Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 26th Jul 2010 17:48 UTC
Legal So, there I am enjoying a nice Gilmore Girls episode after a long day's work, and Engadget's iPhone application brings the good news: the US Library of Congress has added a DMCA exemption for jailbreaking or rooting mobile phones! This is a major blow to Apple, who actively tried to keep jailbreaking a criminal offence, and a major win for everyone who believes that the phone you buy is actually yours, and not the manufacturer's.
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thank you
by Lennie on Mon 26th Jul 2010 18:07 UTC
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

Thank you Thom for getting out of your "OSNews hibernation". :-)

And obviously thanks go to the EFF, but maybe people shouldn't buy phones that need this (N900 anyone ?). :-)

Edited 2010-07-26 18:14 UTC

Reply Score: 10

RE: thank you
by mjhi11 on Mon 26th Jul 2010 19:15 UTC in reply to "thank you"
mjhi11 Member since:
2009-08-15

I too was going to give Thom a little good natured ribbing for this being his first post in a while but you beat me to the punch.

It's no surprise that Thom jumped at the opportunity to "blast" Apple for their desire to control the hardware that runs their software and celebrate the Library of Congress' ruling.

Like others here, I don't think the Library of Congress' decision will make much difference in the real world.

I don't know of a single case where Apple ever "broke down the doors" of a hacker who hacked their phone and its certainly within Apple's right to continue to make the process difficult, something the LOC didn't say Apple or another company couldn't continue to do.

But despite the impression others have regarding Apple's "evil intentions" I've always thought the license agreements, the efforts to make it difficult to hack their phones, hardware, operating system, etc. had more to do with product liability.

For example if they didn't have these EULAs and systems in place what's to stop a hacker from seeking compensation for "bricking" their netbook for example, or a company who installed OS X on non-Apple hardware and as a result lost millions of dollars in valuable data, or a techie claiming "lost productivity" because he'd hacked his iPhone and lost a big contract. Or imagine a hacker bringing AT&T's network to a halt due to a poorly written application or hack.

With all that said, I'm actually pleased with the LOC's ruling as it always feels a little "dirty" when bending the rules of an EULA and I've done so, self admittedly. At least hackers now can risk "bricking" their iPhone legally!

But be careful my fellow hackers...if you bring down the "network", brick your phone, lose data, or cause irreparable harm to your hardware, software, data or your body or that of someone else's, YOU will be held liable, criminally or civilly, not our friends at Apple or our other favorite technology companies.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: thank you
by David on Mon 26th Jul 2010 21:46 UTC in reply to "RE: thank you"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

I agree that although this is big news, cause for celebration, and a blow to Apple's hegemony, it's not going to have much real-world impact, because the geniuses who are out these figuring out the jailbreaks would do it whether it was illegal in the US or not. This doesn't compel Apple to make jaibreaking easy, nor does it particularly clarify the awkward instance where you take your jailbroken and broken iPhone into the Apple store to be fixed under warranty.

Really the main thing that this does is give people in the US with jailbroken iPhones a little more moral high ground because they're not actually taking part in a semi-legal activity anymore.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: thank you
by elsewhere on Wed 28th Jul 2010 01:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: thank you"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

I agree that although this is big news, cause for celebration, and a blow to Apple's hegemony, it's not going to have much real-world impact, because the geniuses who are out these figuring out the jailbreaks would do it whether it was illegal in the US or not.


I don't disagree, but one point to consider is that with the DMCA exemption, it opens the door for mainstream media sites to publish info regarding the jailbreaking process (ie. step-by-step guides), which could help "legitimize" jailbreaking for the general public and encourage more users to try it. Even CNN was discussing it today, for instance.

DMCA would otherwise prevent them from providing or even linking to the information (US-based at least).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: thank you
by Wes Selken on Wed 28th Jul 2010 15:18 UTC in reply to "RE: thank you"
Wes Selken Member since:
2009-07-25

...I don't know of a single case where Apple ever "broke down the doors" of a hacker who hacked their phone and its certainly within Apple's right to continue to make the process difficult, something the LOC didn't say Apple or another company couldn't continue to do...


