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Apple Claims That Jail-Breaking Is Illegal 610

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the never-underestimate-the-power-of-greed dept.
rmav writes "Apple has finally made a statement about jail-breaking. They try to sell the idea that it is a copyright infringement and DMCA violation. This, despite the fact (as the linked article states) that courts have ruled that copying software while reverse engineering is a fair use when done for purposes of fostering interoperability with independently created software. I cannot help but think that the recent flood of iPhone cracked applications is responsible for this. Before that, Apple was quietly ignoring the jailbreak scene. Now, I suppose that in the future we may only install extra applications on our iPhones as ad hoc installs using the SDK, and if we want turn-by-turn directions, tethering, and the like, we have to compile these apps by ourselves? Maybe we should go and download the cydia source code and see what we can do with it."
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Apple Claims That Jail-Breaking Is Illegal

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  • by mc1138 (718275) on Friday February 13, 2009 @02:41PM (#26847019) Homepage
    People never get up in arms about something till it effects them personally. What a load of crap apple.
    • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Friday February 13, 2009 @04:03PM (#26848311) Journal
      Personally, I hold those who gave Apple money personally responsible for this, and for any legal precedents that end up being set. Those lawyers didn't pay for themselves...
      • by Hijacked Public (999535) on Friday February 13, 2009 @04:22PM (#26848567)
        Who do you buy your gasoline from?
        • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Friday February 13, 2009 @05:51PM (#26849913) Journal
          Who do you buy your gasoline from?

          I don't buy it. I bike, walk and use public transit.

          I bet you think you're clever though, with your pithy "Who do you buy your gasoline from" crap. Like living with ideals is an impossible and ridiculous thing that nobody really does and no one is really expected to do. Personally, I disassociate myself permanently from people and organizations I don't like. Won't work for em, won't buy from em, won't be involved, won't help make them strong. Hell, I didn't like what my government has been doing last number of years, so I stopped paying my taxes. Almost went to jail for that, but my hands are clean. I did not help them.

          When I can't do this, I acknowledge that I'm guilty of facilitating that which I despise. I recognize that the statement "I can't sever my involvement" is really "I'm not prepared to live in the fashion necessary to sever my involvement", and therefore I'm really just passing the hardship along to others. That makes me accountable to those others, and I may one day be called on to pay the piper, and if they come for me, it will be right and good and my own damned fault.

          It's called taking responsibility, maybe you ought to look into it.
          • by cyn1c77 (928549) on Friday February 13, 2009 @06:23PM (#26850319)

            Who do you buy your gasoline from?

            I don't buy it. I bike, walk and use public transit.

            .I bet you think you're clever though, with your pithy "Who do you buy your gasoline from" crap.

            Like living with ideals is an impossible and ridiculous thing that nobody really does and no one is really expected to do. Personally, I disassociate myself permanently from people and organizations I don't like. Won't work for em, won't buy from em, won't be involved, won't help make them strong. Hell, I didn't like what my government has been doing last number of years, so I stopped paying my taxes. Almost went to jail for that, but my hands are clean. I did not help them.

            ...therefore I'm really just passing the hardship along to others. That makes me accountable to those others, and I may one day be called on to pay the piper, and if they come for me, it will be right and good and my own damned fault.

            It's called taking responsibility, maybe you ought to look into it.

            What are you 12 years old? It sounds like you think you're the clever one. The world isn't black and white, it's shades of grey and sometimes you have to compromise and work with people and organizations you don't like to make progress.

            Just because you don't agree with elected government officials doesn't give you the right to stop paying taxes and push the cost onto other citizens under some retarded form of social protest. By living in the country, you are accepting the whole package, including agreeing paying taxes, regardless of who is elected.

            If you don't like it, legally fight for change or GTFO. You can't bury your head in the sand and just ignore things you don't like.

            • by Risen888 (306092) on Friday February 13, 2009 @08:27PM (#26851609)

              What are you 12 years old? It sounds like you think you're the clever one. The world isn't black and white, it's shades of grey and sometimes you have to compromise and work with people and organizations you don't like to make progress.

              Yep, that's the working model of our culture, all right. And it is full of fail. "Working within the system" doesn't do it. I have this argument with a particular friend of mine almost weekly, and he's a well-meaning guy as I'm sure you are, but he's wrong and so are you.

