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DVD-Jon Breaks iTunes Encryption For Linux Users 584

McGruff writes "The Register has a story regarding DVD-Jon's new hobby, iTunes DRM. According to the story DRMed iTunes AAC files can now be played under Linux via VidioLAN Client thanks to some handywork by Jon. '"When you run the VideoLAN Client under Windows it will write the user key to a file. The user key is system independent and can thus be used by the GNU/Linux version of VLC," he explains.' Personally, this just means I will buy even more iTunes." (We mentioned in November Johansen's efforts to negate the iTunes restrictions on Windows.)
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DVD-Jon Breaks iTunes Encryption For Linux Users

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  • Key exchange ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jesrad ( 716567 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @09:54PM (#7886969) Journal
    How long before people start exchanging their keys ? Now that the key can be had and used under virtually any platform, in an easily copied or transmitted file format, the copy-protection is effectively cracked.
    • Re:Key exchange ? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      fuck exchanging keys. just exchange the damn mp3s using kazaa or emule.
      • Re:Key exchange ? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jesrad ( 716567 )
        You are not thinking on the same scale as me. This reverse-engineering of the iTMS' AAC copy-protection means more people will share the music they buy with relatives / people they know, at a small scale. I don't think this marks the "end of the music industry" in any way, it will probably have no impact on the market, apart from letting Linux users listen to music they'd buy from the iTunes Music Store, which means more potential customers.
    • What's your point? It's not like much of what iTunes has is exclusive. It's all distributed on P2P anyway, it's just a pain to get that way. I don't see this as having any real consequence besides allowing users to play the files how they want without re-encoding it in another lossy format.
    • Re:Key exchange ? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by lynxuser ( 737950 )
      While exchanging keys sounds good, in theory, I believe the keys are limited to 3 PCs through the DRM. As well, they would need to be sent with the AAC DRM files that you want others to use, this sounds like a security risk to me. Finally, I suspect that Apple enabled some sort of hash, linked perhaps to your MAC address (or some other hardware) that would keep the key different for every single PC.
    • Re:Key exchange ? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by salimma ( 115327 ) * on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:03PM (#7887044) Homepage Journal
      RTFA - You need to exchange the key *and* the file itself, as the key is tailored to each computer. iTMS reps could then easily block computers with said Windows Product IDs.

      This hack is, OTOH, useful for 'fair use' - for people who dual-boot Windows and Linux. As well as dedicated music pirates who would re-share the unlocked files as plain AAC.

      • by Luke the Obscure ( 651951 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:19PM (#7887164) Homepage
        I can't wait until all Slashdot comments are nothing but long strings of esoteric acronyms.
      • Re:Key exchange ? (Score:3, Interesting)

        That doesn't make any sense.

        If he's using the key to decrypt the file, presumably the raw AAC stream can be extracted.

        I.e. you could do lossless conversion of m4p -> m4a. You'll have the same exact data minus the DRM, free to use with any AAC-compatible device or software you want.
  • How long... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 3Suns ( 250606 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @09:55PM (#7886973) Homepage
    Awesome, I was waiting for this. Definitely a reason to consider iTunes now.

    How long until someone writes a command-line AAC2mp3 converter?
    • Or maybe... (Score:3, Informative)

      by raygundan ( 16760 )
      Just AAC2AAC? Only without the copy protection. That way we keep our compression loss to one generation.
    • Re:How long... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Doppler00 ( 534739 )
      Why would you want to re-encode an AAC to an MP3? AAC already has superior quality. Just removing the encryption (for personal use) would be nice.
    • Re:How long... (Score:5, Informative)

      by moosesocks ( 264553 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:06PM (#7887071) Homepage
      It could be done with AppleScript under OS X. Simply tell itunes to play a given song, tell any old sound recording app to dump the computer's sound output to a WAV, convert to MP3 using LAME, and then grab the song's info via. AppleScript and put it into an ID3

      The downside here is that you're losing quality encoding to MP3 (remember that AAC is also lossy). Unfortunately, there is no way to preserve full-quality without retaining the original file format.

