Jon Lech Johansen, the guy who made a name for himself by cracking DRM protection on DVD’s and for reverse engineering the iTunes FairPlay system, has yet again made headlines with a piece of software released by his Company DoubleTwist.
The program, which allows users to share digital media files across multiple devices, breaks the Apple iTunes DRM copy protection allowing files purchased from the iTunes music store to be played on music players other than the iPod.
“The digital media landscape has become a tower of Babel, alienating and frustrating consumers. Our goal is to provide a simple and well integrated solution that the average consumer can use to eliminate the headaches associated with their expanding digital universe” said Monique Farantzos, co-founder of DoubleTwist.
According to DoubleTwist, around 100 songs can be converted to a DRM free format for other devices in little over 30 minutes.
So what do we think about this? Well, I think its fantastic. Here in the UK, the price of a single song is higher than for example the States (currently £0.79 or $1.50 in the UK v $0.99 in the US) and for my money I expect to be able to do what I like with my music.
As for the effect this will have on the music industry..? Maybe it will convince iTunes to fall in line with the rapidly growing list of providers of DRM free such as Amazon (US only at the time of this post) and if so, it looks like its simply speeding up the inevitable sweep towards freedom of sharing.