In case you missed it, we have been posting some information on how to Jailbreak your iPhone over the weekend that we help would help some folks better understand what it is and what it does. We also do a write up about where to go and pay for non Apple approved apps that have been developed called Cydia. Put simply, Jailbreaking is a way to remove the security barriers put in place by Apple that will allow you access to the device to install either simple things like themes, or more complicated apps like MyWI and My3G. My 3G simply allows you to use AT&T’s (and Verizon’s now) Cellular network to use apps like Facetime that are restricted to use with WiFi only by Apple and AT&T. T-Mobile has it right? Why not you? Also, MiWI allows you to use tethering and making your device a hotspot which has been confirmed to to be included in the Verizon iPhone and in upcoming iOS 4.3. These apps were developed, bought and paid for. I’m a happy camper. The problem comes in when people use Jailbreaking for unlawful use of pirated software which I , and Mobility Digest do not approve or take part in. But it is there.
So is it illegal to Jailbreak your phone? No. Not according to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA):
Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset.’
So we now have the ability to legally install anything we want to a device we purchased. The DMCA also made it legal for the owner of the device to unlock it for use on another compatible network if he or she chooses:
‘Computer programs, in the form of firmware or software, that enable used wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when circumvention is initiated by the owner of the copy of the computer program solely in order to connect to a wireless telecommunications network and access to the network is authorized by the operator of the network.’
FREEDOM! The day of reckoning has come upon us, the weak and down trodden shall be set free. Blah Blah Blah, this is nothing new to anyone who has been used to Flashing ROMS on Windows Mobile and rooting their Android phone.
So we have been rocking along ever since developing and taking control of the device we purchased. Well, if you know Apple, they are not happy about this. Apple even went so far as to say that Jailbreaking your iPhone could void your warranty. This is nothing new, getting your device, no matter what OS caught up in the bootloader would not be allowed a return by the carrier you sold it to you. With the iPhone, it is a simple restore process through iTunes back to it’s original state.
But Apple continue to fight back and is trying to get the DCMA overturned:
"Current jailbreak technologies now in widespread use utilize unauthorized modifications to the copyrighted bootloader and operating system, resulting in the infringement of the copyrights in those programs," Apple told the U.S. Copyright Office.
Apple is not done fighting. Even in the wake of this decision, they will continue to make it harder for Jailbreaking on future devices as the last stand against what they call illegal software from being installed on their devices. Apple’s latest OS for the iPhone 4.2, still is not 100% available and only recommended to experience device owners. And now with 4.3 right around the corner, the Jailbreak community will be busier than ever trying to unlock the iPhone whether it be legally today, or as Apple would have it, illegally tomorrow.