back to article DVD Jon aims to smash digital Tower of Babel

doubleTwist, the firm founded by scourge of DRM manufacturers Jon Lech Johansen (AKA DVD Jon) last March, has released software designed to allow users to share digital media files - including copy protected content - across devices. doubleTwist desktop allows users to "share and sync digital media without worrying about …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    DVD Jon, we Love you

    What a guy, and a big nob up the arse to all those DRM punting bastards out there.

    Sign me up!

  2. Waldo

    BluRay Jon Needed?

    With HD-DVD going going gone, I should have thought that BD+ was the true Tower of Babel.... But then I dont encourage piracy either ;-)

  3. Scott Brown
    Paris Hilton


    Much love from me for this - multi format is an utter embuggerance and really ought not to be :D

    PH 'cos she's hawt !

  4. Mark Rendle

    Shome mishtake shurely?

    "It said its technology doesn't encourage file-sharing."

    "The beta release allows punters to share media with their Facebook friends..."

    Is it just me?

  5. Mark

    @Mark Rendle

    No, it doesn't encourage filesharing. Just remember the weasel wording from corporations (see the recent spokesman from HMRC on their new logo).

    NOWHERE will you see "hey! go and infringe copyright!" which is what the pigopolists WANT you to think "filesharing" is all about.

    After all, this post (and yours) are copyright, yet we're sharing files (and El Reg is helping us to).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Haven't the lovely folks at SlySoft already done the job with BD+?

  7. Swissfondue

    Tower of Babel?

    The analogy is completely wrong. The tower of Babel was built because everyone spoke the same language (i.e. format). Once God had given them different languages (DRM formats), they couldn't understand each other anymore and the building of the tower was discontinued.

  8. Nìall Tracey

    DVD Jon: the RIAA's new best friend.

    This technology is exactly what the copyright doctor ordered, and the RIAA will love him for it.

    Seriously, think about it.

    The slogan "Home taping is killing music" wasn't exactly prophetic, because in those days quality degraded with every copy made and a third generation copy was pretty damn-near unusable. With digital files there is no degradation.

    That is to say that there's no degradation *if* *you* *don't* *transcode*. Think back to the MP3s available for download prior to the P2P boom and the ubiquitous drowing-in-a-radiator sound quality. Where did that come from?

    During my student days I knew people who would download several MP3s from the net and burn them to an audio CD (everbody used their stereos in preference to their PCs). Should someone subsequently want a copy emailed to them, or if they put their collections up on a personal site, they'd reencode it to MP3. Some people would even reencode MP3s from low to high bitrates in the belief that this would improve the sound quality. After a few generations the results were unlistenable, so the stuff available on the net was not worth downloading.

    The near ubiquity of the MP3 format (even £15 CD players play MP3s) has reduced the need for transcoding, and the tools available have always been a bit techy, so direct copying of files is now the norm.

    However, if this tool really does make transcoding effortless to the end-user, it'll once again become the norm -- files regularly being switched between MP3, ATRAC and AAC as it passes between users -- and the average punter will come to accept degradation of quality as a result of copying.

    Once again, like in the audio-taped days of yore, the original will be perceived as a higher quality product.

    That's something the RIAA can't help but celebrate.

  9. Demon

    UMG will have a cow!

    UMG still has big dreams and keeps seeing dollar signs just at the hint that some company or their own subscription site will become the big dominate player in Music.

    This is a big problem for them as subscription models don't allow you to burn CDs of the tracks you download unless you pay extra for the track. With this software all you need to do is be authorized to pay the track and it will make a copy of it. So either UMG will need to take action or back one of their subscription service providers to go for the legal action. Apple won't bother it's not worth their trouble. UMG, Napster and Nokia on the other hand with their flagging subscription services on deaths door.

  10. DR

    @Mark Rendle

    no, I thought that too..

    allowing people to share clips...

    because they'll only want to share their own material that they are writing right?

    I'm fairly certain that anyone with the technical ability to write and record their own materials to be offered for download, has the original master copies and the technical know how to export from their mastering program to whatever format they like...

    this is a great product as it'll allow people to transfer music they own between the devices they own.

    breaking DRM is just something that I think should be done, (using the analogy of being able to play a CD in my home stereo and car stereo).

    but providing a platform for sharing the files globally once the DRM has been removed is a little too close to the setting up of a pirate network.

    a fairly stupid move that will inevitably lead to the site being marked as a place where pirates go for music and attract unwanted attention from the people like SONY BMG (big money group?)

  11. Pecos Bill

    3.......2.........1........... Lawsuits!

    The lawsuits will be flying so very soon! As they state they're here in the US, there will be an injunction requested against them within no time. The only way they stand a chance is if everything is not on US soil (including them). There's a high probability that the courts will find it violates the DMCA, too, even though there's other tools that will do the same or similar functions.

    If you want it, get it while you can! (unless you're not on comcast (US cable ISP) and can get it via P2P.

  12. Morten Ranulf Clausen

    Poor guy...

    ...he'll be headed for Gitmo just as soon as RIAA can figure out a way to put "terrorism" somewhere in a policy statement. It's really too much, Jon. Quit while you're ahead.


  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Nìall Tracey

    Transcoding does not automatically mean quality degradation.

    If Jon was smart (And I think he is) he would have built a transcoding package that would go out of its way to keep the quality as high as possible with in the bounds of the encoding technology.

    Unless he has sold out and has tailored the software for the entertainment industry. Which i doubt very much.


  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Men in suits

    Those men in suits at the RIAA will be squirming in their expensive high-backed leather chairs!

    As they used to say around here: "Suffer in ya jocks!"

  15. Pascal Monett Silver badge


    Sorry, but if there is lossy compression, there will be degradation. If the compression is lossless, and only if, then the transcription will be good - until somebody comes and rips it to MP3 with high compression.

    Personally, I have long ripped all my CD collection to MP3 at the very highest quality I could. I preserve my investment and still listen as often as I like to my personal music store in a quality that is - to me - the same as the "original" CD.

    I do not P2P, though. Fair use is for me, within my collection.

    That said, I'd like once and for all this DRM and copy-protection racket to take its responsibilities. If I am not the owner of the CDs and simply a renter of license, then RIAA et al. have the legal obligation to replace the physical support of my license free of charge for the rest of my life. Also, RIAA et al have the obligation of providing me with the music I have the license to in any format I see fit to use. After all, the license concerns the music itself, not the medium unto which it is written.

    If that is not the case, then it follows that I am the owner of my CD. In that case, as the owner, I have the legal right to do whatever the heck I want with it and should not be constrained in any way, shape, or form.

    Don't you think ?

    Any takers ?

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