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Media (Apple) Media Businesses Music Apple

Jon Johansen Breaks iTunes DRM Yet Again 1286

ikewillis writes "Remember earlier today when Apple released an update supposedly blocking the hole in iTMS recently discovered by Jon Johansen? News.com reports that he has already worked around the update, and iTMS can now be accessed from non-Windows/MacOS X systems using the new version of his PyMusique software. You can view his blog entry on the issue (ironically titled So Sue Me). More power to you, Jon!"
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Jon Johansen Breaks iTunes DRM Yet Again

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  • So sue him? (Score:5, Funny)

    by nsaneinside ( 831846 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @10:03PM (#12018825)
    Oh, don't worry. They will.
    • Re:So sue him? (Score:5, Informative)

      by ikewillis ( 586793 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @10:05PM (#12018853) Homepage
      Jon Johanson has already been repudiated of any crime in Norway, a country which isn't part of the EU and doesn't have any DMCA-style laws.

      He's likely acting as a front for another group doing the grunt work who doesn't want the legal exposure.

      Given the current legal precedent he's acquired in Norway, it's highly unlikely Apple will be able to prosecute.

      • Re:So sue him? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SilentChris ( 452960 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @10:32PM (#12019150) Homepage
        Because, of course, the court cases that Jon went through (DMCA infringment involving DVD encryption) relate directly to DMA involved with iTunes. After all, DMCA is DMCA, right? Let's lump all the cases together.

        In other news, I will no longer be going to court for any speeding tickets I get. Since I already went once, and was cleared of charges, it obviously means I can do so again and again.
        • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @12:15AM (#12019986) Homepage
          Because, of course, the court cases that Jon went through (DMCA infringment involving DVD encryption) relate directly to DMA involved with iTunes. After all, DMCA is DMCA, right? Let's lump all the cases together.

          Using this tool might be a problem with Apples ToS and whatnot, but creating the tool is purely a legal issue. And that issue has been clearly settled under norwegian law. There is currently no norwegian law prohibiting you from creating a tool to break any copyright protection mechanism. You have the right to access any "secret" key in your hardware or software. That is why he can do so with impunity. Apple could sue, but they would lose as the law stands today. The public prosecutor knows it and won't do it.

          • by BobTheLawyer ( 692026 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @05:07AM (#12021450)
            But he isn't just "attacking" his own hardware or software; he's logging onto iTunes through his own software in violation of the terms of service which he agreed when he created his account. Most jurisdictions have a criminal offence covering "unauthorised access to computer systems" - does Norway really not?

            And he is surely acting in breach of his contract with iTunes, albeit this would be a civil rather than criminal matter. Would Norway not consider this a contract law claim?
            • by bterzic ( 22087 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @08:24AM (#12022081) Homepage
              Ah but he doesn't. Log onto iTunes that is. Someone logs on with a legitimate account and then he reverse engineers some protocols/crypto/specs producing a tool that is _capable_ of logging onto iTunes.

              Assuming (and I wouldn't even dare to hazard whether this is or isn't so) it is illegal to acces iTunes with "unauthorized" software they'd need to have a log of _him_ connecting to the service. As for "breaching" his contract with iTunes, who says he actually engaged in one by making use of their services.

              It's like someone built a very large wall with 1 door in it, offering a service to people who want to look at what's behind the wall and making those people use that door (i.e. Apple). Then someone else comes around, looks at the wall (or listens to stories of people describing the wall) and says: "Well, here is this periscope like contraption, that you can use to look over the wall if you should choose to."

              But of course, IANAL.

