Apple says jailbreaking is illegal

Apple has for the first time gone on record to say that jailbreaking your iPhone or iPod Touch is copyright infringement.

Every three years the US copyright office holds a rulemaking session with regards to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act where corporations can file complaints or exemptions.

For the 2009 session the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) filed an exemption request for jailbreaking iPhones for the use of interoperability with independent software (read: anything not in the App Store) to help keep the jailbreaking community alive.

Apple filed a formal complaint that sates jailbreaking is copyright infringement which is not legal. The entire complaint can be found here ( warning, PDF) which states jailbreaking "involves infringing uses of the bootloader and OS, the copyrighted works that are protected by the TPMs being circumvented."

The EFF claims that "courts have long recognized that copying software while reverse engineering is a fair use when done for purposes of fostering interoperability with independently created software."

It could be quite the fight for the two organizations and hopefully it doesn't come down to who has a bigger bank account because it could be argued that the jailbreaking community gave Apple the idea of creating an App store.

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hillarious
you bought iphone, you can dump it, break it, run over it, burn it, open it and disassemble all parts because you bought it and it is yours ...but you cannot jailbreak it ? wtf!

I've read about jailbreaking and see no point in it :l
I have my iPhone on contract and its got the app store and I can just get as much as I want for free :S
I never get charged for downloading an application I am confused :l

Another reason I didn't get an iPhone. When I spend money on something IT BELONGS TO ME. If I want to take it apart, paint it, or anything else, I BOUGHT IT, IT BELONGS TO ME.
This is why I bought a WM phone (HTC Touch Pro). I can endlessly modify it and have done so.

Yup, exactly. They have every right to NOT support your phone if you jailbreak it (much like voiding a warranty by opening any electronics device) but to say it's illegal? Ok, Apple, how would you like to enforce that? Audit iPhone users? Randomly select them to come in to an Aple store and have their iPhone inspected?

Spend more time figuring out how the bleep you are going to make a "Mac vs PC" ad based on Windows 7 and less time trying to sue your own customers.

lol does LTD spend all day searching for apple news items with comments and defending Apple's decisions?

10 huge posts just on this one article. I hope you get paid to do this man, cus otherwise go get a life :P

Yah. Every cell phone you legally own, does have restrictions from the maker. When u buy something you should be able to do everything you want with it. By the end you own it because you bought it. Why can't a cell phone (or intelligent phone) can play mp3 or ringtones when you transfered it in? Having to pay more to have ringtones, and softwares is just robbery. Have we bought the phone or not ? That's just lame.

Jailbreaking is illegal? The solution is pretty simpel to that, make sure we don't have to jailbreak. I'm pretty sure the phone will still be sold!

I wouldn't really even care about jailbreaking if it wasn't for a handful of very useful apps, like the one that lets you swipe the top bar and after that turn on/off 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth etc to save battery. I would have no need for jailbreaking if Apple simply either provided ease of use functions like these on their phone or let developers also do apps that change system settings. Since apps need to be approved to get into Apple Store in the first place I don't see this as a huge security problem.

Likewise if someone comes up with a better SMS app or browser then you should be able to get it into the store but Apple is blocking that because it's similar to what's already available from them.

How is jailbraking "copyright infingement"? What exactly is "copyrighted" here? It's not like you end up cloning iPhones at no cost.

Apple is just upset cause people dont want there official overpriced crap is all.... people make free stuff that's probably just as good if not better and for FREE.

either way though Apple brand stuff in general, although good, is not worth the money since im sure there's similar level stuff on the market at a much cheaper price.

p.s. it's sorta like Rockbox (www.rockbox.org , free Open-Source firmware) does for Digital Audio Players as it makes them much better than stock firmware as it has ZERO limitations on what it can do, the only limits are the limits of the hardware and not software

LOL copyright infringement you have to be kidding me more like opening up their own platform. Too bad in the meantime doing the jailbreak it doesn't actually violate any copyright lol

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. I don't have a side, because guess what: I don't own an iPhone. My advice to everyone is if you don't like Apple's practices, then don't buy Apple products.

Personally, I believe it should be allowed for people to do this, but then just have the warranty voided once they do. Problem with this though, is that jailbreaking is undetectable if you've restored your iPod/iPhone to original firmware.

