music from EMI next month. Pitched as “higher-quality” (256kbps AAC) to justify the price increase. The interesting statistic once this launches is going to be the number of people who choose the lower-cost DRMed version.

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February 6, 2007

Apple - Thoughts on Music

Steve Jobs publicly calls for the record companies to drop their requirement for DRM on online music sales: “Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. […] This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat.”

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January 21, 2007

Blu-ray Volume Unique Keys - Doom9's Forum

And now the keys for Blu-ray discs are getting released, even though there isn’t any software to extract the video yet! Outstanding.

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January 16, 2007

Volume Unique Keys - Doom9's Forum

The keys for use with BackupHDDVD are now starting to be extracted and shared, enabling your to back up your HD-DVD discs. I doff my cap to the community that made this happen so quickly.

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December 28, 2006

BackupHDDVD, a tool to decrypt AACS protected movies - Doom9's Forum

It appears that someone has found a way to extract the encryption keys for HD-DVD discs, then rip them. This doesn’t render the whole of AACS broken (it was designed to work around broken software), but until the movie industry makes its move, all HD-DVD discs out there today can be ripped.

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October 2, 2006

GigaOM » DVD Jon Fairplays Apple

Could be interesting — DVDJon reverse engineered Apple’s DRM, and is looking to license it to other companies wanting to sell DRMed tracks. Of course, Apple can break it again with a firmware update, so who knows where this is going.

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September 14, 2006

The Fishbowl: The Greatest Trick

“The greatest trick Apple pulled was to build a market where lock-in is mandated, but convince the world that this was something they did reluctantly, at the behest of the villainous recording industry.”

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September 8, 2006

Amazon.com Unbox Video

There’s an instant discount of $1.99 on your first purchase, so you can kick the tyres and download a TV show episode for free. And yes, the DRM they use is strippable using FairPlay4WM.

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September 4, 2006

FairUse4WM - a WM/DRM removal program

I’ve finally had a chance to test this with files downloaded from Napster and Rhapsody’s subscription services, and it does what it says on the tin. The question of interest: If this could be chained to a transcoder that automagically converted downloads to MP3s that can be played on an iPod, would it cause more customers to sign up for PlaysForSure providers, and damage sales at the iTunes Music Store?

July 20, 2006

Yahoo! Music Blog » Buy A Customized Jessica Simpson MP3 At Yahoo! Music

“Our position is simple: DRM doesn?t add any value for the artist, label (who are selling DRM-free music every day ? the Compact Disc), or consumer, the only people it adds value to are the technology companies who are interested in locking consumers to a particular technology platform.” Hells yeah!

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July 14, 2006

The Pig and the Box

A beautifully illustrated storybook fable explaining to ver kiddiewinkies why DRM is bad. Lollipop Jones!

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June 20, 2006

Daring Fireball: Interoperability and DRM Are Mutually Exclusive

“The industry’s idea of a “perfect” DRM scheme is one that is not controlled by either Apple or Microsoft, and which gives only them (the record industry) complete control over what users can do with their downloads. Such a scheme does not exist, and it does not exist because it isn’t possible.”

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May 12, 2006

Daring Fireball: Jackass of the Week: Rob Glaser

Head of Real/Rhapsody opens mouth, shite dribbles out.

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March 27, 2006

Next-Gen DVDs' Blurry Picture

BusinessWeek article on the troubles facing early adopters of HD-DVD & Blu-Ray. I reckon Comcast & DirecTv are going to win the battle to bring High Def movies into peoples’ homes. The days of shiny discs are drawing to a close.

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March 21, 2006

BBC NEWS | French MPs vote to open up iTunes

Well, it’s the law. Apple either have to open up their DRM to other devices and music stores, or shutdown the iTunes Music Store in France. I’ll put $50 on the latter. (Update: OK, it’s not the law yet: It has to pass France’s Senate yet. Stupid multi-house parliamentary systems)

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February 24, 2006

Yahoo exec: Labels should sell music without DRM | News.blog | CNET News.com

Yahoo exec plants idea in record labels’ heads that DRM’d music is useless. Hope he can make it take root. The only people benefitting from DRM currently are Apple (getting iPod lock-in) and Microsoft (selling their technology to everyone else). Everyone else loses.

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January 31, 2006

Blogzilla: DRM-a-go-go

‘DRM-protected files exclusively released through iTunes … appear in unprotected form on P2P networks 180 seconds later’. Well, that makes screwing your honest customers worthwhile.

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January 8, 2006

Vongo.com - Choose Now. Watch Now.

Starz’s online video download service: $9.99 for all-you-can-eat movies. Windows & US only, naturally.

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December 5, 2005

Why the current all-you-can-eat music service providers suck: An illustration

As a Rhapsody subscriber, I’m able to listen to only nine out of fourteen tracks from the Beck album ‘Midnite Vultures’ without forking out another $10. What idiot in charge of licensing decided that ‘Mixed Bizness” was fine for free download, but that the excellent “Debra” is blocked? Record companies: You’re morons, and this is why no-one uses your crappy “legal” alternatives to file-sharing.

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Real take their Windows-only all-you-can-eat music streaming app, dump the drmcrypto into a cross-platform Firefox plugin, and expose the catalog as a webapp.

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November 18, 2005

Boing Boing: iTunes creates a security hole?

*Jawdroppingly* idiotic rant from Cory, trying to draw anti-DRM points from a completely non-DRM-related security flaw in iTunes. Is it my imagination, or is his signal to ranting-clueless-fuckwit ratio dropping of late?

October 31, 2005

Mark's Sysinternals Blog: Sony, Rootkits and Digital Rights Management Gone Too Far

Sony are now using Windows vulnerabilities to hide DRM software on Windows PCs so that users can’t uninstall them. Fuckers.

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September 26, 2005

EFF: You Are the MPAA: A Broadcast Flag Update

Danny O’Brien gives the MPAA a heads-up: We’ve guessed your next move, so don’t even try it!

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About This Site

This is an archive of groovmother.com, the old blog run by Rod Begbie — A Scottish geek who lives in San Francisco, CA.

I'm the co-founder of Sōsh, your handy-dandy guide for things to do in San Francisco this weekend.