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Jailbreaking iPhone Now Legal 423

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the wait-for-the-appeal dept.
whisper_jeff writes "The US government on Monday announced new rules making it officially legal for iPhone owners to 'jailbreak' their device and run unauthorized third-party applications, as well as the ability to unlock any cell phone for use on multiple carriers." The EFF has further details on this and some of the other legal protections granted in the new rules.
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Jailbreaking iPhone Now Legal

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  • hooray (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) on Monday July 26, 2010 @11:22AM (#33031660)

    Sudden outbreak of common sense.

    • Yawn. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BrokenHalo (565198)
      Good. I still don't want an iPhone.
    • Re:hooray (Score:4, Interesting)

      by halfEvilTech (1171369) on Monday July 26, 2010 @11:39AM (#33032072)

      Now make it so that performing this act does not void your warranty as well and I would be a happy camper. Or at least make it so that if the carrier then bricks your device on purpose to get those unlocked devices out of the market be liable to replace it.

      • Re:Warranty? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by reezle (239894) on Monday July 26, 2010 @12:00PM (#33032500) Homepage

        I've always felt that once I've bought a device it's mine to do with as I please. If I want to disassemble it, format it, load a copy of CP/M on it or cut it in half with a skill saw, that's my business.
        But I certainly don't feel entitled to warranty support after I've gone out of the reasonable bounds of what the company expected me to do with the product.
        They never sold the phone as a general purpose device that I can load whatever I want to on it, they shouldn't have to support it as such.
        I'll gladly demand my right to enough rope to hang myself with, but only with the understanding that that is exactly what I'm getting.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Darkness404 (1287218)
          But you buy the -hardware- unless you are overclocking the CPU or something, they should have to allow warranty claims for hardware issues. Just because I run Linux on my laptop, if the screen dies, I expect the hardware company to pay for it if it is under warranty. Granted, if I try to install RAM that isn't compatible with the system and I break the sockets, of course the hardware company shouldn't have to pay for it.

          No matter what you do with the software, it shouldn't ever break hardware barring ov
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by badboy_tw2002 (524611)

            And Apple is supposed to have to have some super investigation team to go out there and figure out what's wrong with it, and whether anything you did to the phone actually caused the problem? There are all kinds of things software can do to brick a device - there are tons of examples of this. Like the GP said, don't stop me from tinkering on it and I won't call you when I break it.

          • Re:Warranty? (Score:5, Informative)

            by jellomizer (103300) on Monday July 26, 2010 @01:24PM (#33034088)

            You must not have used early versions of X11. Back in the old days you needed to enter in the horizontal and vertical refresh rates and resolutions... Improper configuration could damage some CRT screens.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by GreyWolf3000 (468618)

            But you buy the -hardware- unless you are overclocking the CPU or something, they should have to allow warranty claims for hardware issues. Just because I run Linux on my laptop, if the screen dies, I expect the hardware company to pay for it if it is under warranty. Granted, if I try to install RAM that isn't compatible with the system and I break the sockets, of course the hardware company shouldn't have to pay for it.

            No matter what you do with the software, it shouldn't ever break hardware barring overclocking and the like and so they should still have to allow claims for hardware issues.

            What you want is for Apple to invest money to make sure their hardware is fault tolerant against buggy software that hasn't even been written yet. Software that could only be installed by deliberately escaping the insulated ecosystem they already invested money building.

            You're perspective is way off. And I'm by no means a fanboy.

          • Re:Warranty? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by sgbett (739519) <slashdot@remailer.org> on Monday July 26, 2010 @01:44PM (#33034460) Homepage

            I agree with both your post and the parent, the question arises when you install software that, say, makes the hardware do things that the original software was designed not to.

            I remember running linux on a laptop that had dodgy power management, the fans wouldn't turn on when the cpu started to heat up. Eventually the hardware cut out would switch the laptop off when the cpu hit 100 Celsius. Eventually the laptop died by way of failed charging connection - I can't say whether or not it was related to the excessive heating and cooling.

            If you install some 3rd party OS on your iPhone that creams the cpu and it, say, discolours the screen, or maybe cracks the case - then surely you can't expect a warranty replacement? I'm not suggesting you would try and pull that one, but I'm sure there are others who may not be so scrupulous.

          • Re:Warranty? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by mrchaotica (681592) * on Monday July 26, 2010 @07:11PM (#33038620)

            No matter what you do with the software, it shouldn't ever break hardware barring overclocking and the like and so they should still have to allow claims for hardware issues.

