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Apple battles EFF, calls iPhone jailbreaking piracy

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 14 Feb 2009 12:41 User comments (25)

Apple battles EFF, calls iPhone jailbreaking piracy After staying notably silent on the subject of jailbreaking for the first year and a half of the iPhone's existence, Apple has now submitted a document to the Library of Congress claiming that reverse engineering the iPhone's operating system is copyright infringemnt.
Their claim is in response to the Electronic Frontier Foundation's submission for the annual DMCA exemption review. Under the DMCA, the Library of Congress is allowed to allow selected activities which would normally be forbidden by the DMCA. Due to encryption used for various bits of software in it, the reverse engineering require to jailbreak the iPhone OS falls under that cateogory.

The EFF is requesting an exemption for "Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute lawfully obtained software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications with computer programs on the telephone handset."

Apple's response indicates that they consider such an exemption inappropriate because it would violate their copyrights. As the EFF points out,"Running lawfully obtained software on a smart phone does not infringe copyright, nor does the process of jailbreaking a smart phone in order to accomplish this goal."

Apple's argument against this is that the iTunes App Store provides plenty of choice. The problem with this position is that it's ultimately Apple who gets to decide what's available,not developers or consumers. They reserve the right to turn down programs, or even remove them at any time.

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25 user comments

114.2.2009 13:42

Yet more of their monopoly crap. Increasingly glad I decided to stay away from all that i junk.

214.2.2009 13:43

greed

314.2.2009 14:57

Um no, its called jailbreaking, or modding if you don't like your uses putting your sht to work outside the crappy limits you set then ban them from service and stop taking their money....asshats....

414.2.2009 17:33

apple sucks? what a surprise.

514.2.2009 18:18

Reason for Jailbreaking because apple dont have some of the apps ppl want! and some of the ideas they dont even think about -_-;

614.2.2009 20:26

I cant be too mad at Apple. You knew what you were buying when you bought it so whats the big deal? If you don't like how Apple runs their business then don't buy their product. Simple as that. Now its time for everyone to turn in their ipods. :)

714.2.2009 21:49

If Apple don't want people to crack it, then give people what they want.

814.2.2009 22:26

I'm on the EFF's side, but I don't blame any company for trying to protect their IP. It's not inherently evil on their part...it just might be frivolous. The problem is that if anyone has problems on a 'modded' piece of hardware, the company who released it is still often seen (by the ignorant masses) as responsible for a 'quality' issue they had nothing to do with. Some of this goes WAY back to the early 80's when floods of non-licensed, utter crap (for the era) Atari 2600 games were partly blamed for ruining the videogame console market for a few years.

If people want to have open-platform hardware, try creating your own if what you want doesn't exist. Just because that's too tough for you to do doesn't mean you have any valid reason to whine about how OTHERS who do make hardware to their purpose and liking. If you don't like it, don't get it.

914.2.2009 22:30

Originally posted by xnonsuchx:
I'm on the EFF's side, but I don't blame any company for trying to protect their IP. It's not inherently evil on their part...it just might be frivolous. The problem is that if anyone has problems on a 'modded' piece of hardware, the company who released it is still often seen (by the ignorant masses) as responsible for a 'quality' issue they had nothing to do with. Some of this goes WAY back to the early 80's when floods of non-licensed, utter crap (for the era) Atari 2600 games were partly blamed for ruining the videogame console market for a few years.

If people want to have open-platform hardware, try creating your own if what you want doesn't exist. Just because that's too tough for you to do doesn't mean you have any valid reason to whine about how OTHERS who do make hardware to their purpose and liking. If you don't like it, don't get it.
If the subscription rates where cheaper I would agree...

1015.2.2009 1:34

You don't like you buy, that what I do. I don't like Apple from day one and I have 0 apple products.

I don't have one.
I don't care for one.
I hope they put one of the iphone cracker in jail so I'll have more reason to hate them!

1115.2.2009 8:38

Originally posted by xnonsuchx:
If people want to have open-platform hardware, try creating your own if what you want doesn't exist. Just because that's too tough for you to do doesn't mean you have any valid reason to whine about how OTHERS who do make hardware to their purpose and liking. If you don't like it, don't get it.

You're kidding, right? Unless you can create the iPhone yourself you don't deserve to run whatever software on your piece of hardware that you own, having paid hundreds of dollars for it?

Originally posted by "US Constitution: Article 1, Clause 8, Section 8":

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.

Copyright law is a made-up ownership of ideas we (the people) grant in exchange for increased innovation. Apple is essentially claiming it gives them a right to stifle innovation which doesn't fit into their business model, and which they've chosen not to make money on. The courts have said in the past that this is not a legitimate use of copyright, and they're right.

Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

1215.2.2009 9:41

Quote:
Originally posted by xnonsuchx:
If people want to have open-platform hardware, try creating your own if what you want doesn't exist. Just because that's too tough for you to do doesn't mean you have any valid reason to whine about how OTHERS who do make hardware to their purpose and liking. If you don't like it, don't get it.