What about companies that do jail-breaking for profit, would this new law affect them. Would a company like Pystar be able to start again due the jail-breaking exemption?

Reply Score: 2

RE: thank you
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 26th Jul 2010 19:39 UTC in reply to "thank you"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Thank you Thom for getting out of your "OSNews hibernation".


Two more weeks, and my internship is over. After that, I'll at least have a couple of weeks where I can go back to the old days.

Until possibly the future arrives and my time at OSNews is really over. We'll see.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: thank you
by Morgan on Mon 26th Jul 2010 21:41 UTC in reply to "RE: thank you"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Well I for one have both enjoyed the slow pace here in your absence, and missed your unique perspective on all things tech. I hope you're able to stay with the site for a while yet, and still pursue your college life and career.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: thank you
by bryanv on Tue 27th Jul 2010 02:14 UTC in reply to "RE: thank you"
bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

I'll miss your posts, Thom.

The site has been darn near dead the last few weeks.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: thank you
by UltraZelda64 on Tue 27th Jul 2010 04:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: thank you"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

So true... OSNews without Thom's articles kind of sucks, really. It went from a daily visit to "eh, I don't really care..." and a half a week passes before I bother coming back. And when I do, there's maybe two articles of interest... and even those are lacking.

Reply Score: 3

RE: thank you
by Mr.Manatane on Tue 27th Jul 2010 04:25 UTC in reply to "thank you"
Mr.Manatane Member since:
2010-03-19

Thank you Thom for getting out of your "OSNews hibernation". :-)

Yeah, great he's got out to make another anti Apple story.

When I saw this news on the web, my first thought was: great, I will be able to crack DRM from video / music / DVD / video games now legally, it's so great.

When Thom read this one he's first thought was: aha, let's make a new that f**k Apple ...

A neutral news should be the whole story and a section about Apple. Not a whole thing against Apple then a sentence about DVD and music ...

Reply Score: 1

But it will still void the guarantee, right?
by kragil on Mon 26th Jul 2010 18:22 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

So what happens now when your new jailbroken Iphone has an hardware failure? Will Apple repair it or not?(in the US)

Reply Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

They'll probably void your warranty and refuse to repair it.

Reply Score: 4

looncraz Member since:
2005-07-24

Yes, but then 'warranty laws' are pretty clear...

If the modification didn't cause the problem, the problem is still covered under warranty.

So, unless jail-breaking in and of itself caused the issue, the warranty must be honored.

--The loon

Reply Score: 2

kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

Nope.

Reply Score: 1

Great news!
by shmerl on Mon 26th Jul 2010 18:23 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

Let's hope this will actually render the whole approach of "jailing" irrelevant in the future.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by bolomkxxviii
by bolomkxxviii on Mon 26th Jul 2010 18:27 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

Great! Now, about those DVDs I bought...

Reply Score: 7

RE: Comment by bolomkxxviii
by jgagnon on Tue 27th Jul 2010 14:42 UTC in reply to "Comment by bolomkxxviii"
jgagnon Member since:
2008-06-24

You'll require jail breaking if you copy those... :p

Reply Score: 1

Who cares?
by polaris20 on Mon 26th Jul 2010 18:28 UTC
polaris20
Member since:
2005-07-06

Honestly, who cares? The people that would have done it "illegally" would have done so anyway, and it's unlikely Apple would have ever gone after them.

The people that never would have done it before likely still won't. I don't really see this as a "big blow to Apple".

I personally don't see people saying "wow, I was not going to jailbreak my iPhone because I was afraid Apple would be knocking at my door, but now I can!!"

I've got a rooted Droid that Motorola obviously doesn't like that way, but I've yet to hear anyone knocking at my door.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Who cares?
by danieldk on Mon 26th Jul 2010 18:35 UTC in reply to "Who cares? "
danieldk Member since:
2005-11-18

Honestly, who cares? The people that would have done it "illegally" would have done so anyway, and it's unlikely Apple would have ever gone after them.