      Either way, I frown upon this sort of piracy. $.99 is pretty darn cheap (Note here that I have no objection to using this to play your OWN files under linux if it is the operating system of your choice. Just keep it to yourself)
      • Re:How long... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Nasarius ( 593729 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:18PM (#7887152)
        Exactly. That's why if you want me to buy music online, you had better be distributing it in a lossless format (FLAC, SHN, APE, whatever...I don't care as long as I can get the original WAV).
        • Re:How long... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by iammaxus ( 683241 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @11:58PM (#7887868)
          Why do people insist on things like this... I would really like to find the person who could honestly tell me that they enjoy a 192+ kbps encoded (mp3pro, aac, wma) any less than the cd. Can anyone really hear any loss during regular use? People just like to _know_ that they are listening to a completely, totally, 100% original even though they would probably never know. And like the others who responded to this comment, what's the point when these files are generally being encoded directly from masters which yields _better_ results than what you want (a 100% copy of the cd)
          • Re:How long... (Score:3, Interesting)

            by nemesisj ( 305482 )
            I can consistently determine the difference between a CD and 192kbps in a double blind test environment. If it's a genre of music that I really like, and a band I know well, I can even do pretty well between a 256kbps MP3 and a CD.

            This is on medium to low quality speakers.

            If we're talking about headphones, I can tell every time between the CD and any lossy encoding method.

            You obviously don't listen to music for detail, which is ok, that's fine, but stop sounding stupid saying that noticing fine detail i
      • Piracy? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by phorm ( 591458 )
        I frown upon this sort of piracy

        It's not piracy until you sell/give the re-encoded file away to somebody else. Until then it's fair-use (hint: think of devices that play Mp3 but not AAC).
  • by lynxuser ( 737950 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @09:55PM (#7886975)
    I am quite excited about this. VLC has always been my media player of choice, now the ability to play AAC DRM files in it just ups its ante.

    While booting to Windows is a slight disappointment, I am sure DVD-Jon will remove that step ASAP.
  • Windows Only??? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Blair16 ( 683764 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @09:56PM (#7886977)
    Does anybody else see something wrong with Apple having a program that only works on Windows and Macs? You would think they would be a little bit more understanding of those of us running "alternative" OSes.
    • Re:Windows Only??? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 05, 2004 @09:58PM (#7887009)

      Does anybody else see something wrong with Apple having a program that only works on Windows and Macs? You would think they would be a little bit more understanding of those of us running "alternative" OSes.

      Yeah, it's not like Apple has a vested interest in one operating system over another!

      Oh wait...

      Guys, Apple is no more altruistic than Microsoft. Apple is only cool because they are the underdog. Don't be expecting Apple to be something they aren't. That's where Linux and Open Source comes in.

    • by mental_telepathy ( 564156 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:05PM (#7887060)
      You would think they would be a little bit more understanding of those of us running "alternative" OSes.

      That would be the way for apple to go if they were in it to make everyone feel good. But actually, they are in it to make money. And as you may have noticed, a lot of linux users don't like to pay for stuff. This is smart for Linux users, not so good for people trying to make money off of Linux users.

      And of course, it could never be enough. port itunes to linux? Where is the Ogg Vorbis support? Got Ogg? Why doesn't it work with *insert random peice of sourceforge developed software here*

      I know, nobody wants to hear that they are the prima donnas of the IT world. But I've got Karma to burn.

      • That would be the way for apple to go if they were in it to make everyone feel good. But actually, they are in it to make money. And as you may have noticed, a lot of linux users don't like to pay for stuff.