It should be interesting to see Apple try and argue that the iPhone is NOT a mini-PC, which by anyone's reasonable definition, it is.

excalpius said,
It should be interesting to see Apple try and argue that the iPhone is NOT a mini-PC, which by anyone's reasonable definition, it is. :)

It's not. If you don't call it a phone it's a portable media player.

It runs OS X...

And has a hard drive, CPU, runs applications (native and third party), has a screen to interface, shows pictures, plays music, browsers the web, etc. etc. The iPhone IS a mini-computer (and a damned elegant one) whether you want to admit it or not.

Do not forget to mention those nastards at Nokia/Symbian. They are deciding what you can install on your own phones. The next thing will be when they tell you you don't own your phone you just bought the right to use it. Money-hungry corporate *******!

solvent said,
Do not forget to mention those nastards at Nokia/Symbian. They are deciding what you can install on your own phones.

Eh??

i have symbian and i have capsswitcher + installserver, so i can install every single piece of software i want. and it's legal per article 25 of the law on copyright and neighbouring rights.

Oh, sure, Apple. Isn't hacking people's computers and distributing viruses and trojans also illegal? Why aren't you going after them? If you can't handle innovating your own product, then gtfo because then this is the wrong business for you Apple.

Apple, if you wanted fair, you were born to the wrong species.

Wrong business, LOL.

Apple currently rules this business, and seems to be the only company that knows how to do it right.

The tech minority, however, will continue to cry to no avail. Let them.

Be happy that jailbreaking currently exists. It's an underground movement and best in the long run that it stays that way. Apple's current model is far and away, beyond successful. There is no reason to change it, and the average user is happy with how things are currently. And I'm in agreement with the view that jailbreaking in the long run can cause more headaches than it's worth for the average user.

"Apple rules this business"

"Let the tech minority cry to no avail"

"The average user is happy with..."

LTD, you really don't know that you are part of a niche of niche with < 4% market share. Your regurgitated Apple corporate spin does NOT represent the tech MAJORITY, the AVERAGE user, or the RULE of anything in the real world.

The ONLY thing Apple currently "rules" in is MP3 players...that's it. Nothing more, nothing less.

"Apple justifies this by claiming that opening the iPhone to independently created applications will compromise safety, security, reliability, and swing the doors wide for those who want to run pirated software."

That's a perfectly reasonable position.

My take on it isn't because Apple is concerned with pirates, security or user experience. It's main concern is keeping customers locked into their proprietary software and hardware. That I think is Apples number one concern. they just use the other excuses to hide the real truth.

Proprietary lock-in doesn't seem to be a problem. The sales figures don't show this. Apple's revenues don't show this. And iPhones are selling like crazy. Same thing happened with iPods.

I suspect your sentiments reflect the minority. It's not a major concern for the average consumer. And in fact, there are plenty of advantages with the the way Apple does things. You need to look at the big picture.

Actually, the majority of consumers own everything BUT Apple computers and phones. While the iPod owns its market, deservedly so, the iPhone is a phenomenal device hampered sales wise by the terrible to decision to sell it only through AT&T. The iPod because the market leader in MP3 players precisely because it AND ITS ACCESSORIES were available everywhere. The iPhone, unfortunately, remains in a sales niche while all of the other vendors are catching up...and fast. If Apple had been smart, they could have turned what was a two year lead into an insurmountable market share/presence. As it is, their technological lead has evaporated and the consumer will be taking notice of this Q2 of this year and on. A shame really. I think the iPhone is wonderful (I have an iPod Touch, which I LOVE).

Proprietary lock-in doesn't seem to be a problem. The sales figures don't show this. Apple's revenues don't show this. And iPhones are selling like crazy.

It must be some kind of problem or being able to jailbreak your phone would be happening. Apparently there are those that aren't liking the lock-in.

Apple is a big scam... I dont care how beautiful/awesome product they make.. I never own any Apple products nor even think of buying them

@LTD:

First of, if you're going to argue, try to stay in line. You claim of him saying that Apple's products being "beautiful" and/or "awesome" made Apple a scam is as fallacious as it gets, for he never stated such.

Second, it is funny that earlier, you claimed your entitlement to your opinions when challenged about your statements being propaganda, while you do challenge rakeshishere in the same manner, although more subtlely.

Third, if you wish to keep a shred of credibility, stop acting like only your point of view matters. And don't bother defending yourself on this, because you're wrong. (If you didn't know how annoying that attitude of yours was to others, now you know.)

Adequate:

I don't care. If I find someone's point of view agreeable, I'll agree with it.