              For God's sake open a newspaper, it's all over the front page. That bit about the "economic meltdown?" Or the "climate crisis," the "energy crisis," and on and on and on? It's because people decided it would be easier to just cut a deal. Our practicality, our comprimises, our working with people and organizations we don't like, has completely fucked us.

            • by vaporland (713337) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @12:12AM (#26853153) Homepage

              Just because you don't agree with elected government officials doesn't give you the right to stop paying taxes and push the cost onto other citizens under some retarded form of social protest. By living in the country, you are accepting the whole package, including agreeing paying taxes, regardless of who is elected.

              It's a good thing the founding fathers didn't agree with this line of thinking, or we'd all be having tea and cookies at 3pm, and paying a hell of a tax on it.

              It takes guts to live outside a corrupt system. I did it for a while, now I am just Joe Taxpayer. I do respect the LW though for LIVING his principles, not just yakking about them.

              Last time I read the Declaration of Independence, I didn't recall seeing anything called retarded ... social protest - they do mention inalienable rights though. Maybe you're referring to the Declaration of Acquiescence?

  • Means nothing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by halivar (535827) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {reglefb}> on Friday February 13, 2009 @02:42PM (#26847027) Homepage

    Apple can claim whatever they want, and can sue whoever they want for DMCA violations. C&D's are freely distributable.

    Whether or not that claim has the weight of law is up to a judge, not a marketing director.

    • Re:Means nothing (Score:4, Insightful)

      by morgauo (1303341) on Friday February 13, 2009 @03:02PM (#26847323)

      And if Apple Corp. was suing you with some strange interpretation of the DMCA today and the legal dream team it must be able to afford...

      What you be confident that the judge would sort it all out?

    • by Simonetta (207550) on Friday February 13, 2009 @03:04PM (#26847379)

      I'm a simple-minded person. So correct me if I am misunderstanding this situation:

        Apple makes a little plastic box with an LCD screen, a battery, and a circuit board and sells it to people in retail stores. And they claim that there is some kind of law that prohibits anyone who buys this little plastic box from opening it, determining how it works, and telling other people how to make it work better. Unless, of course, they pay Apple more money beyond the money that was paid for the little plastic box at the retail store.

          If this is a correct interpretation of the situation, then I have to agree that this company is delusional and that they will have a difficult time adjusting to 21st-century reality. These marketing major fantasies may have had some credibility in the 20th-century, but they are meaningless as the economy collapses.

          Reality is reality. If you are exploring the circuitry and firmware of a little plastic box and someone comes up to you and tells you that you are engaged in illegal activity by doing so, politely simply to ask them to go away and something constructive with their short time on Earth. If they persist or attempt to physically prevent you from your examinations of your property (your little plastic box and circuit board), then just shoot them. Don't even give it a second thought. There are far too many people in the world, and the fewer delusional assholes running around making trouble for the rest of us, the better. They won't be missed. When even Republicans are talking about economic collapse, then you know that It's a new world out there. Anything that you can do to make the world a better place for reality-based people to live in (such as sharing iPhone knowledge and applications), to more welcome you are in the new world of the post-20th century fantasies.

      • by Shakrai (717556) on Friday February 13, 2009 @03:11PM (#26847463) Journal

        then just shoot them. Don't even give it a second thought.

        Then continue your study of the internal workings of the iPhone from pound-me-in-the-ass prison ;)

        • by MadnessASAP (1052274) <madnessasap@gmail.com> on Friday February 13, 2009 @03:42PM (#26847999)

          No kidding eh! The occasional /. psychopaths sometime worry me. I know most of them in reality wouldn't even stand up and complain at a McDonalds about getting the wrong drink, but I wonder if maybe some of them really are THAT batshit crazy and would actually go shoot up the Apple HQ because they can't jailbreak their iPhone.

          • by rezalas (1227518) on Friday February 13, 2009 @06:59PM (#26850673)

            No kidding eh! The occasional /. psychopaths sometime worry me.

            The poster stated if they physically try to force you to stop. IE, touching you. If you touch me without permission, that is assault and I will hurt / kill you if I feel the need to. Note by the way that he also said "shoot them" not "kill them". Many bullet wounds are survivable and don't require long term care. However for those of you who are worried about being shot, if you don't want to die, keep your hands to yourself.

      • by atraintocry (1183485) on Friday February 13, 2009 @03:31PM (#26847807)

        And they claim that there is some kind of law that prohibits anyone who buys this little plastic box from opening it, determining how it works, and telling other people how to make it work better.

