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Iphone jailbreaking to become illegal

If Apple gets its way
Tue Feb 17 2009, 11:56

APPLE IS TRYING TO MAKE the act of modifying the Iphone operating system to allow the installation of third party software illegal.

There are two major reasons why 'jailbreaking' as the process has become popularly known, makes the Cupertino Cabal unhappy. The first, and the most likely to be quoted by Apple, is that allowing any old coder to fiddle about with the innards of the OS is a great way to encourage the kind of low-quality (and in some cases malicious) applications which have plagued other mobile platforms.

As with everything it does, Apple likes to keep a tight reign on every element of its hardware and software. And making sure that every piece of code installed on the Iphone has been vetted and approved buy the App Store and its army of little testers is the only way the company can see of closing the doors to huxters and hackers.

The second reason, and one you won't see Jobs' Mob crowing too loudly about, is that Apple skims 30 per cent off of every single transaction made on the App Store. And with popular apps selling in their tens of thousands, you can see why the company doesn't want to let that one get away.

Using the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, the company is trying to have jailbreaking classified as a copyright infringement, which would also have serious consequences for anyone supplying software which allowed the modification or inviduals offering advice on how to carry the hack out.

Jailbreak

No... i said can you JAIL break my Iphone

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organisation which champions consumer rights in such matters, is also weighing into the argument, saying, "Apple's copyright infringement claim starts with the observation that jailbroken iPhones depend on modified versions of Apple's bootloader and operating system software. True enough. But the courts have long recognised that copying software while reverse engineering is a fair use when done for purposes of fostering interoperability with independently created software, a body of law that Apple conveniently fails to mention."

But Apple is claiming that opening the Iphone is also opening the doors to those who will seek to compromise the safety, security and reliability of the device as well as those who want to keep cash out of Cupertino's coffers by using pirated software.

The EFF offers interesting analogy: "Ford might tell us that, for our own safety, all servicing should be done by an authorized Ford dealer using only genuine Ford parts. Toyota might say that swapping your engine could reduce the reliability of your car. And Mazda could say that those who throw a supercharger on their MX5s frequently exceed the legal speed limit.

"But we'd never accept this corporate paternalism as a justification for welding every car bonnet shut and imposing legal liability on car buffs tinkering in their garages. µ

 

 

 

 

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