Friday, February 13, 2009

Apple Makes Official Statement About iPhone "Jailbreaking"

As reported by the Electronic Frontier Foudation:

"Jailbreaking an iPhone constitutes copyright infringement and a DMCA violation, says Apple in comments filed with the Copyright Office as part of the 2009 DMCA triennial rulemaking. This marks the first formal public statement by Apple about its legal stance on iPhone jailbreaking.

Apple's iPhone, now the best-selling cellular phone in the U.S., has been designed with restrictions that prevent owners from running applications obtained from sources other than Apple's own iTunes App Store. "Jailbreaking" is the term used for removing these restrictions, thereby liberating your phone from Apple's software "jail." Estimates put the number of iPhone owners who have jailbroken their phones in the hundreds of thousands.

As part of the 2009 DMCA rulemaking, EFF has asked the Copyright Office to recognize an exemption to the DMCA to permit jailbreaking in order to allow iPhone owners to use their phones with applications that are not available from Apple's store (e.g., turn-by-turn directions, using the iPhone camera for video, laptop tethering)."


I have my iPhone "Jailbroken" - I enjoy the ability to record video with Cycorder. I also use iPhoneModem to connect to the internet and did so to post this article as a means to make a point. The iPhoneModem application which allows tethering is the only questionable app on my iPhone. That said, I also have a Sierra Wireless AT&T branded and contracted 3G USB Modem with an AT&T unlimited data service plan. I feel as if I pay for the ability to access the internet through AT&T and it shouldn't matter by which means I do so. I don't visit highly intensive data sites and iPhoneModem is incapable of accessing file sharing services. I don't use it to download applications either.

I consider it my right to do whatever I choose with a product I own and a service I pay exactly what is owed. We're not talking about guns or missles here.

It was better to allow it and just add these features in future iPhone updates so people won't have reason to jailbreak their iPhones. If the iPhone had turn by turn directions, tethering, and video recording - there would be no need to jailbreak ... then I actually think Apple would have a case that the remainder of Cydia (the jailbreak app store) was unnecessary.

* For the full article at the EFF website visit: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/02/apple-says-jailbreaking-illegal

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