            Unless Apple is somehow magically immune to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act [wikipedia.org], that is how it works. Why nobody appears to be calling Apple out on it, I don't know.

      • Re:hooray (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 26, 2010 @12:12PM (#33032696)

        Tying a hardware warranty to software is and has always been illegal.

        The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act [wikipedia.org] says that a manufacturer cannot void a warranty because of an aftermarket replacement part unless they can prove that the part caused the failure (e.g. those early unlocks that scrambled the baseband's IMEI info).

        In short, Apple cannot legally void the warranty for a mere jailbreak, but could void the warranty for an unlock that goes wrong and bricks the phone by damaging the baseband or boot loader.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by joeyblades (785896)

          The problem is that it's almost impossible for the user to determine the root cause of the problem. Is the display not working because of a software issue or a hardware issue? If it's a harware issue, is it due to bad software that caused an early life wearout mechanism?

          Apple and/or AT&T are not obligated to perform the service to diagnose this problem once an unauthorized software/os configuration is installed on the device. The reason that they are not obligated is because you agreed to this constr

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by webdog314 (960286)

          In short, Apple cannot legally void the warranty for a mere jailbreak, but could void the warranty for an unlock that goes wrong and bricks the phone by damaging the baseband or boot loader.

          Actually, yes, Apple (and any other company) can and does void the warranty for a mere jailbreak. You agreed to the terms of the warrantee when you bought the product, and those terms state that you shall not jailbreak your device. The fact that you can now do so without being criminally prosecuted according to the law does not absolve you from your contractual obligations.

          • Re:hooray (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Jaime2 (824950) on Monday July 26, 2010 @06:16PM (#33038016)
            A contract cannot remove rights granted by an act of congress (Magnussen-Moss Warranty Act). Just because Apple does it, doesn't mean it's legal. There are a lot of tricky details, but as a general rule a company cannot refuse to honor a warranty simply because they don't want to. Any contract language suggesting otherwise is void and may void larger parts of the contract. The more the refusal seems to be tied to locking in additional sales (app store), the more likely a court would frown upon the refusal.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jgagnon (1663075)

        Not likely... forcing a company to support (for free) something you willingly broke through modification would be pretty stupid.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by marcansoft (727665)

          But forcing a company to support (for free) hardware that broke due to a manufacturing or design defect whether you happened to install unofficial software on it or not would be a pretty good idea.

      • by DJRumpy (1345787)

        If you don't want to accept the limitations on the warranty, then don't buy it, although I doubt you would find many hardware vendors willing to support hacking of their hardware to do something outside of it's design limits. This reminds me of the folks who would buy aftermarket additives for their engines which voided the warranties provided by the manufacturer. Why should the hardware vendor be responsible for anything you do that damages your phone? Every warranty has limitations. If you don't want to a

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Runaway1956 (1322357)

        You're asking a bit to much with that. When I buy an automobile, I can change out the computer chip to make it high performance, or to make it more fuel efficient, or in some cases, to do both at the same time.

        I can change the exhaust, and put headers on it.

        I can change the wheels and tires.

        I can do all kinds of crazy shit with a car, if I want to. Change the heads, change the cam, bore and stroke the thing, you name it.

        But, I have no right to expect Chevy, Ford, or any other auto vendor to warrant that t

        • Re:hooray (Score:4, Insightful)

          by jpmorgan (517966) on Monday July 26, 2010 @01:30PM (#33034202) Homepage

          Sure, but you can expect Chevy, Ford or any other auto vendor to fix factory defects in the paintwork, for example. Or if the radio breaks.

          Making modifications may partially void your warranty. But only if they can prove your modifications caused the problem. That's the law.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 26, 2010 @11:23AM (#33031664)

    Press release from EFF:

    http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2010/07/26

    • by paazin (719486) on Monday July 26, 2010 @11:46AM (#33032206)
      Note, this isn't the only thing that came up. The AP mentions several more:


      - allow owners of used cell phones to break access controls on their phones in order to switch wireless carriers.

      - allow people to break technical protections on video games to investigate or correct security flaws.

      - allow college professors, film students and documentary filmmakers to break copy-protection measures on DVDs so they can embed clips for educational purposes, criticism, commentary and noncommercial videos.

      - allow computer owners to bypass the need for external security devices called dongles if the dongle no longer works and cannot be replaced.

      All of which sound like pretty much what I've heard people complaining about for years now. Good to see the valid exemptions to the law are finally being updated to be somewhat logical.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Arccot (1115809)

        Note, this isn't the only thing that came up. The AP mentions several more: *snip* All of which sound like pretty much what I've heard people complaining about for years now. Good to see the valid exemptions to the law are finally being updated to be somewhat logical.

