Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Electronic Frontier Foundation Technology Your Rights Online

EFF Asks To Make Jailbreaking Legal For All Devices 278

Posted by samzenpus
from the making-it-free dept.
Diggester writes "Jailbreaking is a way to break off from the limitations imposed by the mobile vendor to download additional applications and themes etc. which aren't available otherwise. It provides root access to the device by use of custom kernels. It is common with the iDevices and has been rendered legal by the efforts of EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) in July 2010. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is now determined to make Jailbreaking legal for all the consumer electric goods. They have asked the US copyright office to declare it legal to jailbreak all the devices like smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles etc. no matter who the vendor is. The aim behind this plead is to change the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which prohibits such an access to the user."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

EFF Asks To Make Jailbreaking Legal For All Devices

Comments Filter:
  • PC analogy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cyachallenge (2521604) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:09PM (#38295304)
    Imagine if it were illegal to reformat your harddrive on your PC.
  • Re:PC analogy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rinisari (521266) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:18PM (#38295414) Homepage Journal

    Imagine if you could only put Campbell's Soup in your soup bowl, or only put Folgers coffee in your Folgers-branded coffee mug.

    If there's no reason for a restriction on what I can do with the hardware I buy, other than restricting consumer choice, there's no reason for the restriction. If I can make something do what it wasn't intended to do, and it's not negatively harming others, why should I be deprived of my right to make it do that thing it wasn't meant to do?

  • by Tyrannosaur (2485772) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:19PM (#38295426)

    the depressing part is, this was the 5th comment and the first one to actually try to RTA

  • Re:PC analogy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sohmc (595388) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:22PM (#38295464) Journal

    This is kind of like the Linus Torvald's view of things.

    I think you should allow users to be able to do whatever they want to their devices. But I think that those companies should have the right to void the warranty if they do.

    That way, if some dumb user jailbreaks his phone because he thought he could be cool, but royally messed it up, he can't go crying to the manufacturer for coverage.

  • Re:PC analogy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ecorona (953223) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:24PM (#38295498)
    Because they want to charge you for the privilege. Remember, corporations are machines built to make money and that is all. They will fight anything that reduces the amount of money they can make no matter how completely idiotic and absurd it is. Politicians have already sided with corporations, democrats and republicans alike. Here's hoping judges are not as easily bought off and will have some common sense.
  • by tiberus (258517) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:26PM (#38295520)
    Jail-breaking the device doesn't let you out of the contract. If I buy a phone from AT&T with a 2 year contract and jail-break it, I still have a two year commitment with AT&T for service. I don't believe that has any bearing on the fact that I bought (not leased) the device, regardless of what I paid for it. If they don't want me to break it, provide access to all the features on the device rather than greatly restricting it. Just don't see that phone subsidies (read, we pay to much for our wireless service contracts) are an issue at all.
  • Re:PC analogy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BitterOak (537666) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:27PM (#38295532)

    Imagine if it were illegal to reformat your harddrive on your PC.

    It's not really a fair comparison. When you buy a hard drive, you are generally buying the actual hard drive. But when you buy software, you aren't usually buying the software, but rather a license to use the software, and the license can include terms which may prohibit modification of the software or using a modified version of the software.

    Many of the hardware devices we buy, such as smart phones and video game consoles, contain a good deal of sophisticated software or firmware (which is just software stored in some form of semi-permanent storage, such as flash memory or ROM chips). When you buy such a device, you are buying hardware, as well as a license to use the included software or firmware often under the condition that the software not be modified by the end user. This is where many of the physical good analogies break down.

  • by Intron (870560) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:28PM (#38295552)

    The real problem is that devices are Subsidized. If you don't pay for all of the device, should the company be able to lock you in on the device? I think they should. If they can't then it becomes harder for them to make their money back and they will stop subsidizing devices. Once the contract is over, or if you paid full price, then you should be able to do whatever you want.

