An Open future for iTunes and the iPod
"He imitated Apple's system; he didn't remove any copyright protections," said Monique Farantzos, whose DoubleTwist Ventures plans to license the code to businesses. "He made a system that behaves in a similar way."
Jon Lech Johansen has essentially created software that in a way tricks iTunes into thinking a competing device with the DoubleTwist code is an iPod, said Farantzos who predicted it could be available to consumers as soon as the beginning of 2007.
"What this means in practice is that competing (download) stores would be able to make their encrypted content compatible with the iPod, she said. "Hardware devices that have this code embedded could play iTunes content."
She also declined to go into specifics about how the hacker known as DVD Jon -- who now works at DoubleTwist -- cracked Apple's code. But Farantzos sees no legal complication arising from the technology she said does not remove any copyright protection.
More importantly, Apple would also find it difficult to update its software to block DoubleTwist as the company did when RealNetworks Inc. (Nasdaq:RNWK - news) offered songs for download that worked with iPods, she added.
"We followed a different strategy than RealNetworks. We don't believe it is practical for Apple to block this."
Way to go Jon!