“A company that specializes in rights-management technology for online stores has declared its plans to reverse-engineer the FairPlay encoding system Apple uses on iTunes Music Store purchases,” Jim Dalrymple reports for Playlist. “The move by Cupertino-based Navio Systems would essentially break Apple’s Digital Rights Management (DRM) system in order to allow other online music retailers to sell downloads that are both DRM-encoded and iPod-compatible by early 2006.”

“‘Typically, we embrace and want to work with the providers of the DRM,’ said Ray Schaaf, Navio’s chief operating officer. ‘With respect to FairPlay, right now Apple doesn’t license that, so we take the view that as RealNetworks allows users to buy FairPlay songs on Rhapsody, we would take the same approach.’ Navio’s Schaaf insists that his company won’t be fazed by Apple’s vow to thwart attempts to make FairPlay-compatible files without Apple’s blessing. ‘As technology advances with a software release or a different encoding scheme, you also need to have grandfathered rights for prior versions of songs,’ Schaaf said. ‘If a change is made or required then we would do it just the same way that Real or others would do it,'” Dalrymple reports. “‘For us it’s about the issuing of a right that grants you access to data or content and even non-commercial things like a calendar, for instance,’ Schaaf added. ‘Fundamentally we believe the best opportunity for us today is in the digital content space. That’s where we have been focusing with customers such as Fox, Sony and others that we haven’t announced yet.'”

Full article here.

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