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This discussion has been archived.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?

      • 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, Informative)

          by Synerg1y (2169962) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:23PM (#38295488)

          That's in place already. Jailbreaking = insta void.

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

            by compro01 (777531) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @06:06PM (#38296094)

            The Magnuson-Moss warranty act makes the legality of that questionable unless they can demonstrate that the jailbreaking caused or substantially contributed to the failure.

            I just don't think anyone has bothered taking it to court, as it would really be cheaper just to buy a new phone than sue them over it.

            • by hedwards (940851)

              Typically in cases like that it would likely wind up as a class action suit. And you'd still get basically nothing, if you're lucky you would get some trinket which is of little value to you several years later.

              • by shentino (1139071)

                Unless the EULA requires you to agree to binding arbitration...

                Oh wait, Sony pulled that after they got sued for removing OtherOS didn't they?

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

          by Moryath (553296) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:25PM (#38295512)

          I don't give a crap about the warranty.

          At the same time, I bought *HARDWARE*. Sony shouldn't be able to tell me that I can't load custom firmware on it with the ability to run Linux, for example. The PS3 would make a GREAT media center to stream from my TV recording box, save that I can't load a custom firmware package for Linux AND keep the ability to run current games.

          I only wish we could get it a step further and actually make it illegal for companies like the phone companies to do what they've done - sure it's "legal" to root your phone, but they keep trying to make it *impossible* by fucking with the shipped/official firmware.

          • 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: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 jedidiah (1196)

                No. That's not reasonable at all. That kind of thing should be explicitly illegal along the lines of other forms of network neutrality that should be enforced. Sony's network is not small enough and private enough such that it should be able to skirt the kinds of rules that meatspace public accomodations have to follow.

                "Their network" is a public space, same as a mall.

            • so you to be like say Comcast you must a rent a PC (at high prices) say $20 /m for a basic pc going up to a $100+ for a pc with gameing hardware. from comcast to get on line and then it's all locked down and you can only rent apps and games from the comcast store.

            • by Surt (22457)

              Loss leader hardware consoles are a problem for the gaming industry, not a benefit. Consumers would be much better off if that were illegal.

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

            by pclminion (145572) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @06:20PM (#38296252)

            Sony shouldn't be able to tell me that I can't load custom firmware on it with the ability to run Linux, for example.

            100% agreed.

            I only wish we could get it a step further and actually make it illegal for companies like the phone companies to do what they've done - sure it's "legal" to root your phone, but they keep trying to make it *impossible* by fucking with the shipped/official firmware.

            100% disagreed. Any such law would be immediately leveraged to attack open source, in ways that are unpredictable at the moment. We must never, ever have government dictating technological design.

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            I don't give a crap about the warranty.

            At the same time, I bought *HARDWARE*. Sony shouldn't be able to tell me that I can't load custom firmware on it with the ability to run Linux, for example. The PS3 would make a GREAT media center to stream from my TV recording box, save that I can't load a custom firmware package for Linux AND keep the ability to run current games.

            Problem is, Joe Average doesn't know a thing.

            It's why Apple has to resort to using crappy pentalobe screws - anyone with half a clue can ea

        • 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: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?
            • 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?

            • by shentino (1139071)

              It's the companies fault for making their hardware so that anything other than official firmware bricks it.

            • by grcumb (781340)

              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?

              Good points. But what we're missing here is the potential for a 3rd party after market, similar to VARs and PC support businesses, who offer value-added services under their own warranty.

              With vendor-locked devices, such a market can't easily exist, especially if they're hounded out of business by $VENDOR's lawyers.

              But it should exist. More to the point it absolutely should have the right to exist. Because of that, I'm 100% in support of the EFF on this campaign.

        • 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:4, Interesting)

          by ghjm (8918) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @06:44PM (#38296498) Homepage

          It needs to be more sophisticated than that.

          For example, in the automotive industry, you DO NOT void your warranty (no matter what the dealer tries to pull on you) by installing a K&N air filter. But you DO void your warranty by reboring the cylinders and putting in oversized pistons. This is all regulated and the manufacturers don't get to just decide you void your warranty if you sneeze inside the car, the way computer industry manufacturers do.