Don't forget that someone should also care for the people who publish the information and software to actually do a jailbreak.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Who cares?
by elektrik on Mon 26th Jul 2010 18:44 UTC in reply to "Who cares? "
elektrik Member since:
2006-04-18

Honestly, who cares? The people that would have done it "illegally" would have done so anyway, and it's unlikely Apple would have ever gone after them.

The people that never would have done it before likely still won't. I don't really see this as a "big blow to Apple".

I personally don't see people saying "wow, I was not going to jailbreak my iPhone because I was afraid Apple would be knocking at my door, but now I can!!"

I've got a rooted Droid that Motorola obviously doesn't like that way, but I've yet to hear anyone knocking at my door.


you're right-this decision *still* hasn't influenced me to buy an iPhone :p

Reply Score: 7

RE: Who cares?
by Praxis on Mon 26th Jul 2010 18:54 UTC in reply to "Who cares? "
Praxis Member since:
2009-09-17

Honestly, who cares? The people that would have done it "illegally" would have done so anyway, and it's unlikely Apple would have ever gone after them.


Apple has gone after them though, http://www.techspot.com/news/33855-apple-wants-to-squelch-rogue-iph... and I remember another one where the target was a wiki or something with jailbreak instructions.

This moves the jailbreak community from a legal grey area where they have to keep a low profile to avoid apples wrath, to a legal community that can operate without risk and even lets people try to make money off products around the jailbreak ecosystem (though I doubt we would ever be talking about a lot of money here).

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Who cares?
by polaris20 on Tue 27th Jul 2010 12:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Who cares? "
polaris20 Member since:
2005-07-06

Excellent point; I didn't think about it from the standpoint of those that were sharing the information. I stand corrected. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Who cares?
by shmerl on Mon 26th Jul 2010 18:55 UTC in reply to "Who cares? "
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

One should care, since in general companies build their policies around the legal climate. The more relevant and fare laws are, the less room is there for Apple and the like to pressure users with their power hungry policies.

Edited 2010-07-26 18:56 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Who cares?
by orestes on Mon 26th Jul 2010 20:19 UTC in reply to "Who cares? "
orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

I do. It's a step in the rarely seen "sane" direction for US IP law.

Reply Score: 6

Big Loss for Apple??
by dukes on Mon 26th Jul 2010 18:53 UTC
dukes
Member since:
2005-07-06

...or all companies that actively block firmware modifications?

I would assume the Android OS and any others are included as well.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Big Loss for Apple??
by aesiamun on Mon 26th Jul 2010 18:57 UTC in reply to "Big Loss for Apple??"
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

Apple flat out called it illegal. Motorola limits what you can do using the technology, not the law. The LOC only said it wasn't legal, not that it was a right to do. Motorola will still continue locking and encrypting the boot loader and making life generally difficult for 3rd party ROM users on their phones.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Big Loss for Apple??
by dukes on Tue 27th Jul 2010 23:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Big Loss for Apple??"
dukes Member since:
2005-07-06

Again, how is this a "Loss" for Apple?? Or will you continue to cloud what's really happened here vs blog banter?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Big Loss for Apple??
by aesiamun on Wed 28th Jul 2010 00:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Big Loss for Apple??"
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

Apple loses control over the iOS platform and can't lean on people using the law. This means that it is a potential loss of sales through the iTunes store due to the alternative stores such as Cydia and Iphonexe.

