Apple iTunes Music Store (iTMS) has been a huge success, with over seventeen million tracks having been sold to date. When music is paid for and downloaded it is stored in a Digital Rights Management (DRM) protected format, AAC.
Jon Johansen, a Norwegian programmer, has written program, QTFairUse, which enables Windows users to save purchased music files without the DRM. It works by taking a copy of the raw data that QuickTime temporarily saves to disk, after it has removed the DRM, before it plays the music track. QTFairUse only grabs the raw AAC file, many further steps and programs must be used to make it playable. Currently this process is beyond highly technical users, and well near impossible for general computer users.
A number of publications have reported that iTMS has been cracked. It is important to note that this is incorrect; it is in fact a weakness in the Windows version of QuickTime that has been exploited. It is assumed that Apple would be able to close this gap.
Johansen came to the worlds attention when he distributed a program called DeCSS, that circumvented the copy protection scheme on DVD, so he could play DVD’s on his Linux machine, that did not at that time have software to play DVD’s.