andy cookson


  • Microsoft sues Viodentia for copyright infringement

    Cyrus Farivar
    Cyrus Farivar

    Microsoft filed a lawsuit in federal court last Friday against "John Does 1-10," for breaking their PlaysForSure DRM software. The defendants include Viodentia, the famed hacker who has now twice broken Microsoft's DRM through his application FairUse4WM. Microsoft alleges that Viodentia and his posse infringed on the company's copyright by creating and distributing their program. From what Viodentia told us in our interview with him yesterday, we know that he doesn't live in the US, so it's unlikely that this suit will have any meaningful effect on him for now. Further, given that Microsoft admits that it doesn't know how to find Viodentia -- and we assume that a hacker of his caliber would be good at covering his online tracks -- this suit appears (again, we invoke the "we are not lawyers" clause here) to actually be a way to get at the records of Google and Yahoo, where Viodentia is said to have email accounts. A declaration filed yesterday in Seattle federal court by Andy Cookson, a Microsoft investigator, states: "Among the third parties who have possession of such information are email service providers Yahoo! and Google. Subpoenas to those entities is likely to provide information about the defendants' locations, and also provide additional information about third party services used by the defendants. With such information, through subpoenas to third parties, it is reasonably likely that I will be able to identify defendants." In other legal filings yesterday, Microsoft declared that it "expects to complete its Doe discovery and identify defendants in 120 days." [Thanks, resource]