        SIGH. I think that you will find that Linux users are more than happy to pay for good products. Consider the loki games; I do not know of anybody who stole one of them. I, like many others, bought a number of them. In fact, had Loki managed their money better or simply started about a year later, they
      • Hey, I own an IBook and I would be buying ITunes right now if it was possible to play on Linux. Instead Apple has lost a sale, but I certainly use the Ibook to rip my CD's, since the resulting files do play on Linux.

        Linux users are not cheap, it's just that nothing is sold for them. Your karma deserves to burn for that nasty insult.

        I am employed writing $5000/copy software that is used on Linux, btw. Why are we able to sell that, when Linux users are "cheap"?

      • by macjohn ( 185795 ) <john@digitalmx.com> on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @12:29AM (#7888080) Homepage
        You forget where the money is: it's in iPods, not in the music. They don't make any money on the music. But every platform they can hook to an iPod is a win. So doing a Linux port certainly doesn't hurt them and may help.
    • Re:Windows Only??? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JazFresh ( 146585 )
      Check out the Google Zeitgeist. [google.com] Only 1% of all hits were from Linux machines. Given that, do you really think it's worth Apple's time to cater for 1% of the Internet population?

      Not all those hits could have been from personal Linux machines, as opposed to those at universities or workplaces, so the real figure of personal Linux machines is probably less.

      Or maybe you were talking about Amiga support, which I'm sure made up most of the "Other" category. :)

  • From the article... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 05, 2004 @09:56PM (#7886979)
    Norwegian programmer Jon Lech Johansen, who broke the DVD encryption scheme...

    It was my understanding that DVD-Jon (as we're calling him now) did *not* actually break the DVD encryption scheme, but collaborated with some anonymous hackers who did. I think his involvement was more on the order of making it more accessible to the tyro. Could someone clear this up once and for all?
  • Macworld Keynote (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gss ( 86275 )
    I wonder if Jobs will say anything about this in tomorrows Macworld Keynote. I kind of doubt it.
  • by cacheMan ( 150533 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @09:57PM (#7886990)
    What do any of these people do with free time to break encryption schemes, contribute to oss, and build robotic girlfriends? I'm serious, how do you earn a living and still have time to do things like this?
  • iTunes on Linux (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ZWarrior ( 194861 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @09:58PM (#7886994) Homepage
    Somehow I think that this is an example of the way software restrictions will continue.

    Programmers will code the security so that the app only works one way, and some user will break it s it works elsewhere as well.

    We need to have more thought put into coding so that apps will work more platforms, and also be aware that it is envitable (sp?) that somebody will crack it.

    I broke a lot of digital clocks as a kid because I wanted to know what made them tick! I still got new ones, and broke them as well.
    • I broke a lot of
      digital clocks as a kid because I wanted to know what made them tick! I still got new ones, and broke them as well.

      I'm sorry it never dawned on you that the ticking must've been coming from something else.

  • The Code (Score:2, Informative)

    by sr180 ( 700526 )
    Link from the article to directly download the code: http://developers.videolan.org/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi /vlc/modules/demux/mp4/?cvsroot=VideoLAN
  • I have an ipod, and use it together with the nifty GTKPod, Grip and beep to get my music onto the Pod and play tunes off it.

    But I'm in Australia, and we don't have iTunes music store yet.

    It it possible to use iTunes music store under Linux? Is it just a web site, with files you need iTunes to play, in which case I can use VideoLAN instead? Or otherwise?

    In a worse case scenario, does iTunes work under Winex or Codeweavers Wine?
  • But (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ITR81 ( 727140 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @09:59PM (#7887013)
    But I think all Apple needs to do is update QT and update it's DRM.

    Seems like this crack can be patched.

    I doubt Apple will call DVDJohn but I bet the RIAA will.

    • Re:But (Score:5, Insightful)

      by exhilaration ( 587191 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:09PM (#7887088)
      I doubt Apple will call DVDJohn but I bet the RIAA will.

      It's Jon, and he'll tell them that their American threats don't mean jack in Norway.

      By the way, I sure hope that he has no plans to visit the U.S. [wired.com].

