Malicious Damage Caused by MakeMKV?

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sproggit
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Malicious Damage Caused by MakeMKV?

Post by sproggit » Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:30 am

Hi,

Judging by an earlier thread, I am one of several users of PavTube that have just seen a pop-up message indicating that PavTube have in some way ripped off intellectual property from MakeMKV. As posters to that other thread stated, I abhor copyright theft and am perfectly willing to license all the software I use. All I want to do is upload my content to a media server.

However, what seems to have happened in the case of the PavTube software is that the detection mechanism employed by MakeMKV has actually broken the PavTube product. It no longer works. From an ethical standpoint I'm OK with that. However, from a legal standpoint I think that MakeMKV might be in a very dangerous position indeed. What has happened is that software from one source (MakeMKV) has knowingly, intentionally tampered with and broken software from another source (PavTube).

It doesn't matter, in the eyes of the law, that the PavTube software has allegedly (I have to add that because I'm not a lawyer and don't know the specifics of this dispute) taken copyright material and used it without permission. In the eyes of the law, two "wrongs" don't make a "right".

As with other people who have experienced this, I am happy to take the necessary steps to become compliant with MakeMKV software license requirements. But I must strongly recommend that the authors of MakeMKV seek legal advice immediately concerning the mechanism that is being used here. It is possible that what has been done here is a crime under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1998. Because it was implemented via the internet there could be Wire Fraud implications. Depending on the number of impacted parties, there could be racketeering implications. Please understand, I am not trying to frighten or intimidate - I support any legitimate steps to protect intellectual property [I'm a patent holder, I believe in protecting intellectual property!] - but I would not want you to be indicted for trying to protect what is rightfully yours.

Final request... Rather than send people to your site "main page" [or, via a message on your main page] please put a clear notice to the effect, "If you're a [PavTube/etc] user and were directed here by a pop-up on your computer, please see this..." and direct us to a simple set of instructions as to what we need to do...

Thank you.

Woodstock
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Re: Malicious Damage Caused by MakeMKV?

Post by Woodstock » Wed Jun 15, 2016 6:52 pm

Interesting concept.

If PavTube is not dependent upon MakeMKV to function, how could changes to MakeMKV be problematic for it?

If PavTube is actually dependent upon MakeMKV to function, and they charged you to use their program, did they use part of what you paid to PavTube to purchase a license to MakeMKV for you?

MakeMKV is a product created and maintained by Mike; He is responsible for his product. As you describe the issue, I don't see where there is a legal responsibility for Mike to maintain compatibility with any other product, unless he is paid to do so, or thinks it is in his financial interest to do so.

I don't even see an ethical issue with it.

As a test, if you re-install PavTube and it works, it is likely PavTube is using one or more the libraries from MakeMKV, and "their version" is being overwritten when you updated MakeMKV. In which case, your argument would be with them, not Mike, since you're happy to make sure that Mike gets paid for his work.

Edited to add: Interestingly, when I went to look at what this "PavTube" program is, I get security warnings for malicious software from my antivirus program.
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Chetwood
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Re: Malicious Damage Caused by MakeMKV?

Post by Chetwood » Thu Jun 16, 2016 4:27 am

Don't know why but this reminds me of those DVD Shrink 20x suckers who repacked DVD Shrink to make it look as their own software. dvdshrink in response however had coded his tool in a way that the encoding window could not be hidden so people would immediately recognize the original Shrink was being run underneath.
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yorgo
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Re: Malicious Damage Caused by MakeMKV?

Post by yorgo » Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:34 pm

I am not a lawyer but I am highly suspect that if a case was brought by PavTube against MakeMKV, where PavTube, having stolen rather than legally acquiring MakeMKV, had their business interests hurt, any court would side with PavTube. One cannot claim financial injury against a company they stole from.

And if Mike is "watermarking" his product so others who illegally use and profit from it get outed, I don't see any ethical issues either. This is not an uncommon business practice, BTW.

Devore
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Re: Malicious Damage Caused by MakeMKV?

Post by Devore » Thu Jun 16, 2016 4:56 pm

In cases where someone takes some software and wraps theirs around it and uses it in the background, that is not legal unless the license allows it (it usually requires credit be given) or explicit permission is obtained. So if an MakeMKV update includes code to detect this and stop itself from working under those conditions, and PavTube took that update and included it in their product, and now it no longer works, I'm totally fine with that, and it's entirely legal, and PavTube's problem. But if MakeMKV, when installed along side PavTube, goes into PavTube files or settings, and purposely changes them to break it, that's in the arena of malware.

