Re the EFF, Apple, and the Legality of "jailbreaking."

Discussion in 'Latest Tech News and Rumors' started by SkylarEC, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. SkylarEC

    SkylarEC Super Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    There is a lot of confusion about the legality of jailbreaking your iPhone or iPod touch. What I intend to do is give you a timeline of the situation, and provide you with links so you can do your own research. After conversations with people directly and indirectly involved with the matter over the last few days, I think I should shed some light for those who might not be following the situation as closely as others, or might have caught onto some misinformation in the frenzy that has been stirred up.

    Also note, that I am merely providing you with the facts, and I make no intent to provide an opinion. If you post to this thread, keep the content factual and not opinionated.

    • The set of rules contained within The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA, comes up for revision every three years. At which time, a set of exemptions can be brought up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DMCA
    • In 2006, the list of exemptions included the ability to unlock cell phones. http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2006/11/8280.ars
    • At the beginning of the new exemption year, everybody who intends to file for exemptions will file.
    • This upcoming cycle, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or EFF, filed for "jailbreaking" iPhones to be an exemption.
    • When an exemption request is filed, it becomes open for responses for a period of one month. These responses can be found here: http://www.copyright.gov/1201/2008/responses/ Notice the commenters. Statements were issued from a number of individuals and small businesses; the two main parties (Apple and the EFF); other interested companies such as Skype and Verizon; some universities such as Brigham Young, the University of Pennsylvania; and several others. By all means, read them all.
      • Apple contends that their OS and bootloader are being infringed upon. They go on to say that the whole thing is really a matter of contract law, as section 2,C of the iPhone's End User License Agreement states
        Read the EULA here: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/iphone/terms_conditions Apple also claims statutory damages.
    • There will be a few hearings on the matter this spring, with the deciding trial set for September.


    Now that you have the read the facts, please read this article from the New York Times: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/13/could-you-go-to-jail-for-jailbreaking-your-iphone/?em There are several key points in the article that are very worth reading. The article even suggests that this matter may even have to go before Congress for an ultimate decision.

    Any other questions, please ask. And try to keep this thread on topic.


    EDIT: Of course, this is only relevant within the United States, as the DMCA is not the law in other countries. For the EU, you'll want to read into article6 of the EU Software Copyright Directive:
    Read the whole document here: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/c...numdoc&lg=EN&numdoc=31991L0250&model=guichett See also: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/c...numdoc&lg=en&numdoc=32001L0029&model=guichett
  2. River

    River New Member

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    Well then according to everything I've read to this point, I'm assuming the iPod Touch is exempt, since it's not a telecommunication device. (read: cellular phone)

    I think, Congress has better things to do with their filibusters 'uh - time.

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    My 2c
  3. dimo187

    dimo187 New Member

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    it's simple..when you buy something belongs to you..if you want to set it on fire or to throw it in the sea,then you do it!noone can tell what to do or how to use something that you own(you paid for this)!can someone tell you how to eat a potato that you bought?you can frie it or boil or bake it...!it's like a joke!;-)
  4. Monkey Jam

    Monkey Jam New Member

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    Mozilla have also filed a response about the jailbreak and refer to allowing a choice of internet browsers. Is this a sign that there is an iPhone browser in the works?
  5. Captain*

    Captain* Member

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    so:

    usa - can be done providing copyrighted code / software is not distributed and requires more action to deem "jailbreaking" illegal on cellular phones (congress)

    eu - legal to jailbreak "cellular" phones providing that the software / code used is not distributed (similar to usa but no case to deem it illegal)

    touch - can be jailbreaked without any legal issues due to it not being a cellular phone however code / software which is copyrighted may not be distributed like cellular phones due to the obvious reasons

    So you guys pretty much have nothing to worry about it above is correct, you make a jailbreak but do not give out the source code or software due to it being copyrighted (like you said in the very first redsn0w video using the mac iboot tool, saying you would not release this stage of the untethered due to this part being copyrighted)

    edit: besides if you own something (something you have literally gone out and brought and you retain a receipt of purchase) you can do whatever you want to the object or device under i forget which law as the creator or manufacturer of the device has sold it to you, providing that you do not distribute code, software or anything else (not stopping you doing it privately) you cannot be prosecuted even if you reverse engineer as its privately done on an object that is owned soley by you, once the warrenty is over it opens up even more doors as to what you can do...

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  6. SumDaii

    SumDaii Active Member

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    wow, that's really helpful, ummmmm wow...
  7. Monopato

    Monopato New Member

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    Well, thank god I live in southamerica, ha. Too bad for you guys from USA.

    In my opinion, you can do wathever you want with your iPhone, since it's yours. Though you're breaking the contract with Apple, they still have no ground to prohibit such thing.

    I do understand their wishes to stop us though, they must lose a lot of money thanks to jailbreaking and cracked apps, thus also meaning less income for 3rd party developers.

    But nah, they can't win.
  8. Kukumber

    Kukumber New Member

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    Well Apple does have a bit of a point, you don't own the Software running on the iPhone which is the reason you are not allowed to modify and distribute it.

    In the EU you are not allowed to modify the software, unless it is necessary to allow interoperability of an "independently created program".
    Likewise, you are not allowed to redistribute the modified software for other purposes than to achieve said interoperability.
    And since law > EULA, it wouldn't seem like Apple could make jailbreaking illegal in the EU. Yay

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  9. xxhorseriderxxx

    xxhorseriderxxx Banned

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    I don't care, I'll still be Jailbroken =]>
  10. shavit-h

    shavit-h New Member

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    I'm sooo confused...
    So you can jailbreak it, but can't have the code you need to jailbreak it? Or u can have the code, but not use it?
    Anyway, there's no way this'll last long once it's settled in Congress.

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