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Apple moves to ban jailbreaking

Apple moves to ban jailbreaking

The process of jailbreaking an iPhone or iPod touch will be made illegal, if the US Copyright Office sides with Apple.

Jailbreaking might be the best thing you could do to your newly-purchased iPhone, but there are people out there who don't want you running unauthorised code on your device – and Apple is one of them.

According to an article over on ExtremeTech, Apple is making moves towards having the process of jailbreaking an iPhone – modification of its operating system so as to allow third-party unapproved applications to be installed and executed without prior approval from the company – declared illegal in the US and elsewhere.

Apple is attempting to use the hammer of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act – introduced to US law in 1998 and designed to help combat unauthorised circumvention of copy protection systems on software and hardware – to have jailbreaking classed as copyright infringement and made illegal, with serious consequences for those who would make information on performing the hack available.

The company is allegedly going so far as to claim that the DMCA gives it the right to restrict interoperability with third-party hardware and software – meaning that anything the company hasn't pre-approved via its App Store or hardware licensing programmes would be made illegal within the US.

The reasons for the company to introduce such restrictions are manifold: obviously, Apple has a duty to ensure that sub-par – or, worse, actively malicious – software isn't distributed to users of its products; the flip side, of course, is that the company gets a 30 percent cut of all sales via the App Store – the only official way to get add-on software for the iPhone and iPod Touch devices. If users are finding applications from alternative sources, that's money that isn't in Apple's pocket – and it's clear that the company is keen to minimise such losses.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is wading in to the mêlée on this one, with the group asking the US Copyright Office for 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” citing such popular titles as turn-by-turn satellite navigation systems, webcam applications, and the facility to use the device as a USB GPRS modem – things which aren't available to users of a virgin, non-jailbroken device.

Whether the Copyright Office will side with Apple and make jailbreaking officially illegal – and whether the hackers and crackers who produce the software to do so would actually care – is something that iPhone owners would be well advised to keep an eye on.

Do you believe that you should have the right to install whatever you want on your own legally purchased property, or is this a case where Apple really does know best? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

22 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
D3s3rt_F0x 17th February 2009, 10:14 Quote
I think once you buy a bit of hardware, its yours to do what you want with it, if you want to void a warranty and install things on something its up to you, not the company that produced the product.

Next Apple will be saying you cant sell there products to someone else, because there not getting a cut of the money.
Jenny_Y8S 17th February 2009, 10:24 Quote
This is crazy, applied to software is bad enough but hardware to hardware? That's Kwazy talk.

So applied to hardware apple want it be illegal to use non apple approved hardware with your iphone? Say like the wrong headphones?

Sorry you're ill mate, but maybe it's that special brand of Hickey Karma, 'Hi my name is Steve'.

#1 on apple's Karma list - Just let people use the stuff they bought the way they want to use it
ry@n 17th February 2009, 10:25 Quote
This is stupid.. my touch is jailbroken so that I can have a custom theme and games that the appstore doesn't offer.
liratheal 17th February 2009, 10:29 Quote
...Apple can suck my man danglies.

Won't be keeping this 'phone' after my contract is up.
Nedsbeds 17th February 2009, 10:38 Quote
Quote:
The reasons for the company to introduce such restrictions are manifold: obviously, Apple has a duty to ensure that sub-par – or, worse, actively malicious – software isn't distributed to users of its products;
Why should this be such a requirement on the iphone and not in the other software products they offer? That is simply a thinly veiled get out attempt, and isn't a valid reason to introduce those restrictions.
AlexB 17th February 2009, 11:39 Quote
Fnar - gotta love companies for thinking that consumers won't care about things like this.
rhuitron 17th February 2009, 11:53 Quote
There goes Apple. Showing the world just how commi it really is.

You don't see Nvidia making it illegal to run Linux on it's mobo or gru's, right?
Or Intel saying that you cant use windows on it's processors!
So why on god's green earth should another company be allowed to determine what software you can run on it?!

Screw you apple. We've always hated you.
rhuitron 17th February 2009, 11:54 Quote
There goes Apple. Showing the world just how commi it really is.

You don't see Nvidia making it illegal to run Linux on it's mobo or gpu's, right?
Or Intel saying that you cant use windows on it's processors!
So why on god's green earth should another company be allowed to determine what software you can run on it?!