You're kidding, right? Unless you can create the iPhone yourself you don't deserve to run whatever software on your piece of hardware that you own, having paid hundreds of dollars for it?

Originally posted by "US Constitution: Article 1, Clause 8, Section 8":

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.

Copyright law is a made-up ownership of ideas we (the people) grant in exchange for increased innovation. Apple is essentially claiming it gives them a right to stifle innovation which doesn't fit into their business model, and which they've chosen not to make money on. The courts have said in the past that this is not a legitimate use of copyright, and they're right.
Last time I checked jailbreaking your phone so that you could use other provides not authorized by the contract and putting apps on your phone are two totally different things. Now dont get me wrong, Im all for user created apps and that should be legal. But throwing that in the same boat with breaking you're initial contract dealing with provider exclusivity isn't the least bit fair to apple.

The correct way to go about this is two split the two into different categories and deal with them individually. By condoning jailbreaking you are in a way saying "I'm for user created apps" and at the same time you're also saying "I'm for people breaking legally binding contracts." That's my two cents atleast.

1315.2.2009 10:23

Originally posted by grkblood:
Quote:
Last time I checked jailbreaking your phone so that you could use other provides not authorized by the contract and putting apps on your phone are two totally different things. Now dont get me wrong, Im all for user created apps and that should be legal. But throwing that in the same boat with breaking you're initial contract dealing with provider exclusivity isn't the least bit fair to apple.

The correct way to go about this is two split the two into different categories and deal with them individually. By condoning jailbreaking you are in a way saying "I'm for user created apps" and at the same time you're also saying "I'm for people breaking legally binding contracts." That's my two cents atleast.

I'm not really sure who you're responding to since the copyright issue was all that the original article talked about and what everyon AFAIK was discussing. As an end-user you have no contract with Apple. And your contract with AT&T (in the US) requires that you pay $150 if you terminate your contract early. It says nothing about putting apps on the phone as it's Apple who sells those. However, US courts have previously ruled that unlocking your phone to use it on a different network is legal.

Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

1415.2.2009 11:33

@vurbal

OK, well ive heard different interpretations of the term jailbreak. If there is a way to put apps on your phone as long as you are not breaking any legally binding contracts based on terms of service then I dont see how that could be illegal.

1515.2.2009 12:29
atomicxl
Inactive

Quote:
Apple's argument against this is that the iTunes App Store provides plenty of choice. The problem with this position is that it's ultimately Apple who gets to decide what's available,not developers or consumers. They reserve the right to turn down programs, or even remove them at any time.
Call me a troll, but what on Earth is so bad about this? If you hate Apple... don't buy it. Its not like Apple is the only maker of cellphones, smart phones and mobile devices in general. They aren't even the only people who make touch screen mobile smart phones.

When you jailbreak an iPhone, doesn't that allow you to use it other networks? If I remember correctly, a large portion of the money made on Apple's part is from service plans, not the actual hardware itself. It totally makes sense that they'd want to stop people from doing this.

If you really want them to change... stop buying iPhones!!!!! Eventually they'll realize that they need to expand to other service providers.

1615.2.2009 13:58

Originally posted by atomicxl:
Quote:
Apple's argument against this is that the iTunes App Store provides plenty of choice. The problem with this position is that it's ultimately Apple who gets to decide what's available,not developers or consumers. They reserve the right to turn down programs, or even remove them at any time.
Call me a troll, but what on Earth is so bad about this? If you hate Apple... don't buy it. Its not like Apple is the only maker of cellphones, smart phones and mobile devices in general. They aren't even the only people who make touch screen mobile smart phones.

Because it's my hardware. Why should Apple get to tell me what legally obtained software I can run on my hardware? Would you feel the same if they were trying to control what kind of headphones or docking hardware could be used with an iPod/iPhone?
Quote:
When you jailbreak an iPhone, doesn't that allow you to use it other networks? If I remember correctly, a large portion of the money made on Apple's part is from service plans, not the actual hardware itself. It totally makes sense that they'd want to stop people from doing this.

Jailbreaking just refers to getting access to install software. You're thinking of unlocking, which could be done as part of the same operation before the v2 firmware/3g iPhone. That's actually a non-issue because it has already been ruled by the courts to be legal.

As far as making money from service plans, that depends on what kind of scope you're looking at. They weren't able to find many companies, internationally, interested in the kind of exclusive provider deal (where they get money from service plans) that they worked out with AT&T. That's just not how things are done most places. In order to be able to have the huge number of providers they wanted for the iPhone 3G's launch they dropped that requirement. There are providers in many places subsidizing the iPhone now, but Apple gets the same amount of money whether they get the phone and keep the service or get the phone and cancel it. They may get a different amount of money from AT&T customers, but I can't say for sure.

