Government Makes iPhone Jailbreaking and Unlocking Legal

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]