May 21 2009

I’ve just found out today that the author of rtmpdump has received a DMCA removal request via Sourceforge for rtmpdump which is was hosted by them. This is rather curious since Adobe publicly and officially announced earlier this year that they will be releasing the specification of the RTMP protocol on its public developers site.

Get your copy now from the very many downloads available on the internet. Looks like Adobe will have their work cut out for them given the sheer number of sites that host this software globally. There is no doubt that this highly dangerous piece of code will also turn up on many bittorrent trackers and file download sites.

Maybe Adobe should try to understand that if you publicly hand out the decryption keys for the streamed media that you have encrypted then trying to prevent the decryption of such data is somewhat futile. This is really just an elaborate obfuscation technique that the big media bosses clearly believe works.

Adobe, as you probably know, has a history of restricting open interoperability and free speech. Remember the Dimitri Sklyarov case?.

Update see this post for more info…

35 Comments

  • On May 21st, 2009, Andrew Suffield said:

    Tell him to move it to gna.org, they’re outside the US and usually pretty good about this stuff.

    • On May 21st, 2009, ufufgnaf said:

      I can’t believe this is happening. I think BBC shouldn’t put DRM on their programmes anyway. We paid for the TV taxes, so shouldn’t everything BBC made belong to tax payers? Why do we have to pay for DVDs if we want to watch the programmes again?

      • On May 21st, 2009, linuxcentre said:

        The BBC only use DRM on the official adobe AIR download versions of iPlayer programes. All other TV and Radio iPlayer streams such as the flash and iphone streams do not employ any DRM.

        • On May 21st, 2009, ufufgnaf said:

          Haha, I noticed the change in name. Anyway, the problem is their intention. Even though they don’t put DRM on those streams, we can’t access it easily without scripts. I think we can call it malice aforethought. The most important thing in this iPlayer thing is not the consequence, it is their intention. Obviously they don’t want you to download those streams.

          • On May 21st, 2009, linuxcentre said:

            Wouldn’t it be terrible and bad for business if someone were to broadcast those same streams (or better quality ones) publicly over the airwaves in crisp digital form so that anyone could record them onto a hard disk?

            • On May 21st, 2009, ufufgnaf said:

              I think that’s what digital TV’s for. The problem is we can’t access to the airwave once it is broadcasted. If we want to watch the programme after 7 days, we need to buy DVDs from BBC, which are sold in a price higher than the cost of making.

              • On May 21st, 2009, linuxcentre said:

                Same goes for get_iplayer mostly – most programmes go off-air after 7 days so you still need to go buy it on DVD. Good job no-one has invented a PVR for digital TV yet they eh :-)

              • On May 21st, 2009, ufufgnaf said:

                Well, I think there is no reason for BBC to restrict content distribution after 7 days. Also, whats the once you start watching, you can only keep it for 7 days about? We paid our taxes once, why can’t we keep stuff forever? Are we suppose to delete stuff 7 days after first watching for PVR content? what’s the difference between PVR and iplayer?

              • On May 21st, 2009, linuxcentre said:

                I think the 7-day thing you mention (not actually 7 days in law) was considered acceptable time to keep a recording for time-shifting purposes on VCRs and PVRs etc. See http://www.iplayerconverter.co.uk/articles/recording-tv-radio-in-the-uk.aspx for a good write-up on this.

              • On May 22nd, 2009, didroe said:

                It’s not really the BBC that you should be mad at. The main reasons for the 7 day thing are that a) the BBC doesn’t make all the content they show, so your license fee money is purchasing the right to broadcast a show once, not the show itself. And b) all the other broadcasters moaned a lot about unfair competition.

                I’m sure the BBC would love to have it’s whole archive available.

    • On May 21st, 2009, Matt said:

      What does this mean for get_iplayer? If this going to stop working?

      • On May 21st, 2009, linuxcentre said:

        Not at all. The iphone iplayer (tv/radio), ITV and podcast modes will still definitely work without rtmpdump.

        Also, I don’t think there will be much success in adobe playing whack-a-mole with all the rtmpdump download and distribution package sites available. So rtmpdump will still be out there.

      • On May 22nd, 2009, AudioBear said:

        Does anyone actually have the new rtmpdump 1.6 compiled for Leopard OS X Intel for Mac. It seems to have vanished from SourceForge?

        • On May 22nd, 2009, Intra said:

          Is there a copy of sourceforge forums (e.g., for rtmpdump project) available anywhere else?

