DRM Defeated By Exotic Hack: The Shift Key

By Deane Barker on October 8, 2003

Shift key breaks CD copy locks: I’ll say it again: DRM will never work.

“A Princeton University student has published instructions for disabling the new anticopying measures being tested on CDs by BMG—and they’re as simple as holding down a computer’s Shift key. […]

Under normal circumstances, the antipiracy software is automatically loaded onto a Windows machine whenever the Hamilton album is run in a computer’s CD drive, making traditional copying or MP3 ripping impossible. However, simply holding down the Shift key prevents Windows’ AutoRun feature from loading the copy-protection software, leaving the music free to copy, Halderman said.”



  1. Since the copy protection is a Winders autorun app, I wonder if they included an Apple version on the CD as well. Since the Mac OS is used by so few users they probably didn’t bother.

    Come on Deane, ad mit it; Steve Jobs is your hero!

  2. Funny you should mention that Deane. I have a reliable source who says that Steve and your mom had a fling back in the early 70’s. Now you’ve confirmed that they knew each other. Hmmm, what could that mean?

  3. Actually, they DID include an OSX version of the software. No OS9 or Linux versions though. The entire protection scheme borders on utterly retarded.

  4. Realy no way to crack WMV! Smirk. Try harder. the only thing DRM stops is stupid people first off and second it makes everyone have to buy more expensive equipment to play the DRM encoded files. Why does it cost the same to buy music online as it does to buy a physical copy? Hell your saving them the cost of duplicating CDs and the prices remain the same. Just shows who the real crooks are. Hey, remember when the “Big 5” (BMG, SONY, etc,etc,etc)music companies got caught price fixing and were ordered to pay only a small fraction of the money back to people who had there receipts from like ten years previously. No, well I sure do.

  5. Do Anyone Of You Know How To Hack Spore DRM??? I Am Getting Pissed With It!!!!!!!!!

  6. I remember when the checks were sent out. It didn’t pay well, but you can all be thankful to those of us who stood our ground about the pricing. From $25 a cd to 12…pretty damn good, I’d say.

  7. What if I want to play the CD in Linux? What kind of protection does it have there? CD’s autoruns don’t work in linux….;)

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