    • Re:But (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jared_hanson ( 514797 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:36PM (#7887268) Homepage Journal
      According to my understanding, his first "crack" would be possible to patch as it exploited the functionality of QuickTime that made an unencrypted AAC stream (or PCM stream?) out of the protected one. It then dumped this to a file absent of DRM.

      His new crack actually writes the decryption key out to a file. This key is written out using Windows and is apparently derived from hardware serial numbers, such as that on the hard drive. This key can then apparently be used to decrypt the protected files on any OS. I haven't given this a shot yet, but it should be interesting to find out.

      Personally, I don't care all that much, as I use iTunes on OS X and an iPod to listen to most of my music. However, I would like to serve up my protected AAC to my squeezebox, and this just might allow for on the fly transcoding to a PCM stream from SlimServer.

      It would be pretty tough for Apple to go and make another DRM scheme that avoided this without breaking backwards compatibility.
    • Relevant Information (Score:5, Informative)

      by Otto ( 17870 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @02:54AM (#7888915) Homepage Journal
      After examining the code, here's basically how the iTunes encryption works:

      Every user account for iTunes gets a "user key". This gets sent to the computer at the the time of "Authorization" and gets written to a file on the hard drive. But it's not written out plainly, oh no. Instead, it creates a "system key" using several bits of data from Windows and the hardware and such. This system key is what's stored in the file.

      To playback a song, the system key is derived from the machine and used to decrypt the file on the drive. This gives the list of user keys that machine is authorized to play, and these will decrypt songs using the same account (yes, each song is encrypted at the time of download, with the user key for that account).

      This crack essentially works out how the system key is derived. Using that, it gets the user key, writes it off to a file, and can then decrypt any of that users songs.

      Note that when you transfer a song from iTunes to the iPod, it does the same basic thing. Decrypts the file using the system key and reencrypts it using iPod specific information, then sticks it on the iPod. The iPod then does the same process as iTunes to play the file, more or less, it's just using a different system key.

      This crack could be patched by changing the method to derive the system key from the machine, but not once the user key has been derived and written to a file somewhere. Once you have the user key, that can be used to decrypt the songs, and you're essentially done. Since you have the song files, and the key to decrypt them, no patch in the world could possibly fix it. They could fix it for newly purchased songs, but to do that they'd have to change every users key and reauthorize them. And that potentially breaks the authorization for songs that have already been purchased. They could start a new key without removing the old ones, in order to maintain backward compatibility and not piss off everyone who has used iTMS up until now, and then release new songs using only the new encryption, but it's essentially a dead end. The whole concept behind iTunes encryption is that once a machine is authorized, it can play songs without any outside intervention. Meaning that it has everything it needs to decrypt the songs right there on that machine. Meaning that as long as this is true, it can be cracked again.

      I knew it was only a matter of time. I give it another 2 weeks before someone takes the code out of the drms.c, drms.h, and drmtables.h files and produces an M4P->M4A converter. Everything really needed to do it is in there. You read in the file, call this code to get the system key, call the code to get the user key, call the code to decrypt the DRMS section, then rewrite the file with a normal AAC data section instead. Not too difficult, although interpreting Jon's code is a PITA to say the least. The guy writes C code that reads more like ASM. Frankly, looking at the code, I think he simply found the relevant part of iTunes/Quicktime with a debugger and converted the relevant machine language straight into C with no major adjustments.
      • Note that when you transfer a song from iTunes to the iPod, it does the same basic thing. Decrypts the file using the system key and reencrypts it using iPod specific information, then sticks it on the iPod. The iPod then does the same process as iTunes to play the file, more or less, it's just using a different system key.

        Ah. This explains two aspects of ipods that I've found odd up til now: the fact that only itunes can be used to move files to them, and the fact that files can't easily be moved from

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:00PM (#7887020)
    When will the this commie bastard be stopped from stealing money from corporations?????
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Get in trouble. Long, laborious litigation. What was solved? Nothing. Consumers don't have more rights. It's still a pain in the ass to decode DVDs, and now he's on a bunch of corporate sharks' bad sides.

