Hacker cracks iTunes DRM protection, plans to license to rivals

MP3 players

ituneslogo.jpgA hacker from the company DoubleTwist claims that he has cracked the DRM code that protects Apple’s iTunes Store tracks and stops them being played on anything except iTunes or the iPod.

Jon Lech Johanses said he’d reverse-engineered the copy-protection system and plans to license the code to rival digital music player manufacturers. That is, if Apple’s lawyers don’t get to him first.

As is often the way, Apple haven’t commented on the claims.

There’s a rise in popularity of non-DRM music sites that are supported in other ways, such as SpiralFrog and eMusic, and I don’t see that it would do Apple any harm to allow its Store music to be played on other devices.

DRM wouldn’t have to be removed completely (though that would be good), but with the potential for more revenue coming from the Store than from the player itself (particularly with movies and more coming soon) wouldn’t it make sense?

Apple surely won’t be happy with this unofficial solution (assuming it is genuine). Why it’s so bad to allow its Store offerings to be used elsewhere is beyond me.

A similar issue will arise with the Zune Marketplace, and we’ve seen Microsoft go after hackers of its Windows Media DRM.

Something else to get all Anti-DRM over.

Andy Merrett
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