    • Re:So sue him? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @10:42PM (#12019245) Homepage
      Is "sosume" really slipping into IT history already? For those that don't know, and thus get the in-joke, Apple Computers was once sued by Apple Music, the Beatles record label, over the use of the name "Apple". This was back when the Macintosh was still in the early stages of development, long before the much more recent legal spat between the two Apples over iTMS. Part of the settlement agreement that resulted was that Apple Computers would not enter into competion with Apple Music. When Apple shipped the Macintosh with audio support one of the included sound files was called "sosume" - a pun at the expense of Apple Music.
      • Re:So sue him? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:05PM (#12019468)
        Actually, it was sosumi, and it didn't show up until System 7 (at the same time as the ability to record audio via a built-in mic was added to the Macintosh line).
      • by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:30PM (#12019668) Homepage Journal
        That's most of the story. The sound "Sosumi" was originally to be named "xylophone", but someone at Apple's legal dept thought that it could get them in trouble because of their agreement with Apple Music to not get into the music business. The developer of the sound suggested that they change the name of xylophone to sosumi, which HE SAID was japanese for "the abesence of all musicality". Apple legal agreed and a great "FU" was unleashed on the world.

      • Re:So sue him? (Score:4, Informative)

        by koehn ( 575405 ) * on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:47PM (#12019795)
        That's a great story, pity it's not true, IIRC.

        "Sosumi" was the name of the sound, and it came from the equally amusing battle between Apple Computer and Carl "Billions and Billions" Sagan.

        It seems Apple code-named the Power Mac 7500 "Sagan". Not that they were going to call the shipping unit by that name mind you, but just internally they needed to call it something, so they named it after the great scientist, probably out of respect.

        In any case, somebody with Carl's crew found out about it and got torqued, and filed a lawsuit. Apple, after an initial WTF? reaction, obliged, and changed the name to the supposedly innocuous "BHA". Turns out that BHA stood for Butt Head Astronomer, at which point more saber-rattling was heard in the Sagan camp.

        In any case, the System Software released with the Power Mac 7500 included a new sound, "sosumi." I don't recall it having anything to do with Apple Music.
        • Re:So sue him? (Score:5, Informative)

          by rootofevil ( 188401 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @12:39AM (#12020217) Homepage Journal
          sorry, thats completely inaccurate

          the 7100 was "Sagan" (the 6100 was "Piltdown Man" and the 8100 was "Cold Fusion") [link] [ideotrope.org]

          sosumi the system sound was included in system 7, several years before the 7100 was ever created (that shipped with 7.5) [link] [answers.com]
      • Re:So sue him? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mrpuffypants ( 444598 ) * <mrpuffypants AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @01:07AM (#12020403)
        Interesting side note too: If you check the code for Apple's web pages, the CSS class for all of their tiny-text legal phrases is named "sosumi".

        Check it out: www.apple.com -> view source -> search for "sosumi" :)
    • by Junior J. Junior III ( 192702 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:43PM (#12019765) Homepage
      DVDJon is like one of those martial arts masters who, no matter how you come at him, just makes a slight, barely perceptible move, and defeats his opponents.

      DRM company: "Take that!"

      DVDJon: "OK, I'll just try holding down the shift key, and..."

      DRM company: "Damn, you're good!"
  • A Name! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kryogen1x ( 838672 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @10:03PM (#12018828)
    At least they called him by his name, not just "The iTunes back door guy."

    I wonder, did he work around it that quickly, or was he anticipating Apple's fix and already knew another way around it?

    • Re:A Name! (Score:5, Informative)

      by ikewillis ( 586793 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @10:09PM (#12018894) Homepage
      Apple merely locked out all clients not using the iTMS 4.7 protocol, which previous versions of PyMusique didn't support. The new version of PyMusique merely adds support for the new protocol revision. The unencrypted, DRM free songs are still sent to the client from the music store.

      The only way for Apple to actually fix this hole is to handle DRM encryption server side, unless you consider the problem is unresolved due to the fact that DRM is a fundamentally flawed concept.

