A 20-year-old Norwegian hacker Jon Johansen has created a program that circumvents Apple iTunes’ anti-copying program. And thus renders copyright protection useless. Jon’s the same guy who cracked the DVD region coding stuff a while back. I saw some good commentary somewhere which noted that Apple would have been mad not to figure such an occurence into the business plan for iTunes. I’d agree, pretty silly not to include a business risk which potentially jeopardises the whole enterprise.
And yet they keep trying – Australia’s ninemsn network has today announced it’s launching a paid music download service. The same article says Apple is looking to launch iTunes in Australia in 2004. Presumably it’s all part of ninemsn trying to stem its losses, and pursue the introduction of subscription services – something Microsoft’s management told them to do a couple of years ago, and which the local management seemed to strenuously resist for a time.