back to article Apple fights iPhone unlocking (again)

Apple has told the US Copyright Office that jailbreaking an iPhone should be illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Apple's defense of its practice of locking down the iPhone to software and services provided only by itself and its partner AT&T came in response to petitions for DMCA exemptions that were …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Anonymous Coward

jeez

Apple really do make MS look quite good.

But this reminds me of a case about garage doors and remote controls. Just becouse the door makers only want you to be able to open doors with their expensive remotes doesn't mean it's their right to force you.

In this case the iphone is the garage door and AT&T are the expensive remote control.

0
0

Apple is right! As always!!

Apple is always right and is right now.

They are just trying to safeguard the quality of their customers' experience. Of course they should do that. I am just very sorry that people who own Macs are exposed to terrible experiences, Apple should protect them too, just like they protect the iPhone users. I think it is quite wrong, people just buying software from wherever they feel like it, and then diluting the Macintosh experience, and then complaining to their friends about it. If we had an app store for the Mac, and you could not buy crappy software on any street corner, Mac users would not be led into temptation. They would be delivered from evil. And the world would be a better, shinier, more comfortable place.

Long live Apple!

Death to Psystar!

Death to PearC!

Death to anyone else I have forgotten! I think there is someone in Argentina, well death to him too! And Long Live Apple. Did I say that already? Well long live Apple!

Death to efi-x! I think I might have said that already, but it was definitely worth repeating.

0
0
Silver badge

So

The want to skip suing their users and go to straight to jailing them.

Cane some please tell me when the RIAA was put on to Apple board of directors , or is this strictly a jobs move ??

0
0
Paris Hilton

FUD without a leg to stand on

DCMA has exemptions for copying Apple code while reverse engineering a in this case custom bootloader for the purpose of increasing the devices interoperability (turn-by-turn GPS, movies recording through built in camera, etc.)

Apple has conveniently ommitted that from their filing and joined the likes if garage door openers and other industry manufactured items whose companies tried and failed to argue protection under the DCMA.

That leaves the copyright complaint.

Paris because even she us a prisoner of America that understands DCMA FUD and that the rest of the works is not the United States and under American law. The Dev Team (jail break) don't live in world economic crisis central.

0
0
IT Angle

It's crazy, but...

I'm on Apple's side in this one. I don't like it, but I can respect that they want a weirdly proprietary experience for their customers, just like with any other Apple product.

People who buy the iPhone know the story. They're locked into Apple and AT&T according to the agreement they accepted when they purchased the product. If GM had a similar agreement (only repair at GM dealers, no extra non-GM parts, etc.) then GM would die a quick death. But since this is the iPhone and Apple, they might stick around for awhile longer despite the onerous terms of the agreement.

That being said, you bought an iPhone, you agreed to the terms, you're out of luck. It's pretty simple. Violating the agreement is, at minimum, a civil offense.

And I'm wondering why this hasn't been filed under Odds & Sods? Is the iPhone really an IT device?

0
0
Coat

Apple are losing the plot...

Way to go and alienate the userbase..

Mines the one with the non-multi-touch G1 due to another Apple patent.

0
0

Why hasn't the EU stepped in?

I'm suprised the EU hasn't started fining apple, If i bought an iphone i'd be locked into using it on o2 and can only use apples applications, doesn't sound like a good deal for one of the most expensive phones on the market.

0
0
jai

homebrew

annoyingly, after all the effort involved in jailbreaking the iphone, there's stuff all non-official apps that are worth installing or that are stable enough

0
0

My hardware, I should be able to do what I want with it.

When I buy a computer I do not have Dell telling want I can and can't do on it. I will be happy when the phone companies give up and actually like people us their devices the way they want too.

0
0
Happy

whatever

Apple is just making noises to people who are scared to doing anything illegal or that might effect their warrentee. Sure will make them some money

0
0

iPod Touch issues

There you go. I assumed the second update was because first gen iPod touches would not work after the first update. The second update did fix that issue.

