Click on link for complete article.SAN FRANCISCO - A hacker who as a teen cracked the encryption on DVDs has found a way to unlock the code that prevents iPod users from playing songs from download music stores other than Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes, his company said on Tuesday.
Jon Lech Johansen, a 22-year-old Norway native who lives in San Francisco, cracked Apple's FairPlay copy-protection technology, said Monique Farantzos, managing director at DoubleTwist, the company that plans to license the code to businesses.
But Johansen's technology could help rivals sell competing products that play music from iTunes and offer songs for download that work on iPods as they seek to take a bite out of Apple's dominance of digital music.
Johansen, known as DVD Jon, gained fame when at the age of 15 he wrote and distributed a program that cracked the encryption codes on DVDs. This allowed DVDs to be copied and played back on any device.
His latest feat could help companies such as Microsoft Corp., Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., which have all announced plans over the past few months for music download services combined with new devices to challenge Apple.