Kindle DRM cracked

Ding-dong, the DRM is gone. But not in the way we really want. The copy protection scheme that is used for most Kindle books has been cracked. We’d much prefer it hadn’t been there in the first place but then there’d be no challenge for security hackers.

Giving credit for the advancement gets a little messy. Apparently two folks figured this out at approximately the same time. [Labba] posted about his discoveries while [I (heart) Cabbages] wrote about his exploits in a blog entry. Either way, you can now strip the protection and use your legally-purchased books on any device you choose by using this Python script.

This means that both Kindle and Nook have had their DRM broken. Are these companies really trying to prevent copying (fair use) or do they just want to be able to tell the publishers that there are copy protections while turning a blind eye to what happens in the privacy of your personal computer?

[Thanks Sanchoooo via Slashdot]

Comments

  1. Dunbar says:

    Yeah, it’s probably that. They want to say to publishers that their platform is secure.

    That said, if the product sells to the intended demographic (as opposed to just geeks), the vast majority of buyers will never even really know that they can hack it. So the gadget stays secure for the part of the market they care about and people will still be paying for books.

    I liken it to the iPod. What percentage has installed RockBox? What percentage has used an alternative to iTunes? I’ll bet both figures are pretty small.

  2. tj says:

    It was actually reversed in another community before any of this was published. Not sure if these are the same guys who posted code. Doesn’t matter it’s just DRM and schemes get reversed on an almost weekly bases.

  3. moo says:

    Why do they even DRM? I thought nook aloud ppl to lend books to others? And iTunes is really bloated thats why i use floola not to much fetures but its small.

  4. 36chambers says:

    publishers are now owed additional fees and licensing due to the lack of security correct?

  5. sellout says:

    Nice fact checking. Mobipocket DRM has been broken for years. This was discovering the key from the Kindle for PC application. Kindle owners have always been able to strip the DRM from their mobipocket books. The next step is figuring out how the Mobi PID is being scrambled by the Kindle for PC application to encrypt the book key.

  6. brokenlcd says:

    Don’t know why this is a big deal. Since November, when I got my Kindle, most of my books have gotten decrypted using mobidedrm. How does this change things at all?

  7. cde says:

    @Moo: The nook allows people to lend a book ONCE, for a limited time. That is it. It cannot be lent more than once.

    And no, I am not talking about lending it to more than one person at a time.

  8. CubeSpawn says:

    Since (B4) the commodore 64 copy protection has been a universal failure, I’m actually amazed they keep trying to lock up digital media with bits, if you don’t want people to trade thier stuff with thier friends – only one method is known to work – erase the master – and never release it or show it to anyone!
    Want to copy a carburetor?
    or anything else physical?
    http://www.cubespawn.com in 5 years it will be possible

  9. blue carbuncle says:

    They don’t owe anyone anything. The platform WAS secure before it was monkeyed with in ways unimaginable to the average user. Only grandmas and bleeding edge weirdos seem to have these anyway. Never understood the whole Kindle hype. Maybe if money IS owed to publishers it could be taken from the people who cracked it and released it to the public and violated the terms of use. Otherwise enjoy your oversized greyscale Palm III lmao.

  10. moo says:

    @cde
    Ahhh now i don’t like the nook anymore. Staying with real books you can share them to you hearts content.

  11. erlangga says:

    i dont have any comment for this….just wow????

  12. sigtermer says:

    Those two deserve a big thank you.

    Is it me, or is the world getting ridiculously constrictive. I’m just sick of people telling me what i can and can not do with the stuff that i pay for.

    Anyone should view their ebooks, movies, whatever on the device they want.
    but I’m only stating the obvious, or am i?

  13. Mic says:

    I think it should say “Were free!” in the picture instead.

  14. steaky1212 says:

    I dont know if I’m arguing for arguments sake, but ffs if you bought an actual book you wouldnt photocopy every page and store that just in case teh original was lost etc.
    Its really annoying the bunch of ppl that say that they “paid” for it – no in effect you have bought a license to read the book on that device – deal with it

  15. sigtermer says:

    straky1212: “if you bought an actual book you wouldnt photocopy every page and store that just in case teh original was lost etc.”

    but logically, i should have the right to do so. after all, i DID pay for the right to use it. so i’ll use it in any way i want, be it as a pdf, paper, sideshow, …whatever.

  16. steaky1212 says:

    sigtermer: i DID pay for the right to use it.

    Unfortunately, that is not the case. You might have bought the paper it is writen on, and you paid for the binding etc, but you dont own the story.
    I’m just looking at one of teh first few pages of some random book I have and it says…
    “no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher” (technically I have just reproduced part of the publication oops)

    I think that one of the terms and conditions of buying the book is that you wont copy it.

    I just think that one of the things you should accept is that buying an ebook from amazon you should play it on an amazon player.

  17. SIGTERMer says:

    steaky1212:

    sigh, and all i wanted was to read a book on a better device. it is indeed unfortunate.

    I’m not arguing that converting formates is listed as being okay in the terms specified. I’m just saying that it should be. I know it isn’t.

    Frankly, I don’t go by the terms specified if i believe that they infringe on my own rights; I always download movies/games if the medium gets scratched or lost. This also applies to books.
    I know it’s a clear violation to the terms and many will disagree. but the way i see it, this is completely fair and definitely reasonable.

  18. jimmyjohns says:

    Why not show them how much you hate DRM and not buy this crappy product!!!!!

    Simple as that.

    Or as blue carbuncle said just get a Palm Pilot for and read e-books all DRM free… and play tetris and snake on it lol.

  19. lee russell says:

    Get a life. Who cares. Buy download read write it doesnt matter. Heres a thought. Accept the rules. If you dont like it write a.book yourself and then publish for everyone to have for free and make a loss on advertising etc.

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