0
0

@James Butler

That fails on the basis that GM (And other car makers) Did used to try and lock you in by telling you you had to have your car serviced at there garages to keep your warente. They are no longer allowed to say this (But they do imply it, with things like "approved")

I say you are wrong. They can void your warente, and demand you keep paying the contact, but thats it. If I bought it its mine, if I am renting it then give me a rental contract with all the responsibility that brings to the owner... they can't have it both ways.

Please don't fall in to the trap of thinking companys can put anything they want in a contract. They can't. They want you to think they can, but there is alot of protection for consumers against unfair contracts.

0
0
Coat

Is the iPhone really an IT device?

If you can check email on it is an IT device.

I don't pretent to understand the rule, I just enforce it.

0
0
Jobs Halo

On the fence

While I can appreciate both sides of the argument I do have to give more weight to what Apple is trying to do. You know before you buy the iPhone what the deal is and no one is being forced to purchase it. So whining that you can't install joe bob's thingamawidgit on it is a bit silly. Examples are a bit meaningless as well since it's a unique situation with the iPhone, but you know going in you're gong to be sand boxed accept it and live with the limitations or don't buy the damn thing.

On the other hand criminalizing people that are jailbreaking the phone strikes me as a bit of legal dick swinging on Apples part. I think their lawyers have been on a hair trigger of late with the law suits and need to pop a couple Valium and relax a bit. I understand the need to protect their IP however this kind of overt action against people who seem to genuinely like their kit can have some nasty repercussions for them.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@It's crazy, but...

However also GM wouldn't be allowed to force you to do that, and neither should apple, just like the garage door manufacturer can't force you to use their remote control.

0
0
Jobs Horns

Oh the irony

Didn't Jobs and Wozniak do phone phreaking pre-Apple days? Shoe's a bit different now it's on the other foot, eh Jobsie? Did you ever apologise? Did you ever pay restitution to the carriers and users who you hacked? How have you managed to forget why you phreaked back then? Why can't you understand it's (to some degree) the same drive pushing folks today?

If there's one thing than pisses me off more than rightwing neo-cons, it's hypocritical 'hippies' selling a 'line' about how pure they are when they're just as trash as the opposition (ie, Apple excusers are just as vile and repulsive as M$ excusers).

Good to see that Woz is still true to his roots. Give that man a cookie.

0
0
Jobs Horns

the best way to break an iPhone

is to strike it repeatedly using a large hammer.

0
0
Thumb Down

WRT the contract

Wasn't there an option to cancel the contract just after sign up (can't remember the details). So, if there is no contract WRT which carrier you are using, there is no case. Of course, that is true in the EU, but I doubt it is, in the US (not sure about elsewhere).

Just a thought.

Another is, I'd expect anybody who's got one, who wants the device they paid for, to do whatever they damn well like with it. if they see fit! ;)

0
0
Jobs Horns

@Cody

"safeguard the quality of their customers' experience" - a crap phone for iDiots. You are welcome to it but don't expect everyone to be fooled.

0
0
Gates Halo

I agree

People who buy Apple devices should only be able to run software sold by Apple, should only be able to visit Apple web sites, should only be able to talk to other Apple phone users and, when they do, should only be able to discuss things relating to Apple.

What a happy place their world would be!

Saint Bill, because Steve makes him look good.

0
0
OFI
Paris Hilton

lol Apple

On EFFs side here.. it's ridiculous.

If MS locked down Windows to only allow Microsoft applications then all hell would break loose.

0
0

Wont work

Jail-breaking the phone is not illegal in any way in the EU, in fact it's enshrined in law that, at the end of the mobile contract, you can ask, for a small fee, that the phone be unlocked. France goes slightly further than this, which is why you can buy the contract-less phone over there.

So, if the jail-break software is hosted in the EU, there is fuck all Apple can do about it.

However, as others have intimated, if what they are saying is that you essentially never own the item, even at the end of the contract, then they cant charge an upfront fee for the phone. You either own the item or rent it, if the former then they can have no say about what I do with it, if the latter then they cant charge when the battery needs replacing.

