Hacker to license cracked Apple DRM code to others | iLounge News


Hacker to license cracked Apple DRM code to others

Jon Lech Johansen, a hacker also known as “DVD Jon,” says he has cracked Apple’s FairPlay digital music copy-protection technology and plans to license the code to others. The Associated Press reports: “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. An unnamed client will soon use the technology so its copy-protected content will be playable on iPods, she said, declining to give any specifics.”

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haha awesome.  way to stir the controversy pot dvd jon.

Posted by chris on October 24, 2006 at 5:54 PM (CDT)


I’m thinking that Apple won’t even dignify it with a public response.  I don’t think such licenses will be much good even if dvd jon is doing it.

Posted by Jeremy on October 24, 2006 at 6:10 PM (CDT)


its like making a pass key to some rich person’s house and selling the keys to strangers.

No thanks.

Posted by unreal on October 24, 2006 at 6:19 PM (CDT)


Apple can win here; License FairPlay, but only to music stores to make them compatible with iTunes + iPod. As Napster and the others jump at the chance to sell their music to the 60million iPod owners, people subscribed to Napster and the others can then buy into iPod.

Apples happy because theirs licence fees and higher iPod sales. Online stores are happy because they’re selling to a larger number of people. Customers are happy because they have more choice as to which players they can buy and music stores they can use. Also, with everyone switching to FairPlay, all the other DAPs out there are going to suffer even lower sales (kill Microsoft’s Zune before it even takes off).

Posted by Levi on October 24, 2006 at 6:29 PM (CDT)


i think Apple will sue whoever buys the license. this way they can get more money from companies than from DVD Jon who propably dont have much anyways

Posted by SLAYER on October 24, 2006 at 7:08 PM (CDT)


I think the Apple programmers are busy with a firmware update to stop this…

Posted by pattycake on October 24, 2006 at 7:29 PM (CDT)


C’mon, Jon, give the code to the iPod Linux project - http://ipodlinux.org/

Posted by m.s. on October 24, 2006 at 8:27 PM (CDT)


I hope that the first person he sells it to, puts it all over blogs or something.

Posted by D4E on October 24, 2006 at 8:42 PM (CDT)


DVD Jon is a hypocrite.

DVD Jon: ‘Don’t Pay Apple. Pay Me!’

Posted by LukeA on October 24, 2006 at 8:47 PM (CDT)


wow… bunch of Apple share holders around here I see… can any of you break the FairPlay code? I’m betting no. Jon on the other hand can. And he did. And maybe he has to eat too. So he’s selling it… big deal. If you don’t like it don’t buy from that music retailer. Anyway… Apple can only win with this because with more content available even more iPods will get sold. Therefore, hurray capitalism…

Posted by Just me on October 24, 2006 at 11:54 PM (CDT)


“wow… bunch of Apple share holders around here I see… “

Way off base…

Posted by 3rdEye on October 25, 2006 at 2:24 AM (CDT)


Well, Steve Jobs did say this in the Wall Street Journal in 2002:

“If you legally acquire music, you need to have the right to manage it on all other devices that you own.”

I don’t see Apple’s current use of Fairplay complying with that, do you? Nice one Jon.

Posted by Al on October 25, 2006 at 5:03 AM (CDT)


i buy a lot of my music on itunes, and don’t ever get it illegally, so this probably won’t affect me, so it’s just curiosity… does anyone know if the manner in which he cracked the code will prevent apple from ‘patching the hole’ so to speak?  i would think that they could patch it, but if they could, i don’t think a retailer would spend so much for a license from jon.

Posted by Jake on October 25, 2006 at 8:38 AM (CDT)


To pattycake:

I don’t think a firmware update would work.  Too many iPods out there already, and people would not be happy about updating them (I suspect a lot of people don’t know how, or cannot run an update because they have no backup of the music that is on the device).

BTW, IANAL, but I think that reverse-engineering FairPlay is illegal under DMCA.

Posted by otaku on October 25, 2006 at 9:06 AM (CDT)


You don’t need to backup anything for an update and with the new update function in iTunes it would be a lot easier for anyone without too much computer knowledge to update his/her iPod, so why not…

Posted by dragon on October 25, 2006 at 9:56 AM (CDT)


Good point, Dragon.  I was thinking of the old updater.

Posted by otaku on October 25, 2006 at 10:25 AM (CDT)


Do you really think Apple gives a crap? It’s the owners of the media copyrights that are going to sue. There probably wouldn’r be any DRM if the record companies didn’t demand some sort of copy protection. DVD John is an a$$ just waiting to be spanked!!!

Posted by dimebag on October 25, 2006 at 10:44 AM (CDT)


> I hope that the first person he sells it to, puts it all over blogs or something.

Yeah. Let’s see how DVD Jon likes not being able to make a nickle selliing his software because there are 60 bazillion pirated copies floating around on the ‘Net. I’m sure he’ll have NOOOOOO problems with that!

Posted by mclaugh on October 25, 2006 at 10:49 AM (CDT)


mclaugh, You are so right but, it’s so funny isn’t it.  This guy cracks someone else’s code so companies (or people) can use apple’s DRM without paying a license to apple but will get upset if people aren’t paying a lisence to him…

That’s good stuff…

Posted by 3rdEye on October 25, 2006 at 11:35 AM (CDT)


Uhhh… dimebag,
DVD Jon isn’t removing any DRM, he’s selling a way to use Apple’s DRM to other companies so that they can have their music protected and play on an iPod.  So it’s iTunes Store that stands to lose because then iPod owners will have more choice in where to purchase their music from.  Of course, this may lead to increased iPod sales for Apple which may offset any loss in iTunes Store revenue.

Posted by dodo on October 25, 2006 at 1:06 PM (CDT)

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