Government Makes iPhone Jailbreaking and Unlocking Legal

By , Jul 26, 2010

The Associated Press just published an interesting piece titled New Gov’t Rules Allow Unapproved iPhone Apps which seems to announce the legalization of iPhone jailbreaks and unlocks:

Owners of the iPhone will be able to break electronic locks on their devices in order to download applications that have not been approved by Apple. The government is making that legal under new rules announced Monday.

The decision to allow the practice commonly known as “jailbreaking” is one of a handful of new exemptions from a federal law that prohibits the circumvention of technical measures that control access to copyrighted works. Every three years, the Library of Congress authorizes such exemptions to ensure that existing law does not prevent non-infringing use of copyrighted material.

Another exemption will allow owners of used cell phones to break access controls on their phones in order to switch wireless carriers.

This is real big news! Up until today, there was a legal mystery surrounding iPhone jailbreaks and unlocks and even though you owned your iPhone, it wasn’t clear weather jailbreaking/unlocking it was legal or not. It seems it won’t be an issue anymore.

Now the big question is: will Apple be forced to provide a way to jailbreak the iPhone? Can you imagine the irony of the situation?

[Thanks @RyanStylee for the tip]

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  • bigsneakyninja

    Does this mean Apple won’t be allowed to do anything to future models of the iPhone to prevent jailbreaking form happening then?

    • Zmbieapocalypse

      Of course not!

  • SoCoMagNuM

    bout time the government came through. i feel if i buy i product i should be able to use it as i please…not how someone else thinks i should be able to use it.

  • http://Www.pc-visions.com Tcp

    If apple isn’t allowed to patch the holes that allow the jailbreak to work does that mean when they provide update they have to make the same hole in the new update? If apple patches the jailbreak do they get in trouble? This is huge news!!

  • ZeroCool

    Good news. May be Apple release further OS-s naturally jailbroken.

  • Len

    Woohoo myPad Freedom forever!

  • ?

    This could mean the end of the dev team. And the last jailbreak which could mean it might be a paid jailbrek ? Or will apple do there on jailbreak or will the iPhone be jailbroke on the next update, ether way it’s good news for all iPhones

  • ?

    Also if itis made legal and apple patch these holes that are used for jallbreaks would apple be breaking the law ?

  • ?

    Is cydia going to be in the app store

  • Shazard

    Helllz Yeah!! This is a big win!! I don’t think apple will do anything different. We can now simply go into an apple store, wave it in their face and say “thats right, its jailbroken and you can’t do anything about it biotch!

    • SoCoMagNuM

      @Shazard

      1. That would be pointless – what purpose would that justify?
      2. Just cause its deemed “legal” doesnt mean apple can reserve the right to service your hardware due to software modifications.
      3. They can tell you to contact your jailbreak/unlock provider if issues persist on jailbroken phone

      I dont think apple will incorperate jb to their firmware nor will they stop patching. JB is not part of their software therefore you will still need to jailbreak after a firmware update. So dev team will continue to have work to do.

      Making it legal just makes the process legal. Doesnt mean apple is required to support it

      All and all…its still a win for the community.

  • http://ryanstylee311.blogspot.com ryanstylee

    Some good points brought up here. I don’t know if I like the path this is leading down. Eventually, as more and more mainstream iphone users learn of the jailbreak benefits, and it now being legal, there will be a push for more 1 click jailbreaks/unlock for all the grandmas that think they want the extras. Is this the end or beginning for Cydia? Will it become the offcial unoffcial App Store? Will Apple or someone else well funded leave Cydia in the dust with another app store?
    I do see this as being a step towards a paid jailbreak, the more it is commercialized.

  • Jason masters

    Legalized marijuana is next oh wait it is legal somewhat lol ?

  • Nourdine

    Apple is not stupid they only
    Need to change their marketing
    Stratigy by flooding the iPhone
    With new features that more
    Nicer than cydia and others .
    This good for the consumer
    Apple also will benefit

  • Nourdine

    apple don t worry the days for pc
    Are numbered

  • ZeroCool

    Probably like internet tethering (hardware capability of iphone) , Apple could make jailbreak as a commercial feature.Just opinion though…

  • ZeroCool

    Agree with Nourdinea about c.strategy, But most of cydia apps are free. Apple never do such apps for free. They do something different I think. Cydia exists no matter what. Even the judjement at some rate proves cydia as a legal one.

