A user of the "Doom9" forums has posted software that claims to be able to remove the digital rights management scheme from Windows Media encoded music files. According to the post, "FairUse4WM" works with Windows Media 10 and Windows Media 11 and only with individualized DRAM files. The simple interface of the software allows users to load keys of licensed Windows Media files and deactivate their copy protection - I order to "enable fair-use rights to purchased media," according to the developer. Engadget has posted a walkthrough to show how the software works.
Will FairUse4WM cause trouble for Microsoft? Unlikely. The creation and cracking of copy protection mechanisms always has been a cat and mouse game and that won't change in the near future. Microsoft may issue a patch to disable FairUse4WM and calm down music publishers that use Windows DRM on services such as Napster and Yahoo Music. And ultimately, publishers such as Universal have mentioned in the past that they do not view DRM technologies as unbreakable copy protection, but rather as a way to make it more difficult for the masses to illegally distribute or acquire digital media. In that view, FairUse4WM should be of little concern for content owners, at least if Microsoft will come up with a patch in the next days.
Universal Pictures: "DRMs do not stop piracy"