Norwegain hacker DVD Jon became famous when he cracked the copy protection for today’s DVD format, CSS, thus Jon Lech Johansen’s nickname. Since his escapades with DeCSS , DVD Jon has made a number of astonishing actions against copy protections. Among others he cracked Apple’s DRM protection. Now it is once again Apple and its FairPlay DRM technology that’s the target, but this time he hasn’t cracked the system. He has instead recreated the system and now made it possible to put the protection on other material than that from just Apple.
This may sound very weird at first, but the thought behind the project is to license the modified version of FairPlay DRM to other companies which then can use it to brand its material with FairPlay DRM. This would mean also other material, no just the one from Apple, can be used with the company’s iPod family and still have a copy protection. As you perhaps know there is no problem for iPod to read MP3 files and other unprotected material, but for those who wants to sell DRM-protected material there hasn’t been a way to support Apple’s well spread iPod family.
Exactly how well DVD Jon’s plan will fan out remains to be seen though. The question is what Apple is going to do about it as its iPod players would only become even more popular, but at the same time iTunes Store would be in a much worse situation.