Software capable of stripping the copyright-protection technology from files played in some of the latest versions of Apple iTunes is circulating the Web, about two weeks after the release of a similar tool for Microsoft's Windows Media player.
QTFairUse6 was posted for download Monday on the Hymn bulletin board used by developers and technology enthusiasts. The tool requires some knowledge of Python code. It is not as easy to use as FairUse4WM, but both applications accomplish the same thing: breaking the digital rights management technology in the respective media files.
The QTFairUse6 application supports iTunes versions 6.0.4 to 6.0.5 and uses Apple's music and video player in the DRM-stripping process. Apple was not immediately available for comment, but it's a fair bet that the Cupertino, Calif., computer maker will tweak its DRM technology to prevent the hack.
Microsoft has said it plans to release a Windows Media patch soon. FairUse4WM was more sophisticated than the removal tool for iTunes. The Windows Media tool included a graphical user interface that simplified the process of running files through the application.
FairUse4WM only worked on media files for version 10 and 11 of Windows Media. The tool, however, was unique in that it could make files downloaded through subscription services, such as Yahoo and Napster, playable on the Apple iPod, the most popular portable media player.
DRM removal tools are common. QTFairUse for iTunes was first released on Hymn a couple of years ago. Most DRM technology is designed to be tweaked each time a new hack is launched.