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Decoding iTune DRM For Users’ Benefit

A hacker who in his teens used to practice hacking operations had once decoded the encryption on DVDs. Recently he laid a hand on cracking the code that hinders iPod users from playing music from download music stocks except Apple computer Inc.'s iTunes, declared his company on October 24, 2006.

The hacker, Jon Lech Johansen, set to fight against Apple's lawyers and his win could loosen the restrictions that Apple and its rivals impose on 'digital music'.

When Apple was celebrating its fifth birthday, Johansen broke the news that he had acquired the knowledge of the inner workings of the iPod and technique of 'FairPlay' encryption facilitating him to eliminate the restrictions Apple employs on users. Currently, it is not possible to play songs on non-iPod devices that have been bought from Apple's iTunes store. Conversely, songs from other music stores won't play on iPod because of the presence of 'copy protection' that Apple does not support.

Johansen says that the 'iTunes iPod ecosystem' has excluded every other individual from the market and he does not like these closed systems. Johansen owns a company called "Double Twist" that has created software to overcome these restrictions. The company plans to license the programs to 'digital music stores' that are seeking to sell 'copy protected' songs.

Although Apple can pose some amount of trouble, says Monique Farantzos, managing director of Double Twist, but not enough to stop their endeavor. The company thinks it is doing things with sufficient legal backing and that their attorneys have given the green signal.

However, Johansen is not entirely cleared from a legal battle over copy-protection laws, says Fred von Lohmann, a staff attorney at the 'privacy advocacy group'- 'Electronic Frontier Foundation'. Johansen is moving with great caution and there is still lot of legal ground to be tested.

Whether it brings money to Double Twist or not, Johansen will stick to his point that he was fed up of the fact that people were accepting the iTunes DRM. He is unconcerned about Apple taking action against him as evident from his blog, 'So Sue Me'.

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