Pirated 4K 'Aquaman' rip suggests iTunes 4K movie DRM has been broken

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited March 7
The appearance of a pirated 4K-resolution version of the movie "Aquaman" on torrent sites is suspected to have been acquired from the iTunes store, which if true is a sign that someone has found a way around Apple's copyright protection measures.


"Aquaman"


While pirated movies are not an unusual sight, it has been noted tracker sites are circulating a version of the movie that uses "Web-DL" in the title, which denotes that it is a web download, typically from video streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes.

As the file appeared shortly after it became available to purchase on iTunes, reports TorrentFreak, with 4K versions of the movie not currently available on either Netflix nor Amazon. The timing and the lack of availability at that resolution prompted rumors that those behind the ripped video's creation had discovered how to defeat Apple's iTunes 4K protection, be it by cracking or by breach.

There is some debate about the claim, as the report notes that it could be a mislabeled download. However, the limited availability from other avenues makes it seem plausible to have been acquired from iTunes. While a version is available in 4K on Vudu, it was released after the pirated upload first became available.

If genuine, the existence of a pirated version of a 4K film sourced from iTunes could mean more pirated releases of other movies at the high resolution could also be on the way.

At present, there is no way to watch 4K movies from iTunes on a Mac or iOS device, with the content only playable and not downloadable on an Apple TV 4K. Given Apple's penchant for security, it is likely that it is investigating the issue to close the breach or security hole as quickly as possible.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 715member
    I've read this story carefully 3 times and I'm still confused. If "there is no way to watch 4K movies from iTunes" on a Mac or iOS device, then how could "a 4K film sourced from iTunes" exist at all? I realize an Apple TV 4K can display it, so is the story implying that the Apple TV 4K has been hacked? That's what I'm inferring from this story. I apologize for being an idiot.
    hmurchisonolscommand_f
  • Reply 2 of 35
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,634administrator
    I've read this story carefully 3 times and I'm still confused. If "there is no way to watch 4K movies from iTunes" on a Mac or iOS device, then how could "a 4K film sourced from iTunes" exist at all? I realize an Apple TV 4K can display it, so is the story implying that the Apple TV 4K has been hacked? That's what I'm inferring from this story. I apologize for being an idiot.
    You're not an idiot.

    The vector from the original report isn't clear. There are two practical possibilities 1) A hack of the ATV4K, allowing for a capture of the video data after decryption has been done somehow or 2) an interception of the network stream at some point in a network with a sniffer of some sort -- which would need to be decrypted somehow.

    The former seems more likely.
    lolliverchristophbapplesnoranges
  • Reply 3 of 35
    Apple may be a stickler for security, but they really haven't been fans of DRM. Steve Jobs famously and routinely lamented the movie studios and music labels forcing Apple to implement it on iTunes. It was they who insisted on locking up content delivery in order to charge more. He argued (successfully, in the case of music) that charging a reasonable fee per title was a much better strategy to minimizing piracy. He was right.
    lolliverapplesnoranges
  • Reply 4 of 35
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,716member
    Apple may be a stickler for security, but they really haven't been fans of DRM. Steve Jobs famously and routinely lamented the movie studios and music labels forcing Apple to implement it on iTunes. It was they who insisted on locking up content delivery in order to charge more. He argued (successfully, in the case of music) that charging a reasonable fee per title was a much better strategy to minimizing piracy. He was right.
    https://www.wired.com/2009/03/poll-was-steve/

    Mr Jobs was also famously known for using public statements as a negotiating tool. He may not have been as firmly "against DRM" in all cases as his statements may have implied. https://daringfireball.net/2007/02/reading_between_the_lines
    edited March 7
  • Reply 5 of 35
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 370member
    It could also have been an inside job. There are copies without DRM that belong to the producers. Someone could have copied the file without DRM and labeled it that way.
    AppleExposedravnorodom
  • Reply 6 of 35
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 370member
    Apple may be a stickler for security, but they really haven't been fans of DRM. Steve Jobs famously and routinely lamented the movie studios and music labels forcing Apple to implement it on iTunes. It was they who insisted on locking up content delivery in order to charge more. 
    How much do you want to bet that Apple's video content has DRM encoding?
  • Reply 7 of 35
    This is a non story.  I preordered Aquaman on the iTunes Store and the movie is in 4K.
     I have already watched it on my 4K Apple TV.