          What we need here is common sense regulatory involvement. Apple needs to be told to quite the ridiculous arms race and just let 0.01% of people run weird software on their hardware - just like GM needed to be told that bolt-on upgrades don't void the powertrain warranty.

      • 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.
      • I don't agree with my position, but to play Devil's advocate here...

        it's not negatively harming others

        In the case of geohot and the PS3 hacking, Sony might argue that it is harming their business. Because corporations are people, after all.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          In the case of geohot and the PS3, I say Fuck Sony. They played bait-and-switch with console features, after they falsely advertised "Linux" and only delivered a stripped down version without full hardware access.

          What harmed their business is the fact that they're a bunch of fucking soulless, criminal asshats who pulled those two things, then let their customers' personal information into the wild. Fuck them.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          That was entertaining, kind of like "damning with faint praise". What you're saying is that you're harming me because you won't give me money for nothing.

          What's worse, considering the OtherOS nonsense, it's like my selling you a car, removing the tires, then claiming you harmed me because you replaced the tires.

          • Exactly. Or perhaps a better analogy would be handsfree Bluetooth.

            "I bought this car because it has Bluetooth. It's not a feature every owner of this model will use, but it is one of the reasons I chose THIS car over other cars."

            And then the manufacturer remotely bricks the Bluetooth because I got my oil changed somewhere other than the dealership.
        • And not using Brawndo is harmful to sports drink manufacturers.
      • 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?

      • 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?

        There is a reason and it is a simple one. Apple (and their co conspirators) would make less money.

      • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Microlith (54737)

          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 o

      • with say ford only said you can use BP gas or locked out jiffy lube and other non dealer service centers?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BitterOak (537666)

      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

      • by Radres (776901)

        Slashdot: home of bad car^H^H^H desktop computer analogies?

      • 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 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: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Nothing about copyright gives them the right to prevent me from modifying their copyrighted products for my personal use. They merely have the ability to keep me from making a copy for commercial purposes.

        The license BS has got to go, it doesn't work for books, movies, music, or anything else really. Software is not some special snowflake in this regard.

      • by steelfood (895457)

        The point still stands. When you buy a phone, you're buying the hardware in addition to the software.

        Which means that you should be able to swap the software loaded into the hardware at your pleasure.

        But that's not necessarily the jailbreaking issue. Jailbreaking is not, say, Rockbox. Jailbreaking entails swapping the software with certain restrictions for a 3rd-party modified form of the software that does not have the same restrictions. The modification of the software is really the core of the jailbreaki

      • by shentino (1139071)

        See Galoob v. Nintendo on whether or not private modification is actually illegal.

    • by forkfail (228161)

      Isn't that what Windows Secure Boot does on a practical level?

  • by sohmc (595388) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:16PM (#38295384) Journal

    I vaguely recall a judge pretty much saying that jailbreaking is not illegal, but may void the warranty. I only remember due to the large number of jokes of how Steve Jobs was just loving it since he now didn't have to support millions of jailbroken phones.

    Legislative action would be nice, but if it's already done, then let's not waste the time.

  • I'm sure Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo will now be even determined to make sure your console only works with a network connection. At least they'll still be able to ban users from their network for jailbreaking consoles.

    (I'm one of the few Slashdotters who's anti-piracy because I think stopping piracy increases the incentive for developers to invest time and money creating software for the platform. No wonder all the huge growth in game-sales over the past ten years has been in consoles, while PC sales
    • Re:Consoles (Score:4, Informative)

      by Darkinspiration (901976) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:39PM (#38295694)
      Unfortunatly DRM is more about market control and medium control then preventing piracy. It was shown time and time again that all DRM is eventualy broken and will not stop the pirate. It will however stop the used seller, region lock the product and force antiquated distribution pratice. Currently piracy is the convinient excuse. I would think that if piracy would go away tomorrow our media would still contain DRM just in case...
    • by jedidiah (1196)

      The rise of consoles as a gaming platform has squat to do with DRM, or rather it does but not in the way you think it does. Nonsense DRM on PCs KILLS the usability of that platform for games. It makes a PC even more of a bother than it would be otherwise.

