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  • Latest From EFF vs. Apple on Jailbreaking


    Late Friday Greg Joswiak from Apple, Fred von Lohmann from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and officials from the US Copyright Office, record labels, movie studios, and the software industry sat down together for a hearing concerning the EFF's requested DMCA exemption of Jailbreaking. This comes just a few months after the EFF originally filed for an exemption for Jailbreaking to which Apple responded with claims that Jailbreaking is illegal.

    Apple is still opposing Jailbreaking and claims that copyright protection is why they have sold 30 million iPhones and 1 billion applications. The EFF's position continues to be that comsumers should be able to run any application including those that Apple doesn't approve of.

    Apple is afraid of losing their control on the iPhone where they get to choose what applications are allowed to run for whatever reasons they have. If the exemption for Jailbreaking were approved Apple's Joswiak thinks that “This would severely limit our ability to continue what we are doing as well as innovate for the future.”

    Competition breeds innovation. Shouldn't Apple have a little competition? Wouldn't that force them to do things better? It isn't too much of a stretch to think that firmware 3.0 including many basic features that Apple ignored for a couple of years is in response to the Jailbreaking community adding these features to the iPhone themselves.

    Apple is concerned with protecting their contracts with carriers. When asked by the one of the Copyright Office's councils if Apple's contracts with AT&T “prohibits you from implementing certain applications?” Joswiak responded saying that “We [Apple] don’t allow any bandwidth hogs” (cough where is slingplayer cough).

    Apple, The Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording industry Association of America, the Business Software Alliance and more are worried about piracy that could occur if the Jailbreaking exemption is approved. In Apple's case they are worried that Jailbreaking could cut into their revenue -- they currently get 30% from the sales made on the App Store. Steve Metalitz, a representative for the other groups said that “The impact will be to open up fast fields for the manufacturers and purveyors of pirated games.”

    In response von Lohmann argued that the exemption which would apply to all mobile phone platforms including Google's Andriod is warented because by-itself it is a non-infringing activity that the DCMA authorizes. He went further to say that “This is a close ecosystem of a business model,” adding: “I don’t think Congress meant that when they passed the DMCA."

    The decision on whether the Copyright Office will decide to grant this exemption is not expected until later this year. At the hearing on friday the Copyright Office representatives showed no sign of how they feel either way. We'll just have to wait and see how this all plays out. Go Jailbreaking!

    [via wired]
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Latest From EFF vs. Apple on Jailbreaking started by Cody Overcash View original post
    Comments 66 Comments
    1. AngryLemming's Avatar
      AngryLemming -
      What we do with our property is one thing, but if it affects their trademark its something else entirely. Legally, they can claim trademark dilution against jailbreaking. On the other hand, people like me wouldn't have bought an iPhone or the myriad of apps from the AppStore if jailbreaking wasn't an option.
      It seems EFF made a mistake, as was pointed out above, in bringing this to the table. The real issue, of course is piracy, not jailbreaking. The Apple stance (given by Jobs) on DRM is "No more" which becomes an untenable position, if the music and movie industry can't rely on legit means provided being widely used enough to support further investments.
      Granted Apple is a fortune 500 company, but that requires accounting for nickles and dimes, not quarters and dollars (those are relatively easy.) If they lose 30% of sales on a dozen popular apps, that may be the cost of a number of employees jobs. Competition is good, but usurping is bad.
      Regardless of how one feels about their products in general, Apple is a company, and companies are made of individuals. I know a number of Apple employees who have jailbroken iPhones, for many of the same reasons we do. Some things just can't get the company stamp of approval, due to contract liability, general liability, and trademark dilution concerns. And yes, they do use the normal theme and hide the jailbreak apps when they are "on the clock." But, one of them told me to ask the AppleCare team when I was having trouble theming the Statusbar.
      It's not about controlling what people do with their property, its a question of what people do with Apple's intellectual property. EFF shouldn't have opened this can of worms, because it will become too complex and passionate to be settled rationally. The fact that the movie and music industry is involved means Apple's "No more" stance on DRM is being tested, to some degree, and this means we stand a good chance of losing if EFF (or someone smarter) doesn't offer up the heads of Insta**us' devs as a token of good will to the people investing millions and billions of their (or their companies') money. A mutual agreement to fight piracy ("crackers") by the FOSS and "hacker" (by MIT's definition) communities is long overdue, as we are some of the best armed against pirates and we are the first to be grouped with them. If we make the first move, rather than being forced to go a certain way by litigation, we gain a very strong position for future debates of things like jailbreaking and modding.
    1. tjenvy's Avatar
      tjenvy -
      Quote Originally Posted by michym View Post
      jailbreaking is great and has allowed us to do many things (that were promised).

      but i think the biggest perk is to customize and make it YOURphone!

      lets say apple decides to allow apps so that you can change the theme on your phone. buy it like a ring tone for $2.00 or even $3.00 and everything is that theme. like ps3 the themes are awesome and only like $3.00. i would looovvveee it even more!
      EXACTLY!!! Thats (from what I have read) is the main reason people jailbreak in the first place.... Don't get me wrong, I think the basic iPhone SB looks good, HOWEVER, spice it up a bit.. even just the icons.... can we say Candybar for iPhone??? I am all about the look and feel of my equipment... my Hack is so modified (desktop appearances wise) you would not even recognize it for an apple machine.... appearance is the main reason people buy Mac's... Not just because they function great... but FOR LOOKS ok thats my 2 cents...
    1. tdoyle10's Avatar
      tdoyle10 -
      The Consumer Protection Act gives you the right to modify your hardware.

      Gateway, Dell and A couple of other companies found that out years ago
    1. belo's Avatar
      belo -
      You don't need to be jailbroken to get cracked apps. IPA's are available all over the internet for download and sync to your iPhone through iTunes without ever having modified your phone, no need for Cydia, *********, or a jailbroken iPhone. ********* is just an automated program to download and install them on your phone. The ********* repo isn't even a part of Cydia's preinstalled repos when you first jailbreak and is not in the list of repos available to install either. You have to know the address and add it manually. That is only because Saurik does not believe in managed and locked software but he will not directly promote wares on his program. Apple needs to redirect their attention to securing developers apps so that they cannot be pirated if they're worrying about maintaining profits directly and basing jailbreaking on ethical arguments. We paid for our phones, we should be able to do what we want with them. Tell me how a video recorder hogs bandwidth, or theming the graphics? That's what jailbreaking is about, functionality, not pirating. Get your head out of your a**.
      Quote Originally Posted by A.T View Post
      He means Hackul*us, I think. Sooo many crappy apps on App Store so you need cracked apps to test them. Jailbreaking does cut into Apples profits because of cracked apps.
    1. sleek's Avatar
      sleek -
      Go jailbreaking !!! Am with you all way tru till tha end....
    1. ligart's Avatar
      ligart -
      Thats ******* awsome!!! Well then, we have to wait and im pretty sure that in a week or 2 we will improve our jailbreakers abilities!!!