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Hack allows anyone to play TiVo files
Published: 2006-12-05

Consumers that have used the TiVoToGo program to transfer television shows to their laptop or PC can now remove the copy protection from the files, according to a description of the TivoDecode project posted to SourceForge on November 30.

The utility, tivodecode, allows a TiVoToGo user to convert protected video files stored on a PC into normal MPEG files without any digital rights management (DRM) protections. The utility does not break the encryption of TiVo's copyright protection, but uses other Windows functions and the TiVo's media access key (MAK) to allow the conversion.

"The conversion still requires the valid MAK of the TiVo which recorded the file, so it cannot be used to circumvent their protection, simply to provide the same level of access as is already available on Windows," the project's page states.

Keeping copy protected content from being broken by security researchers and hackers has been a losing battle for many companies. Apple's iTunes, Microsoft's Windows Media and the Content Scrambling System (CSS) that protects DVDs are just some of the schemes that have fallen to the efforts of coders.

The author of the TivoDecode project credited an extensive description of the workings of the TiVoToGo system with aiding his project.

A nod to Slashdot.



Posted by: Robert Lemos
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