  • Lucas

    I think this mean Apple will have no choice but to let more thing on app store that will let user use its iPhone the way they want (ex.: byte SMS) to replace original message function

    • Lucas

      I mean if they still dont want us to jailbreak after that law occurs

  • Thefallen

    Humans… wondering creatures…

  • Z

    I hope this forces apple to remove AT&T lock, that’s all I can think of happening. I believe it should be a customer’s choice to either buy a locked phone with a 2 year plan from AT&T for 200$ or buy an unlocked phone from apple for 700$

  • Dee

    Hell yeah!!!!!! Take that big Wang in the tailpipe apple!!!! Hahahaha!!! Wait…… Does this mean the dev team will stop do what they so love to do???? Noooo!!!!

  • Albion

    This changes everything again.
    The unlock and jailbraik have been ready for months now. They just had to play games with all of you, until now. Boys and girls get ready to pay for a jailbreak and unluck because is perfectly legal now. Who do they think they are fooling. Ohhh wait, all of us…. GeoHot wasn’t that bad after all, go kiss his ass now and apologize. The real assholes are deav-team&co.

    • Z

      I think you are pointing your dirty fingers in the wrong direction. The real a$$holes are people like yourself and Apple, the company that SLOWLY unveils “hidden” features as part of it’s marketing strategy.

      Let me just repeat one thing: full restore of the phone and you can’t tell the difference. That I was told by 2 apple employees and 1 AT&T worker. The jailbreak process, in my opinion, is NOT and never was illegal. It’s the consequences that jailbreaking iPhones lead to: installation of pirated paid apps for FREE, Internet tethering in US for FREE and whatever else a user can substitute an originally paid service with for FREE.

      I’m not the one who writes programming codes for jailbreak programs, and neither do I have any idea about programming languages. But, correct me if I’m wrong, I thought it’s altering with apple’s codes that’s considered illegal.

      All in all I hope this will lead to apple removing AT&T lock. I doubt dev team will charge you for jailbreaking. I mean there ARE paid apps in Cydia, so someone IS making money. Donations, sometimes, are also very much appreciated and could be a very good source of income =)

      • Z

        Let me clarify my earlier statement. When I was getting my 3GS I told the AT&T rep that I travel a lot to Europe and back to US. And the answer to ‘would I be able to use the phone with a carrier in Europe’ was the SUGGESTION to jailbreak it and unlock it. And then the question ‘isn’t it illegal’ followed. To which he smiled and said ‘No, it’s not illegal since you can perform a full restore of the phone, which will show no signs of jailbreaking’ and waved his jailbroken iPhone 3GS, once again, SMILING.

        I’m glad they take it as a joke, but no way in hell will I ever pay roaming charges!

  • Albioni

    And again, I will reasonably pay for whatever is fair to my opinion, so will you, unless you have a profiting part of quorterly billions that this companies declare.
    Belive you me homie, my fingers are hurting from 12 hours shifts, and are far from dirty.
    I just put my 2 cents of thoughts that’s all

    • Z

      I didn’t mean to offend, just did not agree with your “The real ‘a$$holes’ are deav-team&co” 2 cents and tried to justify my argument.

      No bad feelings. Love, peace and chicken grease!

  • Kevin

    Well I have had 2 iPhones and I love the features and what it does. I couldn’t see my self with any other phone. However when I got my first iPhone and unlocked it to use it on my Tmobile account it was a 2 g phone so I never worried about 3g, I upgraded to a 3g iPhone and soon found out that 3g iPhones don’t work on Tmobile 3g. So you have a phone with some better hardware but can’t get the most out of it. I’ve thought of getting a iPhone 4 but why when the 3g won’t even work on Tmobile? So y even pay anything more than $200 for a phone that half ass works? I’ll be changing to AT&T rather than getting a top of the line phone with an outdated Internet service. If you pay $700 for a 2g phone your retarded you could keep your number and switch to AT&T and probably still save money over the life of your contract.

  • ?

    What I wont to know is what is apples take on this ?

