Geeks Rule The World (Yes, Even Apple’s World)

I love the iTunes store and the iTunes application I use to play music everyday on my Powerbook. But I do not love the DRM imposition that limits what I can do with the music I legally purchase. Nor does Jon Johansen, the 20-something hacker widely known for helping crack the piracy protections on DVDs several years ago.

Johansen is taking on Apple Computer again. He has reverse-engineered Apple’s FairPlay, the digital rights management technology used to make iPod and iTunes a closed system.
The Norwegian has started DoubleTwist Ventures to license his work. The technology will make other online music stores work with Apple’s iPod device and let iTunes songs play on gadgets other than the iPod, said Monique Farantzos, Johansen’s business associate and DoubleTwist co-founder.
If successful, DoubleTwist could break through the wall Apple has built around its music business.

For more on this development see the interview with Farantzos on



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.