Music Piracy History

The never ending battle between lock and key

1200-1300 A.D.

  • Kublai Khan is completing his conquest of China to establish a Mongol Empire.
  • 17 year old Marco Polo and his father just left Venice for Asia, in search of exotic spices.
  • William Wallace, begins his struggle to free Scotland from English tyranny.
  • The world is still ‘flat’.
  • And in Bologna, Italy the protection watermark is invented and used for the very first time.
    Nearly 800 years ago, long before computers or music CDs, and many centuries before the first piano was built, people had already recognized the importance of protecting their intellectual property. Unfortunately, thieves also recognized the profit in stealing it. The battle between copyright owner and hacker still rages on today…
March 22, 2005 Apple iTunes hacked again
A hacker known as DVD Jon cracks the digital rights management (DRM) code of the Apple iTunes music service and releases a tool to allow users to strip the DRM data, reports Newsfactor.com.
May 30, 2005 Yahoo Music Unlimited already hacked?
Without being forthcoming about how exactly this is done, Robert Chapin reports that his company, Chapin Information Services, has discovered an exploit in the Yahoo website that allows an individual to download DRM-free tracks from the Yahoo Music Unlimited service without ever having paid for them.
August 18, 1999 Microsoft’s New Music Format CRACKED 
Just as Microsoft releases its much-anticipated digital music technology (WMA), a cracker find a way to circumvent its security restrictions — and puts a nasty moniker on it.
June 28, 2005 ‘DVD Jon’ Breaks Google Video Lock
Johansen, also known as ‘DVD Jon’ for his work on decrypting DVD security codes, creates a patch for the Google Video Viewer—less than 24 hours after the search giant shipped the video playback plug-in.
April 04, 2003 Madonna.com Hacked
The official madonna site is hacked. This is most likely a response of a hacker to Madonna’s attempt to beat pirates by providing them with the wrong mp3’s instead.
September 02, 2005 DVD Jon hacks Media Player file encryption
Jon Lech Johansen reverse engineers a proprietary algorithm, which is used to wrap Media Player NSC files and ostensibly protect them from hackers sniffing for the media’s source IP address, port or stream format. He makes his decoder available to anyone who would like to use it.
November 02, 1999 Was DVD Hack too easy?
The anonymous developers of the decryption program that removes DVD copy protection had an easy time doing it, thanks to a gaffe by a software developer and the surprising weakness of the encryption technology.
November 14, 2005 Sony Suspends Rootkit CDs
Sony BMG states that it has temporarily suspended manufacture of music CDs that contain the controversial XCP copy-protection technology. This announcement comes after the first Trojans exploiting the rootkit mechanism used by the XCP software to cloak itself, surface.
September 07, 2005 DVD-Audio Copy Protection Defeated via WinDVD Software Hack
The music industry is buzzing with the news that high-resolution DVD-Audio content can be ripped, bypassing most of the format’s copy-protection safeguards. A small suite of applications that patch InterVideo’s WinDVD 5, 6 or 7 program allow data to be routed directly to .WAV files on the user’s hard-disk, instead of to a soundcard for digital-to-analogue conversion.
April 27, 2001 “Hack-Proof” DVD-Audio watermark cracked at Princeton
Felten’s team claims to have “reverse-engineered and defeated all four of SDMI’s watermarking technologies.
Quote: Arto Alaspää, Managing Director of IFPI Finland

“The Finnish recording industry suffered a 12.5 % fall in the value last year. Broadband penetration in Finland has more than doubled in a year and half, nearly a million Finnish households have it now. We can no longer tolerate the massive illegal file-sharing going on. Our most valuable asset, local and traditionally strong repertoire, is under heavy attack by massive uploaders. This is about Finnish jobs and livelihoods. From now on we will enforce our rights on the Internet just as in the physical world. People know they are breaking the law, now they must be ready to face the consequences. Stopping illegal file sharing is key to supporting the birth and existence of new, viable and legal digital music services. They deserve a fair chance for their efforts to bring true music lovers, our real customers, what they really want – good music for a reasonable price.”