Yes, it's illegal, see below for why. BUT will you get in trouble for it? Unlikely. Most people will tell you jailbreaking is "100% legal", probably because thats what one person started saying and that's what everyone wanted to believe. Their argument is that "we bought the Ipod/phone, its our property, we can do what we want with it." Wrong. Exhibit A - EULA that we all agreed to (credit for this goes to Avatarv, for his post pointing out the bold lines): ------------------------------------------------------- 1. General The software (including Boot ROM code and other embedded software), documentation and any fonts that came with your iPod touch, as may be updated or replaced by software updates or system restore software provided by Apple, whether in read only memory, on any other media or in any other form (collectively the "iPod touch Software") are licensed, not sold, to you by Apple Inc. ("Apple") for use only under the terms of this License, and Apple reserves all rights not expressly granted to you. The rights granted herein are limited to Apple's intellectual property rights in the iPod touch Software and do not include any other patents or intellectual property rights. You own the media on which the iPod touch Software is recorded but Apple and/or Apple's licensor(s) retain ownership of the iPod touch Software itself. 2. Permitted License Uses and Restrictions (a) This License allows you to use the iPod touch Software on a single Apple-labeled iPod touch. This License does not allow the iPod touch Software to exist on more than one Apple-labeled iPod touch at a time, and you may not distribute or make the iPod touch Software available over a network where it could be used by multiple devices at the same time. This License does not grant you any rights to use Apple proprietary interfaces and other intellectual property in the design, development, manufacture, licensing or distribution of third party devices and accessories for use with the iPod touch. Some of those rights are available under a separate license from Apple. For more information, please email email@example.com. (b) With respect to updates to the iPod touch Software and system restore software that Apple may make available for download (“iPod touch Software Updates”), this License allows you to download the iPod touch Software Updates to update or restore the software on any iPod touch that you own or control. This License does not allow you to update or restore iPod touchs that you do not control or own, and you may not distribute or make the iPod touch Software Updates available over a network where it could be used by multiple devices or multiple computers at the same time. You may make one copy of the iPod touch Software Updates stored on your computer in machine-readable form for backup purposes only, provided that the backup copy must include all copyright or other proprietary notices contained on the original. (c) Except as and only to the extent permitted by applicable law, or by licensing terms governing use of open-sourced components included with the iPod touch Software, you may not copy, decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, attempt to derive the source code of, decrypt, modify, or create derivative works of the iPod touch Software, iPod touch Software Updates, or any part thereof. Any attempt to do so is a violation of the rights of Apple and its licensors of the iPod touch Software and iPod touch Software Updates. If you breach this restriction, you may be subject to prosecution and damages. ------------------------------------------------ Ok, so some of you hardcore Jailbreaker coders and know-it-alls might point out that: 1) The EULA is NOT law, and nothing that Apple chooses to put in the agreement suddenly becomes the law. It's simply an agreement, and it is up to our legal system, and not Apple, what happens when you break the agreement. Apple only has the right to not deal with you anymore (warranty, etc). 2) EULA's may or may not even be enforceable depending on your jurisdiction - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EULA 3) Jailbreaking actually does not rewrite or remove any code, but actually just adds to the existing code. It places a door where there was none before, but technically, the barriers that Apple had placed do still exist. So it is questionable whether or not the EULA is even being violated. Fine then, at least now you can't say that Jailbreaking is 100% illegal. But to show you that it is not even a little bit legal, I give you Exhibit B: Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 - Section 1201 - definition of "access control" as follows: "circumvention of technological measures employed by or on behalf of copyright owners to protect their works." The DMCA makes a point to "...criminalize the act of circumventing an access control, even when there is no infringement of copyright itself." If you are jailbreaking an Ipod/phone you are clearly circumventing the access control to be able to install 3rd party programs. However, enforcement of the DMCA has mostly been limited to people a) creating programs to circumvent access control or b) hosting content that does. And just a side note - "unlocking" a phone, while questionably violating the EULA, is NOT illegal as far as the DMCA goes, because there is a special exemption in the DMCA which does allow circumvention of access controls on cellular phones for their use on another carrier. Hope this answers people's questions.