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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. Modding life's Avatar
      Modding life -
      Quote Originally Posted by mr117 View Post
      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.
      Just so you guys know the iPad was
      Not added to the last ruling as well
      Because it was not out then so if jailbreaks still come out for the iPad
      You can do it at your own risk
    1. KraXik's Avatar
      KraXik -
      So I jailbreak my iPad. I have no pirate software on there. Just some tweaks and themes.

      The damn Popo get me! What sort of punishment will I get?

      Makes the world so much safer these laws. Screw you know, protecting people, lets target geeks sat at home!
    1. Modding life's Avatar
      Modding life -
      Quote Originally Posted by KraXik View Post
      So I jailbreak my iPad. I have no pirate software on there. Just some tweaks and themes.

      The damn Popo get me! What sort of punishment will I get?

      Makes the world so much safer these laws. Screw you know, protecting people, lets target geeks sat at home!
      I'm not sure no statement was made about that
    1. KraXik's Avatar
      KraXik -
      Quote Originally Posted by Modding life View Post
      I'm not sure no statement was made about that
      Can imagine anything but a small fine.
    1. ferris419's Avatar
      ferris419 -
      You wouldn't even get a small fine ... are you kidding? The cops could care less .... They don't care about pirated music movies apps etc. (unless your distributing them)... So I highly doubt they care about your jailbroken iPad ...
    1. Modding life's Avatar
      Modding life -
      Quote Originally Posted by ferris419 View Post
      You wouldn't even get a small fine ... are you kidding? The cops could care less .... They don't care about pirated music movies apps etc. (unless your distributing them)... So I highly doubt they care about your jailbroken iPad ...
      oh what a FAIL THE COPS DO CARE There is a law states downloaded unauthorized copy-righted works is illegal
    1. Italia411's Avatar
      Italia411 -
      They will go after the developers not the users more then likely. I doubt the developers will be releasing iPad jailbreak software because of this. I hope I'm wrong but I don't want to see any of these guys who have freed our devices for years risk their freedom.
    1. GenesisDH's Avatar
      GenesisDH -
      Here's a problem I already see from this: items other than phones that have a cellular capability. Half of the iPads have this, various Nooks, Kindles, and ebook readers, as well as many other tablets. Most of the above are locked to a specific carrier (and iPads are still somewhat locked if CDMA is concerned). Since the unlocking exemption was allowed to expire, what happens if someone who wants to get their Kindle Fire HD or PS Vita unlocked (or other device that isn't sold by the carrier but locked down due to exclusivity rights). I think that's what is screwed up about this. They should have kept those exemptions as they were and added the exemption list to include a list of devices that can be updated regularly. The FCC could've been in charge of the list even.

      Eh, oh well. It's not going to change my intentions on jailbreaking my iPad or rooting my friends' Android tablets as needed. I don't sell the tools for profit, so they couldn't really charge you for violating the DMCA without reasonable proof.
    1. Modding life's Avatar
      Modding life -
      Quote Originally Posted by Italia411 View Post
      They will go after the developers not the users more then likely. I doubt the developers will be releasing iPad jailbreak software because of this. I hope I'm wrong but I don't want to see any of these guys who have freed our devices for years risk their freedom.
      You are wrong about that remember limewire not just developers got arrested but users too
      And I also fear If developers still jailbreak iPads then it may become illegal for iPhones and iPod touches
      😔too
    1. aidanharris's Avatar
      aidanharris -
      The way I see jailbreaking as a whole, in the words of Bart Simpson:

      You're damned if you do and damned if you don't
    1. exNavy's Avatar
      exNavy -
      This isn't about legal and illegal. It's about what is an exemption under the act.
    1. aidanharris's Avatar
      aidanharris -
      Quote Originally Posted by exNavy View Post
      This isn't about legal and illegal. It's about what is an exemption under the act.
      And what is not covered in the act is illegal then, hence the branching off from the original topic...
    1. mr117's Avatar
      mr117 -
      Yep, jailbreak an iPad, go to jail!!!!

      Seriously? No one's going to get thrown in jail for this. It's a threat aimed at developers, and as long as the authorities are busy catching terrorists, bank robbers, rapists, and white color criminals (well, that last one was just a joke), I think you and your iPad are safe. And if you ARE thrown in the hoosegow, I'll send you a cake with a USB thumbdrive in it (mild 21st century humor).
    1. Eonhpi's Avatar
      Eonhpi -
      I do what i want. i paid 400+ for this ipad i will put whatever i can on it apps tweaks themes all music isnt from itunes all the movies arrnt from itunes .
    1. Italia411's Avatar
      Italia411 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Modding life View Post
      You are wrong about that remember limewire not just developers got arrested but users too
      And I also fear If developers still jailbreak iPads then it may become illegal for iPhones and iPod touches
      😔too
      I think it's safe to say our developer friends should all around stay away from releasing software to jailbreak iPads for their freedom and ours I'm sure most of us use our phones more and should be grateful that we can still jailbreak them without legal retribution on both sides.
    1. D-Love's Avatar
      D-Love -
      And this will stop absolutely no one once a JB becomes available.
    1. iH85CH001's Avatar
      iH85CH001 -
      Well... I guess I won't be getting an ipad anytime soon...
    1. javiert30's Avatar
      javiert30 -
      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.
      So, you are the owner of every iOS that Apple release too?
    1. Christophxr's Avatar
      Christophxr -
      Our legal system totally works.
    1. The6uest's Avatar
      The6uest -
      So? It's not like we'll stop jailbreaking our iPads just cause some people say its not Legal. As long as there are JBs available I'll keep JBing my iDevices.