Apple, EFF comment on Jailbreak DMCA exception

Given yesterday's Library of Congress exceptions to the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) for Jailbreak and Unlock, it was only a matter of time before both sides, Apple and the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) commented. We

Here's what Apple told Cult of Mac:

“Apple’s goal has always been to insure that our customers have a great experience with their iPhone and we know that jailbreaking can severely degrade the experience. As we’ve said before, the vast majority of customers do not jailbreak their iPhones as this can violate the warranty and can cause the iPhone to become unstable and not work reliably.”

And here's the EFF

By granting all of EFF's applications, the Copyright Office and Librarian of Congress have taken three important steps today to mitigate some of the harms caused by the DMCA," said Jennifer Granick, EFF's Civil Liberties Director. "We are thrilled to have helped free jailbreakers, unlockers and vidders from this law's overbroad reach."

So anyone here heeding Apple's warnings of doom and gloom, or are you two busy partying in the streets in celebration of your new legal standing?

[Cult of Mac, EFF]

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple, EFF comment on Jailbreak DMCA exception

14 Comments

right apple,
my jailbroken iphones run just as good , not to mention they arent boring anymore.

I read too many posts from people that have jailbroken AND are having trouble with their iPhone, to even consider jb'ing.

Having a jailbroken iPad was what made me really love it - haven't lost anything but gained so much. Was seriously considering getting rid of it until then so surely it can only increase Apple's sales?
So good for everyone surely?

Love the official scene and the jailbreaking scene, together they make the i-experience heavenly
Thanks Steve
Thanks Saurik and company

I understand the desire to jailbreak and I have done it ( however only to unlock the phone to use with other carriers when I travel) but generally I don't have much interest. I want a phone that, plain and simple, works. I don't want to find out my phone isn't working because I downloaded software that screwed it up. It's different on my desktop I'm more willing to take that chance but I need a phone phone to work. I'm not interested in carrying around a backup just so I can "play". I'll stay with Steve's app store for now.

I personally have not jailbroken my previous iPhone but I will say this great. It pushes Apple to meet the reasons why people jailbreak their phones to start with. I think it gives apple a reason to implement changes in their updates. Jailbreak also shows that some things apple claimed were not possible to do on a phone can be done thanks to the jailbreak community.
Good for us that this passed. I'm sure apple has a few phones running jail broken systems and apps to see what can be improvised. Looking at the polls, it appears majority are happy with the options of the iPhone 4, but I still encourage the community that do jailbreak to push further and see what else they can come up with.

My jailbroken 3.1.2 ran like a dream. My 'upgraded' iOS 4 sucks. None of my custom apps. And jailbreak will not work on my device.

The home button on my 3G broke 6 months ago and the fact it is jailbroken is the only thing that makes it functional. I use the SBSettings "task manager" function to manually kill the apps so I can get back to the home screen.
Pain in the ass? Yes.
Worth not spending $$$ for a new phone that's still under contract? Definitely.

can violate the warranty? Sounds like Apple is making the same sort of vague threats regarding the warranty that they did regarding legality. Either it globally does or it does globally does not, by contract terms, and if that was true, I would expect a much stronger wording from Apple. If there is any per-device question, like Apple seems to allow here, then, if I am reading the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act properly, any and all ambiguities must be resolved in favor of the customer (the jailbreaker).
IOW, if that law applies, Apple must prove the jailbreak caused the damage to deny warranty service. Of course, I am not about to test Apple Legal based on one statement from Apple PR, but it seems likely that this too would (eventually) be resolved in favor of the jailbreakers.

Apple doesn't need to prove the jailbrake caused damage, they just need to prove that you jailbroke it. If you are able to cover your tracks with a factory restore, they can't prove that you did jailbrake it. That's probably where the "can violate the warranty" language comes in to play.
Considering my iTouch crashes more frequently than a Windows ME laptop I had in the past, I'd say the only way that a jailbrake could make it worse would be if it bricked the device. I'm looking forward to jailbreaking it with how annoying the iOS4 upgrade has been.

@Erik
You may want to read the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act. It specifically says that a manufacturer cannot void a warranty for 3rd party enhancements or modifications to a product. These provisions are typically used to prevent a manufacturer from requiring first-party repair components (e.g. spark plugs from Ford or printer ink from Canon), but a reasonable argument can (and now that jailbreaking is a DMCA exception, at some point, will) be made that jailbreaking is just just a similar 3rd party enhancement.
IF such an enhancement argument is made and upheld, then yes, Apple would have to prove that the jailbreak caused the damage requiring warranty attention, because the same Act also stipulates in the absence of such proof, any disputes must be resolved in favor of the customer, not the manufacturer.

why did i both jailbreak and unlock my phone? at first it was just to get the added functionality of all the cydia extensions and add-on's; making the phone extremely useful! then after paying around $85 (WITH my employer's discount for unlim data/txt & cheapest minutes), i decided to unlock, pay the $135 ETF and move to t-mobile.
sure i can only get edge speeds (for now), but i'm only paying $40 now for the same thing i had w/at&t!! LOVE IT!! never again will i go back to at&t!! love my jailbroken unlocked iphone <3 :P

"...and can cause the iPhone to become unstable and not work reliably.”
Oh You mean like what iOS4 does to 3G phones?