    elijahg
  • Reply 8 of 35
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,968member
    elder1969 said:
    This is a non story.  I preordered Aquaman on the iTunes Store and the movie is in 4K.
     I have already watched it on my 4K Apple TV.

    This is a non post. You clearly didn’t read the story. 
    lolliverchristophbelijahgroundaboutnow
  • Reply 9 of 35
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,968member
    davgreg said:
    Apple may be a stickler for security, but they really haven't been fans of DRM. Steve Jobs famously and routinely lamented the movie studios and music labels forcing Apple to implement it on iTunes. It was they who insisted on locking up content delivery in order to charge more. 
    How much do you want to bet that Apple's video content has DRM encoding?
    How much do yo want to bet this article is literall about that DRM encoding?
    christophbelijahg
  • Reply 10 of 35
    sacto joesacto joe Posts: 742member
    elder1969 said:
    This is a non story.  I preordered Aquaman on the iTunes Store and the movie is in 4K.
     I have already watched it on my 4K Apple TV.

    The story above is incorrect:

    "At present, there is no way to watch 4K movies from iTunes on a Mac or iOS device, with the content only playable and not downloadable on an Apple TV 4K."

    It was "not downloadable" before, but it's past the "preorder" stage and on to the "buy" stage, which means you can in fact download it.

    As far as I know, it's still a criminal offense to bootleg property, let alone give it away for free. So whoever did this is going to remain very, very quiet. Which means it's just a guessing game whether or not this was ripped off during an Apple download.

    BTW, is it possible to make a copy of a 4K video playing on a 4K monitor with an 8K video camera, then "save" the video as a 4K? Seems to me that's one way around the issue.
    edited March 7
  • Reply 11 of 35
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,634administrator
    sacto joe said:
    elder1969 said:
    This is a non story.  I preordered Aquaman on the iTunes Store and the movie is in 4K.
     I have already watched it on my 4K Apple TV.

    The story above is incorrect:

    "At present, there is no way to watch 4K movies from iTunes on a Mac or iOS device, with the content only playable and not downloadable on an Apple TV 4K."

    It was "not downloadable" before, but it's past the "preorder" stage and on to the "buy" stage, which means you can in fact download it.

    As far as I know, it's still a criminal offense to bootleg property, let alone give it away for free. So whoever did this is going to remain very, very quiet. Which means it's just a guessing game whether or not this was ripped off during an Apple download.

    BTW, is it possible to make a copy of a 4K video playing on a 4K monitor with an 8K video camera, then "save" the video as a 4K? Seems to me that's one way around the issue.
    The story above is correct. The availability of the movie has nothing to do with the quoted sentence.
     
    You absolutely cannot download iTunes 4K content to a device. You can only stream it. You will never have the entire movie on your device at any given time, only limited pieces. The ATV will only keep about 1GB of the movie on the device in total for buffering purposes. As you progress through the movie, it will delete older chunks.
    edited March 7 lolliverfastasleepapplesnoranges
  • Reply 12 of 35
    maltzmaltz Posts: 138member
    Compression makes streamed video look like crap compared to Blu Ray or Ultra HD Blu Ray anyway.  I'd take a 1080p Blu Ray rip over a ripped 4k stream any day.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 13 of 35
    DanlorDanlor Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    You answered your own question. WEB-DL is a screen capture of a web stream. DRM is stupid.
  • Reply 14 of 35
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,968member
    sacto joe said:
    BTW, is it possible to make a copy of a 4K video playing on a 4K monitor with an 8K video camera, then "save" the video as a 4K? Seems to me that's one way around the issue.