I'm not here to please you. If you find what I say annoying, well, them's the breaks. I find a lot of posters on this site thoroughly annoying, but you don't see me crying about it.

LTD sed "I don't care."

Then you have just confirmed what most of us have suspected all along - you are speaking just to hear yourself speak.

So is apple also going to tell me its illegal to install linux on an ipod touch or iphone? Just like MS, Sony and Nintendo say about puttin different OS's on their hardware is also? What's next we can't pick our OS on our desktop? oh wait Apple already in a small sense is kind of doing that with OSX... BUT STILL you are not licenseing the hardware, just the software, you shoudl be able to put what ever you want on the hardware, as long as its not a hacked version of a copyrighted software product

We shouldn't even have to jailbreak our iphones in the first place, all we want is to put whatever we want on our device. What apple is doing should be illegal, not the other way around.

But look at it from the other perspective. If you were allowed to put whatever untested and uncertified crap you wanted on your phone, it wouldn't take a big stretch before you started affecting the stability of the phone or even cause it to stop working entirely. When your phone stops working as a phone, who are you going to run to? You're then looking at potential issues with Viruses and correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think thte iPhone has any sort of virus defense products currently.

The EU should go after Apple now... this is just absurd the level of lock-down Apple is forcing upon it's very own customers.

dbam987 said,
The EU should go after Apple now... this is just absurd the level of lock-down Apple is forcing upon it's very own customers.

What lock down? Most people don't jailbreak their iPhones and are perfectly happy with Apple's ecosystem and the way it works.

@LTD: Irrelevant. There are plenty of people in the EU happy with the IE/Windows "ecosystem" as well.

(Secondary quote buttons seem to be missing for some reason...)

Ok, then the EU should go after Apple, LOL.

And if they don't . . . then what are we to conclude? That they're wrong? That they're right?

We should conclude that they are applying the law differently in different cases, which is a "very bad thing."

I think that Apple should have the right to prevent us to hack their System, but we should at least get the right to get app like cydia, get direct interaction with the desktop even if the app is not foreground and prevent locking phone to specific carrier.

Its great that they made the system and all, but when someone is spending over 200 bucks for said item, I believe they have what ever right they want to do with that equipment they just bought, as long as its not going to harm or endanger anyone else. Jail breaking only stops apple from having their monopoly.

If Apple allowed you to use third-party installer/apps, any carrier, any bluetooth hardware and direct interaction with the system, what jailbreaking offers?:

1.Getting iPhone OS to work on another Cell phone not made by apple
( since you didn't pay directly for the OS, you should't be allowed to do that)
2.Installing Linux or another OS on iPhone/touch hardware
(correct if secure radio chips power are used )
3. Tweak system to boost multiple radio chip power.
( dangerous for humans close to the device, can take fire and create interferences with others device and with cellulars operators. )

Well that's just like Apple really, i'm sure no one here is surprised and i doubt anyone will stop jailbraking their iphone just because a company says it is illegal. Althought, a company is a company and all companies are the same, their main motivation is revenue so i don't see why anyone will say Apple is wrong for doing this. Let them stay true to their company self, and let those who love hacking keep doing what they are doing.

Yeah Apple has the right to speak against jailbreaking. But it's not because something is profitable for a company that it's should work that way. There are many things that every companies would dream like: slaves instead of workers, no trade union, no obligation to environment, getting a real monopoly ( forced ) and there are many others. So, theses things are good for companies but is not for people.

That would be like saying you are only allowed to run Apple software on your Macintosh. Imagine if you had to jailbreak your computer.

TRC said,
That would be like saying you are only allowed to run Apple software on your Macintosh. Imagine if you had to jailbreak your computer.

That's already the case, Apple do not allow OSX to be installed onto a PC hardware based machine, it must be Apple hardware according to them.
And yet Apple complain Microsoft are anti-competitive?

Exo, you missed the point. He was talking about SOFTWARE. The iPhone is a small but full fledged computer. You should be able to run whatever software you want on it, just like your desktop or laptop...period.

Yes, but to put your own software on it requires the use of THEIR bootloader which you are not licensed to use. Therefore you are breaking the law. I don't agree with it personally, but there you are... thats how they've designed the phone.

GreyWolfSC says Apple's sales practices and hardware/service tying are illegal. They violate more antitrust laws than Microsoft ever did.