0
0
Gates Horns

Honesty Filter?

First let me say I DO NOT like Apple or anything that they make. Not because the equipment is substandard - quite the reverse. They make very good devices and software. The reason I dispise them is that they are completely a closed architecture. If the money does not go directly to them then it will go to no one. Thing I cannot figure is how I, as a "Right-Wing, Jack-booted thug" dislike them and alla the "Flower-Power, Left-Wing, Tree-huggers" love them. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Oh well, maybe Hawking can figure that out when he is done with unification.

Here it is - I guess (if you like analogies) this is like going to a gay bar and compliaining about girls with beards. You knew that the people there prescribe to a set of life choices (their EULA - or - End User (no pun intended) License Agreement). If you elect to go in there then YOU agree to abide by their majority / meglomaniacle / Orwellian (whatever you wanna call it) rules of engagement. Personally, I would stay home.

Simply put - If you hate this Apple policy as much as I, then don't get in bed with them at night and cry when you break the day with Satan. Get a different phone - They did not monopolize "phone-putterz" there are other offerings out there.

Anyone that buys the unit KNOWING the contract limitations and then tries to change them is simply as dishonest and self-centered as Apple. Man-UP and don't give Apple a dime.

0
0
Linux

Tux 4:9

And thus did the Fruit Antichrist begin its fall, and our Penguin Savior his rise.

0
0

@EvilGav

Jailbreaking is not the same thing as network unlocking, Jailbreaking is so that you can install whatever software you like, not to go and use it on another network. I don't know the legalities of that, I just know I jailbreak but don't unlock my iPhone. People whinging about it being Apple - I seem to remember having to do the same thing with my SPV a few years ago, although that was Orange's fault rather than microsoft's. I've never seen why I should be bound by someone else's abitrary choices, and I don't care if I did tick a box saying I agreed not to do it.

0
0
Gold badge

Steve Jobs and Apple...

Steve Jobs and Apple... fuck you.

I've never bought an Apple product and never will.

I've advised everyone I know to not buy Ipods etc. fore years. A few have anyway, they'll be like "Hey I can't get the music back off my Ipod!" and I tell them "Yep you sure can't." They ask why and I let them know all about the artificial restrictions Apple puts on their products.. and they are enlightened.

0
0

Breach of contract?

OK, I saw one of the points they made was breach of contract.

Right.

I have an original, 2G, 4 GB iPhone. I bought it off of Craigslist. I never signed a contract with AT&T or Apple. Shouldn't I have the right to use my device however I want, as long as I'm not copying or distributing their software?

Just my $0.02.

0
0
Jobs Halo

Missing the point as usual

First, Apple didn't bring this case, the EFF did. Apple have never shown the slightest interest in prosecuting people for hacking AppleTVs, iPhones or anything else, but they have to defend the case that was brought against them for the precedent it would set.

@EvilGav: jail breaking the phone is legal in the EU? Depends what you mean by jailbreaking. It's your phone and you can do anything you want with the hardware. Does that mean you're planning to write your own software. Copying and modifying someone else's software (which is what the jailbreaks do, they're just modified versions of Apple's own iPhone software) is a clear breach of copyright however.

How about an analogy. Let's say Adobe decided to give away a free copy of "Photoshop Lite" with every PC sold, which is limited to images of 1024x1024 and won't run any plugins. It's your hardware and you can do what you want with it, but that still doesn't mean you're allowed to hack Photoshop to remove the resolution limit and disable the checks that stop you loading 3rd party plugins that you haven't paid for. Still less can you then go bleating to Adobe saying it doesn't work properly, but that's precisely what happens to Apple - they get 100s of thousands of support queries related to jailbroken iPhones not working properly!

Then there are liability issues. What happens if the jailbroken software has a bug in the power management code, causing the battery in an iPhone to explode? Or a bug in the baseband processor that crashes the local cell transmitter, or prevents the phone making an emergency call, or means the phone is no longer FCC compliant? If Apple were to implicitly endorse running unapproved software by not defending this case then as the manufacturer they could potentially open themselves up to all sorts of litigation.