        One major ability that is missing is format shifting. That one is a biggie, and I doubt it'll be fixed anytime soon as long as MPAA/RIAA keeps its strength.

      • http://www.copyright.gov/1201/ [copyright.gov]

        1. (1) Motion pictures on DVDs that are lawfully made and acquired and that are protected by the Content Scrambling System when circumvention is accomplished solely in order to accomplish the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into new works for the purpose of criticism or comment, and where the person engaging in circumvention believes and has reasonable grounds for believing that circumvention is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the use in the following instances:
        1. (i) Educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students;
        1. (ii) Documentary filmmaking;

        (

        1. iii) Noncommercial videos.

        (

        1. 2) Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset.
        1. 3) Computer programs, in the form of firmware or software, that enable used wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when circumvention is initiated by the owner of the copy of the computer program solely in order to connect to a wireless telecommunications network and access to the network is authorized by the operator of the network.
        1. (4) Video games accessible on personal computers and protected by technological protection measures that control access to lawfully obtained works, when circumvention is accomplished solely for the purpose of good faith testing for, investigating, or correcting security flaws or vulnerabilities, if:
        1. (i) The information derived from the security testing is used primarily to promote the security of the owner or operator of a computer, computer system, or computer network; and
        1. (ii) The information derived from the security testing is used or maintained in a manner that does not facilitate copyright infringement or a violation of applicable law.
        1. (5) Computer programs protected by dongles that prevent access due to malfunction or damage and which are obsolete. A dongle shall be considered obsolete if it is no longer manufactured or if a replacement or repair is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace; and

        (

        1. 6) Literary works distributed in ebook format when all existing ebook editions of the work (including digital text editions made available by authorized entities) contain access controls that prevent the enabling either of the book’s read-aloud function or of screen readers that render the text into a specialized format.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by shawn(at)fsu (447153)

        After reading this I asked myself "Is today April 1st". Glad to see it's not even close. Score one for common sense!

    • Making it legal is the backdoor way to give them the right to make it illegal. Prior to this your right to mod it came from the right of first sale. you own it. you can mod it. Now that right has been given you to a law. It shows that you did not have the right to mod it till it was explicity granted. Now it will be possible to take that right away.

      If you think I'm paranoid then you don't know history. The way the government historically gains power is to grant you rights you already have, then modify

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Sprouticus (1503545)

        Not true. By clarifing how the law is to be applied this is limiting how media companies (and phone manufacturers) can use the existing DMCA to limit use. This was already being done by Apple and big media to limit fair use. Obviously the blurred line between hardware and software (especially in phones) is the real tricky part of this, and the one which needed clarification.

        I still hate the DMCA, but (and yes, I have to bring politics into this) it looks like the Obama Administration finally got something r

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Runaway1956 (1322357)

          The Obama administration is onboard the ACTA train. I don't think the administration had anything to do with this DMCA business. It runs contrary to ACTA, IMHO.

        • by Kirijini (214824) <kirijiniNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Monday July 26, 2010 @01:33PM (#33034252)

          it looks like the Obama Administration finally got something right in regards to copyright and fair use/first sale.

          I'm an Obama supporter, but Obama had nothing to do with this. The Copyright Office is a part of the Library of Congress, which is a creature of Congress. The new exemptions were recommended by the Registrar of Copyrights, Marybeth Peters [wikipedia.org], who has been in office since 1994. Her boss, the Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington [wikipedia.org], has been in office since 1987.

    • by Shoeler (180797) *
      Ironically, the EFF seems to have been slashdotted. Drat. :(
  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday July 26, 2010 @11:23AM (#33031690)
    Now we are going to see a torrent of pornography for the iPhone! Think of the children!
  • Correction: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clone53421 (1310749) on Monday July 26, 2010 @11:25AM (#33031762) Journal

    Jailbreaking iPhone WAS Legal.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lyrrad (219543)

      Actually, these rules don't affect whether or not it was legal before.

      This rulemaking power is built into the DMCA, and don't have any retroactive effect that as far as I can tell.

      These exemptions are only for a limited time of three years. Assuming it was illegal before to jailbreak, it is would now be legal until the exemption fails to be renewed. However, actions could still be filed on jailbreaks from last week, for instance.

