Apple Faces Off Against the EFF in Jailbreak Showdown

Back in February we brought to you the story about Apple saying that Jailbreaking your iPhone is illegal. Granted that was in response the (Electronic Frontier Foundation), and their filing an exemption request for Jailbreaking iPhones. (See the AIPLA Quarterly Journal's article on this from last week). Well this past Friday Apple's head of marketing, Greg Joswiak, faced off against Fred von Lohmann, the EFF’s copyright guru and a plethora of Copyright Office officials. The topic? Jailbreaking...

The following is a little taste of what Apple had to say:


blockquote>Apple is opposed to the proposed Class #1 exemption because it will destroy the technological protection of Apple’s key copyrighted computer programs in the iPhone™ device itself and of copyrighted content owned by Apple that plays on the iPhone, resulting in copyright infringement, potential damage to the device and other potential harmful physical effects, adverse effects on the functioning of the device, and breach of contract. The proponents of the exemption have also not satisfied their burden of proof of showing harm to non-infringing uses of the copyrighted works protected by the technological protection measures on the iPhone. In addition, because Congress has already explicitly addressed circumvention for interoperability in Section 1201(f) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA),4 the Copyright Office should not create interoperability exemptions outside that statutory structure, at least without a clear showing of specific and significant harm, which has not been put forth here.

The way we see this is that Apple is against Jailbreaking for the simple fact that it can and will cost them money. Common sense will tell you that Apple does not get any money from iPhone users if they do not use the App Store for installing applications and they also run the risk of legit App Store apps being pirated, which we have already seen. So TiPb can see where Apple is coming from but at the end of the day, if you purchase an iPhone or any other device for that matter, it is yours to do with what ever you'd like.

For a complete rundown of all the shenanagins that took place this past Friday be sure to check out's Jailbreaking Showdown.


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Reader comments

Apple Faces Off Against the EFF in Jailbreak Showdown


Nobody can control what software I run on my laptop, nor do they try. Why should the iPhone be different. I bought the damn thing so I'll do what I want with it. Jailbreaking makes for having a more usefull device. Perhaps if apple weren't so anal about what gets through to the app store JB wouldn't be nessecary.

"... if you purchase an iPhone or any other device for that matter, it is yours to do with what ever you’d like."
Depends. If people want to cover their iPhones with rhinestones, or spray paint them neon green, they have every right. But jailbreak developers are using (not buying) Apple's product to develop their own product and "re-selling" or giving away (apps) to the public as their own. They are making money off Apple's billions of dollars in investment and sweat.
I can buy GMs and do with them whatever I’d like, too. But I can't steal GMs, alter a few things, then re-sell them as my own brand of automobiles and take credit after GM spent billions creating 99% of the vehicles' design.
Are you guys saying I can spray paint iPhones green, then sell them as The Steve iPhone™? What's so complicated about seeing that these people are calling someone else's work their own, distributing it, while causing Apple financial losses? :shock:

I'm going both ways on this.
I think a legit company such as Apple has much right to patent and copyright everything they can for what they worked for. At the same time, they should really give more to the community (charities).
On the second hand, without hacking things there would have not been any advancement in the field of technology. WE ARE NOT in a world where metal just changes shape or software gets automatically faster so in order for that to happen, hacking needs to exist as well.

@Steve that's the dumbest thing ever. If you buy a stove, you aren't restricted to only cooking pasta on it.
If you buy a vehicle, you aren't restricted to the number of hours or the destination you can drive with it.
If you buy a computer, you aren't restricted to what can be installed on it.
Same should be with the iPhone. Nobody is stealing Apples work by jailbreaking so they can install apps that Apple hasn't approved.
Developing with the API and distributing it is in a sense your own. What you are doing is using a pre-defined set of tools made by Apple, and you use the tools in a certain fashion to get the result you want.
If everyone were to think the way you do, any website that gets made is not that persons property because they used PHP to make it.
Anyone who makes programs using Visual Studio to make VB or C# programs don't actually own it because they used something Microsoft made and are distributing it as their own.
Do you see how dumb that argument of yours is?

