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DVD Jon cracks Airport music streaming

JustePort a new headache for Apple's DRM team

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Norwegian programmer Jon Lech Johansen has decrypted and published the key that Apple's wireless hi-fi bridge, Airport Express, uses to protect music streams. He's also released the source code to a small Windows command-line tool he calls JustePort. In essence his crack opens the door for other applications to broadcast music to your hi-fi over a home WLAN network using Express, rather than just iTunes 4.6. For users on Linux machines, or with WMA or OGG format files, this could be a boon, as iTunes supports neither format out of the box.

Apple is unlikely to look upon it so charitably.

JusteForte is the third in a series of endeavors by the Mac-using Norwegian to enjoy Apple's services. Johansen has stressed that the tools simply restore rights that Apple and the recording industry giants removed when they devised iTunes Music Store. He has consistently warned citizens against accepting DRM music, as it obliges the user to enter into a contract in which the terms may change at any time.

The first removed the 'Fairplay' DRM wrapper from locked-music purchased from Apple's iTunes' online music kiosk. The second, FairKeys, allowed users to retrieve their Fairplay keys from Apple's servers, saving people the hassle of authorizing and deauthorizing particular machines. The cumbersome process is required by copyright holders.

More derivative software based on JustePort code is likely soon. Johansen's own cross platform command line tool runs on any computer that runs on the Mono framework.

Johansen co-authored the DeCSS program which circumvented the DVD encryption scheme. He was acquitted after two trials in Norway earlier this year. ®

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