Is Real's iPod

According to legal experts what RealNetwork's did wasn't illegal. While the analyst agreed that RealNetwork's did in fact use hacking techniques. RealNetwork's didn't change anything that would effect the overall music protection that Apple invented "Fairplay". Instead RealNetwork's simply changed Apple's technology for its benefit, but maintained security on the iPod.

Code-crackers risk fines and prison time when they defeat copy-protection technology, but such draconian rules likely don't apply in the case of RealNetworks and its iPod "hack," legal experts said.

Efforts by both code-crackers and Real could undermine Apple Computer's plans for its popular digital music player and its iTunes Music Store, which together have put Apple so far ahead of the competition that companies such as Real appear ready to do virtually anything to catch up.

In a move Apple said reflected the "tactics and ethics of a hacker," RealNetworks this week essentially replicated Apple's proprietary digital rights management software. Known as Fairplay, the software prevents consumers from making unlimited copies of songs and ensures that the iPod doesn't work with any other kinds of copy-protected formats. As a result, songs purchased on Real's music download service will now play on the iPod--something Apple contends may be illegal.

News source: C|Net News.com

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