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Concerns mount that jailbreaking may become illegal

updated 04:00 pm EST, Wed January 25, 2012

EFF seeking petition to keep jailbreaking legal

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is lobbying users to sign a petition in its quest to convince the US government that jailbreaking smartphones and tablets is legal. Back in mid-2010, the Library of Congress ruled that the act is legal, provided it doesn't violate copyright laws. That ruling will soon expire, some believe, and doesn't cover tablets; the EFF is concerned that both need to be address.

Many developers supporting the efforts are those who depend on income from apps that aren't always necessarily available through Apple's App Store or the Android Market and instead go through jailbreak-only stores like Cydia. The argument for jailbreaking a device is that a user paid a significant amount of money for hardware and shouldn't be tied to a certain carrier or app store in the name of fair use.

Apple's response to the government decision back in 2010 was simply that it would void the warranty of a jailbroken or unlocked device and that the devices may not work reliably.

While most believe the 2010 ruling was permanent, others say this isn't the case, including iOS developer Charlie Miller, as evidenced by his recent Twitter post. The EFF will collect signatures and comments regarding the matter until February 10. [via RedmondPie]

By Electronista Staff


  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2004


    Are we back to this again?

    And how will Apple enforce the warranty cancellation when people can just restore the phone to factory specs before any warranty work is conducted?

  1. Eriamjh

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: Oct 2001



    But some people are too stupid to restore their devices before they take them in. And others will wait until warranty is up.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008


    I'm ont the side of business on this one...

    Fair use or unfair use? The cost of a product is NOT a mitigating standard for what you can do with it and hope to do with it when no one is looking. If these jailbreaking developers don't like Apple, they should go to Android. Apple OWES them nothing! Build your own phone, get jailbroken, have problems, pay for insurance, create or get your own carrier. These people are nothing but leeches. Not inventors, just barnacles. somehow they believe Apple owes THEM a living. That's not economics, it's not capitalism.

  1. The Vicar

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2009


    A Better Solution

    It would have been better if Apple had built in a way to load non-App Store apps using iTunes on a computer -- but have it say, right up front, "What you are about to do will permanently break the warrantee on this phone, even if you bought the extended warrantee. Are you sure you want to continue?" (And if they say "Yes", it should require a connection to the App Store to let Apple know that this device now has a voided warrantee, before it actually does anything.)

  1. yakirz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2001



    business and capitalism can go to h***.

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009


    re: A Better Solution

    Get a Google Nexus phone.

    No need to "iJailbreak"

  1. facebook_Bill

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2012


    Bill Hughes.

    This only takes a minute to do. You have to create a text file to submit to the office with comments on why your support your 'cause'.

    Cause 4 refers to jailbreaking phones, so I added sent this text:

    Class 4.

    Jailbreaking my iPhone allows me to run many lawful applications
    that add desired funcionality to the device I've purchased.

    For example, better file access and customizing the UI.

    Jailbreaking also creates competition between Apple's own
    app store and that of Cydia. This competition keeps pricing down
    and drives both companies to provide better service.

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