    Then, he decides to go and pull this shit AND be vocal about it. Kid, seriously, grow up. Yes, it's very nice that you're demonstrating your "freedom". How about learning some common sense with that, Jones? You just got out of major litigation, now you want to swim back into it? Even a guy who ja
    • unless you really think you are innocent
    • by GoofyBoy ( 44399 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:30PM (#7887236) Journal
      >Kid, seriously, grow up.

      What is wrong with him doing this and staying like this forever?

      I mean, he should stop doing something just because "other people who know better" say that he should stop?

      Should he stop becuase he could get into civil legal problems? That doesn't stop lots of "adults".

      Should he stop because its "wrong"? Maybe some one could tell me where this is ethically wrong becuase I don't see it.

      I say that he should keep doing what he likes to do and accept the consequences until he feels he shoudn't anymore and not what other people say.

      Because in the end its his life.
      • by Macka ( 9388 )

        Should he stop because its "wrong"? Maybe some one could tell me where this is ethically wrong becuase I don't see it

        It's wrong if it negatively impacts those of us who are waiting for iTMS to become available in countries where we can't get it yet. That's my worry. Apple has to make new licensing agreements for each country they want to offer the service in. How will this impact future negotiations? We don't know yet. But it sure as hell isn't going to have a positive effect. If because of this ki

    • by crush ( 19364 )

      Get in trouble. Long, laborious litigation. What was solved? Nothing. Consumers don't have more rights.

      Rights only exist because they are fought for and then defended -- it's like trademarks and patents, you've got to be aggressive about defining the legal boundaries. Jon Johanssen has helped to make it clear that it is not a crime to have ported DeCSS to GNU/Linux.

      Then, he decides to go and pull this shit AND be vocal about it. Kid, seriously, grow up. Yes, it's very nice that you're demonstrating

    • by JoeShmoe ( 90109 ) <askjoeshmoe@hotmail.com> on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:42PM (#7887302)
      Troll or clueless, I can't tell because as AC there's no post history.

      Consumers, at least in Norway, do have more rights. They have the right to use DeCSS to decrypt DVD video to video on the player of their choice. They also, presumably, have the right to publish and obtain the DeCSS program.

      Now, back in the land of the free, we have no such rights...why? Because we pussed out. We decided not to pursue our DeCSS case and let stand a lower court ruling that banned it. Oh yeah, this was much better than what Jon did, namely stand up for himself in court.

      I'm not so naive to believe that Jon was selfless in his act (he was part of or closely associated with warez groups who were keen on cracking DVD encryption to allow for perfect all-digital rips rather than having to use analog loopback to capture card). But even if DeCSS has a seedy or sordid history no one wants to talk about, the point stands that DeCSS does have legitamate uses and that is where Jon's defense was founded.

      When you have precedent set, you don't hide it in your desk and call it a day. You use that precedent to try and set new precedent that is even broader in scope. Jon has stood up to the might of Norway's MPAA/Attorney General equivalents, who now have major egg on their face. How likely do you think they will be to pursue another half-baked case against Jon? Jon is probably bulletproof against anything but real criminal behavior. As soon as the words "fair use" are uttered, I can't imagine there would be a government attorney crazy enough to get struck by lightning twice.

      Releasing it anonymously would have only started a witchhunt that could have harmed a lot of other people, people who shouldn't have to be lightning rods for this same kind of treatment. But putting his name on it, yes, he is risked another trial but as I said, it is rather unlikely.

      In this world full of people who puss out and settle for lesser charges (cough)Mitnick(cough) I think it's incredible that someone has the guts to put himself at risk to stand up for something. I only wish someone were that brave here in US courts.

