Government Declares iPhone Jailbreaking and Unlocking Legal [Update x2]

Posted July 26, 2010 at 12:14pm by iClarified | Please help us and submit a translation by clicking here | 35050 views

The Library of Congress has deemed that jailbreaking your iPhone in order to install applications not approved by Apple and/or to unlock is legal under new rules announced today.

According to the Associated Press, the decision to allow the practice commonly known as "jailbreaking" is one of a handful of new exemptions from a federal law that prohibits the circumvention of technical measures that control access to copyrighted works. Every three years, the Library of Congress authorizes such exemptions to ensure that existing law does not prevent non-infringing use of copyrighted material. Another exemption will allow owners of used cell phones to break access controls on their phones in order to switch wireless carriers.

This is great news for the jailbreak community! We'll have more details as they become available.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has issued a press release outlining the three critical exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) anticircumvention provisions made today.

The Copyright Office rejected Apple's claim that copyright law prevents people from installing unapproved programs on iPhones: "When one jailbreaks a smartphone in order to make the operating system on that phone interoperable with an independently created application that has not been approved by the maker of the smartphone or the maker of its operating system, the modifications that are made purely for the purpose of such interoperability are fair uses."

"Copyright law has long held that making programs interoperable is fair use," confirmed Corynne McSherry, EFF's Senior Staff Attorney. "It's gratifying that the Copyright Office acknowledges this right and agrees that the anticircumvention laws should not interfere with interoperability."

Update x2:
Here is the ruling itself.

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placed - September 14, 2013 at 11:24am
Not only for iPhone but in general unlocking for all phones are made legal.It is now legal to get our phones unlocked from third party unlocking services in U.S.Recently, I unlocked my mobile .I had to travel outside my country and I had to unlock it very quickly.My network provider prolonged the unlock process...and luckily the amendment of unlocking phone made legal saved my time.I used the service from and removed the network lock very easily.They unlocked my phone within few hours....
Franzl - July 27, 2010 at 4:18pm
I for myself can’t live without apps like SBSettings and Firewall iP. Especially Firewall iP from CydiaStore, which can stop Apps from sending out data and even block ads I feel safer with that tool.
liox30 - July 27, 2010 at 4:03pm
mmmmmm, now spirit or any other JB & UL method may not be for free....
Jay - July 26, 2010 at 4:18pm
Does this mean I can take a jailbroken device and have it serviced at apple store under warranty?
Tunger - July 26, 2010 at 4:55pm
I\'ll try to put this more succinctly: \"This Changes Nothing.\" Really folks, it just means it isn\'t illegal to jailbreak or unlock. It doesn\'t compel Apple in any way, shape or form to alter their warranty policy or how they design, build, sell their products. All it means is they can\'t use the threat of the law to compel you to stop jailbreaking. In fact, it wouldn\'t surprise me if in the near future Apple releases a statement that jailbreaking an iphone is still against Apple\'s policy and that thy still believe it makes the device inherently less stable. The only thing they can no longer do, is say it\'s illegal. Get it?
Tunger - July 26, 2010 at 4:03pm
Everybody just calm down.. This isn\'t going to change Apple\'s business model, it isn\'t going to mean iPhone sales are going to skyrocket, it doesn\'t mean Apple is going to sell unlocked phones. Everything will continue as it has - Apple will keep selling \"jailed\" devices under contract with specific carriers, the Dev-Team will keep looking for exploits (go guys!), Apple will keep trying to patch the holes, Apple will continue to claim jailbreaking voids the warranty, etc, etc. All this means is that Apple can no longer threaten jailbreakers to cease and desist under the guise of illegaility.
David - July 26, 2010 at 4:09pm
Finally, someone that makes sense!
digihead - July 26, 2010 at 5:02pm
apple IS selling unlocked iphones. i have on for instance - bought from apple store, simlock free! oh, btw, UK apple store! ;) and general public, regular iphone users dont care about jailbreaking at all, what they care about is unlocking, but this thing is sorted in uk too - recently unlocked from o2 my girlfriends 3gs absolutely for free!
Tunger - July 26, 2010 at 6:33pm
Yes, but it\'s not the general business model, and that\'s what I\'m referring to. And while you are correct that the majority of people care about the unlock, you can\'t have it without the jailbreak. And the jailbreak community does care about all of the freedom and functionality you can gain through a jailbreak, aside from just the unlock. It\'s all besides the point, which is that this decision doesn\'t change any of it fundamentally.
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