Screw you apple. We've always hated you.
skpstr 17th February 2009, 11:56 Quote
Would this just cover installing non-apple store apps or will it also include modifying the iphone to work on other networks?
mclean007 17th February 2009, 12:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by skpstr
Would this just cover installing non-apple store apps or will it also include modifying the iphone to work on other networks?
Almost certainly both mate. Apple wants to lock you into a specific network because they get a hefty kick from O2 (in the UK) for doing so - the tighter the lockdown, the more valuable it is to O2, so the more they are likely to be willing to pay.
Volund 17th February 2009, 12:30 Quote
Crap like that makes me want to vomit....

I hate companies that do this.
Ninja_182 17th February 2009, 13:56 Quote
Are we buying the hardware or are we buying a license to use said hardware?
zimbloggy 17th February 2009, 14:10 Quote
Say what you will about Microsoft, but they do not do stuff like that.
zimbloggy 17th February 2009, 14:11 Quote
It's only their own property that they spent tons of $$$ on.
cyrilthefish 17th February 2009, 14:20 Quote
Yet another reason to never buy anything made by Apple

Well done Apple PR! You certainly like providing me with many reasons not to buy your stuff! :)
B1GBUD 17th February 2009, 15:14 Quote
I had to update the Missus' iplod touch the other day just so I could download apps.... even that cost £6. Ok, it's not gonna break the bank but it should have been able to do that "straight out of the box".

I don't remember signing or agreeing to a "right to use" or EULA, surely the consumer should be protected from acts of pure greed such as this?
VipersGratitude 17th February 2009, 15:20 Quote
If Apple sold houses....
a cautionary tale
by J.R. Hartley


Home-Owner: Hi, I recently bought an iHome, and I wanted a couch for it.

Apple: Well, you'll have to order one from one of our approved suppliers

Home-Owner: But none of your approved suppliers sell a couch!

Apple: Well, I'm sorry sir, but you'll have to wait until one does.

Home-Owner: Nah, I'll probably just buy one from a third party

Apple: You can't do that, sir.

Home-Owner: Why the hell not?

Apple: Because we're currently in discussion with legislators to make it illegal to buy furniture for the iHome from anyone else but our approved suppliers

Home-Owner: What the hell?

Apple: Well, are you an expert on couches or something? Do you have a Degree in Couchology?

Home-Owner: Uhhh...no

Apple: Well, it's for your own safety. How do you know that you wont buy a couch and one of the springs will snap and become lodged in your anus? Do you really want haemorroids sir? Here at Apple we dont want you to have haemorroids because we care!

Home-Owner: Because I'm not stupid....

Apple: Yes you are sir...

Home-Owner: Excuse me???

Apple: Well you're certainly not as smart as us sir. Here at Apple we're the smartest people in the world. We are a company of innovators - When no one had thought that you could use inspirational historical figures to posthumously endorse your products, we did. We think differently.

Home-Owner: Well when you put it like that perhaps I could use the supplied toilet for all my sitting needs.

Apple: Just don't **** where you eat, sir!

Home-Owner: That's rich!

Apple: No sir, we are!
frojoe 17th February 2009, 15:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by skpstr
Would this just cover installing non-apple store apps or will it also include modifying the iphone to work on other networks?

In the US it has been made specifically legal to unlock a phone to use on other networks. The companies don't make it easy but since the FCC made that ruling, I doubt apple will be able to say no one can unlock the phone to use with another company.
Nicb 17th February 2009, 15:38 Quote
If they vote yes for this they are beginning to tie together the rules of copy protection and "Leasing". Its getting to the point that we not only not own the software but the hardware as well. I'll deface, hack, open up, pull apart, attach whatever I want to any physical thing I buy no matter what.
n3mo 17th February 2009, 15:48 Quote
That was to be expected from Apple. Since the beginning they were going "we just lend you the hardware, you must pay to do anything with it." But anyway, who cares even if jailbreaking is illegal? Nothing will actually change. But all in all, another good reason to avoid Apple at all costs (personally never bought anything made by them).
wuyanxu 17th February 2009, 17:16 Quote
i openly say i am a proud owner of a jailbroken iphone, if anyone want my address to arrest me, just shoot me a PM. i don't care about what Apple says.

although i highly doubt it's going to be passed.
B3CK 17th February 2009, 22:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by frojoe
In the US it has been made specifically legal to unlock a phone to use on other networks. The companies don't make it easy but since the FCC made that ruling, I doubt apple will be able to say no one can unlock the phone to use with another company.

That specific law you are talking about got overturned. They still don't have to un-lock your phone anymore.

And the I-phone always got around it because it was a consumer electronic device, not a phone, it just happened to have phone capabilities.

I don't and never will own an I-phone or any apple soft/hard-ware. Not that they are bad products per se'; just more of I like to do whatever the hell I want with whatever I spend my hard earned money on.
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