        Depending on the circumstances, the DMCA can do exactly that. However, there are some allowances for reverse engineering and if memory serves correct there is some case law regarding cell phones specifically which says that it's OK to open them.

        I could be wrong on the second part but my point is that it's not black and white.

        This is a lot like Nintendo saying it's illegal to dump a ROM. The situation as described by written and case law is more complicated, but it serves the company's interest to *basically* lie to people, in order to fight what they see as *basically* piracy.

        • by Simonetta (207550) on Friday February 13, 2009 @03:55PM (#26848193)

          I humbly and respectfully suggest that you consider the possiblity that 20th-century laws such as the DMCA will have little if any application in the post economic-collapse world. Whatever concepts of judicial balance that these laws attempted to provide in the era before the economic collapse will be rendered meaningless in the new post-collapse realities.

          I suggest that you adapt your own point-of-view of technology law to the possibility that all laws regarding software/firmware and reverse-engineering will be ignored in the not-to-distant future. If your business or career depends upon the enforcement of these laws, please consider expanding your career path strategy or business model to include the likelihood that these can and will not be enforced by the authorities in the manner that they are currently.

          Unlike most juvenile Slashdot comment posters, I am being serious and not sarcastic.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        Of course, Simonetta is absolutely correct.

        And since when was a "violation" of the DMCA illegal anyway?

        Companies like Apple do more to bestow heroic status on hackers, crackers and jail-breakers than anything done by these alleged "criminals".

        Personally, I'm overjoyed whenever I hear that another huge company's efforts to encroach on consumers' rights are defeated.

        That reminds me, it's time to send another $50 to the EFF. Fortunately, despite the overall bleak economic picture, I can afford it, and the EFF

      • by Sparks23 (412116) on Friday February 13, 2009 @04:33PM (#26848749)

        Apple makes a little plastic box, sells the boxes and licenses the software. People modify the software to allow you to write to the 'secured' portions of the device storage, thus allowing third-party software to be installed and device functionality to be modified. Apple turns a blind eye.

        Jailbreaking folks come up with a way to unlock the radio baseband, making it possible to use a SIM card from any provider in the phone. Cellular companies who want exclusivity complain when phones are unlocked to work on any network. Apple complies with the cell companies' demands and makes changes to prevent unlocking. Apple continues to turn a blind eye to the jailbreaking itself, though does warn folks that if you modify the software they can't be responsible for supporting the modified OS.

        Apple releases a new version of the OS containing a locked-down sandbox for third-party apps, allowing people to install apps without jailbreaking. People continue to jailbreak the phones to use private APIs (allowing tethering) or do things like have apps that run in the background and so on. Apple continues to turn a blind eye, and apps exist in both realms.

        Someone in the jailbreaking community comes out with a way to basically point-and-click 'crack' software bought from the App Store, and allow people to send it around freely for jailbroken devices. Some app authors find up to 2/3rds (especially for games) of their users are using pirated copies that weren't paid for. Much fuss and to-do on blogs, news sites, etc. App authors complain to Apple that there needs to be Something Done! Oh noes!

        Apple, after a year and a half of turning a blind eye to the jailbreaking scene, suddenly makes an abrupt about-face and says 'Jailbreaking is verboten.'

        Now, none of us are in the heads of the Apple folks behind this decision, so we can't say for certain whether the sudden shift is due to the EFF's claims, or Crackulous, or maybe just random whim or signs read in tea leaves in the Apple cafeteria. But the timing and sudden nature of Apple's shift here does make a connection to the Crackulous brouhaha at the least a strong possibility.

  • by 8127972 (73495) on Friday February 13, 2009 @02:42PM (#26847035)

    ..... Because they could potentially make no money off the apps that are installed via jailbreaking. The rest of their reasons are just a smokescreen. Plain and simple.

    • by PotatoFarmer (1250696) on Friday February 13, 2009 @02:51PM (#26847161)
      Alternately, they've finally realized that they can't win on technological grounds. Apple undoubtedly has some incredibly smart people working on plugging these holes as fast as they can, but at the end of the day it's a handful of folks vs. the rest of the world.