Your analogies are completely laughable, and you've completely missed the whole point of my comment.
You can do as you please with your iPhone, stove, vehicle, and computer because you PURCHASED them. But the jailbreak community didn't PURCHASE Apple's software to do with as they please and to pass it off as their own to use against Apple.
What planet are you on? You have no argument whatsoever.
I supposed it's pointless to argue with people who feel their own actions are justified despite our laws. I'm sure if we were arguing over drinking and driving, all of the drunk drivers would be here defending it. :roll:

At least Frank makes a valid point that we all benefit from hackers and jailbreakers, and he leaves it at that.
But we also benefit from vigilantes. But anyone who defends murder is a fool.
I don't judge people jailbreaking their iPhones... or rolling through stop signs, or speeding through school zones. But to defend it's legality is just plain embarrassing and ignorant.

How is someone who makes a landscape testing app or something like that stealing anything of Apple's. It's just software that they wrote that happens to run on the iPhone. That's legal as far as I can tell.

@AL so if I hack your bank account so we all can use it, how is that illegal...
You forget it's Apples software on the hardware you bought, if my hacked software destroys your hardware why should apple have to fix it...

@Steve You're an idiot. If I purchase a Dell computer, does Dell have the right to tell me I can't install Linux on it? Or does Microsoft have that right, since I'd be replacing their software? What about OpenOffice?
You say: You can do as you please with your iPhone, stove, vehicle, and computer because you PURCHASED them. But the jailbreak community didn’t PURCHASE Apple’s software to do with as they please and to pass it off as their own to use against Apple.
Do you realize that this is contradictory? On the one hand, you say that "you can do as you please with your iPhone … because you PURCHASED" it. But then you turn right around and say "But the jailbreak community didn't PURCHASE Apple's software". Of course they did. That's the only way to get an iPhone—to buy one. And then, by your own admission, then you can do whatever you want with it.
Nobody's trying to take Apple's software and pass it off as their own. Jailbreaking, at its core, is about developing new software with new capabilities—same as any old type of software development. Much of this software has to do with implementing capabilities that Apple did not implement on the iPhone: ssh, tethering, shell access, copy and paste. The difference is that the "kosher" way to get your app onto the iPhone requires you to go through Apple's approval process, so developers who want to develop software with capabilities that won't meet Apple's approval are forced to use this back door to get it onto the device.
Can you imagine the hue and cry you'd be raising if your computer manufacturer told you every app you installed on your computer had to be approved by them—whether the process was as arbitrary as Apple's or not? You'd be out in the streets: "I bought it, so I should be able to install whatever I like on it!" This is exactly the problem with the iPhone. Can you not see why this is a violation of the spirit of free enterprise?

Nonsense...jailbreakers bought their own phones. The US courts have repeatedly affirmed that hardware sales and software sales, including retail software sales, are sales of goods and governed by the Uniform Commercial Code.
Software companies (including Apple, and mine, for that matter) have taken to in-the-box printed EULAs or OK boxes to place additional terms beyond the UCC after the transaction. No court has yet ruled on software specifically, but no court has ever allowed a party to a contract to add terms after the transaction in any other context. Until software is granted such an exception, the UCC applies, and these are normal purchases, with the buyer entitled to all normal rights of personal property.
@Earless puppy
They shouldn't, any more than Ford should honor my warranty if I put an experimental carburetor in my car. If you jailbreak your phone, you take your chances. Those above rights should not come without responsibilities.

@ Earless Puppy - it's obviously not the same as hacking a bank acct. Apple could be pulling revenue off of these apps but they have amorphous standards for allowing apps on the app store. Obviously some that allow free tethering or piracy of apps are illegal as well as wrong. But it is not illegal or wrong to write software that runs on the phone and abides by the laws of the nation that the phone is operated in and abides by the terms of your carrier contract. Nearly all jailbreak apps meet that standard.

