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Exemption allows jailbreaking of devices such as the iPhone

Sections: Apple Business, iPad, iPhone, iPhone OS, SDK and hacks, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod touch

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iPhone and apps

Due to a recent ruling from the Library of Congress (who has power to add exceptions to certain copyright laws), Apple may have a difficult time taking a stronger stance against jailbreaking of their devices. According to the New York Times, this ruling would mean it is now “… legal to bypass a phone’s controls on what software it will run to get ‘lawfully obtained’ programs to work.” What does this mean? Jailbroken app stores such as Cydia are now perfectly acceptable under the law. However, what this doesn’t mean is that getting apps free from Apple’s App Store through jailbreaking is legal. Actions such as that are still considered stealing.

While this is good news for the entire cell phone industry (people who enjoy tinkering with phones will now be able to do so legally), it is especially good for iPhone jailbreakers. I think it’s safe to say the iPhone started the jailbreak craze (at least in the mainstream eye), so the thousands of people who choose to do so are now protected. Still, according to an Apple spokeswoman, Apple holds to their belief: “As we’ve said before, the vast majority of customers do not jailbreak their iPhones, as this can violate the warranty and can cause the iPhone to become unstable and not work reliably.”

While I don’t see a benefit to jailbreaking in terms of how I use my iPhone, plenty of people do. This new law now says, go ahead, there’s nothing stopping you.

Via [The New York Times]

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