    • by zulux ( 112259 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:42PM (#7887304) Homepage Journal
      Is this guy an idiot?

      Jon is a noble-hearted man who is standing up to tremedous odds and tremendous risk to fight for somthing that is good.

      'round here, we call people like that heros

    • by GlassHeart ( 579618 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:44PM (#7887310) Journal
      Millions of people jaywalk, and millions more drive their cars faster than the speed limit. What has that done to silly (in some places) jaywalking laws or absurd (in some places) speed limits? On most US roads, it's a well known rule of thumb that police would generally not bother drivers who speed by under 10 miles per hour over the limit.

      On the other hand, a frail man deliberately picked up a handful of salt, which was at the time a monopoly product of the British Empire. He was arrested for it, but this and other actions that fly in the face of "common sense" eventually freed India from British colonization.

      How about that woman who was arrested for sitting in the front of the bus, when everybody knows that black people need to sit in the back?

      I'm not saying DVD-Jon is anybody resembling Gandhi or Parks, or that his cause is nearly as important. What I'm saying is that many changes come from a small number of people noisily breaking unjust laws, rather than a thousand people quietly breaking it.

    • by stuartkahler ( 569400 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:48PM (#7887344)
      I'd bet he started working on the iTMS project a long while ago. He's just been acquitted twice for doing the same thing with DVD encryption. Now that he has rock solid precedent, he can practically walk into court without a lawyer if the recording industry sues him. He's got a great big whoop-ass stick, and it's time to use it.

      In Norway, that is... Americans are still screwed.
    • Actually, he's really smart. He's publicly claiming responsibility for doing something right after practically the same thing was found not to be illegal in his country. So Apple (or the RIAA) goes to Norway, and tells them to stop him, and Okokrim tells them that not only do they not want to prosecute, but they have legal precedent that what he's doing isn't a crime.

      Sure, the litigation may have not accomplished much, but it did resolve that under current Norwegian law, it's perfectly fine for him to do w
  • What's The Point? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Pave Low ( 566880 )
    iTunes isn't available for Linux, and it probably never will ever be.

    So where would a Linux user get purchased music from iTunes from? From his Windows or Mac computer. This is a what passes for win for Linux users??

    It seems to be a cute exercise, but not a very useful thing, unless you hate Apple's horrific, evil DRM oh so much.

  • Leave it alone (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Christ, he just barely got away with the DeCSS thing. He should keep a low profile. They know where he lives. He's advertising to be arrested again.
    • Re:Leave it alone (Score:5, Insightful)

      by exhilaration ( 587191 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:18PM (#7887153)
      He's trying to play media that he legally purchased on Linux. This is exactly the argument that he used in his DeCSS defense. Until Norway passes a law making that illegal, he's perfectly safe.
      • Re:Leave it alone (Score:5, Insightful)

        by thparker ( 717240 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @11:14PM (#7887511) Homepage
        He's trying to play media that he legally purchased on Linux.

        Maybe I'm behind the times. I thought iTunes was still a U.S.-only service?

        So how is Jon trying to play media on Linux that he's legally purchased when it can't be purchased in Norway? I'm just wondering.

        • Re:Leave it alone (Score:3, Insightful)

          by 49152 ( 690909 )
          Depends on how he actually did it.

          If all he did was point his browser at itunes.com and buy the song using his own credit card, then the norwegian courts would not give a rat's ass about Apple really not wanting to sell it to him.

          Same thing goes if he bought it while actually beeing in USA (vacation or something).
      • Re:Leave it alone (Score:4, Insightful)

        by GlassHeart ( 579618 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @11:27PM (#7887613) Journal
        He's trying to play media that he legally purchased on Linux.

        He is? The iTunes Music Store is available only in the United States, and I believe he's in Norway.

        (Apple uses the credit card mailing address to ensure you are in the US, but don't confuse your ability to get a US credit card with Apple having a legal right to sell you that song if you really aren't a US resident.)

