DVD Jon strikes again, this time for profit

Erica Ogg Former Staff writer, CNET News
Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.
Erica Ogg

He's unraveled DVD encryption, found a way into Google Video servers and unpeeled Apple Computer's FairPlay digital rights management (DRM) software. Now he's willing to tell others how--for a price.

Jon Johansen, or DVD Jon to those followers of the infamous Norwegian hacker, said he wants to sell the FairPlay code he reverse-engineered, which allows content to play on Apple gadgets, like iPods, according to the tech blog GigaOm.

His recently formed DoubleTwist Ventures in San Francisco aims to sell the key to FairPlay and others like it.

GigaOm also says Johansen sat down with Steve Jobs last January to speak, albeit vaguely, about DoubleTwist's potential business opportunities. Jobs apparently told him that though Apple isn't "litigious," he should be careful when it comes to other tech companies' legal departments.

It's probably safe to say he's unafraid of legal backlash--Johansen's personal blog is titled, "So sue me."

An Apple spokesman declined to comment.