It looks as if Apple's brief statement warning about iPhone unlocks potentially rendering the devices useless may have been a turning point in their "cat and mouse" policy - as they are now aggressively going after hackers.

TUAW reports that an iPod hacker, "Martyn", had let it be known that he was planning to download "every bit of code" from a broken iPod touch and, although he was not planning to reveal it to the world, did intend to upload it to a secure area of his site for other touch hackers to share.

It seems Apple got wind of this development and "even before his upload finished" served a takedown notice to his ISP citing copyright law.

The reason Martyn, and other hackers, are interested in hacking the iPod touch is to try and get third party applications on the device - something that's not possible with the "closed" player as Apple, as with the iPhone, has chosen not to release an SDK.

Although Apple has a legal right to protect their devices from hackers, this news is particularly interesting as it seems that the company are taking a more pro-active stance against the iPod touch being hacked than they did (at least initially) for the iPhone.

Following Apple's statement about unlocked iPhones, some industry insiders suggested that this was just posturing to put off those undecided about whether to unlock their phone, or to appease AT&T who are the main party that lose out when an iPhone gets unlocked.

You could speculate now though that this ushers in a new era of Apple getting more aggressive to protect the security of their products. TUAW cits sources that say "Apple is apparently bending over backwards to do everything they can to keep the iPod touch closed".