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Government Declares iPhone Jailbreaking and Unlocking Legal [Update x2]

Government Declares iPhone Jailbreaking and Unlocking Legal [Update x2]

Posted July 26, 2010 at 12:14pm by iClarified
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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Government Declares iPhone Jailbreaking and Unlocking Legal [Update x2]
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Comments (43)
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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.
BytesNL - July 26, 2010 at 3:24pm
You don't own a iPhone or iPod? Did you know that they are made by apple!
iboy - July 26, 2010 at 2:48pm
Hash - July 26, 2010 at 3:23pm
LOL... Too funny...
iboy - July 26, 2010 at 3:28pm
is ur name hashem abraham??
Nick - July 26, 2010 at 2:14pm
I don't even know how you came up with an opinion like that, or why jailbreaking should be illegal, but if anything more iPhones will be sold now because people can truly enjoy the freedom of not being restricted by Apple. Who cares if other companies use iPhones that are unlocked? That has nothing to do with the US, or jailbreaking for that matter. I don't understand people like you, who is Apple or any manufacturer for that matter to tell me what I can and cannot do with my own device that I purchased with my money.
iboy - July 26, 2010 at 2:42pm
im not against with is but what im trying to say other people wanna enjoy having an iphone and having it with different carriers..like me i have all idevices prdoucts from imac,itouch or an ipad so u know i gotta have the iphone but i love the iphone so much and i bought every iphone ever made but my carrier is with tmobile on my families plan so thats why unlock should i always be there...but i mean jailbreak like having free apps from installous should be legal because thats downloading apps that cost money for free and the person that made that app wont get his profit if its not downloaded from the app store...but unlocked iphones only hurt at&t and n ot everyone wants to be with at&t to have an iphone...so the best thing apple should do (my opinion) is sell iphones for every carrier like tmobile, at&t etc...like going to an apple store purchasing an iphone u get asked what carrier would u like it for..i think apple should do that or just every year provide a new i phone to different companies..now thats my openion..so i would love for apple to not making unlock legal because im really looking forward for my new iphone 4 to work on tmobile
Chris - July 26, 2010 at 1:59pm
so wheres the jailbreak !!
Nick - July 26, 2010 at 2:16pm
They have already jailbroken the iPhone 4, but they are spending time working on the coding they use and the program to jailbreak the iPhone 4. Basically they want to make sure that jailbroken iPhone 4's run smoothly without any problems. They might also wait until the 4.1 update is released, that way Apple won't be able to patch the hole and the dev team won't have to find another way to jailbreak it.
JP - July 26, 2010 at 5:36pm
@Comex already said that he is NOT waiting on the 4.1 update on his official twitter page. Follow these guys on Twitter to get the REAL updates and not the BS people be posting up on here. @MuscleNerd said that they were having problems with Facetime among other "issues". Now this is in NO WAY in offence to the Dev-Team but I have since been tired of waiting to jb/unlock my 3gs and just sold it to buy a factory unlocked one instead. That way I can at least use the damn thing until this jb comes out for me to have Cydia. I'm sure I will live until then...
Ken - July 26, 2010 at 1:19pm
Ecua4ever - July 26, 2010 at 1:35pm
Kev - July 26, 2010 at 1:16pm
So in theory does this mean that anybody can make any app for the iPhone, and sell it through Cydia (or any other app) for example without Apple threatening or menacing them even if they have legit apps in the app store ?.. I can see many different app stores popping up now :) Apple .. you bought this on yourself . haha Now fix the latest bootrom so I can get my iPhone freed, unlocked .. and get my WIFI back
NeHoMaR - July 26, 2010 at 12:56pm
I am really surprised about this. How could USA make something to help the people and not the millionaires? amazing! This should be a fake.
Pwn - July 26, 2010 at 12:47pm
There is no point of making it legal. There is no jailbreak for iphone4
Nick - July 26, 2010 at 2:10pm
Umm, the dev team has already jailbroken the iPhone 4, the software just hasn't been released yet. They are tweaking the software right now so the jailbreak will run smoother on the iPhone 4 and we will have less problems when they release it. Be patient, the jailbreak isn't too far off for the iPhone 4.
makar - July 26, 2010 at 12:41pm
isn't DMCA funded by criminal lobbyists ? Then ... how it cannot be legal to let them go ?
DirtyRedriver - July 26, 2010 at 12:28pm
this doesn't seem fun anymore I liked the whole illegal part of it
bs - July 26, 2010 at 12:00pm
does that mean we don't lose our warranty if we jailbrake?
Bannana Joe
Bannana Joe - July 26, 2010 at 12:02pm
Well ,apple can have a word on that, but they no longer can force you to have a 'jailed' device for use only their own apps. You can use whatever you want. So, that will be a brighter day for all apple iphone/ipad/ipod users.
Bannana Joe
Bannana Joe - July 26, 2010 at 11:58am
Great! GREAT! Now the dev team can have a break for official releases :P If this is true all the iphone users will see an instant benefit, even apple since they will sell more gadgets for happy people. Unlocked and Jailbreaked directly from apple, please, somebody hit me....this is a nice dream and I don't wanna wake up. :P
Nick - July 26, 2010 at 12:01pm
You're interpreting this wrong, Apple isn't going to release the iPhones jailbroken and unlocked, it just means it isn't illegal for us to have jailbroking and unlocked phones, and that the amazing people who develop the jailbreaks and unlocks will never have to worry about being arrested for it.