    The contract obligates you to maintain service for 1 or 2 years or else pay for the phone. Once you've signed the contract it's your phone. Hint: who's on the hook to repair it if it breaks?

  • Re:PC analogy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ossifer (703813) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:28PM (#38295554)

    Only within reason. Jailbreaking can't be the cause of say, physical manufacturing defects. The warranty should still apply in these cases.

  • Re:PC analogy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Narcocide (102829) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:32PM (#38295604) Homepage

    Because lots of people with more influence and money than you have spent decades convincing the government that allowing you freedom of mixing&matching your coffee and mug brands could potentially cause a direct reduction on their maximum possible profits. You see, they've furthermore convinced said government that this potential reduction constitutes you harming them. Since you just inferred you agree that people shouldn't be allowed to harm others while using their consumer goods in an unintended fashion they've invalidated your argument in favor of allowing this type of behavior using an extension of your very own reasoning. Sucks huh?

  • Re:PC analogy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bhagwad (1426855) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:41PM (#38295724) Homepage
    That's just legalese. This nonsense about "licensing" is just an excuse to prevent people from doing things with stuff they bought.
  • Re:PC analogy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Moryath (553296) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:41PM (#38295732)

    When you buy such a device, you are buying hardware, as well as a license to use the included software or firmware often under the condition that the software not be modified by the end user. This is where many of the physical good analogies break down.

    Thus, it should be my RIGHT to install an open source version of software, any software OS or package, that runs on the device.

    And it should be CRIMINAL behavior on the part of the asshat corporations, to interfere with this right.

  • Re:PC analogy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by viperidaenz (2515578) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:42PM (#38295740)
    Thats a kind-of where you're wrong, as much as I hate to admit Sony has a point. If you want to connect the hardware to their networks, they should be allowed to stop you running custom code. Also, although probably not the case now, but perhaps when it was first released they would have sold the hardware at a loss based on the fact that barring any illegal activity, the only way you can use the hardware is to purchase their 99% profit margin games. Phone again fall in to the same category. Buggy firmware could cause big problems to their networks, so restricting the ability to load custom firmware is in their best interests. Restricting what you can do with the official firmware is a different story. Perhaps it would bea good idea for devices designed to connect to providers networks to have two sets of firmware. A locked down layer to control and protect network access and the OS (although this is probably already done. I recall my days with HTC phones 5 years ago having separate radio firmeware bundled in the image that is transferred to the device)
  • Re:PC analogy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MozeeToby (1163751) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:43PM (#38295768)

    Imagine if you change your own spark plugs and two weeks later the rear passenger wheel falls off. The manufacturer should have to show that what you did caused the problem, just like they have to with any other product. Now granted, if I try to overclock the processor to 2x its normal rate and melt the damn thing that's my own fault, but if I unlock WiFi tethering and get a row of dead pixels on my screen the two are almost certainly unrelated.

  • Re:PC analogy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:44PM (#38295804) Homepage

    If I can make something do what it wasn't intended to do, and it's not negatively harming others, why should I be deprived of my right to make it do that thing it wasn't meant to do?

    Short answer - You shouldn't.

    A slightly longer answer - In a perfect world, where you couldn't hurt others, you shouldn't.

    A longer, but probably more realistic answer - Given that the network operators cannot absolutely secure their network and that rogue applications and third-party OSes have the potential to wreak havoc on their networks and other subscribers, it is in their best interests to keep the same off their network. Because the vendor of the device needs to provide support, a minimal set of software configurations will lower support costs. More importantly, rogue apps having access to the OS level of a device may very well allow the device to operate out of specification, causing interference to other devices (i.e., damage to their users) around them. I know that you are the exception and would never let your device's code have a bug but, frankly, with the level of software assurance anywhere, I sure wouldn't trust you.

    So, yeah, most of these systems were designed to keep you from changing things for monetary reasons. But they also keep you from using your programmable RFI generator from f*cking up my access. So I'm not so hot to change that, if you know what I mean.