    • Re:A Name! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by RonnyJ ( 651856 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @10:14PM (#12018944)
      It seems likely to me that he had already worked out the encryption for v4.7 of iTunes, but deliberately withheld it as he anticipated the forced upgrade to v4.7, and releasing such a 'quick fix' serves to gain him more notoriety.
  • Interesting (Score:3, Funny)

    by mt v2.7 ( 772403 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @10:07PM (#12018874)
    1. Make software that breaks old version of iTunes
    2. Make software that breaks new version of iTunes
    3. Released version that breaks old iTunes
    4. Wait for iTunes users to be forced to upgrade
    5. Immmediatly release version that breaks new iTunes
    6. Impress people
    7. ????
    8. Profit!
  • Hire they guy.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thejuggler ( 610249 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @10:09PM (#12018890) Homepage Journal
    Maybe Apple should pay Jon to build a better DRM. At least he'd be doing something legal for a change.
  • Blog Message (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ken@WearableTech ( 107340 ) * <ken&kenwilliamsjr,com> on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @10:09PM (#12018900) Homepage Journal
    His server seems to be /.ed The blog entry is: The iTunes Music Store recently stopped supporting iTunes versions below 4.7 in an attempt to shut out 3rd party clients. I have reverse engineered the iTMS 4.7 crypto which will once again enable 3rd party clients to communicate with the iTMS [nanocrew.net].
  • by Duncan3 ( 10537 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @10:11PM (#12018913) Homepage
    Good thing this was Apple.

    Any other company would have just had him killed already.
  • by __aaxpkq8573 ( 796856 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @10:11PM (#12018917)
    of iTunes and see if this is all he is after. That is what he says anyway.
    • by natrius ( 642724 ) * <niranNO@SPAMniran.org> on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:46PM (#12019791) Homepage
      It's not that easy. iTunes on both Windows and OS X depends on Quicktime. Porting Quicktime would be a lot of extra work on top of the special UI things they already do when they port programs. They could use a media framework that is already present on Linux [gstreamer.net], but I doubt they would want to do that. In addition, to not have a half-assed port, they would have to support iPods and other MP3 players like they do on Windows. I think this part is the least of their worries, since most MP3 players use the USB Mass Storage driver (does iTunes on Windows even support those which don't?), and all iPods are supported in Linux [sourceforge.net]. The main barriers are Quicktime and the iTunes interface.

      The largest barrier is that they probably just don't want to do it. It doesn't seem economically sound to me to do so either.
  • Better story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @10:13PM (#12018930) Homepage Journal
    Yahoo [yahoo.com] ran this story as well. I found their version of it a little more interesting:

    "The goal with DRM systems, Gupta explained, is to make it more convenient for music downloaders to pay the fee than to spend time searching for the song for free."

    I'm no fan of DRM, but it's about time SOMEBODY finally has the right goal in mind. Make legitimacy more convenient. I've been paying $10 a month for nearly 2 years now to Rhapsody. Since then, I've made 0 (zero, just in case any of you thought it was a typo.) MP3 downloads. Why? Their subscription service is significantly faster and easier. Okay, subscription's not for everybody, but the price is right and the service beats P2P.

    Believe it or not, the *AA can compete with free. I'm looking forward to the day that this is more widely understood. I really want the instant gratification of buying content on-line.
    • Re:Better story (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Forgotten ( 225254 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @10:43PM (#12019254)
      You're on the right track here, but the logical extension is that the DRM is unnecessary - what keeps people buying is the better and more consistent experience of buying from a place like the iTMS (and perhaps a mild warm fuzzy of doing things the legal way, and/or paying the companies and people involved). It's not the stick of DRM, but the carrot of a well-designed service.

      As you say, the ability to conveniently obtain the music you want has driven your MP3 download count to nothing. Removing the DRM from the bought tracks would only strengthen that impulse, as well as extend it to people like me who won't buy unless there is no DRM (though I also won't be buying until the price is at least halved - the current rate remains exorbitant, even compared to CD prices where I live, and downloading shared music is legal here).
  • by frdmfghtr ( 603968 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @10:13PM (#12018938)
    Just some food for thought...

