Apple Claims Jailbreaking An iPhone Is Copyright Infringement
from the jailbreak-this dept
Apple has remained pretty quiet, on the whole, concerning the fact that people “jailbreak” their iPhones to allow them to run non-Apple-approved software on the devices (or to use them on other mobile carriers). However, in responding to an attempt by the EFF to get jailbreaking (and other phone unlocking efforts) declared clear of any potential copyright claims, Apple has now officially said they believe that jailbreaking the iPhone is infringing on their copyright. This is troubling for a number of reasons. It’s the same sort of argument that has been used by garage door opener makers and printer makers to prevent competition and interoperability — which has been struck down repeatedly in the courts.
As the EFF notes, if jailbreaking is determined to be copyright infringement, it opens up a whole host of problems. Automakers could, conceivably create “software” in their cars that only lets you fill up at their approved stations. Breaking that “software” to allow for “interoperability” would then be seen as infringement. Hopefully the Copyright Office sees through this claim and makes it official that jailbreaking is perfectly legal. It’s almost ridiculous that we even need to have this discussion. If you buy the device, it should be yours — to do with it what you want, including putting “unapproved” software on the device.