ITV News - Hacker cracks iTunes code

Trying to get my head round this. I think it means.

1) A company could create a music store that sold AAC-Fairplay DRMed tunes which would then play in iTunes and on an iPod.

2) A company could create a music player that played AAC-Fairplay DRMed tunes bought from iTMS

And somewhere in there, a customer could take AAC-Fairplay DRMed tunes from anywhere, strip the DRM and play it on anything that supports AAC but that's not what DVD John is selling.

What's the deal for Apple? Well if any company actually does any of this they've lost their virtous circle lock in on the iPod and they have to compete purely on their ability to design and ship a quality product. Arguably option 1) doesn't actually affect them much and actually makes the iPod more attractive. Any competitor selling tracks will have to get music company approval although they may be able to undercut iTMS. But even if iTMS sales drops to zero, it doesn't make any money.

But option 2 would make it easier for someone like Creative to compete directly with the iPod with no downside. And I think Creative is just the company to do it given that they must be upset with Microsoft for making PFS obsolete. The iPod is where all the money is. So that's where the lawsuits will come.

So then we have Microsoft. Will they license the Zune DRM to Creative? Because then Creative can build a player that works with all major formats and all major DRMs. Something neither Apple or Microsoft are likely to be able to bring themselves to do.

And of course all DRM is evil. But DRM from a single supplier is even more evil.

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[ 26-Oct-06 6:48pm ] [ , , ]