    If Apple really doesn't want to have to use DRM on it's iTunes downloads, and they write patches that are supposed to fix loopholes and these patches are easily defeated...

    Is it conceivable that Apple doesn't care if the patches are easily circumvented? "Yeah, we'll fix something we don't really want, and if you happen to break it, you outfoxed us *wink wink nudge nudge*

    Just a thought.
    • I'll bet they do (Score:5, Insightful)

      by flimflam ( 21332 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @10:49PM (#12019330) Homepage
      I doubt that they really care that much if you rip off the RIAA or whatever, but what they do care about is getting you to build up a library of music that can be played back on your iPod and no other portable player. They have always said that they didn't expect to make money on the ITMS, that it was to encourage people to buy iPods. Well, what better way to encourage them to let them build up large libraries of music that must be played back on an iPod?

      Well, that's my theory, anyway.

      And I'm never wrong.


    • by Zork the Almighty ( 599344 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:13PM (#12019543) Journal
      Yet another round of the "Apple is secretly good" theory. Apple doesn't give a fuck about you, your rights, the RIAA, or anything else. They are interested in a business model which makes them money. They say bullshit to you (Rip, Mix, Burn, just not more than 5 times), they say bullshit to the RIAA, and they keep everyone satisfied enough to make money. If you think they are on your side then you are hopelessly naive.
  • Breaking the DRM? (Score:4, Informative)

    by p0rnking ( 255997 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @10:16PM (#12018959) Homepage
    If I remember correctly, he never did break the DRM, instead he captured the audio file before it went through the iTunes software, which puts the DRM into the audio file ... therefore there is no DRM to break.
    And no, I didn't RTFA
  • Jeez... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sethadam1 ( 530629 ) * <(moc.ebuttsrif) (ta) (mada)> on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @10:31PM (#12019139) Homepage
    Ok people, let's review the facts, since most people don't seem to know or read...

    1. DVD Jon lives in Norway, where the majority of this stuff, including the release of DeCSS which breaks DVD encoding, is illegal. The court case failed.

    2. Nobody broke Apple's DRM. All this does is retreive the music before the iTunes client adds the DRM. How is this possible? Apple's iTunes client adds the DRM because it needs the client to generate the key. Doing it any other way would likely be a tremendous processor increase on the iTunes servers.

    3. Apple can sue DVD Jon if they choose, but it will likely do no good.

    The way I see it, there's only one safe path for Apple. They should release an iTunes client for Linux along with a statement that any further attempt to block their DRM will be followed up with a lawsuit. Sure, the lawsuit part is either a bluff or a waste of time, but at least they eliminate the "It's just so we can run on Linux" argument.
    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) * on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @02:13AM (#12020820)
      Basically the worst they can do is claim a TOS violation and not let him (or anyone using standalone clients) use the server.

      You can't sue someone for connecting to a public server, especially if the intent of use is perfectly legal. You pay for a song, then what does it matter how it is transferred?

  • by Doyle ( 620849 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @10:42PM (#12019249)
    Perhaps he should have titled his blog "So slashdot me"
  • by Lead Butthead ( 321013 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @02:51AM (#12020973) Journal
    Steve J.: What happen ?
    iTune Dept: Somebody set up us the PyMusique
    iTune Dept: We get signal.
    Steve J.: What !
    iTune Dept: DVD Jon website turn on.
    Steve J.: It's you !!
    DVD Jon: How are you gentlemen !!
    DVD Jon: All your iTune are belong to us.
    DVD Jon: You are on the way to bankruptcy.
    Steve J.: What you say !!
    DVD Jon: You have no chance to survive make your time.
    DVD Jon: Ha Ha Ha Ha ....
    iTune Dept: Captain !!*
    Steve J.: Break out every 'LandSharks'!!
    Steve J.: You know what you doing.
    Steve J.: File suit.
    Steve J.: For great PROFIT.

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