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Apple Says Jailbreaking your iPhone is Illegal

Happy Valentine’s Day!

It looks like Apple is taking a stance to get the PR machine rolling to denounce jailbreaking your iPhone. News broke yesterday that Apple has submitted documents to the US Copyright Office stating that jailbreaking our iPhones is DMCA violation and copyright infringement, which essentially makes it illegal. This was posted on the website of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Apple is saying that 3rd party apps, such as those available through Cydia and Installer require modified versions of Apple’s software which in turn constitutes infringement on copyrights. Here’s a blurb from the EFF website on this matter:

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).

Apple’s copyright infringement claim starts with the observation that jailbroken iPhones depend on modified versions of Apple’s bootloader and operating system software. True enough — we said as much in our technical white paper describing the jailbreak process. But the 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, a body of law that Apple conveniently fails to mention.

Hmm…so does this mean the moment you jailbreak your iPhone, a representative of Apple will show up at your doorsteps with the newest iTaser? Sure, Apple claims it’s illegal to jailbreak but there is no way they can control what you do in your own home. Unless they somehow can detect jailbroken software and somehow lock your iPhone using the internet, but of course that is highly unlikely.

So if you want to jailbreak your iPhone, just find a dark corner in your room, turn off the lights and don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Are you scared yet?

jailbreak

Click here to check out the full PDF on this issue.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Generalinq

    Funny

  • Generalinq

    Funny

  • Harry

    That is just nonsense. Unless ur renting an iphone then I can see that any modification would be “illegal” but I bough my iphone for $800 so i can do what ever I wants to it.

  • Harry

    That is just nonsense. Unless ur renting an iphone then I can see that any modification would be “illegal” but I bough my iphone for $800 so i can do what ever I wants to it.

  • David

    Good to live outside the US sometimes!

  • David

    Good to live outside the US sometimes!

  • Guest

    Apple can kiss my a$$ ;) LOL

    Feel free to comment in the forums… http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=4569

  • Dusty

    Apple can kiss my a$$ ;) LOL

    Feel free to comment in the forums… http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=4569

  • Teebs

    Maybe they should stop blaming others’ abilities to get good applications and maybe deregulate their application hosting rules. I’m sure they’re just jealous us undergrounders have access to turn-by-turn tethering applications before they do. Oh and they want the creators to come to the dark side so they can charge us up the ying-yang!

  • Teebs

    Maybe they should stop blaming others’ abilities to get good applications and maybe deregulate their application hosting rules. I’m sure they’re just jealous us undergrounders have access to turn-by-turn tethering applications before they do. Oh and they want the creators to come to the dark side so they can charge us up the ying-yang!

  • Funtime

    What a load of bollocks, it’s my iPhone, I bought it, and I can do whatever I want to it as it’s my property. Fuck the DCMA.

  • Funtime

    What a load of bollocks, it’s my iPhone, I bought it, and I can do whatever I want to it as it’s my property. Fuck the DCMA.

  • SKY

    Well, it is illegal, but they cannot have any action to stop it.
    1. How could Apple catch every individual person who jailbreak their own iphone?
    2. The jailbreak softwares (such as quickpwn, winpwn, etc) are not illegal. because the software programmer do not crack the original firmware, they just make a software, and the jailbreaking is on users’ own responsibility. In other words, the pwn software users are the people who have done illegal things.

    The same issue happened on PSP before, which is SONY said PSP cracking is illegal and they tried to sue DA, who is the cracking software programmer. At the end, DA is still doing the cracking work, even on PSP3000, SONY get nothing to do with it.

  • SKY

    Well, it is illegal, but they cannot have any action to stop it.
    1. How could Apple catch every individual person who jailbreak their own iphone?
    2. The jailbreak softwares (such as quickpwn, winpwn, etc) are not illegal. because the software programmer do not crack the original firmware, they just make a software, and the jailbreaking is on users’ own responsibility. In other words, the pwn software users are the people who have done illegal things.

    The same issue happened on PSP before, which is SONY said PSP cracking is illegal and they tried to sue DA, who is the cracking software programmer. At the end, DA is still doing the cracking work, even on PSP3000, SONY get nothing to do with it.

  • SKY

    Well, it is illegal, but they cannot have any action to stop it.
    1. How could Apple catch every individual person who jailbreak their own iphone?
    2. The jailbreak softwares (such as quickpwn, winpwn, etc) are not illegal. because the software programmer do not crack the original firmware, they just make a software, and the jailbreaking is on users’ own responsibility. In other words, the pwn software users are the people who have done illegal things.

    The same issue happened on PSP before, which is SONY said PSP cracking is illegal and they tried to sue DA, who is the cracking software programmer. At the end, DA is still doing the cracking work, even on PSP3000, SONY get nothing to do with it.

  • http://oddyoh.blogspot.com/ OddyOh

    Not sure why they care, they’re still selling iPhones to people who want to jailbreak them. Anyway, nice pic, makes me want to fire up Dig Dug! :)

  • http://oddyoh.blogspot.com OddyOh

    Not sure why they care, they’re still selling iPhones to people who want to jailbreak them. Anyway, nice pic, makes me want to fire up Dig Dug! :)

  • Don

    Apparently Apple needs a shakeup in the PR department. They are moving into the company of litigious and greedy corporations like Walmart and Monster Cable.

