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Contributors: Douglas McIntyre Jon C. Ogg

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Apple: The Hackers Strike Back

Microsoft has had all sorts of problems with people figuring out enough about the Windows code base to put in all kinds of viruses. And, the theft proof locks on most new automobiles don't keep out the really top-notch car thieves.

So, why should Apple be different.

The kid who figured out how to crack DVD encryption has now unlocked the "FairPlay" code that makes iTune/iPod a closed system. Now other companies can sell songs that work on the iPod.

To make matters worse, no one seems to know yet whether the work-around is legal. Apparently "FairPlay" is not patented.

Some of the music publisher might like to see Apple's vitually monopoly broken, so it is not as if all of the large companies involved with iTunes will side with Apple.

Maybe Zune can't hurt Apple. But, that leaves a 22-year old kid to do all the damage.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.


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