There, no clouding.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Big Loss for Apple??
by Soulbender on Mon 26th Jul 2010 19:16 UTC in reply to "Big Loss for Apple??"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Possibly, but Apple's the only one who said it is illegal. Other companies settle for voiding your warranty, which is the sane option. It's not like it's illegal to modify your Ford or B&O stereo or Yamaha motorcycle etc (as long as it's within the applicable law). There's no reason IT has to be different in this regard.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Big Loss for Apple??
by Kroc on Mon 26th Jul 2010 21:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Big Loss for Apple??"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Rubbish. Software is software. Changing the software doesn’t void the warranty. At most they can ask you to reformat the device before they will repair it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Big Loss for Apple??
by JonathanBThompson on Tue 27th Jul 2010 05:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Big Loss for Apple??"
JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

I'm guessing you're blissfully unaware of the reality that there are hardware designs where bugs in software can cause things to self-destruct by accident, as it only takes a little access in the wrong memory addresses to cause hardware-fatal issues. Look it up: there's a lot of devices that have that issue, and have in the past. I'm not aware of any currently being sold, but... perhaps that's because they're not talked about, or people don't often hack things enough to have that become well-known. I distinctly remember having to have my hand at the ready to turn my CRT monitor off very quickly when I was testing various resolutions for X Windows installations, or Windows resolution tests (before XP). Yup, I could have destroyed my monitor via software, and my monitor wasn't remotely unique in that.

If hardware came in for repair and it was something along the lines of fatal hardware death somehow that's brought about by software, they'd be fully in their right to tell you to go jump in a lake, it's not their fault, it's yours!

And even without fatal hardware issues like that, without the developer having full control over software, if modified software is running, it may make the device not work as designed, and make someone think the hardware has failed, when it's really just buggy software: why should a manufacturer have to warrant against that?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Big Loss for Apple??
by Karitku on Tue 27th Jul 2010 06:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Big Loss for Apple??"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

Rubbish. Software is software. Changing the software doesn’t void the warranty. At most they can ask you to reformat the device before they will repair it.

Not if that can cause damage to product. Overclocking with software can cause hardware problems that aren't covered by warranty and never will. Perfect example is car "chipping", basicly what you do is rewrite engine parameters that will allow better performance. However if you blow engine or something good luck getting that on warranty.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Big Loss for Apple??
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 27th Jul 2010 07:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Big Loss for Apple??"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Agreed. Apple *obviously* has no obligation *whatsoever* to service jailbroken phones.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Big Loss for Apple??
by kvarbanov on Tue 27th Jul 2010 08:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Big Loss for Apple??"
kvarbanov Member since:
2008-06-16

And this is likely to be their response, which we should be able to see quite soon. The EULA, or whatever their agreement is called, would be easily changed with a few of those law-related 100 lines sentences written from the company's lawyers. So it will be up to the users.
I'm going a little offtopic now, but I'm not really much into Apple's stuff, so let me ask : is it true that some interoperability is broken in Apple -> other OSes direction ? For example, I want to send you a picture from my Nokia/SE/Motorola/otherPhone via Bluetooth, but Apple won't accept that ? I heard that, but I can't confirm if this is true. So, if yes, would jailing into the device can enable users to connect to each other, or there are hardware limitations ?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Big Loss for Apple??
by dukes on Thu 29th Jul 2010 02:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Big Loss for Apple??"
dukes Member since:
2005-07-06

My question was how is it a "Big Loss for Apple" [specifically]? The explicit terms of this [law] doesn't single one company out. It will affect any phone maker.

Reply Score: 1

Doubtful Apple Will Change
by fuzzywombat on Mon 26th Jul 2010 19:32 UTC
fuzzywombat
Member since:
2006-11-21

I somehow doubt that Apple will suddenly put "jailbreaking" as a feature. Another words, if Apple wanted to they can have an option buried somewhere in the settings to allow 3rd party apps outside of the Apple App Store to be installed onto the iPhone and iPod touch. That would pretty much put an end to current jailbreaking community by legitimizing it completely. Of course this highly unlikely to ever happen so don't hold your breath. At very best they'll stop trying to claim that jailbreaking as it currently stands is illegal, criminal, and unethical but even that's a stretch. More than likely they'll simply continue their current position of spreading misinformation despite this new DMCA exemption. As usual Apple fanboys will be out in full force in support of Apple whatever Apple does and demonize those who dare to criticize Apple. It is what they do.