  • Re:PC analogy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by viperidaenz (2515578) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:48PM (#38295852)
    It can be the cause of stressing components past the design limits. If the original firmware limited tx power to 50% due to thermal design and the custom firmware ran it at 100% and components failed, whos fault is it? What if the charging circuit was software controlled and the custom firmware wasn't set correctly for the manufactures design and the battery exploded, killing the cute little lolcat sitting next to it?
  • Re:PC analogy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MozeeToby (1163751) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:50PM (#38295874)

    I gave you money, you gave me a product. If I buy a book, the publisher can't sue for me for crossing out the paragraphs I don't like and writing in the margins and nothing the publisher puts in the front cover of the book will convince me otherwise. What I do with the information contained in the product I purshase is my business, so long as I'm not distributing those changes to other people the makers of the software should have absolutely no standing to say what I do with it.

  • Re:PC analogy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Moryath (553296) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:52PM (#38295898)

    Thats a kind-of where you're wrong, as much as I hate to admit Sony has a point.

    What point might that be?

    If you want to connect the hardware to their networks, they should be allowed to stop you running custom code.

    I don't give a flying FUCK about their networks. Since the Sony break-in, I've had my box firewalled off from their fucking network, and it's never going near them again.

    Also, although probably not the case now, but perhaps when it was first released they would have sold the hardware at a loss based on the fact that barring any illegal activity, the only way you can use the hardware is to purchase their 99% profit margin games.

    I fail to see where shitty planning on their part constitutes an obligation on my part to buy ANYTHING from them. I bought a piece of hardware. If they sold it at a loss, and I don't buy "enough" games from them to make up for it, then they don't have enough games worth buying. There is no contractual obligation for me to buy anything else from them.

    Phone again fall in to the same category. Buggy firmware could cause big problems to their networks, so restricting the ability to load custom firmware is in their best interests.

    And oddly enough, with phones, the FTC already ruled that the benefit to consumers to open the phones OUTWEIGHS the benefit to the phone carriers to "secure their networks" in that sense. So you're already wrong.

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @06:04PM (#38296056)

    at least the ps3 took any laptop sata HDD.
    But the xbox locked into high cost MS hdd's that can be hacked around but you get banned for hacking?

  • Re:PC analogy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jedidiah (1196) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @07:11PM (#38296826) Homepage

    > What if they sold you a soup bowl for less than the cost to make it?

    That's too bad then.

    That doesn't give a corporation the right to strip an individual of all of their personal property rights.

    Don't do potentially stupid things if you can't handle the consequences.

  • Re:PC analogy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Microlith (54737) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @07:18PM (#38296904)

    I've heard this argument before, and frankly it's a complete load.

    Given that the network operators cannot absolutely secure their network and that rogue applications and third-party OSes have the potential to wreak havoc on their networks and other subscribers, it is in their best interests to keep the same off their network.

    If this was true, then they would deny access to any device they didn't recognize. Yet the GSM networks are obligated to allow any compliant device on their network.

    Because the vendor of the device needs to provide support, a minimal set of software configurations will lower support costs

    Not relevant, since we're talking about an optional path.

    rogue apps having access to the OS level of a device may very well allow the device to operate out of specification, causing interference to other devices (i.e., damage to their users) around them.

    Which is a poor excuse at best, and already dictated by FCC regulations regarding radio emissions. Unsurprisingly, you generally can't alter the baseband radios that come in these devices and pretty much nobody is asking to do that.

    So, yeah, most of these systems were designed to keep you from changing things for monetary reasons

    I'd say they're all designed with that intention. Even Motorola's GSM and non-DROID devices are deliberately crippled, hell devices that don't even go on the cellular networks are crippled. The only reason for it is for planned obsolescence and control over the end user.

  • Re:PC analogy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jibekn (1975348) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @07:48PM (#38297246)
    I agree, and they should have the right to permanently ban your hardware from accessing their network, including all game, firmware, and dashboard updates, dlc and app stores.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

Working...