Redfox responds to accusations of stealing hashed keys from MakeMKV


#1

Originally published at: https://www.myce.com/news/redfox-responds-accusations-stealing-hashed-keys-makemkv-83777/

The developer of MakeMKV has accused Redfox from stealing so-called “hashed keys” that can be used to rip Ultra HD (UHD) Blu-ray movies. His accusation raised eyebrows amongst users on several forums. We asked Redfox to respond to the accusation, which they did.


#2

Glad that is finally settled.


#3

Well that makes sense and finally the end of the discussion I guess.

And answer this question you posted:

“To RedFox’s credit they did offer to buy the technology, but when Mike refused they decided to obtain what they needed through alternate means”.

Now we know for sure the answer to that question free for the taking I support both companies I just wish they had worked together for the common good for everyone.


#4

This is the last thing I have to say about this. I have been reading the discussion over at the RedFox forums and do find it interesting that they are making the comparison of Mike’s hashed keys as being the same as the VUK leak. While Mike does post the keys publicly for anyone to download, the fact they are hashed should signal that they were clearly intended for MakeMKV only. The VUKs could be directly applied, whereas hashed keys must be first decoded. It’s really not the same thing.

I also like how they are glossing over the fact that Mike is providing the keys for RedFox to potentially profit on. I guess it is true that there is no honor among thieves…


#5

To me the takeaway and odd thing is how closed some users were to the concept that this may be occurring in light of a range of things that suggested it could be occurring. Like, I’m a paying AnyDVD customer but I wasn’t shut off to seeing there were a number of unusual signs (including some I decided not to post at the time) that with this as an explanation would actually tie it all together. But I still gave them the benefit of the doubt.

And now despite the dev fully admitting this was occurring I still see some AnyDVD users there downplaying that reverse-engineering the hashed key format of an optionally free, competing software, after originally offering to buy the tech, is no different than using the original and non-obfuscated publicly released VUK keys that both MakeMKV and AnyDVD implemented support for. Describing that as similarly ‘stealing’ to make it out to be a kettle calling the pot black scenario. Not a good look imo, they could have handled this differently.


#6

They are not the same thing Mike worked very hard plus all the other folks that uploaded their dumps to MKV and I don’t know but the way I was raised stealing is stealing just because it can be downloaded from the site doesn’t make what Redfox did right IMO.

Mike needs to find a way to keep his work from being taken his Bluray Database is there for the taking too.

Many would see this as open source so I am in between on this if Mike hadn’t wanted his stuff used by another company then maybe he should have protected his database better?


#7

On the technical side of things, I’m more surprised that a Doom9 user has not yet made a version of “FindVUK” to publish the UHDBD VUK’s from MakeMKV the same way they have been doing with Fab’s products on normal BDs for years.

On the ethical side, it will be in the eye of the individual. We know that AACSLC argues it is wrong to hunt for keys on their discs and that MakeMKV, AnyDVD, DeUHD etc are bad for profiting off their hard work that they are trying to protect. Similarly, I’m sure Mike will find it wrong to hunt for keys in MakeMKV and that anyone who profits off his work is also bad, or that FindVUK does the same to DVDFab.

For me I’ll sleep easy as I pay for my discs and also for MakeMKV, AndDVD and DeUHD Licences. I’d actually prefer NOT to have to pay for 3rd parties for licences to play my discs the way I want… unfortunately, I can not see AACSLC allowing that to happen anytime soon even for a fee! So instead I happily pay for the licences required to allow me to do this. If you do find the work of the studios and software (that allows us to play our discs the way we want) then supporting them by paying for the cost of the discs and the licence fees to the SW authors makes sense and keeps the development alive and maturing. If you don’t like the practices of AACSLC, MakeMKV, AnyDVD, DeUHD, DVDFab etc, don’t give them your hard earned.


#8

A bank’s ATM machine full of money is in public as well
If you hack the password protection in place it is stealing
The keys were hashed and not openly visible
They had to reverse engineer the hashes to get the keys
They hacked the protection to get the keys >>> STEALING
How are we to believe them on any thing they say
They didn’t steal anything but if they did it is okay because it was out in the open
Don’t park your cars in the driveway or street, out in the open
OH, wait, so are our houses, they are visible to the public so they can be taken and it is not stealing


#9

I think from a pure technical PoV the whole reverse engineering aspect of anything is interesting of itself. When the hashed key format topic was first posted I even commented that the line ‘no other software can read files in this format so far’ reads almost like a challenge to other devs to figure it out.

But ethics of how they went about it aside I was put off by the name calling and attitude of users, which wasn’t curbed on their forum, where Mike was called dishonest, arrogant, jealous, and brushing off discussion. They should have been more responsible with their moderation, given this is being said of a dev whose work they’re using and who has even posted on friendly terms on their forum previously, but they wanted to save face rather than intervene it seems.


#10

Lack of moderation? A lot of of those remarks came from the mods, or former mods


#11

Yes but they were unaware (and didn’t seem to want to consider the possibility either). Only the devs knew, who could have stepped in earlier.

Anyway, it’s settled now, thankfully.


#12

Will the hashed keys work with Slysoft AnyDVD?


#13

They already do :joy:
It’s baked in for your enjoyment.


#14

And they also deleted posts and threatened to delete further posts bringing up the subject
In fact Redfox1 hinted at banning the user that first started this on a forum that wasn’t Redfox
This post also got deleted
I see this as active hiding of the facts


#15

True stature shows itself in small things - like excuses.


#16

Previously, I had issues with the lack of substantiation with the allegations that were brought up in these forums. That was of valid concern especially given how the issue was raised. Personally, I also had an issue with it not being Mike Chen addressing it, as well. It also wasn’t just about possible “stealing” of the keys but also this whole thing about buying/selling, etc. I could see Mike Chen coming forward on this but the fact it wasn’t just came off as… strange. Personally, it’s not how I would have gone about things and to not expect some form of pushback is very naive. But, it is what it is and that’s how this whole thing began here. That can’t be changed.

According to the article and the representative for RedFox we now have an idea of what is going on. Very clear, in fact. So, some of the allegations are substantiated. Disappointing but true. I’m not getting into any word games. It’s good that we have some answers with respect to that. I’m not pleased by the news and had hoped and believed that RedFox was further along in their own efforts. Unfortunately, I was clearly incorrect. I’m not pleased by any of the entire situation from the beginning to end.

I took some time to try to find a way organize my thoughts. After doing that and deciding to post I began questioning whether I should. I don’t work for RedFox nor do I have any internal knowledge. Some people will never really read what I say objectively because they can’t believe I could think in a manner that is not biased. They’re wrong. Spending time thinking and writing to simply be discounted out of hand is pretty worthless. Regardless, I decided that saying something rather than nothing was the way to go. No long enlightening debate. Simply a summation.

These are my thoughts.

EOT


#17

Why do Mike publish the hashed keys? Why not use OPD like AnyDVD, wouldn’t that make it harder to steal the keys from MakeMKV?


#18

I am sure there are any number of potential solutions Mike could explore to harden the keys, but he really doesn’t want to have to spend time on that aspect.


#19

I see, but its sad that other people making money for his hard work though.
I don’t have a license for either anydvd nor makemkv, but when I do buy one its defently gonna be for MakeMVK.


#20

To be honest with you, I am not really concerned who publishes what. All that I am interested in is a utility to help me backup my own discs. I have life time licenses for DVDFab, AnyDVD, and MakeMKV…