Line ‘Em Up, Shoot ‘Em Down

By Deane Barker on November 27, 2003

Norwegian hacker cracks iTunes code: I’ll say it again, DRM will never work.

Last Friday, a new security-cracking program called QTFairUse was posted — along with the message “So sue me” — on a Web site for which Johansen is listed as the registrant, or owner.

The new program circumvents iTunes’ anti-copying program, MPEG-4 Advanced Audio Coding, by legally opening and playing a protected music file in QuickTime, but then, essentially, draining the unprotected music data into a new and parallel file.

I don’t care what DRM you put on a file, it will always get broken. Always.



  1. While I don’t argue that eventually DRM will fail, they don’t quite get the story right. DRM itself wasn’t cracked, Johansen exploited a weakness in the Windows Quicktime player that allowed him to save a raw unencoded AAC file from a legally purchased copy. Apple can (and probably will) fix that exploit in the quicktime palyer and a raw AAC file isn’t of much use unless you jump through some more hoops.

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