      If you can no longer innovate, then it's time to litigate.
    • by kalirion (728907) on Friday February 13, 2009 @03:21PM (#26847651)

      Exactly. From the page about the Cycorder app [iphonehacks.com] linked to in TFA:
      "The free native iPhone app appears to be much better video recording app than iPhone Video Recorder which costs $19.95. "

    • by jbarr (2233) on Friday February 13, 2009 @04:13PM (#26848445) Homepage

      Jailbreaking is not just about installing apps not purchased through AppStore. Jailbreaking is currently essential to unlock an iPhone's SIM. Do that, and now the user can move from AT&T to another network. I'd say that's where the real revenue loss is. Yes, there is a lot of money to be made through AppStore, but considering that each app is only a couple bucks, does that really compare to monthly and yearly phone and data minutes used on other networks?

      And as an iPod Touch user, I get stuck in the middle. Yes, Jailbreaking does let me install cracked or pirated apps, but honestly, I find that if I like a cracked app, I end up buying it through AppStore anyway. Kind of try-before-you-buy, and Apple is getting my money. And more importantly, Jailbreaking lets me install applications that Apple will NEVER release through AppStore. System extensions like WiFi toggles, cut & paste, and even excellent offline Wikipedia apps like Wiki2Touch really improve usability.

  • Apple Lock-in... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by idontgno (624372) on Friday February 13, 2009 @02:45PM (#26847063) Journal

    When marketing and Reality Distortion (tm) fails, call in the jackbooted thugs and sue the dissidents into submission.

    This, more than anything, is why Apple will never get one coin from my wallet.

  • Hehehe (Score:5, Funny)

    by Who Is The Drizzle (1470385) on Friday February 13, 2009 @02:45PM (#26847067)
    The EFF analyst has apparently been browsing Slashdot for far too long cause even he is using car analogies!

    One need only transpose Apple's arguments to the world of automobiles to recognize their absurdity. Sure, GM might tell us that, for our own safety, all servicing should be done by an authorized GM dealer using only genuine GM parts. Toyota might say that swapping your engine could reduce the reliability of your car. And Mazda could say that those who throw a supercharger on their Miatas frequently exceed the legal speed limit.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's because car analogies are simply more attractive and effective than other types of analogy. In that sense, you can think of a car analogy as a Porsche 911 Carrera and all other types of analogy as a 1973 AMC Gremlin.

  • And so it begins (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Friday February 13, 2009 @02:46PM (#26847069) Homepage Journal

    Apple is the new Microsoft.

    • by mc1138 (718275) on Friday February 13, 2009 @02:47PM (#26847087) Homepage
      It's been going like this for a while, just look at their business practices, the only thing they have going for them is that they're cool.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        The difference between Apple and Microsoft is that Microsoft is on top and we are not about to root for them. Oh, and they do actually try to make a quality product, but is that an inherent feature of Apple computer, or simply a result of being #2? (heh heh) Apple has style, which suckers a lot of people in. One could rant back and forth all day about their quality or lack thereof, but I will only say that Apple has a long history of burying information inconvenient to them, and of abusing and disregarding

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by von_rick (944421)
      I've noticed that Microsoft usually GTES sued by other, whereas Apple is out To SUE others.
    • Re:And so it begins (Score:5, Informative)

      by Xtifr (1323) on Friday February 13, 2009 @03:04PM (#26847381) Homepage

      Begins!? Apple is the only major vendor to have been actively boycotted by the FSF for their efforts to obstruct freedom, force lock-in and undermine competition. Even Microsoft[*] hasn't managed to reach that high water mark. Of course, Apple has come a long way since then, and many of our younger readers may not even remember what they were like at their worst. ("Look-and-Feel" anyone?) Still, those of us who remember the bad old Apple keep a wary eye on the new-and-(mostly-)improved Apple.

      [*] FSF members may not run MS OSes, but they do actively support building software to run under MS OSes, and will even accept patches to help their software run better on MS OSes.

      • Re:And so it begins (Score:4, Informative)

        by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Friday February 13, 2009 @03:40PM (#26847975)
        I know slashdot hivemind loves to hate apple and I myself am not a fan of this whole iphone lock-in crap (I won't buy one just because they make you sign a $70/mo. contract with AT&T & they won't let you officially tether it), but just to make this discussion a little more even-handed, I'll point out a couple of cases where Apple has "played nice" with open source.

        Exhibit A: CUPS [cups.org]. Apple owns it. Nothing bad has happened. In fact it has worked so well that I've been using free gutenberg printer drivers for a laser printer that Apple stopped supporting in Leopard. Works fine.
        Exhibit B: Webkit [webkit.org]. Apple forked khtml and now there are several browsers for windows [google.com], linux [twotoasts.de] browsers are based off it. Nothing bad has happened, and I think we can all agree that webkit is a darn fast browser engine.
        Exhibit C: Darwin [apple.com] is open source. That's right, the OS X operating system is open source and released by Apple. Granted, the window manager (quartz) is not, nor are a lot of the apps (like the Finder), but you can always use X11, which btw, apple provides also.