  • What's the point? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mr100percent ( 57156 ) * on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:03PM (#7887053) Homepage Journal
    What is the point here?
    Ok, so you can play iTunes AAC files on *Nix PCs, provided you have the key. Wouldn't it just be easier to download it off of Kazaa? You can find cover art with google, and you can use SoulSeek to find high quality rips. That gets rid of two arguements right there.

    iTunes DRM is WEAK, man. Burn it to CDRW and rip the sucker again, it's as easy as jumping over a subway turnstile. Why are we wasting time with a pointless thing like this, why not crack WMP or something harder with a better payoff?

  • by Jon Abbott ( 723 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:03PM (#7887054) Homepage
    You know, ever since Apple has released OS X and their new sexy metallic machines (what's next? Gallium?), their legal department has been surreptitiously quiet. This development might make the "evil" side of Apple show itself again... It will be interesting to see if this development will affect their stance any on Quicktime for Linux...
  • by GerbilSocks ( 713781 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:05PM (#7887066)
    At least Apple's version of DRM would go virtually unnoticed by casual listeners of music. iTunes DRM was designed to deter heavy pirates, but in all fairness, their DRM scheme is the best of the bunch. There are several ways to circumvent iTunes DRM, but at least DVD Jon's implementation just means it's less of a hassle for the said casual user.
  • WMP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SJ ( 13711 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:07PM (#7887076)
    So if this guy is so great, has he broken Windows Media yet?
  • Wait (Score:5, Funny)

    by pHatidic ( 163975 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:08PM (#7887082)
    So can we change his name to iTunes-Jon. Or better yet how about iDVD-Jon. Kinda catchy, actually.
  • Itunes. (Score:2, Informative)

    by DAldredge ( 2353 )
    Due to a series of drive crashes I lost what music I bought from iTunes but, due to the way itunes works, I am unable to download the music again.

    Why? It isn't like I bought a digital object, I just bought a string of bits.
    • Re:Itunes. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Have Blue ( 616 )
      You *did* buy a digital object. That was the original difference between Apple's store and the other DRM implementations: You have complete freedom to do anything you want with the file with the Finder. You just need authorization to use (play, burn) it in iTunes. You are free to, and Apple recommends that you, copy the file for backup purposes.
  • ...I'll be opening an iTunes account very soon, where previously I would not have considered it. The two primary computers where I listen to music are Linux PCs at work and at home. I'm unwilling to burn AACs to a CD and then re-encode them (with additional loss) into MP3s or Oggs.

    I just hope Apple gets the message and removes all DRM from their music. At that point, I'd encourage others who do not have technical knowledge to buy music using the service as well.

    I take it that it is the RIAA that mandat
  • by Bakafish ( 114674 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:15PM (#7887127) Homepage
    Not that I would advocate such use. But this requires the key to be distributed with each file. Keep in mind that said key is *known* by apple, and directly tied to your account, it isn't something I would recommend sending out into the wild. On the other hand, using it on your own equipment to get around that creepy three machine registration limit seems like a good thing. If anything ever happened to Apple and your registered machine bit the dust, being able to back up a valid copy of your key seems like a good thing.

    The thing is that AFAIK VLC isn't set up to manage multiple key+file pairs. So it is useful for *your* library, but not various files downloaded off the net. For that reason, I doubt they will go after him.

    My question is, how does the iPod decrypt the file without a key? Or is it simply using the parent boxes key? It seems to me that if that's the case it should be trivial to recover the key from an iPod directly, no PC required (Just a Mac :-)

  • by grioghar ( 228683 ) <thegrio@@@gmail...com> on Monday January 05, 2004 @10:16PM (#7887138) Homepage
    On one side of the coin, this is definately great news for everyone not running Windows or OS X who still want to listen to their DRM'd AAC files. Now, there is some portability to these files, and the ability to cue them up in VLC.

