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October 26, 2006

Hacker Claims to Have Cracked iPod Restrictions

22-year-old Jon Lech Johansen claims to have cracked the code on ipod playback restrictions. Currently, music bought on itunes can't be played on any brand of music device besides ipods and music bought by other services cannot be put onto ipods. He believes that he has found a way around these restrictions, and is planning to have an unnamed company make music bought off other services to be playable on ipods.

Johansen became famous when he was only 15 by posting a software that unlocks the Content Scrambling System, which producers of DVDs used to prevent illegal copying. I think it is incredible that at only 15 and now 22 years old this young man has been able to hack his way into these systems which I'm sure that tons of people older than him have spent hours going over and over to ensure that nothing like this happened.

Obviously Apple is going to put up a fight and try to stop this from getting out, but Johansen has been speaking with lawyers and is fairly confident of the legality of his actions. When he hacked into the DVD system, he was charged with data-break in but was acquitted. It's hard to believe that something like this could actually be legal. Another thing I found interesting was that he has become a strong supporter of open-sources and believes that software code should be freely available for sharing and inspection.

Posted by amweibel at October 26, 2006 12:55 AM

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