iPhone SDK Agreement Prohibits Developers Jailbreaking, Assisting in Jailbreaking

Ars Technica is reporting, and posting the relevant legal language to back up, that the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement now contains language that says:

registered developers can no longer jailbreak their own phones or assist others in jailbreaking their phones, including (but not limited to) working on projects such as QuickPwn or PwnageTool. Developers are also forbidden from using the iPhone OS, SDK, or other developer tools to develop applications for distribution in any way other than the App Store or Ad Hoc distribution—which of course rules out distribution via Cydia, free or otherwise.

Of course, this won't prevent iPhone Dev Team from working on future jailbreak-related projects, but Ars rightly points out it may make legit iPhone developers hesitate in helping them out. From Apple's point of view, this is understandable (they want control of their platform and revenue stream), but from the point of view of certain types of developers and technology enthusiasts, it's untenable.

However, it remains to be seen what, if anything, Apple can or -- more importantly -- would do when it comes to enforcing this agreement.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 6 comments. Add yours.

lordzod01 says:

with cydia being sold to microsoft and now this, I think apple will step up. They are going to want back full control over their product. Worse luck for us that prefare the jailbreak.
Of coarse, time will tell. Maybe a little surprise hidden in 3.0

Jay says:

@lordzod01. That microsoft cydia thing was an April fools!! So was the winulous!!

taroliw says:

Cydia sold to Microsoft? That would cause me to cease using it immediately. Please confirm that's a misprint. That would be absolute lunacy.
And while you're listing affected communities, don't forget CUSTOMERS. I don't know how many times someone saw me running a jailbreak app on 2.2.1 and stopped me to ask how I could do that (e.g. video recording) on an iPhone. Um... it happens when you free yourself from the ID10T corporate shackles of igits who either don't care or want to make you starve until they can charge you for it.
Enough already, Apple... free the market. Open the platform.

Steve says:

Does the phrase assist others in jailbreaking also apply to "publishing" instructions? I'm sure it does, but I'm surprised they don't specify it just to cover themselves more.

JustinHorn says:

I hate April fools day, unless I don't have to work the it's a crap "holiday". :)

John says:

This is just more dubious practice. It is doubtfull if this is legal in most jurisdictions and totally unenforceable.
As with trying to make jailbreaking illegal this is Apple living in their own special version of reality.