      DRM breaks PC games.

      DRM magnifies the usability gap between PCs and consoles.

      People use consoles simply because they are less bother.

  • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:23PM (#38295478) Homepage

    SFLC's request would be a bigger win. Here's their submission:
    https://www.softwarefreedom.org/resources/2011/SFLC-proposed-DMCA-exemption.pdf [softwarefreedom.org]

    And their press release gives an introduction:
    http://softwarefreedom.org/news/2011/dec/02/proposed-dmca-exemption/ [softwarefreedom.org]

    • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:34PM (#38295634) Homepage

      They've asked for a DMCA exception for:

      Computer programs that enable the installation and execution of lawfully obtained software on a personal computing device, where circumvention is performed by or at the request of the device's owner.

      So, for any device you buy, you can install GNU/Linux, or Rockbox, or OpenWRT, or Sugar, OpenMoko, etc.

      Their argument is based on recognising the value of the jailbreak-exemption which was granted in 2009, and saying that SFLC's suggested exemtion is what's needed in 2012 and beyond to achieve that same sort of goal.

      There's no dense legalese in the document. It's a readable set of arguments with numbers and examples to back them up.

  • by sohmc (595388) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:26PM (#38295524) Journal

    This is a bit of a side question, but it begs to be asked: I've often wondered if there is a rep or senator that actually knows what the difference between "computer" and "CPU" without help from his staff.

    I've actually considered running for office for these types of laws to be passed (REAL net-neutrality, get rid of software patents, etc). The more I get older, the more I'm convinced that most politicians are just mouthpieces of a PR firm that has voting privileges.

    • by pdxer (2520686)

      This is a bit of a side question, but it begs to be asked: I've often wondered if there is a rep or senator that actually knows what the difference between "computer" and "CPU" without help from his staff.

      No. In fact, there's no one who is even halfway bright.

      I've actually considered running for office for these types of laws to be passed (REAL net-neutrality, get rid of software patents, etc).

      Unless you can convince large corporate donors, trial lawyers, unions, etc. that this is in their best interest, you haven't a prayer of getting elected, much less enacting any legislation.

      If you want to change the way things work, you need to become very rich first. After which, you'll have a vested interest in making sure things don't change. This is true in all democracies.

  • I wonder what implications this has for XBox, Wii, PlayStation, etc.
    • by slinches (1540051)

      It means nothing except that a company couldn't threaten to get you thrown in a real jail for jailbreaking your devices. They'll still be able to do whatever they want to the hardware and software to prevent you from doing it.

    • by Captain Spam (66120) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:40PM (#38295708) Homepage

      Honestly, I can't imagine it'll be that huge an implication. Just because it'll be legal doesn't at all mean Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony need to make it easy, nor does it stop them from ruining old jailbreak methods with new firmware, like what they do now, to whatever effectiveness it does.

      It just means fewer people get arrested for it. And I don't think I've heard about many arrests in that area lately.

      • by DeadboltX (751907)
        If it were legal then it would legitimize businesses that build themselves around provided help or tools for people to jailbreak their devices.

        Think of it as if modding an Xbox was legal. There would be tons of companies providing quality mod chips and services with healthy competition instead of having to go to someones shady friend who bought a shady mod chip from a shady website from China.
      • by intx13 (808988)

        Honestly, I can't imagine it'll be that huge an implication. Just because it'll be legal doesn't at all mean Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony need to make it easy, nor does it stop them from ruining old jailbreak methods with new firmware, like what they do now, to whatever effectiveness it does.

        If it's legal it can be widely advertised and freely undertaken. If jailbroken phones are desirable, their legality will create a market for jailbreakable phones and (with time) vendors will try to expand into that market.

      • It just means fewer people get arrested for it. And I don't think I've heard about many arrests in that area lately.

        Wouldn't it also mean fewer people get sued under the DMCA for it? Like, say, Geohot?