I'm not going to repeat myself to imbeciles like you. Thanks for providing us with more inapplicable analogies having nothing to do with this debate. Your first two paragraphs were quite enough for me to decide the rest was a complete waste of my time. :roll:
Great points, loser. End of story. :lol:

So long, Steve. Don't let the door hit ya in the ass on the way out. (That shouldn't be a problem, though, since both the door and your ass are jailbreak apps.)

I tend to agree with Apple. we bought the iPhone knowing it's done on Apples terms, and jailbreaking breaches those terms AND causes Apple to lose money. Jailbreaking is absolutely pointless in my opinion, particularly with OS 3.0 - it's falling more into the "piracy" community more than anything.

All the legal mumbo jumbo aside. If a hardware device has the potential to perform certain tasks electronically (no pun intended) then a developer should be able to write software to perform these tasks on that hardware. Especially when the vendor of the hardware has mysteriously left this functionality out. Copy and paste anyone?
Apple are heralded as innovator, but the type of tactics they are using with iPhone app approval by limiting its capabilities is stifling innovation. Some of these limitations are imposed by 3rd parties such as telcos, but most are just a clear case of restricting the functions so they can be released later as a new innovative features, which the masses will embrace as amazing Apple innovation.
People will always find a way to get the most from the hardware they purchase and so they bloody should...

I think too many people equate jailbreaking with piracy. I have a jailbroken iPhone for copy/paste, landscape mode in more apps, and sbsettings. All free apps and none that violate any terms. If Apple is in the process of making jailbreaking illegal then it stands to reason that there is currently no legal precedent. I still pay for app store apps and since my jb apps were free Apple didn't lose their 30% cut. Jailbreaking can certainly be negative but it isn't always to be equated with piracy. In a lot of ways that is like saying I pirate movies because my Macbook Pro has a DVD burning drive.

Al: Even free apps pay to get into the AppStore, upfront $99/year from memory. So yes, Apple does likely lose money - on "free" jailbreak apps.

Well there is lots of people out there (including me) wouldn't by a iphone because of the lack of futures. With jailbreak u get what u need not what apple allows u to have on YOUR IPHONE! ( u paid for it!!) If apple was worried about making or losing money that much they wouldn't pay bunch of money to lawyers so they can make jail break illegal. I love the futures I can get with jb. And for those who is against JB go get a life its none of ur business!!!(@Steve!!)

Love idiots like Steve here. Anyone who disagrees with him is automatically a retard. Learn to open your mind. If everyone was like you, we'd all still be flinging crap at each other in trees. Time for evolution to kick in there stevie boy.

Um all I have to say is when you guys get a chance watch Pirates of Silicon Valley or read up on the History of apple and see how they became the mega power they are today? You may find them just a bit hypocritical.

I'm sorry I am so ignorant. This is an interesting discussion. Say, So opponents of jb believe modifying the operating system software is considered illegal?
Stupid question- When you install a piece of hardware on any pc, does it change or modify the OS?

FROG: "Even free apps pay to get into the AppStore, upfront $99/year from memory. So yes, Apple does likely lose money – on 'free' jailbreak apps."
Just because Apple assumes you have to use "THEIR" store to buy and sell your goods doesn't mean I have to do so and sure doesn't equate to Piracy when/if I don't.
FROG: "I tend to agree with Apple. we bought the iPhone knowing it’s done on Apples terms, and jailbreaking breaches those terms AND causes Apple to lose money."
I can't believe people still go this route... Are you aware that when you buy an Apple product you are ALSO agreeing to fight FOR Apple should a lawsuit come up that pertains to your Apple Hardware/Software? People who mindlessly agree to fulfill any and all EULA's are retarded (forgive my non-PC-compliancy here) and deserve their restricted purchases.
If I make something and sell it to you, it's yours. Yes, there are copyright laws that forbid you from re-selling it again as your own creation, but once it's left my hand I would be ridiculous to expect you to use whatever it is in whatever fashion I feel it is best used as. Maybe NOT so ridiculous to expect you not to sell it as your own, but then again... THAT'S what our laws are supposed to protect, my investment of time and money from being re-sold as someone elses creation. NOT how someone else USES my invention.
Just my high-handed and self-righteous opinion.

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