Jailbreaking now legal but still voids warranty

In a historical amendment to the DMCA rules, Jailbreaking has finally been made officially legal, without all of the ifs, buts and uncertainties of the past. According to the copyright office:

The Librarian of Congress has announced the classes of works subject to the exemption from the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. Persons making noninfringing uses of the following six classes of works will not be subject to the prohibition against circumventing access controls (17 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1)) until the conclusion of the next rulemaking…

Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset….

Computer programs, in the form of firmware or software, that enable used wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when circumvention is initiated by the owner of the copy of the computer program solely in order to connect to a wireless telecommunications network and access to the network is authorized by the operator of the network.

What does all of this hubbub mean exactly? Well, it means no one will be able to prosecute neither the developers of the jailbreak and unlock tools, like Geohot or the Dev Team, nor any users of such tools, namely you and I. Furthermore, any applications, not infringing on copyright (read purchased through Cydia and the like) regardless of the channels they have been acquired through are allowed as well.

Apple’s reply?

We don’t care!

Or, more specifically:

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.

Meaning – while Apple can’t legally punish anyone, using jailbroken and/or unlocked iDevice, they still CAN void your warranty. And it’s difficult to argue – jailbreaking, for all my love for it, does make your iDevice more susceptible to random crashes and the such, mainly due to the various addons taking up additional system resources to run.

The result? In a nutshell, nothing much actually changed. Apple never made any attempt to legally pursue neither the developers nor the users of Jailbroken or unlocked iDevices. Furthermore, there have even been rumours that Steve himself is in the habit of using jailbroken apps on his iPhone (though I really don’t think he has to go through the trouble of using 3rd party tools to actually jailbreak his iPhone).

The only thing that may come out of this is that large companies will begin turning their attention to the Jailbreak scene and the unofficial Appstores, like Rock or Cydia Store.

[via Cult of Mac]

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