The next attack on iTunes and iPod will be launched to the sound of an oboe. It could be described as such, with a play on words that takes its name from its code name, the latest initiative aimed at unhinging Apple's excessive power in the field of digital music. To launch the attack this time will not be the usual large multinational or one of Cupertino's historical competitors, but a start-up called MP3tunes which, for the precedents of its promoters and for the characters it has recruited, must be kept d ' eye carefully.
The owner of the company, in fact, Michael Robertson, the controversial figure that in the late 90s contributed the phenomenon of digital music with the launch of M3.Com, an Internet site that offered digital music and which was then closed by initiative of the houses record and 'Oboe' a project, for now secret, which, says Robertons, will bring the sale of music on the Internet in the 21st century. Next to Roberson and the new revolutionary project there is also another figure, equally controversial, that of Jon Lech Johansen, better known as 'DVD JOn', or the Norwegian hacker who, still a minor, undermines the DVD protection system gaining imperishable fame. Johansen was hired by Robertson, moving to the USA to work on the Oboe project.
That the target of the (not too) strange couple is Apple and its system for the sale and listening of online music has not been made official, but there is little doubt that it is so.
‘DVD Jon’ for some time now seems to have lost interest in video, devoting most of its energy to dismantling audio protection systems (FairPlay but also Microsoft's Janus); Robertson, even recently, has never missed the opportunity to launch provocations at the address of Apple, of its marketing strategies in the field of music and 'closed systems' in general.
Some indications of what the Norwegian hacker and Robertson could probably prepare content in a long interview released by the founding of MP3.Com to C / Net at the beginning of September. At the time, the Californian entrepreneur had released a software called "BadApple" rather significantly, capable of synchronizing the songs purchased on iTunes with all the players. In that context, Robertson explained that his was a 'challenge against large corporations fighting to impose proprietary standards' by announcing his mission:' to take the world in the other direction, than that of open standards. I want a world where people can choose the hardware they prefer and the operating system they want and they don't have to buy music every time they buy a different device. We haven't launched a small hack; the attempt is to open the world and push the big players to create interoperable products, which exactly what they don't want to do "
Since DVD Jon has recently worked a lot in the sector of the protection of DRM systems, also creating software that can buy music from iTunes by canceling the protection of FairPlay, legitimate to think that the ultimate goal is a software system, if not a real one and its own shop, which will sell music or services by erasing the barriers between music created with Microsoft's DRM and that sold by Apple.
If this is the case, and indeed, the launch will take place in a big way, it is not difficult to predict a reaction from the 'big guys' as Robertson defines them. That wouldn't sound entirely new to anyone who has lost a $ 200 million lawsuit with record companies in the past and has come face to face with Microsoft for calling its Linux operating system as 'Lindows'. but on this Robetson appeared already fatalistic when, always speaking to C / Net, he declared: 'when you get into a company like mine, when you fight battles against multi-nationals, you happen to go ahead of a short one. But time to take the flag in hand and stay straight and not wait five years to get to the point where their overwhelming power will be unstoppable. "
To find out how the appointment in November will go when 'Oboe', according to Robertson, will play the first note. Fact or not, facts and history will tell.