Is Jailbreaking the iPhone a DMCA Violation?

The EFF reports:

Apple’s iPhone, now the best-selling cellular phone in the U.S., has been designed with restrictions that prevent owners from running applications obtained from sources other than Apple’s own iTunes App Store. “Jailbreaking” is the term used for removing these restrictions, thereby liberating your phone from Apple’s software “jail.

Apple takes the position that this is a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The EFF disagrees. Personally, I agree with the EFF, but I found a better alternative to jailbreaking my iPhone. I returned the piece of crap and got a Blackberry.

5 Responses to Is Jailbreaking the iPhone a DMCA Violation?

  1. jfischer1975 says:

    I think this is a stretch. It sounds a lot like the cases that I have read where ip right holders try to use those rights to prevent activity that is not covered by the law. Which Section 106 right is being infringed by jailbreaking an iPhone? It may be a breach of contract issue (i.e., violating the terms of service), but Apple’s really reaching to say that installing applications in some way violates their copyright.

  2. Well, the DMCA does have an “anti-circumvention” provision in it — and that is what Apple is claiming it violates.

    I don’t know if you know the Universal v. Corley case, but here it is. Prepare to be infuriated.

  3. jfischer1975 says:

    Actually, First Amendment issues aside, Universal is applying the anti-circumvention provision correctly. DeCSS software strips the encryption off of DVD video such that a user can duplicate the video – thereby violating 17 U.S.C. § 106(1). Whether you agree with this particular provision of the DMCA or not, it’s hard to argue that DeCSS software isn’t covered.

  4. Jim says:

    DeCSS is not used to duplicate DVDs. If you are duplicating the DVDs, you copy the whole thing leaving the encryption in tack.

  5. Anon says:

    Even if it was illegal, I would still do it.
    The way I see it is:
    I bought the Iphone therefore its my property and I break it, sell it, tear it apart or even use it as ammo for my catapult.
    To sum it up in a formula,

    My Property + Imagination =

    I can do whatever the hell I want with it

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