    • by SirGarlon (845873)
      So does this mean that Apple turning your legally-jailbroken iPhone into a brick is still legal too?
    • by vvaduva (859950)

      EXACTLY. The article is really confusing and poorly written...what do they mean by "the US. government" made it legal? What a stupid statement. Was this a law passed by Congress and signed by Obama, or is it some obscure FCC rule which has little to do with something being "legal" or not.

      After digging through several pages of articles, we finally find out that the Copyright Office made up some lame-ass rules to allow users to jailbreak. That's not "law."

      • Re:Correction: (Score:5, Informative)

        by mea37 (1201159) on Monday July 26, 2010 @12:11PM (#33032688)

        That's not law? Funny, because it's exactly how the majority of law in the U.S. works. The statute defers to regulations, and the regulations then have the force of law as given to them by the statute. This particular statute puts structure around the regulations, forcing them to be somewhat more dynamic than you might expect, but that's really neither here nor there.

        The copyright office's exemptions absolutely have the effect of changing what is legal, because the DMCA says so. What is or is not legal changes without the passage or signing of a new bill; it happens all the time.

  • headline? (Score:2, Insightful)

    shouldn't it be "Jailbreaking iPhone Now Not Illegal"?
    • by alta (1263)

      or possibly "Jailbreaking iPhone still not illegal (however now that's its officially legal we have set forth the process of making it illegal, where before it wasn't)

  • by amliebsch (724858) on Monday July 26, 2010 @11:28AM (#33031830) Journal

    He'll be in his angry dome!

    • Randy: "Steve? Steve? Mr. Jobs?" ...
      Jobs: "Yes?"
      Randy: "This is Randy Marsh, Stan's dad. Look Steve, my son has school tomorrow can you please just come out of the closet? What did you say to him?"
      Stan: "I told him that jailbreaking is legal now."
      Randy: "Ooooooooooh, this is gonna take a while."

      My regards to Mr. Stone and Mr. Parker

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Reverse-engineering for interoperability was always covered by fair use, and that's what this is. Perhaps distribution of the software might have been illegal in some cases, but that's a non-issue since most of the iPhone Dev Team isn;t based in the US anyway.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by yar (170650)

      Not quite. While reverse engineering is ordinarily legal, the anti-circumvention provision of the DMCA doesn't make allowances for fair use or other uses that may have otherwise been legal. That's one of the reasons the Section 1201 rulemaking procedure exists; to see if there are legitimate reasons for circumventing technological protection measures. I think it's a bit backwards, personally.

      • by yar (170650)

        One caveat- reverse engineering for interoperability is specifically addressed by the statute.

  • I shouldn't have to jailbreak it in the 1st place. I'll take the ability to have a true open market, along with superior technology. Oh, and a phone that you know, actually works and can place calls without dropping, from RIM or Google.

    I could care less. Apple just isn't good enough. This story: *yawn*

    • by mlts (1038732) *

      Because of the dancing bunny issue, I wouldn't mind a hurdle steep enough to keep Joe Sixpack from jailbreaking his phone, downloading a "pr0n viewer", getting his phone infected, then bitching to the world how insecure the phone is. Something that will make him go, "gee, I might 'brick' my phone if I do this wrong" and keep his cluelessness inside the walled garden.

      However, the obstacle shouldn't be too high that makes it iffish to impossible for people to know the ramifications to do it. Ideally it shou

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Monday July 26, 2010 @11:31AM (#33031888)
    The real story is the video remixing: "EFF also won a groundbreaking new protection for video remix artists currently thriving on Internet sites like YouTube. The new rule holds that amateur creators do not violate the DMCA when they use short excerpts from DVDs in order to create new, noncommercial works for purposes of criticism or comment if they believe that circumvention is necessary to fulfill that purpose. Hollywood has historically taken the view that "ripping" DVDs is always a violation of the DMCA, no matter the purpose."
    • While this is a new rule, it's more of an explicit clarification. That behavior normally is converted by fair use. However, Since the DMCA was enacted, Hollywood has seem to forget about fair use for criticism, parody, etc.
      • And the DMCA and this insane exception-granting placation process means that unlike fair use, exceptions to the DMCA require someone to explicitly fight for them, with a default presumption of *not* allowing them.

    • by Ruvim (889012)
      This is a huge win for Google's Youtube, since it will allow all the recently-banned spoof videos back!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CraigoFL (201165)
      Does that mean all those Hitler Downfall parodies are now legit?
  • by nebaz (453974) on Monday July 26, 2010 @11:31AM (#33031898)

    One of the things I dislike about having things solved with regulation as opposed to laws is that regulations typically fall under the executive branch, and as such could change on a whim as administrations change. I see from the article that this is part of an list of exemptions (from the DMCA?) that is set by the U.S. Copyright Office in the Library of Congress. At a risk of showing my ignorance, is this a Legislative office, or an Executive one? How are its members appointed, how easy is it for them to add/revoke things, etc?

