How four Microsoft engineers proved that the “darknet” would defeat DRM

30 11 2017

Can digital rights management technology stop the unauthorized spread of copyrighted content? Ten years ago this month, four engineers argued that it can’t, forever changing how the world thinks about piracy. Their paper, “The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution” (available as a .doc here) was presented at a security conference in Washington, DC, on November 18, 2002.

By itself, the paper’s clever and provocative argument likely would have earned it a broad readership. But the really remarkable thing about the paper is who wrote it: four engineers at Microsoft whose work many expected to be at the foundation of Microsoft’s future DRM schemes. The paper’s lead author told Ars that the paper’s pessimistic view of Hollywood’s beloved copy protection schemes almost got him fired. But ten years later, its predictions have proved impressively accurate.

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The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/11/how-four-microsoft-engineers-proved-copy-protection-would-fail/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Ubisoft says DRM isn’t the reason Assassin’s Creed: Origins pushes CPUs

6 11 2017
Ubisoft is pushing back against reports that the DRM used in Assassin’s Creed: Origins is eating up significant CPU cycles and causing performance problems for many people playing the PC version of the game.

The explosive accusation comes from noted game cracker Voksi, who tells TorrentFreak that an analysis of Origins‘ binaries shows the game adds a protection method called VMProtect on top of well-known (and now easily cracked) Denuvo DRM. As the VMProtect webpage explains, its software protects crucial game code from cracking via mutation (i.e., obfuscating code with “garbage” commands and misdirected jumps) and virtualization (i.e., running the code in a self-contained “non-standard” virtual machine that is harder to analyze and modify).

Voksi alleges that Origins uses VMProtect’s virtualization protection, which “tank[s] the game’s performance by 30-40%, demanding that people have a more expensive CPU to play the game properly, only because of the DRM. It’s anti-consumer and a disgusting move.” In a Reddit thread, Voksi further detailed how breakpoint debugging of the code showed VMProtect’s code being “called non-stop” in the game’s core control loop.

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The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/11/ubisoft-denies-pc-drm-is-slowing-down-assassins-creed-origins/and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



LinkedIn Files Opening Brief with Ninth Circuit in Closely-Watched Data Scraping Dispute with hiQ

12 10 2017

In a new development in an important scraping dispute, LinkedIn appealed the lower court’s decision to grant a preliminary injunction compelling LinkedIn to disable any technical measures it had employed to block the defendant’s data scraping activities.  LinkedIn’s brief was filed on October 3, 2017.  In it, LinkedIn asserts that the relevant issue is whether the lower court “erred as matter of law by holding—contrary to the CFAA’s unambiguous text and Circuit precedent—that LinkedIn could not invoke the CFAA after LinkedIn revoked hiQ’s access to its servers by sending a particularized cease-and-desist letter and imposing technical measures to block hiQ’s data-scraping bots.”

We will be watching the developments in this case closely.

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The content in this post was found at http://newmedialaw.proskauer.com/2017/10/05/linkedin-files-opening-brief-with-ninth-circuit-in-closely-watched-data-scraping-dispute-with-hiq/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



DRM in HTML5 is a victory for the open Web, not a defeat

13 03 2017
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the industry body that oversees development of many Web-related technologies, is again considering the development of a specification enabling DRM-protected media in HTML content. And the group working on Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) is running up against a deadline: the group’s charter expires at the end of April. W3C working groups can only publish specifications with an active charter. So if W3C wants to publish a DRM specification, either the EME proposal must be published as a standard before the end of April or the group’s charter must be extended.

Last year, the working group asked for such an extension, but the Advisory Committee could not come to any consensus on whether to grant it. W3C director and inventor of the Web Tim Berners-Lee last week voiced his support for the EME plan, but the future of EME and the working group’s efforts are currently in limbo. Many of the arguments being made today mirror those made in 2013 when the working group first set about developing EME. And in light of this pending decision, we’re resurfacing the op-ed below (from May 2013) that outlines the supporting view.

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The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/business/2017/03/drm-in-html5-is-a-victory-for-the-open-web-not-a-defeat/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Google open innovation powered by efficient infringement

13 03 2017

Given the growth of efficient infringement, Google can operate in an open innovation way, applying open source principles to patented technologies from outside of the company as well as from those inside the company and partners… If it were not for efficient infringement it would be impossible for one company to be involved in as many different areas of endeavor as Google/Alphabet have attempted. The only feasible way for them to hunt for the next revenue stream seems to be to scatter-shot innovation by going in numerous different directions without any real focus. Of course, that requires them to ignore the rights of others and pretend we live in an open source world without any patent rights. Ironically, it is this disparate and uncoordinated approach to innovating that is also preventing Google from developing any kind of mastery outside of their core search competency and revenue generating model.

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The content in this post was found at http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2017/03/09/google-open-innovation-efficient-infringement/id=78977/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.