I'd like to think a legitimate software developer wouldn't do the later. An alternative might be for MakeMKV to detect infringing PavTube installations when run, and inform the user of the situation, but take no action. Even in that case, I know companies like Blizzard have come under fire under privacy laws when their games scan the system/memory for hacking software that people use to cheat in multiplayer games. This seems to be a gray area.

sproggit
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Re: Malicious Damage Caused by MakeMKV?

Post by sproggit » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:06 pm

Thanks all for the responses.

I think you might be misunderstanding my position on a few key points, so let me set this out for you.

1. I have not ever owned, installed, downloaded or used MakeMKV in any shape or form. Ever.
2. I have purchased and used a licensed copy of PavTube Ultimate, very successfully, for at least the last 3 years.
3. A couple of nights ago I launched my copy of PavTube but, when trying to run, I got a pop-up window telling me that a program I was running had been making illegal use of software. I was not accused of the copyright infringement, I was told that software I was running (i.e. PavTube) was infringing.
4. I am entirely happy to pay for and use only licensed software. That's not the problem...
5. The issue, from my point of view, is that if it is true that MakeMKV have acted in a way that has knowingly and wilfully broken PavTube, on my computer, then, irrespective of whether or not PavTube really is ripping of MakeMKV code the Authors of MakeMKV have remotely hacked my computer, which is a FEDERAL CRIME under the Computer Fraud and Misuse Act. The apparent irony here is that MakeMKV are accusing the makers of PavTube of being the criminals [software theft].
6. I am happy to let the lawyers from the two companies resolve the issue.
7. What I am *not* prepared to tolerate is that someone [in this case it seems pretty self-evident that it is MakeMKV] has accessed my computer and broken/disrupted my use of it.
8. In the eyes of the law, "two wrongs don't make a right". Even if MakeMKV have a grievance against the authors of PavTube, that grievance does not involve me.
9. What the makers of MakeMKV need to do is take their case to court and get a cease-and-desist order against PavTube. Once they have done that, then they can come to me with a legally upheld judgement and ask me to follow a process to "become legitimate". I would, of course, be entirely willing to follow that process. In the alternate, they could reach a licensing agreement with the makers of PavTube.

I appreciate that this is a completely different field of technology, but let me give you an example that looks at this case. Let's suppose that we all drive Ford motor vehicles. Let's suppose that Cadillac accuse Ford of patent infringement on some of their technology to do with engine ignition systems... Ford, for whatever reason, ignore Cadillac. So do you think it would be OK for Cadillac to go round the country with a device capable of permanently disabling Ford ignition systems, and just start zapping Ford vehicles they see. "Sorry, that car violates our intellectual property. Tough luck..." Of course not.

I do hope that the authors of MakeMKV understand that I am absolutely not trying to pointlessly cause trouble. In fact, the opposite is true. I respect the rightful owner of the copyright on the disputed code. But, very respectfully, I don't think it is right or appropriate to perform an *illegal act*, attacking another group of victims, as a response.

Another group of victims? Yes. If (*if*) PavTube have illegally copied MakeMKV intellectual property, then I have been defrauded to the tune of about £47 (if I recall correctly) or about $65. So I am a double victim here...

So, with sincere respect to the authors of MakeMKV: please take up your dispute with the authors of PavTube. I respect and support your right to do that. I will absolutely comply with the outcome of that dispute if it is either reached amicably or in a court of law. But please understand that by the law of *my* land (I am a UK citizen), MakeMKV has hacked into my computer and maliciously damaged software I legitimately purchased from someone else. In the UK (and the US) that's a crime.

SamuriHL
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Re: Malicious Damage Caused by MakeMKV?

Post by SamuriHL » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:23 pm

I see a slight problem in your logic on this one. First you say you never installed MakeMKV. Then you go on to say that you got a warning that the program you paid for has been illegally using MakeMKV. The only way you can get that warning is if the program you paid for is embedding MakeMKV illegally in it's own installation. IOW, take it up with the people you bought the software from. MakeMKV can't be hacking your computer if you never installed it.

sproggit
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Re: Malicious Damage Caused by MakeMKV?

