There have been plenty of rumours recently that Netflix is working towards introducing offline viewing by the end of this year.
The new development will be essentially the same as the ‘listen offline’ feature on Spotify, allowing users to download content onto their laptop, phone or tablet and watch on the go.
However, it seems like a glitch in Google’s Chrome browser is already allowing users to download films from the streaming service, reports Wired.
The issue was discovered by security researchers who managed to save illegal copies of movies from Netflix and Amazon Prime.
The glitch reportedly takes advantage of a technology called Widevine EME/CDM – the system Chrome uses to stream encrypted video from content providers.
The flaw was discovered by David Livshits and Ben-Gurion and the pair have now submitted their findings to Google, but say they won’t disclose full details of the bug to the public for 90 days.
Google have released a statement saying:
We appreciate the researchers’ report and we’re examining it closely.
Chrome has long been an open-source project and developers have been able to create their own versions of the browser that, for example, may use a different CDM or include modified CDM rendering paths.
The Chrome browser, however, is required to protect compressed video and does so.
David Livshits told Wired:
The simplicity of stealing protected content with our approach poses a serious risk for Hollywood [studios] which rely on such technologies to protect their assets.
So it’s safe to assume it won’t be around for long…