  • I don't know how much difference the legality will make when jailbreaking will continue to void your warranty/ violate the ToS/EULA for whatever you're jailbreaking. I really doubt breaking the law is the reason most people don't mod their Xboxes, for example.
  • Recycling (Score:4, Interesting)

    by arthurpaliden (939626) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:39PM (#38295702)
    If you cannot do what you like with you hardware then you obviously do not own it. If you do not own it you are not responsible for recycling it. Which means you just have to return all your old devices the store where you got them and it is there problem (cost) to recycle.
    • by intx13 (808988)

      If you cannot do what you like with you hardware then you obviously do not own it.

      You can't legally saw the barrel off your shotgun, remove the airbags from your car, or torture your dog. We give government the power to make laws abridging our use of our own possessions. I think modding should be legal, with exceptions as necessary (reselling a car without disclosing modded brake-control firmware, for example), but I don't think the definition of ownership is the right way to argue the point.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        So the jailbreaking the DRM on a game console or phone is like a having a sawed off shotgun or torturing household pets.

        Nice corner you've painted for yourself there.

        Maybe you should get an "Edison Prize" or some such.

  • good EFF'ing luck with that.

  • ...you don't own it.
    • Exactly. Thing is, most people (particularly in the US) don't "own" their phones -- they get them at a subsidized price in exchange for a lengthy contract. If owning a device legally requires you to purchase a service, the device owns you.
    • by forkfail (228161)

      You already don't own most of your Windows software.

      Now they're moving towards the hardware.

      See also Window Secure Boot, and the ramifications thereof...

  • Isn't there a complication for phones? Jailbreaking your PS3 is one thing but a phone device connects to the phone network and falls under FCC jurisdiction in the U.S. Is it possible that jailbreaking may void the FCC license that allows the device to connect to the phone network?
    • Aside from power and frequency restrictions (which can be limited in hardware), how might you run afoul of FCC regulations?
      • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @06:15PM (#38296198)

        Let me tell you a story about an FCC-approved transmitter. It ran on an open frequency at burst data, 12ms at 50mW. The harmonics and power were too high for the FCC. The FCC suggested that I put in a delay of 87ms then a 1ms burst. They would then average out the signal strength over 100ms and use the average power for the transmission for the tests.

        I changed the code, it passed the tests, and microchip sends the chips pre-programmed by the reel.

        So that's how software can change your FCC compliance.

  • will have a fucking heart attack and throw 200,000 into a lobbyist's bag. Crippleware is their bread and butter.
  • What if windows locked you into IE and windows app store only apps? So no open source apps, no steam games, no adult apps or games, no non MS office, no firefox, and so on.

    • What if windows locked you into IE and windows app store only apps? So no open source apps, no steam games, no adult apps or games, no non MS office, no firefox, and so on.

      I'd be more concerned over the Mac on this front.

  • Given the whole bios thing, we'll probably need to jailbreak our Dell machines soon enough...

  • that the manufacturers right and its my right to not have to buy what is locked. I have a huge issue with being called a criminal, pirate, goat fucker or what ever for wanting to modify hardware to make it perform better or do something it wasn't intended to like say the bomb trigger to blow up the White House or Pentagon.

  • by KGBear (71109) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @06:18PM (#38296224) Homepage
    In this instance, we are not simply "users." We are owners. We have purchased devices, we have payed for them with our money, either upfront or by signing up for a multi-year contract, after which time the device belongs to the buyer. We are owners, buyers, proprietors, NOT users. We may be users from the point of view of the software licenses that usually come attached to these types of devices, but we should be able to wipe that software and install whatever we please on the OUR devices...
    • That's rather the whole goal, though, now isn't it... that you don't own your hardware, but lease all of it, with the root level control not in your own hands. It makes life much simpler (and thus profitable) for the producers of said hardware. It also ensures that they can grab whatever data they want, whenever they want, without any control over it by you, the lessee of said device.

  • But... what if someone is able to pirate something!? The fact that some artist may or may not have lost potential profit will bring about the apocalypse!

    Therefore, paying customers must suffer.

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. -- Cartoon caption

Working...