Post by sproggit » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:15 pm

SamuriHL wrote:I see a slight problem in your logic on this one. First you say you never installed MakeMKV. Then you go on to say that you got a warning that the program you paid for has been illegally using MakeMKV. The only way you can get that warning is if the program you paid for is embedding MakeMKV illegally in it's own installation. IOW, take it up with the people you bought the software from. MakeMKV can't be hacking your computer if you never installed it.
There is no problem in my logic. I have never installed MakeMKV. I *have* installed PavTube Ultimate. I'm honestly not qualified to respond to your assertion that PavTube must be "embedding MakeMKV illegally in it's own installation". I simply don't know either way. I do agree with your proposal that I take this up with the authors of PavTube: I have done so and received an immediate response that they are looking in to this.

Make no mistake, however, MakeMKV *can* be hacking my computer, in the eyes of the law, if the code is disrupting or breaking other software. I do understand that there are technical niceties here and that we may have to agree to differ on precisely what MakeMKV are or are not entitled to do to my computer without my permission. But let me just re-state. I will respect the true owner of this copyright. I have no problem with that.

What I have a problem with is MakeMKV gaining access to my computer without my permission and breaking a software product provided by a different party. Clearly there is some form of network update or access going on here. I suspect - I don't know - that it is likely involved with checking for updated keys. Just a guess. But if that was the case and if MakeMKV had control of the "back end" [server side of the key distribution] then what I believe they should have done is simply to disable the server side. That would not have required intrusion in to my computer.

Like I say - as someone who paid for PavTube in good faith, I am a victim here, not a perpetrator, not an accused. I would simply be very grateful if MakeMKV and PavTube could resolve this difference professionally, without disrupting my use of my own machine...

Perhaps someone representing MakeMKV would be kind enough to respond in this thread to give the MakeMKV perspective on this story? I think it might help...

yorgo
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Re: Malicious Damage Caused by MakeMKV?

Post by yorgo » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:36 pm

@sproggit,

If the scenario you described and SamuriHL clearly stated, is true, that you've NEVER "owned, installed, downloaded or used" MakeMKV but your PavTube is no longer functioning because MakeMVK has put a stop to someone potentially illegally integrating and not legally licensing their asset, I'm sorry but you are completely off base and are aiming your frustration in the wrong direction; you need to take this up with PavTube.

In no scenario that I can envision would a court ever side with an enterprise that's stolen assets and been financially harmed by the asset no longer functioning because the asset holder could shut it down. And in your car example, yes, I would expect that Cadillac should and would shut down Ford if the theft was blatant, especially if Ford simply ignored the accusation (though I also believe in your analogy that both sides would settle well before it came down to a court battle).

Lastly, and forgive me for being so blunt, I think it's unfair for you to demand MakeMKV to resolve this issue when they may in fact be the victim of a theft, just so you can continue to use your potentially illegal software. Why should Mike have to sink time and energy, and possibly financial resources, into resolving a problem he did not create but is in fact trying to protect his property?

Again, I'm assuming that PavTube has illegally used MakeMKV for their own financial gain without licensing from MakeMKV. If I am wrong, then I apologize. But at the moment, it appears you are certainly a victim of fraud but not from MakeMKV.

Yugatha
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Re: Malicious Damage Caused by MakeMKV?

Post by Yugatha » Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:02 pm

I believe I would be correct in assuming that the owners of MakeMKV have better things to do than to attempt to remotely attack any individual user's computer that are running PavTube. But let's assume otherwise, and list come important points.

In order to connect to your computer, they have to know about your computer to begin with. It would be extremely inefficient to attempt to remotely 'hack' into each and every computer in the world, bypass security, to check to see whether that computer is running Pavtube, remotely inject code to disable it, and launch a pop-up. Most of all, who would be stupid enough to declare they just broke in to your computer remotely?

Let's look at it the other way. Let's say that along with PavTube, a piece of malware is installed alongside it, causing this pop-up. This malware declares that MakeMKV is being copied / stolen from PavTube. The question is, how did the malware infest the PavTube executable? (Just checked their website, I assume this is the ByteCopy program you're referring to).

If MakeMKV is being stolen, it's only fair to assume that Mike will build some anti-theft into the program. If it then disables itself if it finds that it isn't being used by its license, there's no issue there. That's the basic premise that shareware uses - features get disabled if it isn't purchased. If PavTube stops working due to a dependency on the MakeMKV software, that's not the fault of MakeMKV - PavTube needs to go home, and rethink their lives.