  • Esteban Colombia

    Salut; j’étais en train de lire ça dans le monde, le nouvelle vient de sortir aujourd’hui.
    http://www.lemonde.fr/technologies/article/2010/07/27/le-deblocage-de-l-iphone-legal-aux-etats-unis_1392437_651865.html

  • http://steph2176.pollsgalore.com Stephanie Summers

    Although it is not illegal but if you jailbreak your iPhone you will still void your warranty.

  • http://steph2176.pollsgalore.com Steph

    Before you decide to jailbreak your iPhone you might want to consider that by doing that you will lose your warranty.

  • Kevin

    Does this mean that if I have an unlocked iPhone on tmo with the insurance and my phone messes up does the insurance have to replace my phone now?

    • ?

      From what I can uderstand yes
      but all u need to do is a restore is very hard to mess up a iPhone

      • Z

        Sebastien posted a link to MSNBC where it clearly says that this does not change apple’s right to void the warranty.

        However, you’re right. Unless apple comes up with a way of telling that the phone was jailbroken after a complete restore, it’s safe. Just thought I’d encourage everyone to read the source, it’s informative.

      • 2cool2die

        how do you download games and songs im confused but i have jialbreak its illegal not legal

  • chaoko

    jailbreaking in layman’s terms is just installing cydia or another means of installing unauthorised software on an idevice, which is totally 100% legal and it would be pretty unconstitutional to have the most popular cellular device literally under a “monarchy” of apple (hey, I bet a few of them supreme judges has an iphone too!)
    However, using unauthorised software such as installous to obtain and use copyrighted material or use intellectual property IS a crime and is subject to the same standards as pirated music and petty theft.

    Unfortunately, people automatically assume that jailbreaking and pirated apps are the same thing and think its legal to use cracked apps (which it isn’t). This is why apple hates us so, but ATT hates us anyway due to the fact we exploit their networks with wireless Internet and over 20MB downloads (in my opinion, they should have let us do this, but I can understand with them not wanting stress on those damed copper-optic networks, which is far overdue for a replacement)

    so:

    Cydia = legal fun for everyone

    installous = illegally hackery for the cheap

  • http://ce4arab.com amshaary

    I hope that Apple remove the lock set for iPhone
    And allows the client to choose a fixed price for the open and closed for a reduced price in installments with the telecommunications company closed
    This is actually the most appropriate and best solution

    Thanks for putting the idea
    amshaary
    ce4arab.com/vb/

  • http://www.stupidjailbreak.com This is so stupid jailbreaking is illegle

    jailbreak is ilegal

    • Dadz Bluz

      Ill Eagle… I meant illegal… NOT!

  • Ifuckinghatenig

    I like bacon, I find it very tasty and best when crispy. It is mostly eaten as a breakfast food, however I find it to be equally tasty at any meal. It goes well in sandwiches, it can be eaten with pancakes or in soup. I might even go so far as to claim that it is the most versatile food in the world. It’s even healthy! Why I think that if YOU don’t like bacon, then there must be something wrong with you. Maybe you should seek counseling of some kind.

  • blahblah blah

    does that me we can jail break?

  • Iphone freedom

    HEEY EVERYBODY, Listen we must GO for a Revolution against APPLE, they should unlock our phones!!
    We waste our money and time!! Most of us know nothing about this Fuck Shit problem!!
    HEY APPLE UNLOCK OUR IPHONE!! … FUCK APPLE we will never buy your products any mooooore…..

  • Dadz Bluz

    CYDIA is open source code based on a unix kernel… How do you charge for open source? Easy, but most do not!

  • http://newschitwan.wordpress.com kismat bhdanri

    HI I am from nepal which is Asia, now i was buy i phone 4 , but i can’t found unlock anyway , how can i get easily access to unlock my phone please give me any sufficient idea ,

  • william

    Jailbreaking is a easy job.

  • http://www.macdol.com william

    I just took 15 min to finish it.

  • felicitous

    HELP!
    can i jailbreak factory unlocked iphone4?thanks in advance guys!

  • Ronaldo Borges

    Government. BS!!!!!!!

  • Ronaldo Borges

    Support jailbreaking, and free your phone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/armando.a.ramirez.73 Armando Anthony Ramirez

    How Can I Download jailbrack so i can jailbrack my ipod

  • http://www.facebook.com/tyler.jackson.1088893 Tyler Jackson

    How do you jailbreak a iPod touch