        So, it's a little disingenuous to portray Apple as completely proprietary: How many open source projects does Microsoft participate in? Yes I agree that Apple does try to lock you into their hardware, and that sucks, but they're not being completely evil.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 13, 2009 @04:41PM (#26848895)

          Much of Apple's webkit enhancements are now proprietary and not submitted back. ⦠Further, the little they do submit back has given them leverage to control the package against public interest: I.e. Webkit rejected support for Ogg/Theora+Vorbis citing Apple. (Apple is a holder of MPEG LA licensed patents).

          Go check the gcc mailing list archives. No apple employee is permitted to come in contact with any GPLv3 licensed source code, they had to unsubscribe from GCC-patches mailing lists and have requests people not send patches to the main gcc mailing list.

          Apple is an exploiter of free software. Sometimes giving back is in their interest, but don't let that mislead you into thinking that they are a supporter.

          • by maztuhblastah (745586) on Friday February 13, 2009 @11:49PM (#26853041) Journal

            Much of Apple's webkit enhancements are now proprietary and not submitted back

            Uh... what?

            Unless I'm mistaken, Dave Hyatt et. al. commit their changes to the publicly available WebKit source. The nightlies reflect the most recent version of WebKit.

            That wasn't the bit of your post that worried me though. The bit that worried me was this:

            Apple is an exploiter of free software. Sometimes giving back is in their interest, but don't let that mislead you into thinking that they are a supporter.

            See that alone indicates to me that you don't understand the concept of free software. Free software *can't* be exploited; that's its nature.

            What you (and others) want is for Apple to be forced into contributing towards features that you want in a manner that you approve of. Problem is, just as the GCC team doesn't have to bow to Apple's will when it comes to licensing or (previously) architecture focus, neither do they have to bow to yours w/ regards to Ogg support.

            And you know what? That's completely fine.

            The licenses for the software they use allow that. Now you can (and may) argue that the creators of the software shouldn't have chosen the licenses they did -- but that's a whole other argument. As it stands, Apple uses open source software in a manner completely in line with the license, exceeds their legal obligations, and pays multiple developers to work on code which is then released under an open source license. That sounds like support to me.

      • Mostly Improved? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bill_kress (99356)

        Apple has improved it's products, but when it comes to lock-in they are still (and always have been) the kings.

        Part of it is a desire for 100% control of the platform. This has allowed them to achieve things microsoft can not (I've yet to see a windows PC that suspends or hibernates as well as any mac--yes macs hibernate, it's just perfectly invisible--unplug or yank your battery while it's suspended sometime).

        IBM wanted to lock down the PC the way Apple did the Mac--Apple just played more tricks. If IBM

      • by sjames (1099) on Friday February 13, 2009 @05:10PM (#26849311) Homepage

        I still remember well the 'special' tools required to open a Mac's case.

    • Are you kidding? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Cajun Hell (725246) on Friday February 13, 2009 @03:15PM (#26847547) Homepage Journal

      Microsoft has never been as litigious as Apple. Apple may make vastly overwhelmingly superior products to MS, but they have also always been more evil.

      The only way Apple can become the new Microsoft, is if they stop suing people so much, and also make their stuff crash a lot more often. As things are right now, there's just no comparison. The two companies' suckiness are totally different.

    • by MightyYar (622222) on Friday February 13, 2009 @03:17PM (#26847587)

      Apple has long been far WORSE than MS. The difference, of course, is that your life is extremely unlikely to be impacted by avoiding Apple's products.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by atraintocry (1183485)

      So who's the old Microsoft? IBM?

      The one thing Microsoft does *not* have a monopoly on, is being a tech company that's not afraid to do or say something that in the long run is immoral. There are plenty of them. Doesn't mean they're all Microsoft.

  • Remember kids... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NotQuiteReal (608241) on Friday February 13, 2009 @02:46PM (#26847081) Journal
    Just because something is legal doesn't make it right.

