11. 21. 2006
DVD Jon comes back with DoubleTwist
DVD Jon is all over the news, again. Where his team once hacked the encryption that prevented copying DVDs this time his sights are set on stop-gap software that will remove a large barrier to the digital rights game. DoubleTwist Ventures has picked up Jon Johansen to help develop code that will enable competing players to sidestep the restrictions that Apple has placed on who is allowed to play in the iTunes playground.
As an example, DoubleTwist could develop a new driver that makes a Zune or iRiver mp3 player appear to be an iPod when plugged into a computer. With this new driver iTunes would be able to copy music to all kinds of nonstandard devices. By licensing firmware updates from DoubleTwist competing manufacturers would also be able to make mp3 players wholly compatible with downloads from the iTunes store.
Increased competition in the MP3 marketplace will lead to lower prices for consumers... and the losers will be those companies who insist on shackling their users with any type of digital rights management. DoubleTwist claims that their software fixes are both difficult for Apple to block, and is currently trying to license their software to other companies. As the software modifies the devices, and not the locked downloaded content, Apple will have a difficult time forcing Hacker Jon's code into oblivion. Word on the street is that we can look for enabled devices in the first quarter of 2007.