    • by yar (170650) on Monday July 26, 2010 @11:39AM (#33032074)

      The Librarian of Congress is appointed by the President. The Register of Copyrights is appoints by the Librarian.

      There is an extensive rule-making procedure for this process (Section 1201 rulemaking- see the featured link at copyright.gov). Unfortunately, those asking for the exemptions generally bear the burden of proof, and have to ask for the exemptions every three years. It is difficult to plan based on these exemptions.

  • Yawn... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by webdog314 (960286) on Monday July 26, 2010 @11:33AM (#33031924)

    What it doesn't say is that Apple (or others) have to make it easy to do, or that they can't "unintentionally" brick your phone if you do.

    • I think you hit on a good point but it's bigger than that. In a sense all DRM is infringing on the public's right to Fair Use. This is no different.
  • by Niris (1443675) on Monday July 26, 2010 @11:34AM (#33031970)
    So do these new exceptions apply to the iPod Touch as well? I would assume so since it's the same app process, but RFA only mentioned phones. Also what about the Playstation 3 and how they don't allow Linux anymore, would this fall under this, too?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lyrrad (219543)

      No, it wouldn't apply to the iPod Touch or PS3.

      The exemptions are limited to exactly what the Librarian puts in their rules. Because the rule in question only mentions "wireless telephone handsets', it would not apply to iPod touches or PS3's.

      The provision is as follows:

      Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset.

      The full list of exemptions is here [loc.gov]

      There is a video game exception, but it only applies to those on PC's and only if used for security testing.

  • Legality vs. Ability (Score:4, Interesting)

    by clinko (232501) on Monday July 26, 2010 @11:37AM (#33032024) Homepage Journal

    I don't think legality was holding people back. It mainly was the technical expertise to do so.

    I think jailbreaking will be still limited to the hobbiest.

    To use a car analogy (Which will be replied to with a better analogy proving me wrong):
    Now everyone can put "illegal" flamethrower pipes on their car and not get arrested, but who's going to do it but hobbiest?

    • by unix1 (1667411)

      I don't think legality was holding people back. It mainly was the technical expertise to do so.

      Before this narrow exemption, it was illegal. Because it was illegal, it was not commercialized. What if there were booths in the mall that (after installing your screen protector, or selling you an accessory) offered you to jailbreak your iPhone for extra few bucks? They could even demo some of the cool apps for you right there. Not everyone would do it, but many easily could.

      I think jailbreaking will be still limited to the hobbiest.

      To use a car analogy (Which will be replied to with a better analogy proving me wrong):
      Now everyone can put "illegal" flamethrower pipes on their car and not get arrested, but who's going to do it but hobbiest?

      If you must use a car analogy, it's more like installing non-factory accessories (navigation, entertainment system, bigger wheels, d

    • by medv4380 (1604309)
      True but now there is a question of legality if Apple decided to try and brick all jail-broken phones. Before this there would have been no question about Apple bricking the devices since they would have been illegally modified iPhones.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by webdog314 (960286)

        I'm still not sure this would prevent them from doing this. You sign a contract when you buy one of their phones that says you won't modify it (jailbreak). It doesn't matter if the act of doing so is no longer a punishable crime according to the law, it's still in the contract. Apple can 'punish' you in any way they want (cancel your warrantee, refuse to service the device, even brick it). It pretty much makes them look like assholes, but that's a different issue.

    • by StikyPad (445176)

      It's not so much that technical expertise is a barrier to entry, but rather it's perceived as a barrier. It's actually dead simple to jailbreak with redsnow, and only mildly more involved (though not at all difficult) to do it with pwnagetool + iTunes.

      Fortunately, the perception of idiots keeps the price for JB & unlocked iPhones quite high on eBay.

  • by Lyrrad (219543) on Monday July 26, 2010 @11:38AM (#33032054) Homepage

    Note that the Librarian of Congress Rulemaking provision only exempts the circumvention provisions of the DMCA. The Librarian cannot exempt individuals from the distribution provisions of the DMCA.

    So, while you can now legally jailbreak your phone, it would still be illegal to distribute the software program itself.