  • Don

    Apparently Apple needs a shakeup in the PR department. They are moving into the company of litigious and greedy corporations like Walmart and Monster Cable.

  • Jan

    This is an interesting development for a couple of reasons. One, it follows exactly in line with what Apple has been trying to do for the last decade or so. And two, it shows the company’s “stress lines” which have been bubbling up under the surface for some time. I personally have begun to second guess my loyalty to Apple for both of these reasons. It turns out they are no different than Microsoft, who want nothing short of a monopolized share of the market. When iTunes began selling music at prices which undermined stores like HMV, A&B Sound, CD Plus, etc., it ushered in a new era of music proliferation. Apple now controlled a large portion of the music industry, indirectly influencing the market in such a huge way that nobody really knew it until it was too late. The same thing happened when they pushed AppleTV, and the sale of movies and TV shows, also through iTunes. They have always been quick to cover their trails, so that they are the only ones who appear to be “in the right” when they do these kinds of things and it seems like they continue to strive towards this end. The owners of iPhones should in fact be able to do anything they like to their phones. This is not the dispute. The issue lies in the fact that an independent body has essentially “copy/pasted” an Apple product, with a few modifications. What they are not doing however is selling their product, nor do they claim that the original software was their product to begin with. They are simply “synthesizing” their own version of the information. So what should Apple do? How would you feel if someone bought a product from you, and then tampered with it so that they no longer had to “pay” you for a service you provided them in the past? It’s idea for monopoly challenged, Apple has to do something to defend itself. My question is when iPhone sales are so huge, why bother?

    In the end though, the immortal message of Wilde seems to ring true even today. Bad press is worse than no press.

  • Jan

    This is an interesting development for a couple of reasons. One, it follows exactly in line with what Apple has been trying to do for the last decade or so. And two, it shows the company’s “stress lines” which have been bubbling up under the surface for some time. I personally have begun to second guess my loyalty to Apple for both of these reasons. It turns out they are no different than Microsoft, who want nothing short of a monopolized share of the market. When iTunes began selling music at prices which undermined stores like HMV, A&B Sound, CD Plus, etc., it ushered in a new era of music proliferation. Apple now controlled a large portion of the music industry, indirectly influencing the market in such a huge way that nobody really knew it until it was too late. The same thing happened when they pushed AppleTV, and the sale of movies and TV shows, also through iTunes. They have always been quick to cover their trails, so that they are the only ones who appear to be “in the right” when they do these kinds of things and it seems like they continue to strive towards this end. The owners of iPhones should in fact be able to do anything they like to their phones. This is not the dispute. The issue lies in the fact that an independent body has essentially “copy/pasted” an Apple product, with a few modifications. What they are not doing however is selling their product, nor do they claim that the original software was their product to begin with. They are simply “synthesizing” their own version of the information. So what should Apple do? How would you feel if someone bought a product from you, and then tampered with it so that they no longer had to “pay” you for a service you provided them in the past? It’s idea for monopoly challenged, Apple has to do something to defend itself. My question is when iPhone sales are so huge, why bother?

    In the end though, the immortal message of Wilde seems to ring true even today. Bad press is worse than no press.

  • Kel

    That’s just bs. I pay few hundred bucks for the iphone, I can do whatever I want to it. Even ripping the apple logo off and put my own logo on it. As long as I am not re-selling the phone or sharing it to the public, I don’t think apple can do a thing about it.

  • Kel

    That’s just bs. I pay few hundred bucks for the iphone, I can do whatever I want to it. Even ripping the apple logo off and put my own logo on it. As long as I am not re-selling the phone or sharing it to the public, I don’t think apple can do a thing about it.

  • Kel

    That’s just bs. I pay few hundred bucks for the iphone, I can do whatever I want to it. Even ripping the apple logo off and put my own logo on it. As long as I am not re-selling the phone or sharing it to the public, I don’t think apple can do a thing about it.

  • http://www.cellphonebestbuy.com/ Anna

    They are not selling their product, nor do they claim that the original software was their product to begin with. The owners of iPhones should in fact be able to do anything they like to their phones.

  • http://www.cellphonebestbuy.com/ Anna

    They are not selling their product, nor do they claim that the original software was their product to begin with. The owners of iPhones should in fact be able to do anything they like to their phones.

  • http://www.cellphonebestbuy.com Anna

    They are not selling their product, nor do they claim that the original software was their product to begin with. The owners of iPhones should in fact be able to do anything they like to their phones.

  • **********

    oh they make jailbreaking legal in U.S. but not in Canada!!!!!! That is just not right!!!!!!!!

  • Wow_wassup

    It’s true that apple should have the right to limit what people do to their IOS since they own the copyright to it but jailbreaking is basically tweaking the IOS to unlock features that should have never been locked on the phone in the first place.