Bannana Joe
Bannana Joe - July 26, 2010 at 12:06pm
Hi The catch is, if they can't control the Jailbroke/Unlock. The will have to release their own, since is not longer 'illegal' the will realize the can fight this any longer, maybe, and just maybe, the will start to sold jailbreaked/unclocked devices, since everyone can do this for legal, this can be a good thing at long since the sales can grow up. And the good part is, they will realize can control everything they wan all the time. A very bad policy of apple from the start. :P
Brian - July 26, 2010 at 12:41pm
No. They don't have to release their own...and they won't. Apple has no way of making money from sales outside of the App Store. They will continue to tweak their firmware/ hardware making it as difficult as possible to jailbreak/unlock.
Carlos - July 26, 2010 at 12:48pm
Guys, Apple does not make money from Apps outside AppStore, of course. But it makes shitloads of money by selling iPhones. And I bet that the majority of Jailbroken iphones are in fact jailbroken for the installation of one app: ultrasn0w. Apple couldn't care less which Carrier you have your iPhone on. But it "enforces" the use of AT&T to abide to their agreement.
Bannana Joe
Bannana Joe - July 26, 2010 at 1:02pm
That's my point. Since the jailbreak and unlock is more a benefit than a loose for apple, they can be focus on made apps to do this and if they been obligated by a law without any restriction maybe able going to be pushed to release an official tool to do this. :P
Brian - July 26, 2010 at 1:11pm
No they can't. they have a contract with AT&T for now, and will probably soon be with Verizon. If they make a program that allows you to buy the phone and then unlock it and take it to another carrier they are not under contract with, those companies will sue Apple and win. It is not even a question if they will win. It is merely a question of how much will they win. Trust me, ask any lawyer.
JDavila - July 26, 2010 at 1:15pm
I couldn't agree more on this. I have my phone jailbroken for one single purpose: UNLOCKING IT If Apple begins to THINK DIFFERENT and sell unlocked phones at full price, they will sell a LOT of phones more than they even imagine. There are 2 carriers in my country that have the iPhone, none of them offer Visual Voicemail, and the third that doesn't have the iPhone has the better network. Guess which one I use? The best one, which is not the official. As a matter of fact, I paid full price to buy a pre-paid iPhone. The phone works just fine with ANY GSM carrier that has a decent network, so why the hassle? SELL UNOCKED PHONES APPLE!!!
Kev - July 26, 2010 at 1:21pm
I remember when the carriers in the UK would not unloock the phones to be used on another carrier unless you paid a huge amount of money .. UNTIL the government and OFTEL jumped in and forced them, to release the phone at the OWNERS request (a small fee is asked for, but I know many people who didn't pay this, even myself after a few harsh words)......The governments around the world will at least force an unlock .. lets hope they will also force the phone to be released from its jail too in the near future :)
Carlos - July 26, 2010 at 1:22pm
You're right Brian, and I am a lawyer. That's what I meant when I said apple has to abide to its agreement with AT&T. It will NOT sell/distribute unlocked phones and/or unlocking apps, for that would constitute a breach. And it will probably continue to release constat updates closing the holes found and exploited by Dev Team - as that would also be their obligation: prevent and remedy those unlocking holes. One thing they won't/can't do anymore is persecute jailbreakers. Period.
Brian - July 26, 2010 at 1:43pm
Carlos ~ Exactly. I didn't read your comment I must have been writing my comment while you were submitting your's. lol.
kirto - July 26, 2010 at 11:56am
This is going to really piss Apple off. "great"
Nick - July 26, 2010 at 11:59am
And why is pissing Apple off a bad thing? This is amazing news and everyone should be excited about it, if you're not excited about it then you obviously don't care about jailbreaking your iPhone (I mean I would jailbreak mine regardless of whether it was legal or not). This is a nice, go to hell Apple for trying to make people do what you want all the time.
kirto - July 26, 2010 at 12:12pm
Don't get your knickers in a twist. I'm agreeing with you. I jail broke my phone when it was first available and nobody is going to tell me what to do with something I bought. I love the Jail breaking crew and the fact I can now walk into an apple shop and not being told that my phone is not legal really excites me.
Nick - July 26, 2010 at 2:06pm
Lol, when I read your first post it sounded like you were mad that Apple's going to be pissed off about this. I'm the same as you, ever since I bought my first iPhone I've had it and the ones after it jailbroken, I hate having to go through getting a new iPhone, and having to wait for the jailbreak to come out. It's almost unbearable using an unjailbroken iPhone, I miss having a jailbroken iPhone so much!!!
qiUip - July 26, 2010 at 2:34pm
Well as good as the new is, it doesn't change the fact that apple will most likely not warranty a jailbroken iPhone, nor support it, so if anything goes wrong you still need to restore cus they will not deal with a jailbroken phone. Not that I care about support for the phone, but a lot of people will still not take the step forward as they do need apple's support and don't want to lose the warranty. (not that they check if you just do a restore before, and backup all your cydia settings, but some people don't want all that "technical" shit to deal with). This is still quite far from apple freeing the phone, like they should have done to begin with, and they still have almost as much control over what you can do with it, only now it's not illegal (like that bothered anyone jailbraking...). Still definitely a step in the right way.
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