@Raemann: Apple being a closed architecture? Not at all. They actively embrace open standards like HTML and Javascript, MPEG4 and AAC. No proprietary extensions that mean stuff will only display on their browser. And they've been saying for years they want to sell unencrypted music because it's good for consumers; only now are the music labels coming round to seeing that's the right way to go. They do reserve a limited right to control what you can do with their software and so control the overall experience however. As you brought up a bar analogy, it's really no different from McDonalds deciding they're not going to sell you a beer. They have every right to say "sorry pal, if you want a beer with your burger, try the restaurant across the road".

The situation would be different if Apple were abusing a dominant monopoly position to keep others out of the market, but there are plenty of other computers, MP3 players and mobile phones you can buy if you don't like theirs.

0
0

@ Cody: Macs ain't "locked down"

Cody clearly has not a stuffing idea what he's talking about. OS X — every single copy of it — ships with XCode, a complete IDE. I've been using it to learn Objective-C. Why on Earth would Apple do that if they didn't promote the idea of developing for Macintoshes? So can the FUD, bonehead.

Now, as far as Apple's iPhone behaviour, I think it's obnoxious, heavy-handed and hypocritical. I'm 100% with the EFF here. So can the FUD, Apple.

I wish there was a way to put TWO icons on a post; instead I'll settle for none.

0
0
Thumb Down

Irrelevant

It's all fairly irrelevent anyway. If you're one of the 5% of fools who prefers messing with the thing instead of using it, having it broken every time there's a new Apple update, and having your warranty void, you deserve whatever you get.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Dear Apple,

Your fight against unlocking does nothing to improve my iPhone user experience. Stop wasting resources on it and give us what we need. Hint: Cut & Paste.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Your customer

(Who has not unlocked his iPhone, because he has life, a girlfriend and things to get done.)

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@Rolf Howarth

"Copying and modifying someone else's software (which is what the jailbreaks do, they're just modified versions of Apple's own iPhone software) is a clear breach of copyright however."

Modifying software you've obtained legally does not breach copyright - not unless you then distribute copies of it to others. Even distributing just the change information (or a tool to apply the changes) does not breach copyright. It may be against the EULA, but that is a different matter entirely (don't get me started on EULAs - especially when applied to software supplied with and required to operate a physical device).

On the other hand, if you signed a telco contract at the time of purchase, then it's entirely reasonable that you would have to honor all financial terms agreed to in the contract.

0
0
Happy

@Murray Pearson

Did you actually read Cody's post - hardly an Apple zealot - mocking in the most amusing way. Nice juxtaposition of Apple's conflicting views on Macs and Iphones. Bonehead ?

Maybe, he should have used the "Joke Alert" icon so that the more literalist amoungst us would have been aware that his tongue was firmly in his cheek - not literally of course - just figuratively.

0
0
Flame

Jailbreaking = enabling piracy

The only way to pirate AppStore purchases is to have a jailbroken phone.

The AppStore is the most successful mobile software sales site ever and which gives small business and indie developers a fantastic opportunity.

For some figures on the staggering amount of piracy of AppStore apps from just one point-and-click cracking tool, see http://thwart-ipa-cracks.blogspot.com/

And I don't buy into the bullsh*t argument that "people who use pirated software would never pay for it'. Yes, that may be the case at the $2,000 tool level but not the $5 game one guy buys and gives to twenty of his mates!

0
0

The bit I don't get is...

Why Apple and their zealot supporters can get so up in arms about MS shipping an OS with IE as the default browser but think it's OK to lock people down to only one supplier for software.

At least MS give you the choice to use a different browser from any source you like and don't force you to use only MS approved browsers... even if you can't uninstall the bag of shite you never have to look at it.

Apple should be forced to provide a pre-jailbroken version of every update provided but should be absolved of supporting it. Seems fair to me.

