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  • Jailbreaking iPhones is Legal Under DMCA but Jailbreaking iPads is Not


    According to the folks over at ArsTechnica, the latest round of exemptions added to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) may prove to be problematic for iOS owners who unlock or jailbreak their device. For those of you, who don’t know, signed into law in 1998, the DMCA bans the production and dissemination of technology designed to circumvent digital rights management systems. The broad-based law gives the Librarian of Congress to power to add exemptions to the law every three years. The latest rounds of exemptions were announced this past week and will go into effect on October 28.

    Among the exemptions is one that lets users jailbreak their smartphones but not their tablets. This Librarian decided not to include tablets because they felt the “tablet” category of devices was not well-defined and could include devices ranging from e-readers, to iPads, and even tablet PCs. Unfortunately, news like this won’t bode well with the jailbreak community which releases tools that work with both the iPhone and iPad.

    This time around, the Librarian also decided to revoke the exemption allowing customers to unlock their device and use them on a new carrier. The new provision also lets you unlock any smartphone purchased before January 2013 but any phone purchased after this date can only be unlocked with the permission of the carrier. The Librarian also noted that carriers have policies that allow for unlocking and felt there was no compelling reason why customers should be allowed to unlock their phones themselves.

    For people who are active in the jailbreak community, you probably won’t be thrilled to hear the news. We’ll have to see how this affects the community and what will happen going forward when the exemptions go into effect.

    Source: ArsTechnica
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Jailbreaking iPhones is Legal Under DMCA but Jailbreaking iPads is Not started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 73 Comments
    1. Slim J's Avatar
      Slim J -
      Welcome to 'Murica. The land where the laws make no damn sense
    1. NakedFaerie's Avatar
      NakedFaerie -
      Care factor? 0 as I'm not in the USA.
      And the iPad is MINE so I will jailbreak it if I want. Well, when a jailbreak becomes available I will.

      After I buy a product no matter what it is as soon as i hand over the cash its MINE and I will do what I like with it. NO law will stop me. Its MINE NOT YOURS.
    1. Silverado1987's Avatar
      Silverado1987 -
      Quote Originally Posted by NakedFaerie View Post
      Care factor? 0 as I'm not in the USA.
      And the iPad is MINE so I will jailbreak it if I want. Well, when a jailbreak becomes available I will.

      After I buy a product no matter what it is as soon as i hand over the cash its MINE and I will do what I like with it. NO law will stop me. Its MINE NOT YOURS.
      Throw a tantrum why don't you lol
    1. mobilexile's Avatar
      mobilexile -
      Since this law came into being I've been scratching my head. The federal gov gives arbitrary power over law to an unelected official with a tenuous grasp of the implications of his / her decisions. Sense make not that does. I also wonder why this individual is never mentioned by name, only called out as the Librarian f Congress.

      Oh beautiful for spacious skies ...

      Quote Originally Posted by Silverado1987 View Post
      Throw a tantrum why don't you lol
      I just yawned and moved on.
    1. Modding life's Avatar
      Modding life -
      Yeah I agree this is kind of messed up but then they are some-what right about it hell the name iPad is also use for a desktop computer in china as well
    1. LearningMan's Avatar
      LearningMan -
      It was inevitable that Surface would become the platform of choice given the closed and protected architecture of Apple's products and stances. Another nail in the coffin.
    1. iSteveO's Avatar
      iSteveO -
      [QUOTE=mobilexile;6704091]Since this law came into being I've been scratching my head. The federal gov gives arbitrary power over law to an unelected official with a tenuous grasp of the implications of his / her decisions. Sense make not that does. I also wonder why this individual is never mentioned by name, only called out as the Librarian f Congress.

      Oh beautiful for spacious skies ...


      It's James H. Billington. Siri will tell you that if you ask her. Apparently this guy has had the job since the 1980's... Maybe time for a new (younger) person who actually understands this mess. But we all know it's some appointed official with lobbyists throwing money in his pockets. Total bs.
    1. bigboyz's Avatar
      bigboyz -
      ^^Exactly! Whats the difference? silly.
    1. BhadKarma's Avatar
      BhadKarma -
      Sounds like
      Nazi Germany.

      If we buy the device it's OURS I'll
      Do wtf I please with it. Period.

      Fuxk
      Urself ... Plz :clap:

      Oh ps I smoke
      Pot ... (Jim Carey Mask
      Voice : SOMEBODY STOP
      ME) lol
    1. HeliPilot's Avatar
      HeliPilot -
      The previous revisions didn't allow iPad/tablet JB either. So no real news there.
      The unlock revision is a whole new can of worms though.
      At least phone JB is still legal. And with a quick disclaimer saying "JB iPad at your own peril" the JB community should have no trouble continuing work on iOS without retribution.