  • Does this mean... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ceraphis (1611217) on Monday July 26, 2010 @11:41AM (#33032112)
    That Apple isn't allowed to do anything warranty-wise if you jailbreak your iphone in the future? Could they refuse to replace a broken glass screen if they find out your iphone is or was ever jailbroken, JUST BECAUSE it was jailbroken?

    Otherwise I don't see any implications for the end user. It's not like if you went into an Apple store with a jailbroken iphone the authorities were called to arrest you. Also, the people involved in the jailbreak process haven't exactly been trying to hide their work, they even have videos of them in the process.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by webdog314 (960286)

      All the law say is that it's not illegal *for you* to jailbreak your phone. It does NOT say that Apple has to provide warrantee coverage for your *modified* phone. Nothing has really changed here.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DutchSter (150891)

      That Apple isn't allowed to do anything warranty-wise if you jailbreak your iphone in the future? Could they refuse to replace a broken glass screen if they find out your iphone is or was ever jailbroken, JUST BECAUSE it was jailbroken?

      No it just means that Apple can't sue you for $250,000 in compensatory damages for violating the DMCA and you won't go to jail. Of course they can still refuse to honor your warranty for things you've done that you agreed to not do as a condition of getting service (i.e. a w

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bm_luethke (253362)

      No more or less than before - it only means that you are no longer in violation of the DMCA (which isn't even saying it is "legal" either, it just means that one law can't be used to say it is illegal).

      Since as far as I know Apple wasn't suing anyone over it anyway then there isn't a change at all.

  • They just can't use the DMCA in their defense. They may find some other loophole to prosecute you, and they may still brick your phone with some kind of firmware update.

  • Is anyone else disturbed that the Copyright Office is allowed to rewrite copyright law? That's Congress's job, and they shouldn't be allowed to defer it to an unelected body.

    • by Improv (2467)

      There are times when it's not desirable for something to be a political football - relative independence in a government body helps insulate it at least a bit from the political process. If these things become big enough issues then congress *could* address them.

  • I notice nothing is mentioned about simply rooting your android.

    I haven't been able to find a definitive declaration, but I've been told and have read reports that rooting my DInc will result in a voided warranty.

    IMO, this is like buying a Windows machine, but not having the right to administrative access.

    What if I want to continue getting updates on the OS, but I also want to uninstall the crapware? I know there's very little on the DInc, but from what I hear and read, the X is choked with it. A
  • Thanks, government, for telling people that they can do things that they should be able to do anyway. What's next? Telling us that we're allowed to keep up with traffic when every other car on the road is going 15MPH over the speed limit?
  • by Caerdwyn (829058) on Monday July 26, 2010 @12:19PM (#33032826) Journal

    So how long will it be before people are thoroughly bricking their own iPhones with bad firmware updates and bad applications, getting their identities stolen, then blaming Apple? I can smell the lawyers and the puddles already.

    If people want to jailbreak their cell phones, fine, but with that comes absolute responsibility. Not one word of blame on the provider or manufacturer, including when your credit card is suddenly maxed from Thailand, or when the FCC comes knocking on your door because you downloaded a cell-tower spammer that you thought was a jiggly-boobs app. You don't get to sue, you don't get to say it's Apple's fault, and you get to pay for the trouble you cause.

    Scream "freedom" all you want, but recognize that with it comes the full burden of the consequences of your actions. If... and only if... you can handle that, enjoy your iPhone on T-mobile or wherever else. I'm all for being able to go to other carriers, but if the process involves downloading a firmware image from Russia, yeah, I'll pass.

  • by OrangeTide (124937) on Monday July 26, 2010 @12:24PM (#33032906) Homepage Journal

    I never needed the government's permission before why should I now?
    Relaxing imaginary DMCA restrictions makes the new government look like a hero while quietly ignoring the elephant in the room.

    Should our leaders be lauded for adding exceptions to an already complex legal system. Is it impossible for us to tear down two laws and replace it with one simpler law. Or will entropy in this political organism carry us to our downfall?

  • by xmorg (718633) on Monday July 26, 2010 @01:05PM (#33033744) Homepage

    Freeeeeeeeedoooooooooom!!!!!

  • by geekmux (1040042) on Monday July 26, 2010 @01:18PM (#33033970)

    Really hate to burst everyones "hoorays!" and "it's about time" comments, but I really don't see how this is going to change matters much with any provider out there. Seems to me they would still reserve the right to only support phones that they sell and configure.

    If you can manage to get your phone working on their networks without violating the TOS and don't need support (like, ever), then perhaps this will be beneficial. But chances are you were doing this anyway...

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