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FairUse – Strip playforsure and Janus WMP 10/11 DRM from Audio and Video

In two of my previous posts, I wrote stripping the FairPlay DRM from iTunes files with hymn and QTFairPlay. Last year, something happened that was even more groundbreaking than the FairPlay exploit. Another talented group of people cracked the Windows Media Player DRM!

Why is this so important? The WMP DRM, also known as Janus, is “The DRM.” Most companies utilize it to protect their multimedia content from easy piracy. This is the DRM behind “playforsure” and “To Go” technologies found in many portable audio players. This does not just disrupt the peace of the music industry. It shakes the ground of the motion picture industry! Online music stores like Napster and MusicMatch to online rental sites like CinemaNow and MovieLink have been affected. With the unlimited “buffet-type” music subscription plans like with Rhapsody, you can download the multi-million song database, convert the files to MP3, and distribute them online! With online movie rental sites, you can download flicks for a mere 2 dollars, strip the DRM, and torrent it!

fairuse_keys.jpgSince the exploitation of the playforsure DRM, group have released several programs that do basically the same thing. But the one that started it all (or at least the main one) is FairUse4WM.

Recover Keys Hurdles

Before you can strip the DRM, you need to “Recover Keys.” I’m guessing that these are the encryption keys that unlock the DRM of the files. On some computers – especially those that do not regularly download “DRMed” content – you will have to “individualize” your system … whatever that means. From what I’ve read (and done), you just visit this URL in Internet Explorer and some computer magic will happen in the background.


Then try FairUse4WM again. If it still doesn’t work, I suggest that you try another computer or a virtual machine. Read the official thread for support! It may also be that you are trying to strip a file will DRM protection that is too advanced or too archaic.


Like the other programs for iTunes FairPlay DRM like QTFairPlay and Hymn, you can just drag and drop the protected files onto the GUI interface and press “Next.” After a couple of minutes or seconds, FairUse4WM will strip the digital rights management. Then, just convert the unprotected *.wm* file to any format that you like.


Morality, Principles, and Rationale

Why do I use this program? Well, I’m not a huge fan of piracy. But, I’m also not a pious, to-the-letter, law-abiding prude. I don’t agree with DRM but I do believe in the principle behind it, intellectual property. DRM was created to protect the people who produced this wonderful media. It protected them from losing unnecessary sales from people who would rather pirate. I think it is all right to strip DRM if you already paid for the content and you are not swapping it online. DRM-stripping can sometimes be necessary especially when your MP3 player or operating system (Linux) does not support playforsure.

Please only strip the multimedia files that you “own.” And by “own” I mean you bought (not rent!) it either on CD or online.

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