    On the flipside, when some music industry execs look at this and wonder why they can't control their content, there are a number fingers going to be point at the OSS community because of it.

    Where do we draw the line at control? The **AA industries wants to control their content, and we (I use "we" very loosely) want to have control over that which we've purchased. But who truly owns the bits? A series of 1s and 0s? Who's allowed to make the rules?

    I know who I WANT to make the rules, me, of course. But I also know who legally gets to make the rules at this point. Them. I don't want the music industry to get pissed off and take my iTunes away. I've found a legal, beneficial means to aquire my music. I want MORE options, not less because of wary industry execs who don't want to have their content cracked.

    And let's not even bring the DMCA into the picture here...
  • balls (Score:3, Funny)

    by MrSpiff ( 515611 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @11:10PM (#7887493) Homepage
    "this guy got balls the size of dorian fruit" - some guy in Freedom Downtime
  • mp3 players (Score:3, Interesting)

    by krokodil ( 110356 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @11:14PM (#7887508) Homepage
    I bought portable mp3 player (not iPod) just to discover that I could not send to it melodies I've purchased via iTunes.

    So apple wants me do buy iPod. But it is too expensive for my daughter (I got her now $140 player with 256Mb RAM).

    So I hope, some day there will be program to unlock
    my purchased AAC files to be able to listed then on my mp3 player. I think this is fair use and should be permitted!

  • by SnapperHead ( 178050 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @11:14PM (#7887510) Homepage Journal
    I can't understand why Apple doesn't port iTunes to Linux. If that where the case, I would use it more then I do now. Its a pain in the ass having to reboot just to do it.
  • by digitalgimpus ( 468277 ) on Monday January 05, 2004 @11:24PM (#7887578) Homepage
    The claim is because Apple doesn't make money off of iTuness it won't hurt... but it will.

    Steve Jobs clearly stated on more than one occasion that iTunes has done wonders for moving iPods (a big business, and growing).

    iTunes got the Music industries backing because it was secure... if that trust is lost, after the contracts end, iTunes has no more content.

    That means no more iTunes, and that lowers the sale of iPods.

    All that can be good, can be used for evil.

    Radiation can kill, and it can save lives. Without water we die. With to much, we drown.

    iTunes is the same way.

    You know you can choke to death on an Apple? If that NT computer that controls the Machines in the hospital goes down... you could die too.

    It's all subject to success, and failure. Perhaps that's life.

    My only beef is that DVDJohn is intentionally ruining the first digital success of legal Music, what could have been quite an industry. Apple already went to Windows... I would have bet, Linux was in the works. Apple needs the Open Source community, and knows that.
    • iTunes got the Music industries backing because it was secure... if that trust is lost, after the contracts end, iTunes has no more content.

      You know, I think Jobs said in some recent interview that Apple told the execs it was going to get cracked. He said that Apples best and brightest had researched the problem and that any DRM would get cracked eventually. He told them the solution was to offer a compelling product. Which they've done.

      The fact is that Apple is competing with free P2P directly and st
    • Apple has told the labels from the start that iTunes is not unbreakable, in fact they are convinced you cannot make anything unbreakable.

      Quote [infoworld.com] from Phil Schiller, VP worldwide product marketing Apple

      A second part of this is we fundamentally think that an attempt to create an unbreakable system is foolish.

      There's also an article somewhere where Steve Jobs says more or less the same (and says he told the labels so), but I can't find it currently.

    • He is clearly interested in Fair Use. The folks doing the ruining are the MPAA.

      They want to destroy Fair Use. Apple struck a deal to get things moving. If Apple suffers over this, it won't be because of Jon, it will be because of the MPAA.

      Personally, I applaud the guy. He is doing the right thing at the right time. This whole action is going to get a lot of people thinking. I believe in Fair Use, as do a lot of people --even if they do not know what it is legally. Morally they do and that is what

Heuristics are bug ridden by definition. If they didn't have bugs, then they'd be algorithms.