    Just because something right doesn't mean it is legal.
  • Duh (Score:3, Funny)

    by courseofhumanevents (1168415) on Friday February 13, 2009 @02:48PM (#26847107)
    Of course breaking out of jail isn't legal.
    What next, Apple claims that water is wet?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by amorsen (7485)

      Of course breaking out of jail isn't legal.

      Until relatively recently, there was no punishment for escaping jail in Denmark. Of course you weren't allowed to break any other laws in the process, which could be hard to achieve.

  • Bad summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by richdun (672214) on Friday February 13, 2009 @02:49PM (#26847131)

    First off, this is coming now not because of some perceived "recent flood of iPhone cracked applications," but because the Copyright Office asked for exemption proposals to the DCMA on December 28, 2008, and the EFF filed one for jailbreaking. RTFA and RTFlegalbrief.

    Second, while not effectively the same, what Apple is doing is trying to prevent jailbreaking from being ruled legal, not trying to have it ruled illegal. Being a non-lawyer, I'd at first say this is the same thing, but it is different. Just because something isn't ruled explicitly legal doesn't make it illegal, but would definitely help if some day someone wanted to sue over a jailbreak.

    Engadget has a nice write-up on this from someone who has legal training if the three or four of you out there who don't just read the summary and post would like another perspective - http://www.engadget.com/2009/02/13/apple-and-eff-spar-over-iphone-jailbreaking-and-the-dmca// [engadget.com]

  • by Dekortage (697532) on Friday February 13, 2009 @02:51PM (#26847157) Homepage

    So Apple is doing this to protect its income for apps on the iPhone store. That also means it is protecting the income of application *developers* who sell through the iPhone store. Sure, they could try to sell apps only for jailbroken phones, but with all the gray areas around it legally (at least in the public's eye) and with the immense ease of use of the iPhone store (click and download right now!), they would much rather go Apple's route. Right? So Apple could be covering its ass, making sure they don't get attacked from iPhone developers who have trekked through the process to make "legit" apps but could be someday losing out to jailbroken competitors.

    Or else it's just about the money.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lostlander (1219708)
      So what you're saying here is that it's about the money either the developers or apple's. which is really always apple's anyway because they get a cut.
    • by Asic Eng (193332) on Friday February 13, 2009 @03:11PM (#26847475)
      That also means it is protecting the income of application *developers* who sell through the iPhone store.

      However they are doing that at the expense of developers who don't sell or don't want to sell through the iPhone store, and at the expense of iPhone owners who are deprived of using the apps they want.

  • Great... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anita Coney (648748) on Friday February 13, 2009 @02:56PM (#26847235) Homepage

    Yet another company taking the high road of suing their customers for profit!

  • An Honest Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by A. B3ttik (1344591) on Friday February 13, 2009 @03:02PM (#26847329)
    Don't take this as flamebait... I am looking for honest answers:

    How is jailbreaking an iPhone different from removing DRM from a game?
    Am I wrong that Jailbreaking an iPhone simply allows you to use more applications on it?
    Is this not "Fair Use?"
    Is it true that there are free, non-stolen programs that wouldn't normally run on an iPhone without it being Jailbroken?
    Or is Jailbreaking simply a means to running pirated iPhone apps?
    • by Overzeetop (214511) on Friday February 13, 2009 @03:21PM (#26847643) Journal

      It's all nuances. Provided that modifying the software on your own device is considered fair use (and I would presume that unless you are violating something else like FCC regs it is), then you - personally - are not guilty of violating the DMCA. However, anyone who helps you is violating the DMCA. The DMCA is an odd law in that it specifically preserves the right to fair use, while making it illegal to assist anyone in exercising fair use.

      In this way it is the same as DVD decryption software: legal to decrypt your disc for fair use (including standard playback in licensed players and copying for backup or format shifting), not legal to sell or traffic in the software or any instructions on how to do so.

      I don't own an iPhone, primarily because the applications - especially the free (beer and speech) ones - are far more limited than for the wmobile market, and because I have an investment in wmobile software I would have to abandon if I switch. That and the iPhone can't do GPS if you're out of cell service (or couldn't as of 4 months ago when I upgraded my phone)...and that's where I need it the most.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cowscows (103644)

      Jailbreaking an iPhone isn't really much different than removing the DRM from a game that you own. But neither one is ethically problematic (although it might be illegal due to silly laws). With the game, it becomes wrong when you then start distributing the cracked version to people who haven't purchased it and who don't rightfully own it.

