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Home » Hacking News » 'DVD Jon' cracks Google Video

'DVD Jon' cracks Google Video

by Nikola Strahija on June 30th, 2005 Norwegian hacker Jon Lech Johansen has cracked the lock on Google's new in-browser video player.


Johansen, also known as 'DVD Jon' for his work on decrypting DVD security codes, has created a patch for the Google Video Viewer, less than 24 hours after the search giant shipped the video playback plug-in, a tool based on the open-source VideoLAN media player.

The patch, released on Johansen's 'So Sue Me' blog, effectively disables a modification Google made to the VideoLAN code to prevent users from playing videos that are not hosted on Google's servers.

Johansen said the patch, which requires the .Net run-time framework, will remove Google's restriction and allow the playback of video files that aren't on the video.google.com server.

The 21-year-old hacker, who faced two trials in Norway in 2002 and 2003 for his role in the release of the DeCSS decryption software, is a hero to many for his efforts to defeat DRM (digital rights management) mechanisms built into media player technology.

He has been involved in a public cat-and-mouse game with Apple Inc., releasing several tools to bypass the DRM software used to encrypt music sold on the iTunes Music Store. Johansen has also cracked Apple's AirPort Express's encryption and released a proof-of-concept program that allows Linux users to play video encoded with Microsoft's proprietary WMV9 codec. The proof-of-concept is based on the VideoLan code.


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