0
0

Copyright

@AC: "Modifying software you've obtained legally does not breach copyright"

I'm not sure that's true, though I must admit I'm not a lawyer. The copying goes on each time you load the software into memory, and you're only allowed to do that if you have a license that says you are. If that license attaches conditions then you're only allowed to do so if you meet those conditions. Presumably the iPhone software license has a condition that says you can't modify it.

Let's say you buy the educational version of some software then use it to run your business. You're breaching copyright, even though you legally bought the software, because you're breaching the license terms.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Apple

Seem to be a little bit retarded. Do they not realise how much extra money they'd make if the jailbreak was something you could just buy? Hell, based on people I've spoken too, just buying winterboard and making it part of the device firmware would probably be enough. Aside from theming and app piracy, there's nothing useful in the jailbreak anymore. The app-store has pretty much decimated the app list now. When I scroll down the changes list in cydia, I can see it's been literally months since any actual applications have actually been released. All that's come out are godawful half complete winterboard themes, plugins for other peoples apps, and ringtones. Clearly this is a resource worth fighting over.

0
0
Jobs Horns

Its not exactly the same

The car metaphor isn't entirely accurate as the car companies aren't offering to sell you a car for a thousand bucks in return for stapling your hood shut. Apple subsidizes the hardware with service plans. You pay $200 for the phone, which is likely less than it costs to manufacture, let alone make a profit on, so technically no, you don't own it-AT&T payed for most of it. It's not good for hackers, but it makes business sense at least.

0
0

Why buy Apple?

Firstly, I think that all mobile phones should legally be required to be unlockable from a particular network for free after any contract period has expired.

Secondly, Apple shouldn't be required to allow their phones to be jailbroken so that arbitrary software can be used on it. If Apple do have means covered by the DCMA to stop arbitrary software from being run on their phones then they should be allowed to maintain them, and be allowed to prosecute people who bypass them, in the same way a console manufacturer can prosecute mod chip vendors. If you don't like this then you shouldn't be buying an iPhone - you shouldn't be supporting Apple's position by buying things from them.

"Violating the agreement is, at minimum, a civil offense."

If the EFF get their way then that agreement would be invalidated, as it would be denying your statutory rights.

0
0
Jobs Horns

re: the best way to break an iPhone

is to strike it repeatedly using the *owners forehead*

There, fixed that for you.

0
0
Thumb Down

UK & EU Law

protects customers from unreasonable terms in contracts which we are _forced_ to sign to obtain goods or services.

Apple, by locking down the iPod (don't these idiots know that the capital letter goes at the FRONT of the noun?) to a single software source, and one owned and controled by themselves, is restricting the customer from their 'right' of freedom of choice in software supplier.

Apple make very stylish goods, both the Mac & iPod ranges. There is however far too much 'style over substance'. Look around and you can find other products, some quite a bit cheaper, which are much functionally richer. The Apple stock though will be bought by those who want to appear to have 'taste' but cannot afford _real_ quality.

Apple users, quite sad really.

0
0
Stop

@Rolf Howarth

"The copying goes on each time you load the software into memory, and you're only allowed to do that if you have a license that says you are." -- As long as you acquired the software legitimately, then making a copy of it in the memory of a computer for the purpose of making use of it is protected as Fair Dealing and does *not* require any licence.

0
0

@Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 16th February 2009 06:05 GMT

Why did you point us at a site where a so called developer has obviously obviously stopped taking their medication !

The app claims it has been cracked becasue it's running on a jailbroken iPhone.

Your own claim is like saying that everybody who has a harddrive, internet connection or removable media is a pirate, because what other reason would you have for owning them.

@ralf

You are just making excuses for apple please be quiet, most EULAs would not hold up in court.

How about an ISP who dosn't allow you to transmit the letter Q becasue it may interfear with your user experience.

It's twaddle and you know it.

For the rest,

The majority of the worlds population don't all live in the US with the badly draughted DCMA legislation.

0
0
Joke

@AC

"People who buy Apple devices should only be able to run software sold by Apple, should only be able to visit Apple web sites, should only be able to talk to other Apple phone users and, when they do, should only be able to discuss things relating to Apple."

