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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Internet Has Changed Everything...Whether Some Companies Realize It Or Not...

Hacker breaks link between iTunes and the iPod
A notorious Norwegian hacker known as DVD Jon is preparing for another run-in with the music industry after he released software that lets iPod owners copy music and videos bought from iTunes and play it on other devices. [...]

A spokesman for the San Fransisco-based company said that its software was legal, because it only allowed a user who has already purchased music to copy it. "All we are facilitating are friends sending things to one another," Monique Farantzos, DoubleTwists's chief executive and co-founder, told Reuters.

Lawyers today cast doubt on Ms Farantzos's claims, however, saying that the law had taken steps to protect Apple's efforts to control the way its music could be played, and that anyone circumventing measures such as DRM risked being found guilty of copyright infringement.

"I would be astonished if DoubleTwist doesn't get a call from Apple," Paul Jones, a partner in intellectual property law at the London-based firm Harbottle & Lewis, said.

DVD Jon, whose real name is Jon Lech Johansen, has been an arch-enemy of the music and film indutries ever since he released software which broke the copy protection on Hollywood films, aged 16.

In 2003, Mr Johansen, now 24, developed the first of several programs which attempted to bypass the system developed by Apple for synchronising its iTunes store with iPods, leading to one of a series of run-ins with the firm.

Yes, I understand the legal arguments against such technology; and those arguments are legally correct. However, the media/music industry (that includes people like Apple as well as the RIAA and artists) needs to realize they are well past the "if you can't beat'em" phase of their battle with the technopartisans. They will never win the war to keep strict control over their technology or the intellectual property they sell. It's time to start thinking in a new way for a new world. Otherwise consumers will always be caught in the middle, and will feel no loyalty to either side, and choose simply what is best, cheapest for them.

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