December 23, 2009

Kindle Copyright Protection Hacked

Reports have surfaced stating that Amazon's Kindle e-reader has had its copyright protection hacked.

According to BBC News, an Israeli hacker is apparently claiming responsibility for the hack.

The hack will allow e-books stored on the Kindle to be transferred as PDF files to any other device.

The hacker responded to a challenge that had been posted on hacking.org, an Israeli hacking forum. This comes as the latest hack in a series of Digital Management hacks, the most famous being the reverse engineering of iTunes.

DRM software is used to protect copyright, but it is left up to individual publishers whether or not they want to utilize the software. While rights holders feel DRM is a critical tool for copyright protection, most users dislike the software because it limits what can be done with the content.

When the Kindle launched in 2007, Boing Boing blog co-editor Cory Doctorow said that "DRM is not an effective way of preventing copying nor is it a good way of making sales." He continued to tell the BBC that customers are not looking for e-books that offer less. Despite some negativity, the e-reader has been very successful since its launch and Amazon hopes to have sold a million devices by the end of this year.

DRM software is continually attacked by hackers whenever new systems are implemented. Besides the hacking of iTunes, Jon Lech Johansen, also known as DVD Jon, cracked the copy protection on DVDs in 1999. After the successful hacking of iTunes, Apple went on to offer DRM-free music.


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