Regardless, it doesn't have any bearing on the customers since they have no contract with Apple to stick with a particular provider. If they decide to switch they're still subject to whatever conditions are in their service contract. Those terms are primarily dictated by the FCC, and Apple has no power to say they have to be stricter. If they agreed to a bad contract with AT&T that's really not my problem.
Quote:
If you really want them to change... stop buying iPhones!!!!! Eventually they'll realize that they need to expand to other service providers.

I haven't bought an iPhone. But I was given an iPod Touch, and the same principle applies there. It's basically a mobile computer. If Apple wants to tell developers what software they'll sell through iTunes that's their perogative. If I want to put Quake on my iPod that's mine. I own it, not them.

Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

1715.2.2009 16:14

i dont get why there are so many apple fanboys here. they pretty much say fuk you over and over, and the fanboys bend over with a smile.

no wonder apple is able to survive.

i own 0 apple products, other than the nano i got for christmas, and have sitting somewhere probably in the back of my closet. my 13 dollar sansa is so much better than that 200 dollar piece of sht nano.

1816.2.2009 1:20

Originally posted by jetyi83:
i dont get why there are so many apple fanboys here. they pretty much say fuk you over and over, and the fanboys bend over with a smile.

no wonder apple is able to survive.

i own 0 apple products, other than the nano i got for christmas, and have sitting somewhere probably in the back of my closet. my 13 dollar sansa is so much better than that 200 dollar piece of sht nano.

Being an anti-fanboy (bashboy???) is just as bad...and quite hypocritical.

1916.2.2009 20:58

who has the cheapest phone plan with net that can connect to the PC?

2017.2.2009 9:01

Keep in mind once you submit an app to them, Apple imposes a NDA on you if they deny it. Then if they decide to take your app, which you gave them, and implement it themselves, you can't say anything about it without breaking the NDA which they will sue you for. If they say they don't want the app, you can bet that within a year, it will be on there, branded by Apple, and you get nothing.

2117.2.2009 9:54

The problem with all allegations of copyright infringement is that the copyright owners assert their rights but chose to forget their responsibilities. Copyright should never be used to rip people off wholesale, yes there is the need to recoup development and other costs, but as the music business has seen, if you rip people off for long enough they eventually bite back. Apple charges 79c or 79p per track depending on where you live, if you buy 10 tracks that's 7.90 the same as many commercially available CDs. There is no packaging, no warehousing, no raw material cost, no transport cost, little if any labour cost with the mechanical royalties at just a few cents how do they justify charging much the same as for a fully packaged CD? It's clearly a rip off. The same with the iPhone, if I buy a car and want to add stuff to it...no problem....might invalidate the warranty but that's it. If I were to but an iPhone I'd want to be able to do what I liked with it, so Apple's case is a bit thin on that ground. As for building your own hardware.....yeah right.

2218.2.2009 7:32

The EFF has some smart lawyers. They were the ones that defended Jamie ? which stopped the RIAA from sueing people. They challanged the RIAA to prove what she did was against the law. I would expect Apple to have much smarter lawyers then the RIAA but I bet they are still out gunned.

Apple has always been the naughty child that doesn't want other kids to play in his or hers sandbox. Their greed has cost them dearly but they prefer control of their 'Apple Zombies' over profits.

I would enjoy seeing Apple get their ass kicked!

2320.2.2009 1:11

yeah apple is begining to sound as restrictive as microsoft i mean even my 6 year old has a camera to record video and the iphone doesnt thats utter bullshit from the pussys at apple

2420.2.2009 7:00

Quote:
apple is begining to sound as restrictive as microsoft
Microsoft NEVER was EVER near as restrictive as Apple. I am not saying that M$ doesen't suck but they are not so evil that they will kiss off most of their profits for the pleasure of sticking it to their customers. M$ is more greedy than Apple. Apple is more evil than M$.

Even this artical is proof of that. They feel compelled to completely dictate what you can do with your iphone even though what they are doing will hurt sales. They don't really care so much about the money as long as they can crush you into paste! I bet they would pay $100 to shove a Mac truck up your ass!
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 Feb 2009 @ 7:06

2524.4.2010 10:32

Originally posted by xnonsuchx:
I'm on the EFF's side, but I don't blame any company for trying to protect their IP. It's not inherently evil on their part...it just might be frivolous. The problem is that if anyone has problems on a 'modded' piece of hardware, the company who released it is still often seen (by the ignorant masses) as responsible for a 'quality' issue they had nothing to do with. Some of this goes WAY back to the early 80's when floods of non-licensed, utter crap (for the era) Atari 2600 games were partly blamed for ruining the videogame console market for a few years.

If people want to have open-platform hardware, try creating your own if what you want doesn't exist. Just because that's too tough for you to do doesn't mean you have any valid reason to whine about how OTHERS who do make hardware to their purpose and liking. If you don't like it, don't get it.
Why do I get the impression I'm listening to Marc Anthony in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. LOL

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