          There was some good know-how of how to compile it under Mac OS X, but it is lost now (unless there are cached or republished copies somewhere).

          • On May 23rd, 2009, Richard said:

            There’s a compiled version of 1.6 on my site

          • On May 22nd, 2009, linuxcentre said:

            You’ll find rtmpdump quite widely available if you search.

            However, you may as well use the forked version (called flvstreamer) that can be searched for on my download page. It doesn’t have the rtmpe support that rtmpdump had but get_iplayer doesn’t ever use rtmpe anyway. Make sure you use the latest get_iplayer though.

            • On May 22nd, 2009, Intra said:

              Linuxcentre: to clarify, is the source of this exact version – v1.6 – widely available? There is no shortage of previous versions, but v1.6 was not that trivial to find.

              Thanks for a pointer to flvstreamer. Note, however, that I am interested in a tool that does RTMPE as well.

              • On May 22nd, 2009, linuxcentre said:

                Actually not really searched for v1.6 in earnest. Although v1.5/1.5a also supported rtmpe.

                • On May 22nd, 2009, Matt said:

                  Will get_iplayer continue using rtmpdump 1.5a? If this supports rtmpe anyway, if iplayer started using that, rtmpdump 1.5a could support it couldn’t it?

                  • On May 22nd, 2009, linuxcentre said:

                    I’ve not removed support for anything. Just added support for the forked version.

                    • On May 22nd, 2009, Matt said:

                      So would you use rtmpdump if rtmpe support was needed in the future?

                      • On May 22nd, 2009, linuxcentre said:

                        I’d have to see how things play out with adobe on that one I guess!

                  • On May 22nd, 2009, Matt said:

                    If iplayer started using rtmpe, would that cause problems for get_iplayer? Will rtmpdump continue development elsewhere anyway?

                    • On May 22nd, 2009, linuxcentre said:

                      Not really. rtmpdump and flvstreamer are optional for the vast majority of BBC programmes. If rtmpdump comes back to life then get_iplayer will still continue to use it. I’m also unsure of how well supported and maintained flvstreamer will be. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

                      • On May 24th, 2009, Nil Einne said:

                        I would point out however that if you lose rtmpdump/flvstreamer, you lose HQ, VHQ and HD streams (well unless you get another RTMP downloader) which are unquestionably better quality then the iPhone crap.

                        • On May 24th, 2009, linuxcentre said:

                          Having now seen the adobe DMCA removal request letter I am guessing that it may be just the ‘SWF verification’ parts of the rtmpdump they did not like. I can only really see this part advertised by adobe as a ‘content protection’ feature which they refer to as a ‘technological protection measure’. In fact, I’m wondering if even rtmpe is still OK – just without the SWF verification features. Maybe at some point adobe will clarify their position.

                          • On May 24th, 2009, Matt said:

                            So if SWF Verification is intoduced on iplayer, the streaming capabilities of get_iplayer would no longer be allowed to function?

                    • On May 24th, 2009, linuxcentre said:

                      SWF Verification would never be done in get_iplayer – rtmpdump did/does that. So get_iplayer would still function.

                      • On May 24th, 2009, Matt said:

                        if rtmpdump removes verification though (assuming thats the problem adobe have with the program), the streaming capabilities will go with it if the site has verification enabled? Couldn’t you just use an older version of rtmpdump from before the verification was removed in a new version of get_iplayer?

                        • On May 25th, 2009, linuxcentre said:

                          Yes Matt, that would seem logical.

                  • On May 22nd, 2009, James said:

                    Why don’t you host flvstreamer (I’m assuming you did all of the work on removing rtmpe) on sf.net and try to build a project around that?

                    • On May 22nd, 2009, linuxcentre said:

                      I wish I were so clever – I’m no C++ coder unfortunately. Hacky perl is my thing.
                      I guess if it was to be maintained and properly hosted it would unlikely be on SF.net again unless the original author manages to get his site back.

                      • On May 23rd, 2009, Matt said:

                        Would you not allow get_iplayer to support rtmpe again due to Adobe’s DMCA request to rtmpdump?

                        • On May 24th, 2009, linuxcentre said:

                          See my reply the ‘Nil Einne’ above.

                      • On May 23rd, 2009, Paul Battley said:

                        Coincidentally, I received an email this morning inviting me to nominate projects for the SourceForge Community Choice awards. So I nominated rtmpdump for ‘Best Project for Multimedia’. You can do the same here:

                        http://sourceforge.net/community/cca09/nominate/

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