Gawd I've been saying that for years, and everyone just comes back to me with "BUT MS IS A MONOPOLY APPLE ISNT! MS WAS RULED ONE! ITS DIFFERENT!" (caps for emphasis on how they actaully say it)... Apple pulls more sleezy tatics for sales then MS does... they just dont have market share... but seriously if the law is good enough for he big guys the same law should apply to the smaller ones also in the same exact manner

What Apple does these days is wrong. But saying apple pulls more sleezy tactics than MS is just absurd and ingorant.

Unlocking means you can use it with any carrier and Jailbreaking means you can use unauthorized applications on the phone which apples reasoning behind not allowing it is because they want some type of quality control over the apps.

Ricky Smith said,
Unlocking means you can use it with any carrier and Jailbreaking means you can use unauthorized applications on the phone which apples reasoning behind not allowing it is because they want some type of quality control over the apps.


Yet apple doesnt own the hardware, you do, they only license the software to you, you should legally be allowed to remove their software and replace it with what ever you want

So what's the deal with the X-Box, PS3, Wii? You can't legally modify any of those to run software that isn't supported by the developer of the hardware.

You can legally do what you like with them, although you will void you warranty. I think issues become apparent when modifying copyrighted code, or pirating games in the consoles' cases.

Ricky Smith said,
So what's the deal with the X-Box, PS3, Wii? You can't legally modify any of those to run software that isn't supported by the developer of the hardware.

As long as you don't play pirated games on your Xbox 360 you can do what you want with it.

Modding it will void your warranty and also block you from playing over XBox Live thought since XBox Live is owned by MS and not you

I really don't see how jailbreaking your OWN mp3 player could be illegal. It is really going to far these days. Something is wrong when you don't own the things you buy anymore.

I mean you don't buy the right to use the iPod you actually buy it. It's a piece of hardware and like a PC you should be able to install the OS you want on it.

We all know apple just wants its monopoly. Hell, I still don't see how they haven't been busted for anything...

Because in reality Apple isn't all that big; espeicially when you have someone like Mircosoft, and Intel out there. Remember even MS, Dell, etc., makes some of the same type of products as Apple. Apple doesn't have a monoply on phones, mp3 players, or other like products.

Pam14160 said,
Because in reality Apple isn't all that big; espeicially when you have someone like Mircosoft, and Intel out there. Remember even MS, Dell, etc., makes some of the same type of products as Apple. Apple doesn't have a monoply on phones, mp3 players, or other like products.

"Apple doesn't have a monopoly on... mp3 players". I just want to give that a minute to resonate.

You guys obviously need to do a little more research as to what it means to have a monopoly. Largest market share does not mean monopoly.

From wikipedia:
"a monopoly exists when a specific individual or enterprise has sufficient control over a particular product or service to determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall have access to it"

sounds like what's going on to me..... actually, everything i perceive apple to do is in violation of the definition of monopoly:
"A monopoly is said to be coercive when the monopoly firm actively prohibits competitors from entering the field."
sounds like what they're doing with the app store, barring developers from coming in where they already have or are planning a product (e.g. turn-by-turn GPS)

this is literally a monopoly. you can't install another browser, gps is crippled... this would be the equivalent of trying to install firefox on windows and windows blocking it. people would be screaming bloody murder. i don't understand how this has become acceptable because it's the iphone.

@wookietv

Didn't you know? Apple can do no wrong. If it had been any other company people would be ready to tar and feather them.

Isn't there a legal battle going around to make them open up to unlocking all phones, including the iPhone. If that gets passed, what's the difference between jailbreaking and unlocking to Apple?

lylesback2 said,
Isn't there a legal battle going around to make them open up to unlocking all phones, including the iPhone. If that gets passed, what's the difference between jailbreaking and unlocking to Apple?

Unlocking affects the networks Apple holds contracts with, jailbreaking affects Apple itself as it doesn't get any revenue from App Store downloads.

No, jailbreaking allows you to run the software of your choice on your computer. In this case, the computer is an iPhone. It doesn't matter if it's a laptop or a desktop, it's still a computer and you can run whatever software you want on it.

Now, if people are stealing App Store applications or something (presumably the ones you pay for, since who cares about the free ones), that would be another matter entirely, but I'm not seeing that issue (if it is one at all) being brought up here.

I think what Apple are arguing is, your not installing completely different software, your hacking (thereby infringing) their software. Either way I can't see anything changing in the future with regards to Apple being forced to open up the bootloader or whatever, or jailbreaking actually becoming a crime.