Isn't that what the white and shiny plastic fruitarian fanbois do anyway?

I don't think that rule would upset too many iSheep :-D

0
0
Paris Hilton

PCs Forever

<yawn> BFD

Paris, because she knows a BFD when she sees one.

0
0
Go

Apple love the fact you jailbreak...

If Apple had somehow managed to make the iPhone v1.0-1.4 jailbreak proof, how popular do you think it would be today?

Remember that the jailbroken iPhone enabled:

Countries who weren't on the "global" rollout could get it.

People who weren't prepared to change network during their other network contract were able to use it.

3rd party Installer of other Apps, the AppStores older brother.

The jailbreak community has opened up the Apple to a worldwide audience, many of the developers on the previous Installer applications (MooCow etc) have come under the Apple umbrella, embraced (?!) the App Store and the chance to actually profit from their skills.

I hope Apple aren't so arrogant to realise this, and I think their strategy of continuing to pretend to lock things down with newer version numbers is just a PR strategy to look like they are trying to act on these "jailbreaking hackers", but really, although they could calculate a jailbroken iPhone as a potentail loss of revenue, they also recognise that similar to Microsoft, if they did actually completely lock down their software, they wouldn't get the global footprint that they are looking for. (Don't tell me that MS couldn't lockdown their software if they really wanted to).

So let the game of cat and mouse continue on.

As time goes on, and 3rd party developers carry on pushing the iPhone to the limit, for example, xGPS are about to release proper "turn-by-turn" Sat Nav for the iPhone, wait and watch Apple take advantage of this and before the summar, Apple will have released the new version of Google Maps, which will be a reverse engineer of the unofficial app which will go through the bug fixing staging much earlier, allowing Apple to release a decent quality version of it.

0
0
Coat

Sue me

Me, I , Myself have network-unlocked and jailbroken an Iphone. And I am using it with an unlicensed carrier. And to do all this, I opened the damn thing, fiddled with the "soft parts inside".

So...Come and get me ! Oh...You can´t ? You don´t know who I am even if I sign this. And you cannot prove I did anything of this....That´s too bad. WTF does apple want to accomplish with this ? will they go after every Joe Schmoe that bought the damn thing ? Will ANYONE EVER UNDERSTAND that they cannot control this sort of thing ?

Mine´s the one with the guitar pick and magnifying glass to do the circuit bending....

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@Rolf Howarth

Can you not understand that license terms and copyright are different, it really isn't that hard to understand

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Just one question, why AT&T?

I want to know why Jobs went with the most inept company on the planet...

Seriously, in the midst of this recession, I applied to AT&T for a low-paying position just to pay the bills, ($15.00/hr,$31.2K/yr), the hiring process has been as follows...

Respond to advert.

Fill out application.

Receive e-mail from HR. I must take a test!

E-mail back to schedule test.

Original HR person out of town, called back-up HR person.

Back-up HR person states, Oh, you have a degree, you don't need to test, just bring your degree.

Go in to AT&T office, meet wizened old secretary, hand over degree, copy made, leave AT&T

office after wishing the 3 other people with no degrees that applied for the job good luck.

Receive new e-mail from AT&T from someone higher up on the AT&T HR chain.

Fill out new application so AT&T can conduct background check.

(If I get the job, they are going to train me for 3 weeks!)

So in essence for a job that any person with any amount of initiative would quit the moment a higher paying position came along, AT&T is going to most likely spend the equivalent of a year's salary or more just to hire someone to fill this position. (Never again question why AT&T charges what it does, now you know the reason)...

0
0
Pirate

Too Bad For CrApple

I remember a case in Europe somewhere near Sweden or thereabouts in which a judge stated that the owner can do whatever they liked with something they owned & a similar case crapped its undies. I sincerely hope this happens to crapple in this case. Once it's paid for it no longer bloody-well belongs to them & if some dimwit wants to pull it apart & most likely damage its inner functionality; that is their choice.

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017