      Jailbreaking on the iPhones historically (a long 15 month history) has been about running software without Apple's approval. The jailbreaking scene came into being well b

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 13, 2009 @03:08PM (#26847427)

    Apple is about one thing: control.

  • Mac World (Score:4, Funny)

    by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Friday February 13, 2009 @03:12PM (#26847501)

    I've always been a PC at heart.

    Not like the rest, the others. Everyone around me. I was at odds with my society and knew it early since birth. Unlike them, I did not "Think Different!"--the mantra of the Macs around me, the phrase on all the billboards in the city that served as a reminder to its citizenry. Sameness pervaded the essence of my being and no amount of self-conditioning I did could change that. Eventually, I gave up and isolated myself emotionally from society.

    I gaze at the faces going by, the white earphones contrasting their black turtlenecks, connecting their ears to their pockets, their blank faces engrossed in hip Indie rock music and various garage bands. I envied them for their perfection against my flaws and my compulsive nature to expand, to burden my life with troubles instead of remaining, like them, simple and easy to deal with. The grandest of virtues, simplicity... the philosophy by our loyal benefactor Steve Jobs, who descended from the heavens, creating the Earth, the iron, the wind and the rain. Steve Jobs, who defined the parameters of existence, the one who set about the patterns of reality, the constants, the variables. He who made gravity, electromagnetic energy, and shaped atomic structures and brought forth motion. From these things, he crafted the elements, processed them, refined them, and from these things engineered Apple products through the purity of his mind. Each Apple product was individually crafted by his own hands with the programming code used to run each device having being compiled in his brain and uploaded to each device telepathically, breathing life and perfection into each and every unit.

    Except, it seems, for me, for I was not among the many. I was a PC. They were Macs. I've always been a cold, stiff person. I got by, disguising myself by keeping my non-Ipod music player safely out of sight, which I use because of my depraved nature demanding more functionality than the simple and easy-to-use Ipods have to offer... In the safety of my own home, behind locked doors, I ran a Forbidden, a contraband computer from more depraved, earlier days that was not given the love and blessing of being birthed by Steve Jobs. I dual booted, out of the great sin of curiosity-- curiosity, a shameful value of a PC, as curiosity has no place where simplicity matters most--using two of the great unutterable blasphemies-- something called "Windows Vista" and something else called "Linux." Although, as I mentioned before, although my tendency to be a PC and towards conformity has always been inherent to me, I was truly transformed when I found these old things in a hidden cache of computer parts predating The Purging. Perhaps the greatest sin of all, the single evil that, if discovered, would damn me forever, was the fact that my mouse had more than one button.

    As I walked on among the Macs on the streets, passing the Starbuckses as I went along, I wondered how it all came to this. I glanced at The Holy Marks on the foreheads as the people wandered down the streets, the Bitten Apple tattooed on all our of us at birth, and wondered if, perhaps, there could be something more to life. But again, this was a PC's thought, and not, like everyone elses', a Mac's. We were to hold ourselves to the philosophy of Steve Jobs--so as his products were designed for idiots, so too were we to be idiots. But I was not a Mac--I was not an idiot. I was simply too complicated to be a worthwhile person.

    Nature called. I found a nearby public iPoo--squeaky clean and sparkly white, things weren't all bad--and let myself go, expelling the waste that had accumulated inside me. After relieving myself and committing the overly-complicated and thus illegal act of wiping my ass (I did not flush as iPoos, designed to be idiot-proof, did not flush) I left and once again wandered the streets aimlessly, hoping to find some meaning in a world where I simply did not belong, a world where if my true nature was discovered, I would be endlessly persecuted by smug, self-righteous sons of bitches.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Friday February 13, 2009 @03:39PM (#26847945) Homepage Journal

    you can just not buy apple, and they can shove their locked-in product up their butt, until they get their lesson.

  • by Torodung (31985) on Friday February 13, 2009 @03:49PM (#26848109) Journal

    "Want to get sued? There's an app for that."

    --
    Toro }B^>

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pwnies (1034518) *
      Or maybe just bring back one of their old ads, [youtube.com] with DMCA stopping the girl just before she throws the hammer.
  • by WCMI92 (592436) on Friday February 13, 2009 @04:27PM (#26848659) Homepage

    I buy an iphone. I own it. How can Apple tell me what to do with it after I hand over my cash and have receipt in hand?

  • by SupremoMan (912191) on Friday February 13, 2009 @04:41PM (#26848889)
    "We unlock iPhones." Investigate? [Yes/No]

% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis

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