Feeds

Apple to license FairPlay DRM?

Hi-Fi vendors queueing up

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Apple may be on the verge of announcing it will licence its FairPlay DRM technology, it has been claimed, with the recently announced Netgear EVA8000 Digital Entertainer HD one of the first non-iPod devices to take advantage of the move.

So claims website Tech.co.uk, without saying how it's come to this conclusion.

Unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last week, the EVA8000 has the ability to play songs downloaded from iTunes. Netgear said that to do so, the device has to be connected over the network to a Windows PC authorised to play the protected content. When Reg Hardware asked how this was achieved, Netgear wouldn't say, referring to its technique as "secret source". It did say, however, it's approach is not yet Mac-compatible.

That surely implies some kind of utility that's able to control iTunes on the PC to get it to authorise a DRM song's playback and them stream it. iTunes already has code on board to stream songs, even DRM'd ones, to Apple's AirPort Express unit and to other computers running iTunes.

Meanwhile, 'DVD Jon' Lech Johanssen's DoubleTwist Ventures is working on reverse engineering FairPlay to create technology that will allow non-Apple devices the ability to support the Apple system. Navio is working on a similar technology.

So is Netgear using such a technique itself - or has it licensed FairPlay? If it has got the DRM technology, surely the EVA8000 would interface directly with iTunes to obtain authorisation for song playback rather than piggybacking on top a copy of iTunes running separately on a PC? Indeed, Netgear's promotional material for the EVA8000 currently states the unit will only play unprotected AAC files.

Any liberalisation of FairPlay is to be welcomed, and Apple certainly has a strong enough to risk it, allowing third-party hi-fi makers to support its song store rather than opening it up to rival portable music player manufacturers. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Microsoft confirms secret Surface will never see the light of day
Microsoft's form 8-K records decision 'not to ship a new form factor'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.