Video Showcases The Many Perfectly Legitimate Reasons To Jailbreak A Device

from the it's-not-about-piracy dept

Anti-circumvention laws, which ban the tools used to do things like copy DVDs and jailbreak devices, make no sense. There are plenty of legitimate uses for these tools, so regulating them inevitably squashes legal activity alongside the infringing activity such regulation is supposed to target. Under the DMCA in the America, this problem is ostensibly addressed by the fact that the Librarian of Congress can exempt certain tools and activities from the anti-circumvention provision every three years—but this solution mostly serves to create bizarre double standards, such as the fact that it’s perfectly legal to jailbreak an iPhone, but not an iPod. Meanwhile, Canada is on track to create similar restrictions with the impending passage of Bill C-11.

Proponents of these laws (read: the copyright industries) tend to brush off all concerns about legal activity. In their mind, there’s only one reason to circumvent copy protections: piracy. Mario Dabek, editor-in-chief of the jailbreaking website Jailbreak Matrix, just released a video that nicely counters this narrow-minded concept by showcasing 100 reasons to jailbreak an iPhone. The video lists a huge variety of tweaks and customizations, both functional and aesthetic, that have nothing to do with copyright infringement and are only possible with a jailbroken phone (with the apparent cumulative effect of making a girl’s tank top disappear).

While jailbreaking iPhones and other cellphones is legal in the U.S. thanks to the exemption process, it’s easy to see how the same or similar tweaks should be permitted on virtually any device (especially the near-identical iPod touch, for which making any of these changes is still illegal). While there are a couple of ideas featured that flirt with infringement (using the Nintendo emulator would only be legal if you are playing games you own as cartridges) the vast majority of them are things you have should every right to do on a device that you purchased. Jailbreaking is not about piracy—it’s about important rights of ownership, property and fair use that are all being curtailed by anti-circumvention laws.

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Comments on “Video Showcases The Many Perfectly Legitimate Reasons To Jailbreak A Device”

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ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Both are rooted and running custom ROMs. Got tired of the slowness caused by carrier/vendor bloatware.

Yup. I’d consider this two more reasons to jailbreak a device…

1) Remove CarrierIQ (which allegedly allows the phone carrier to spy on their users.
2) Remove bloatware, which nobody uses or wants, but vendors like putting on the phone to make themselves feel like they’re providing better service than their competitors.

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I could do so much more with my car if I could simply quit paying heed to emission controls by ripping them out and doing whatever else may be useful to have my car meet my unique needs.

And that would be illegal. And yet there are no anti-circumvention laws preventing you from popping the hood and poking around in your engine, nor is it illegal to manufacture and sell wrenches.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

So you then unbrick it, and unlock it. It’s not as hard as people think.

or better still unlock the Android phone at the same time as you root it. Though your plan (contract) might have conditions if you are not what is called PrePaid here in Australia (throwaway plans I think in US???)

Or Even better purchase your phone outright and do what the hell you want with it, well except Apple you are bound by Religious fervour then

Chris Maresca (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

They are not exempt per say, it’s just that they only have to meet emissions requirements existing at the date of manufacture.

Depending on where you live, there might be some (California started in ’67 IRC) or none. You might be, however, exempt from testing requirements, but never exempt from whatever emissions requirements are applicable….

Arthur (profile) says:

Re: Car analogy

Let’s see if you can actually make this analogy work. Whether one agrees or not, it was determined that cars made a significant contribution to pollution which harmed a lot of people.

Now, what part of a cell phone, tablet, etc matches that scenario? How is jailbreaking that device comparable to disabling emission controls?

You think these are comparable so go ahead, work with your analogy and explain how this actually works in this argument. Show that you are not as stupid as your analogy makes you look.

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

Break Out Of Jail => Life On The Run

The trouble with jailbreaking an Iphone is, you end up living the life of a fugitive on the run, forever looking over your shoulder in fear of the next software update from Apple which will corral you back into the walled garden again.

That?s not the way I like to live my life. Is it how you want to live yours? Don?t buy anything that ties you into the walled garden in the first place.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Break Out Of Jail => Life On The Run

Yep. Why live in a jail that you have to break out of? Save yourself the anguish. Just do not go into the jail. Any device, where the manufacturer has deliberately crippled it so as to prevent you from doing stuff, is crippled. Boycott them. Do not buy crippled stuff in general, ever. You paid money for it, you own it, not them.

Any manufacturer, who fails to exercise their very best efforts to keep you happy, is abusive. No sales for them.

Enjoy the delights of liberty. Americans are supposed to be very proud of their liberty. You should be outraged that any manufacturer wants to take it away. Tell the abusive manufacturers to go to hell. Buy only from manufacturers that have a record of respecting your liberty. Giving up your precious liberty for the new shiny, means you are a pitiful specimen, ripe for further violation. Use your consumer dollars to send them the right message, not signal your willingness to be a victim. Show some pride, people.

Josef Anvil (profile) says:

Re: smh

That just cracked me up.

On a totally unrelated note, I’m here to give the RIAA a heads up. Listen closely.

I was chatting with a mate about nothing in particular and he mentioned he had downloaded a bunch of new music last night. So naturally I asked “Where did you get it?” He told me he ripped it from YouTube, then told me about YouTube downloader (which made me feel old and out of touch).

So yeah, the RIAA wins. File sharing music is pretty much dead. With Spotify and YouTube we have all the “free” music we need. While the RIAA was busy dicking around with Congress, the internet community was busy innovating around them. You guys were so busy trying not to step over dollars to pick up pennies that everyone else scooped up the majority of the pennies. Well done!

Seems that you can keep ratcheting up the enforcement, as people will just innovate around it. Soon you will have no other option but to directly oppose the 4th Amendment if you want to find those “illegal” files since they will just be copies (yes copies) of legal content on the web.

Steve R. (profile) says:

The Purchaser Has Property Rights Too

When a person buys a product they acquire a property right to that product. The term “jailbreaking” carries numerous connotations:

1. Device you “bought” is really not yours.
2. Concept of “Sale” is being eliminated
3. Concept of reverse engineering is being eliminated
4. Manufacturer retains post-sale control over the device.

Again, there is the ye olde car analogy. Historically, people have been able to modify their cars as they desired. Want install a Ford engine in your Chevy car – go ahead.

Based on the historical right to tinker with your products, the electronic device industry should not have acquired a right to prohibit people from tinkering. Furthermore, the electronic device industry has no right to deprive the purchaser of their acquired property right when they buy a product.

Ninja (profile) says:

Aaah the wonders of having an open platform in your cellphone…

Jailbreaking a device is like downloading a movie from TPB: you don’t have to go through unnecessary scenes (bloatware), you can play on any device without region or other restrictions (booo DRM) and you get it in the format you want like x264 (hello cyanogen mods!).

Makes sense the MAFIAA is against jailbreaking.

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