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October 6, 2015


Hackers discover how to download streaming movies from Netflix

by Brad Linder, posted Aug 6th 2007 6:45PM
Earlier this year Netflix announced a new service that would allow you to watch a limited number of videos online instead of waiting for the DVDs to come in the mail. The service is free with your regular subscription. If you pay $17/month for access to 3 DVDs at a time, you can watch 17 hours of video per month. If you pay $5 per month for access to 2 DVDs per month, you can watch 5 hours of video online.

There's just one problem. You have to watch on Netflix's terms. The video player is browser based, and the movies are encoded using Windows Media DRM. If you want to begin a movie now and finish it later, you're out of luck. Or if you want to copy it to a portable device for viewing during your morning commute (on the train, not while driving, of course!), no soup for you.

Well, the smart folks over at the Rorta forums seem to have cracked the code, using Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player 11, FairUse4WM, and Notepad. The solution involves finding the URL of the video file, downloading it, acquiring the license key and then stripping the DRM. It's a bit involved, and will probably take longer than just sitting down and watching the movie. But hey, it's the principle of the thing, right?

Keep in mind, this hack will not let you download more than 17 hours of video per month, so it's not exactly going to be a great trick for starting your online video piracy empire.

Update: As several people have pointed out in the comments, you can indeed stop a Netflix "watch now" movie and start it again later, or fast forward to any point in a film to begin watching. Thanks!

[via Brent Evans]

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