Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

DVD Jon says he has cracked Apple DRM

Posted by Richard Koman - October 24, 2006

'DVD Jon' - Jon Lech Johansen, the guy who cracked DVD copy protection with DeCSS - says he's managed to unlock Apple's technology that block playback of music bought on iTunes on non-iPod players, AP says.


Johansen said he has developed a way to get around those restrictions by creating code that mimics Apple's copy-protection system. But unlike his previous work, which he usually posts for free, the Norway native plans to capitalize on his efforts through his Redwood Shores-based DoubleTwist Ventures, said the company's only other employee, managing director Monique Farantzos.

It's a slam-dunk that Jon will see Apple in court, all the more so because he's not giving his crack away this time - he's turned entrepreneurial.

DoubleTwist says they have an unnamed client that will use the technology so its copy-protected content will be playable on iPods.


"There's a certain amount of trouble that Apple can give us, but not enough to stop this," Farantzos said Tuesday. "We believe we're on good legal ground, and our attorneys have given us the green light on this."

But that might be a little optimistic. "There is a lot of untested legal ground surrounding reverse engineering," EFF's Fred von Lohmann said.


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