      Now, to the above that have obviously never read Apple Legal or any software makers legal. You or I do NOT own the software, we are using it under license (renting) from Apple, thus making it theirs to control NOT ours. It's been this way for decades. BUT, we DO own the hardware, so you can put pretty stickers and colors on your iPad if you choose because it IS yours. With all that said I will still JB my iPad because the benefit overwhelmingly out-weighs the risks.
    1. Modding life's Avatar
      Modding life -
      Quote Originally Posted by HeliPilot View Post
      The previous revisions didn't allow iPad/tablet JB either. So no real news there.
      The unlock revision is a whole new can of worms though.
      At least phone JB is still legal. And with a quick disclaimer saying "JB iPad at your own peril" the JB community should have no trouble continuing.
      Yeah I agree with you on that
    1. budsalinger's Avatar
      budsalinger -
      if anyone is very interested in the direction our dear country is headed i strongly suggest checking out the movie Idiocracy.
    1. pluto459's Avatar
      pluto459 -
      wow
      what crap
    1. ericwall's Avatar
      ericwall -
      Off topic, but Apple is going right back to the way it was in the 90s when good old Steve left the first time. Creating useless in-between devices. Only phone Ive ever purchased is an iPhone, but that will change soon if Apple doesn't turn this around.

      ASUS has served me well for my main computer....
    1. brianiino's Avatar
      brianiino -
      Man, I have been jailbreaking since the iphone 4Gb. I have never stopped. Guess everything flew over my head. IDGAF.
    1. s0ulp1xel's Avatar
      s0ulp1xel -
      Quote Originally Posted by ericwall View Post
      Off topic, but Apple is going right back to the way it was in the 90s when good old Steve left the first time. Creating useless in-between devices. Only phone Ive ever purchased is an iPhone, but that will change soon if Apple doesn't turn this around.

      ASUS has served me well for my main computer....
      +1
    1. mmaboi21's Avatar
      mmaboi21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by NakedFaerie View Post
      Care factor? 0 as I'm not in the USA.
      And the iPad is MINE so I will jailbreak it if I want. Well, when a jailbreak becomes available I will.

      After I buy a product no matter what it is as soon as i hand over the cash its MINE and I will do what I like with it. NO law will stop me. Its MINE NOT YOURS.

      Not having a jailbreak will most definitely stop you.

      Quote Originally Posted by ericwall View Post
      Off topic, but Apple is going right back to the way it was in the 90s when good old Steve left the first time. Creating useless in-between devices. Only phone Ive ever purchased is an iPhone, but that will change soon if Apple doesn't turn this around.

      ASUS has served me well for my main computer....

      I agree to some degree but their are plenty of devices to suit me for a while before apple decides to come up with something new. Which I expect pretty soon..
    1. mr117's Avatar
      mr117 -
      This ruling seems a bit murky to me as well. I responded to a request (here?) to submit reasons for allowing jailbreaking my phone to the Librarian. I'm glad to see that at least that was upheld. Since I only addressed my phone in my statement, I really had no input to the Librarian re iPads. However, it seems odd that anyone can mess with a phone or an iMac but not an iPad. As to unlocking, I never had a need for that, but when my two years just ran out with AT&T, it unlocked my i4 with no muss/no fuss. I had planned to sell the 4 and buy a 5 but am holding off until/if an untethered jb is released.

      As to WHY Apple continues locking the devices down, I have no answer. Corporate policy, fear of reverse engineering (good luck with that!), whatever, it really does seem short-sighted. Though with sales the way they are, I don't expect Schiller to have a sudden epiphany and declare all devices "open."

      I have jailbroken both my iPad 1 and 3, but reverted both to stock. Just didn't feel the same need to jb as I do with my phone. Running iOS 6 on my 3 (no more updates for the 1) and it works well. Do I still think the slider and the dumb black bars on the Lockscreen are uglier than a lying politician's harridan wife? Yes. But I can live with them. The iPad just isn't as... personal... to me as my phone is.

      Your milage may vary.
    1. mbeezy81's Avatar
      mbeezy81 -
      As long as a jailbreak tool is available I'll jailbreak whatever/whenever I please. I payed my hard earned money to buy it!!
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Quote Originally Posted by NakedFaerie View Post
      Care factor? 0 as I'm not in the USA.
      And the iPad is MINE so I will jailbreak it if I want. Well, when a jailbreak becomes available I will.

      After I buy a product no matter what it is as soon as i hand over the cash its MINE and I will do what I like with it. NO law will stop me. Its MINE NOT YOURS.
      The problem is that this might stop the jailbreak developers from releasing tools for the iPad. As far as I know, this doesn't mean that jailbreaking iPads is illegal; it means that releasing jailbreak tools is. But perhaps they could release it everywhere but in the US?