    cgWerksmaltz
  • Reply 15 of 35
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    I've read this story carefully 3 times and I'm still confused. If "there is no way to watch 4K movies from iTunes" on a Mac or iOS device, then how could "a 4K film sourced from iTunes" exist at all? I realize an Apple TV 4K can display it, so is the story implying that the Apple TV 4K has been hacked? That's what I'm inferring from this story. I apologize for being an idiot.

    they are using iTunes to mean the iTunes store. and yes that is the actual question. how did anyone get a downloaded copy to break. because it's potentially using the same DRM has the other movie files and there's like 5 programs for cracking that. 

    my guess is that if it's from an iTunes file it was a screener. there have been studio screeners sent out using iTunes for a while. sometimes even before they're available to the public (using download codes). and it's possible that they used the 4k version for these screeners. and yes even if they were technically 'rentals' at least 2 of those 5 programs can break a downloaded rental file. or so they claim. 
  • Reply 16 of 35
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member

    elder1969 said:
    This is a non story.  I preordered Aquaman on the iTunes Store and the movie is in 4K.
     I have already watched it on my 4K Apple TV.

    you watched it via streaming on your apple tv. now download it in 4k on your computer, which would be a needed first step to crack the DRM and then post it on something like pirate bay
  • Reply 17 of 35
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,968member
    I've read this story carefully 3 times and I'm still confused. If "there is no way to watch 4K movies from iTunes" on a Mac or iOS device, then how could "a 4K film sourced from iTunes" exist at all? I realize an Apple TV 4K can display it, so is the story implying that the Apple TV 4K has been hacked? That's what I'm inferring from this story. I apologize for being an idiot.
    You're not an idiot.

    The vector from the original report isn't clear. There are two practical possibilities 1) A hack of the ATV4K, allowing for a capture of the video data after decryption has been done somehow or 2) an interception of the network stream at some point in a network with a sniffer of some sort -- which would need to be decrypted somehow.

    The former seems more likely.
    Is it not possible they just used an HDMI HDCP stripper box and a 4K capture card? I thought that's how these things are typically bypassed. 
    Archie Kane
  • Reply 18 of 35
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,220member
    That would be nice if it were cracked. Not that I want pirated movies... I own our entire collection. But, it would save time ripping BluRays and I could convert the few things we've bought from Apple (few, precisely because of the DRM*), so I could move them into our Plex library.

    (* part of my decision when I was in grad schools to buy books on Kindle, was because I could de-DRM any I really needed to as future-proofing. I feel the same with other media, though TV/movies would be on the least-valuable to me end of the spectrum for future-proofing.)

    maltz said:
    Compression makes streamed video look like crap compared to Blu Ray or Ultra HD Blu Ray anyway.  I'd take a 1080p Blu Ray rip over a ripped 4k stream any day.
    Yeah, though I'm not super-picky (old eyes, non-super-duper-high-end-TV, etc.) I also prefer a really good 1080p source over anything I've streamed. I haven't seen a lot of 4k content since we got our 4k TV, but I've not been overly impressed with anything I have seen.
    edited March 7
  • Reply 19 of 35
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,293member
    gatorguy said:
    Apple may be a stickler for security, but they really haven't been fans of DRM. Steve Jobs famously and routinely lamented the movie studios and music labels forcing Apple to implement it on iTunes. It was they who insisted on locking up content delivery in order to charge more. He argued (successfully, in the case of music) that charging a reasonable fee per title was a much better strategy to minimizing piracy. He was right.
    https://www.wired.com/2009/03/poll-was-steve/

    Mr Jobs was also famously known for using public statements as a negotiating tool. He may not have been as firmly "against DRM" in all cases as his statements may have implied. https://daringfireball.net/2007/02/reading_between_the_lines
    Gosh, not a Steve fan?  Who'd have guessed!
  • Reply 20 of 35
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,152member
    Or HDCP stream hacked? Or screen recorder side loaded on AppleTV?  I wonder if iTunes leaves an AppleID watermark?
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