Position: Cofounder, doubleTwist
Location: San Francisco, Calif.
As a teenager Johansen was embroiled in a criminal case stemming from his work to make DVDs playable on Linux machines—an effort that necessitated breaking the DVD copy-protection scheme. Exonerated after three years, he’s gone on to become the savior of users who chafe under restrictive and annoying DRM, “freeing” a number of locked-down media formats so they can be played on more devices. Johansen’s next big challenge is to make the sharing and syncing of media as easy as e-mail.
The result is doubleTwist, desktop software available for PC and Mac that lets you upload directly from iTunes, invite Outlook contacts or Facebook friends, and share music, pictures, and videos by simply dragging and dropping files. The coolest feature is doubleTwist’s ability to convert music you’ve purchased from the iTunes store to MP3 format. From there you can sync to a growing number of mobile devices, including Nokia N Series phones, the LG Voyager, Windows Mobile devices, and the Sony PSP. Video-sync support is coming soon.
Did You Know: Also known as “DVD Jon,” Johansen was awarded a prize from a Norwegian private school for making an outstanding contribution to society for the same work—to break DVD copy protection—that got him indicted.