Microsoft files lawsuit against hacker over digital content

29 Sep 2006

Software giant Microsoft has sued an anonymous computer hacker whose free program allows users to copy digital movies and songs by bypassing a software protection built into the company's Media player, a Reuters report said.

The Reuters report said Microsoft charges that the hacker known as 'Viodentia' has illegally obtained propriety source code to produce the program called FairUse4WM, sparking fears it could enable consumers to illegally copy digital content.

The program's name is a reference to legal rulings in which courts recognize 'fair use' as the ability for consumers to copy recordings for personal use, the report said.

Some consumer advocates argue that the digital media industry is ignoring that right in its attempt to stop illegal duplication, the report said.

The lawsuit marks the company's latest attempt to stop the programmer, who has repeatedly released updates to the program in response to Microsoft patches aimed at stopping the tool that strips away digital management rights code, it said.

The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction as well as unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, the report said.

But a person using the identity Viodentia said in a Web posting the program has never involved Microsoft source code.

The programmer also said in an online interview with Engadget that the lawsuit was a 'fishing expedition to get identity information' in a bid to bring more lawsuits, the report further said.

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