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DVD Jon joins US firm

The Norwegian hacker who was arrested, and ultimately exonerated, for reverse-engineering DVD copy protection has taken a job with Michael Robertson's latest venture, a digital music company called MP3tunes. Jon Lech Johansen, also known as DVD Jon, began work on Monday for the San Diego company, Robertson said Wednesday in an interview.

Johansen has now moved to the US and is working in MP3tunes' San Diego offices as a software engineer. His first project: a new digital music product, code-named Oboe, which is designed to "bring digital music into the 21st century," according to Robertson, the company's chief executive officer.

Robertson is no stranger to the music business. He was also the founder of online music vendor, which was sold to Vivendi Universal in 2001. After that, Robertson went on to found a number of ventures, including Linux vendor Linspire.

As a teenager, DVD Jon became a celebrity in the Linux and hacker community for releasing software that let Linux users run DVDs on their PCs. The software also cracked the CSS (Content Scrambling System) copy protection mechanism used by DVDs, and in 2002 Johansen was charged with violating Norwegian law.

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