Engadget is among those suggesting Microsoft should look the other way when it comes to a tiny but potentially mighty program called FairUse4WM, which strips the DRM from Windows Media 10/11 and opens up PlaysForSure. Translation from Engadget: “It’s a simple, apparently lossless, one-step method for making your files playable after you’re no longer paying fees on your subscription service.” Or while you’re paying but want to listen on a non-PFS device. The software app shown in screengrabs calls it making files “device independent.”
The argument for leaving it alone goes something like this: making the files usable on any device makes them more valuable to the user, who is then more likely to pay for a portable music subscription. Engadget heard just this sentiment from readers and friends after its initial post about the hack.
The plea to MSFT, which already has to be hard at work figuring out a way to smack this threat down: “So just try and look the other way this time. We’ve been on the verge of canceling our subscription services for a couple of months now (too many snafus involving DRM licenses and device syncing), but FairUse4WM has changed our minds now that we can actually download music with the confidence that we’ll be able to enjoy it. Does the fact that we could quit and ‘keep’ the music that we’ve been ‘renting’ a problem? Theoretically, but what’s going to keep consumers paying those monthly fees isn’t the threat of losing access to their collection (though that’s part of it); what keeps them paying is the continuing access to a large, frequently updated catalog of new releases and older tunes.”
– The one Windows Media DRM service Engadget couldn’t crack with the hack was Vongo.
(Via Derek Slater)