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Jailbreaking iPhone Now Legal 423

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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  • Yawn... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by webdog314 ( 960286 ) on Monday July 26, 2010 @12:33PM (#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.

  • by Niris ( 1443675 ) on Monday July 26, 2010 @12:34PM (#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?
  • Legality vs. Ability (Score:4, Interesting)

    by clinko ( 232501 ) on Monday July 26, 2010 @12:37PM (#33032024) 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 Lyrrad ( 219543 ) on Monday July 26, 2010 @12:38PM (#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.

  • Re:hooray (Score:4, Interesting)

    by halfEvilTech ( 1171369 ) on Monday July 26, 2010 @12:39PM (#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.

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

    by ceraphis ( 1611217 ) on Monday July 26, 2010 @12:41PM (#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.
  • by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Monday July 26, 2010 @12:54PM (#33032364)

    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 them later.

  • by wiredlogic ( 135348 ) on Monday July 26, 2010 @12:58PM (#33032456)

    The DMCA only really applies when you distribute copies after circumventing copy protection. If you keep them to yourself, you are operating within the bounds of fair use and the legal protections for reverse engineering and interoperability. There is potential for instructions on how to do these tasks to be considered a form of contributory infringement (witness the status of DeCSS) but there isn't any precedent on that yet for the US.

  • Re:Does this mean... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by webdog314 ( 960286 ) on Monday July 26, 2010 @12:58PM (#33032472)

    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.

  • by CraigoFL ( 201165 ) <slashdot AT kanook DOT net> on Monday July 26, 2010 @01:18PM (#33032808)
    Does that mean all those Hitler Downfall parodies are now legit?
  • Re:hooray (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jgagnon ( 1663075 ) on Monday July 26, 2010 @02:42PM (#33034414)

    So let me ask this question... are they selling you the device or the device plus the software? I would think they are selling you the complete package and would hope they be held accountable to that whole package, but not to each part on its own. If the latter is what you are after then be prepared for a fight. It would be like someone replacing the engine in their car with another one of their making and then asking the auto manufacturer to still uphold the warranty. Or maybe someone else buys the old engine and puts it in another car and wants the warranty on that, too. Where does it end?

    If YOU were a device manufacturer that had some software element to it, would you want to have to pay for and support everyone's experimental whim? Of course you wouldn't.

    I'm all for the right to modify without artificial limitations, but at your own risk. If you can't handle the risk then don't do the deed.

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

    by sgbett ( 739519 ) <slashdot@remailer.org> on Monday July 26, 2010 @02:44PM (#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.

  • by CaseM ( 746707 ) on Monday July 26, 2010 @04:06PM (#33035754)

    Only in the United States.

  • Re:Warranty? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Monday July 26, 2010 @08:34PM (#33038820)

    Note that many expensive brands offer excellent warranties. Break a Snap-On wrench and it will get replaced even if you intentionally cut it in half. Others are still good, just less so.

    Pretty sure the warranty on Sears Craftsman hand tools is like that too. Speaking of which: you know the difference between Craftsman and Evolv (a cheaper Sears tool brand)? They both have lifetime warranties, but with Craftsman you only need to bring in the tool while with Evolv you need to bring in the tool and the receipt.

Make it myself? But I'm a physical organic chemist!