Yes, this is unfair for you. You purchased a license for PavTube. It's just unfortunate that PavTube didn't license the programs they are dependent on.

Chip0622
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Re: Malicious Damage Caused by MakeMKV?

Post by Chip0622 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:36 pm

I just want someone from MakeMKV ( MIKE ??? ) to let me know if I buy a license to MakeMKV, will PavTube start working again. I'm MORE than happy to pay for the use of MakeMKV but NOT willing to buy a license and find out PavTube is still blocked. Really wish someone from MakeMKV would clarify this for me...

Woodstock
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Re: Malicious Damage Caused by MakeMKV?

Post by Woodstock » Fri Jun 17, 2016 2:10 pm

Have you considered asking PavTube customer support why their program is dependent upon MakeMKV?

Buying a license to MakeMKV does not change the program itself, just whether or not needs a key update every 2 months.
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makememe
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Re: Malicious Damage Caused by MakeMKV?

Post by makememe » Fri Jun 17, 2016 6:59 pm

"...the detection mechanism employed by MakeMKV has actually broken the PavTube product."

it sounds like pavtube broke pavtube, or does pavtube present use of a makemkv component and risk therein. e.g., we, pavtube, have no idea if our software will work with the makemkv component we sold to you with our name on it. no beta testing, kaBLAMO. right?! it is paytube that produced the pop-up; it is pavtube that is installed, Not makemkv. what legal basis is there to point the finger at makemkv?

this matter is enough for me to avoid pavtube, recommendation to you sproggit, because it appears they do not know how to use someone else software without blowing things up...

this matter is a sensitive/emotional one, no doubt, so I sympathize with your frustration and approach. good luck, dude.

Chetwood
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Re: Malicious Damage Caused by MakeMKV?

Post by Chetwood » Sat Jun 18, 2016 3:31 am

sproggit wrote:Yes. If (*if*) PavTube have illegally copied MakeMKV intellectual property, then I have been defrauded to the tune of about £47 (if I recall correctly) or about $65. So I am a double victim here...
Especially considering the fact that there are tons of free encoders out there whose output/usability is on par/better, e.g. Handbrake, Staxrip, XMedia Recode, Hybrid, Ripbot x.264...
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sproggit
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Re: Malicious Damage Caused by MakeMKV?

Post by sproggit » Sat Jun 18, 2016 11:17 am

Hello everyone, thanks for your continued interest... even if I can't say that I entirely agree with some of the views being expressed. :roll:

I took a screen scrape of what I see on my computer and uploaded it to an image sharing site. Here we are:-

Image

In the background you can see the PavTube main screen. In the foreground you can see the pop-up message that appears when I launch the program. What you can't see is that if/when I press the "OK" button on the pop-up, that auto-launches my browser and takes me to a dedicated page here on the MakeMKV site that talks about the [illegal] use of MakeMKV code by third party programs...

I didn't both to take an image of the "Programs" applet in Control Panel to prove that I don't have any MakeMKV packages installed [hopefully you are willing to take my word on that]...

Also, I checked my local software library and I see that the first edition of PavTube I purchased was on October 22nd, 2011 [so almost 5 years ago]. The most recent update to the software took place when I downloaded an update file on May 19th this year [so almost exactly one month ago]. I don't use the package very often, but if I'd had problems in May I think I would have remembered them...

I suppose that it is possible that the May 19th edition (of PavTube) includes say a library or DLL file that came from MakeMKV that had been written with maybe a bit of "time bomb" logic in it - i.e. after being installed, a period of time later it could be programmed to pop up this alert and error message. I don't know - I am just making guesses here.

In response to the suggestion that my issue should be with PavTube, then obviously I do agree with that. I have been in touch with PavTube support and they responded immediately and are looking into this for me. I got an update from them this morning to let me know they were still working and to thank me for my patience.

I was rather hoping, this being the MakeMKV forum and all, that an official moderator or representative of MakeMKV (would that be Mike?) would be able to respond to my original post with any clarification as to what is going on. I guess I will wait to see what happens.

Thanks again, everyone, for your input. I don't mean to come across as accusatory. I can see from the posts that MakeMKV has a lot of loyal supporters and that alone is indicative of a good community. I'm just very, very frustrated that I am unable to avoid being a "casualty" [secondary victim] of a dispute between MakeMKV and PavTube.

And, like Chip0622, all I really want is for my PavTube software to work properly again...

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