Back in January we told you that the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) was asking for everyone’s help in its fight to keep jailbreaking legal. It suggested leaving a comment on the Copyright Office’s comment board to show your support.

The board closed on February 10th, and the Copyright Office recently published everyone’s entries. And even though there were only about 700 comments submitted, some big names turned out to defend jailbreaking, including Saurik

Jay Freeman, also known as Saurik–the creator of Cydia, filled up 6 pages with opinions and evidence on why jailbreaking should remain legal. Here’s an excerpt from his comment:

“In order to bypass these restrictions, some developers have taken it upon themselves to help users escape the “jails” in which they feel manufacturers have them trapped. The resulting tools allow consumers of closed devices to install software from arbitrary parties and with no technical limitations. Depending on the device community, and the exact level of control granted, different terms are used for the process—”bootloader unlock,” “rooting,” “jailbreaking”— though the overall result is the same.

This process is not easy, and comes with many caveats. Upgrading the vendor-supplied software on the device can become more difficult, specifically as the vendor often attempts to re-assert their control during the process…”

It’s worth reading the entire thing — it’s pretty interesting. You can find Saurik’s comment (#14) along with all of the other responses regarding why jailbreaking/rooting should remain legal on the Copyright Office’s website.

In 2010, the US government ruled that jailbreaking was legal, but that decision is set to expire later this year. If the Copyright Office doesn’t renew the exemption, the legality of jailbreaking could once again become a murky conversation.

  • Anonymous

    Only 700? That number is extremely low. Hopefully jailbreaking is kept legal but even if it’s not I see it as like pirating music. Yea it’s illegal but everyone does it and only those that facilitate it like Kim dotcom ever see any serious legal implications. I guess that would put people like Saurik and Sebastien at the top of the FBI’s list. Lol. j/k.

    If it is made illegal would it only apply to people in the US or could it be enforced internationally?

    • Anonymous

      The DMCA (the law in question) only applies to the US. However, (and this is one of the dangerous parts about this) if the legality of jailbreaking is overturned, it could set a precedent for other governments around the world. Who knows what they would do with it. If different governments explicably outlawed jailbreaking, it could be a huge blow. Some huge names aren’t even from the US. I0n1c is German, pod2g is French, ih8sn0w is Canadian, and Cyanogen is (I think) Czech. So if jailbreaking is outlawed in even the EU, it could be a huge blow already.

      tl;dr- yes, it’s US only.

      • Kok Hean

        Too short, read it 🙂

  • call me crazy but i think that the copyright web site is another way for the government to keep tabs on who does what if this thing goes south the ones that posted on their site will be on the watch list.
    but i will continue to jailbreak either way

  • I’m with Saurik. If you’ve been with a iPhone since day one, you that Saurik has done a lot for Apple. He’s the founder of cydia, which for awhile, was Apples first (unofficial) App store. I’m pretty sure Apple takes note of what goes on in cydia. For instance, cut, copy, paste. Internet tethering. Landscaping SMS, just to name a few. All of those were only available on a Jailbroking device now they’re implemented into the OS it’s self. With the innovative genius no longer with Apple they may just need some help. I see Jailbreaking being that help.

    • Kok Hean

      LockInfo/IntelliScreen, CameraButtons, Covert, Lockscreen and Homescreen wallpapers, Fast Copy, MobileNotifier, Backgrounder, Circuitous, Folders…

      • Kok Hean

        Mark Read

    • It’s ignorant to think that Apple did not think of those. Many people think the same it was just these guys that made it possible & allowed it.

    • Anonymous

      Mother of jailbreak.

    • i agree without jailbreaking, how would apple release ios 6 with like a couple new features no point, if someone from apple has read this you are making a mistake

  • Anonymous

    Saurik for president! For free man!

    • Anonymous

      I think it would be awesome to have Saurik and the other iconic jailbreakers come together and be able to have more money from Apple to make amazing tweaks and features built into the iOS. Jay Saurik = Steve Jobs

      • Saurik does have the coding part but please leave the ease of use and GUI to others. I’m ust saying haha.. Does anybody else find Cydia incredibly slow and outdated?

      • Anonymous

        Yeah. It’s about time for cydia to have a better everything.

      • Update to 1.1.4 🙂

      • Anonymous

        Apple thinks that jail breaking is like a virus and it must be eradicated. Sadly, they don’t listen much to users nowadays though I will stick with them because I cannot live through a day without my iPhone or iPad.

  • Stephen Lambert

    Apples do have a core with seeds that grow trees, it’s called a Saurik Forest 🙂 Thank You for all you have done for us and asked nothing in return, a true human.