Reply Score: 2

v What a blow...
by mckill on Mon 26th Jul 2010 19:47 UTC
Library?
by jefro on Mon 26th Jul 2010 20:07 UTC
jefro
Member since:
2007-04-13

Since when does a Library have anything to do with the law?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Library?
by fretinator on Mon 26th Jul 2010 20:17 UTC in reply to "Library?"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

Since when does a Library have anything to do with the law?


Haven't you heard the expression, "Book 'em, Danno"?

Reply Score: 7

RE: Library?
by orestes on Mon 26th Jul 2010 20:22 UTC in reply to "Library?"
orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

They play a pretty major role in determining what constitutes fair use

Reply Score: 2

RE: Library?
by Morgan on Mon 26th Jul 2010 21:43 UTC in reply to "Library?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Since when does a Ministry have anything to do with Justice? Different countries call their government units different things.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Library?
by David on Mon 26th Jul 2010 21:49 UTC in reply to "Library?"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

Since when does a library have anything to do with sharing of code located on disk by unrelated programs?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shared_library#Shared_libraries

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Library?
by Wodenhelm on Mon 26th Jul 2010 22:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Library?"
Wodenhelm Member since:
2010-07-16
RE: Library?
by demetrioussharpe on Mon 26th Jul 2010 21:53 UTC in reply to "Library?"
demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

Seriously, next time, look up what the subject actually is before making a post like this. It only makes you look bad when you post questions like that in an environment such as this.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Library?
by KenJackson on Thu 29th Jul 2010 04:25 UTC in reply to "Library?"
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

That's a good point.

Sure, the wikipedia link says the LOC serves "as the base for the United States Copyright Office." But this is essentially a legal decision.

I can't remember hearing of the Library of Congress handing down a legal decision before. It at least stands out as not being ordinary.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by error32
by error32 on Mon 26th Jul 2010 20:16 UTC
error32
Member since:
2008-12-10

But still, won't this mean Apple will look for another way to circumvent this decision?

Reply Score: 1

not legal, just not DMCA infringement
by echo.ranger on Mon 26th Jul 2010 21:19 UTC
echo.ranger
Member since:
2007-01-17

The decision didn't necessarily make jailbreaking legal, the Library just said that Apple's attempt to frame jailbreaking as a DMCA-based copyright infringement is incorrect and not in the spirit of what copyright is trying to protect.

Right now this amounts to the same thing as there aren't any laws forbidding jailbreaking a phone, but I think its an important distinction to make.

Reply Score: 2

Big Evil Government!
by Wodenhelm on Mon 26th Jul 2010 21:45 UTC
Wodenhelm
Member since:
2010-07-16

See, this is an example of the big evil government getting into our lives, making us less free! Now that the government has stepped in, we're all REQUIRED to be able to jailbreak our phones from the good corporate saviors, who have PROVIDED for us this wonderful new frontier, the closed smart phone platform.

(heh, oh man, I love satire)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Big Evil Government!
by David on Mon 26th Jul 2010 21:51 UTC in reply to "Big Evil Government!"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

The heartbreak is that the idiots that you're lampooning won't "get" your satire even if you explained it to them for a million years.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Big Evil Government!
by izomiac on Mon 26th Jul 2010 22:39 UTC in reply to "Big Evil Government!"
izomiac Member since:
2006-07-26

Umm... the "big evil government" made the DMCA in the first place. Now they've reduced its scope. It's unusual for laws to be relaxed and civil liberties expanded, but completely consistent with a deregulatory approach.

Reply Score: 1

EFF 1 Apple 0
by r.j.l on Mon 26th Jul 2010 22:07 UTC
r.j.l
Member since:
2009-08-15

Good to see some common sense on this front for a change.

I still won't buy an iPhone even with legal gaol-breaking.

Reply Score: 1

Gilmore girls
by flanque on Mon 26th Jul 2010 22:30 UTC
flanque
Member since:
2005-12-15

So, there I am enjoying a nice Gilmore Girls episode after a long day's work

Are you just watching them over and over again? ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Gilmore girls
by abstraction on Wed 28th Jul 2010 12:31 UTC in reply to "Gilmore girls"
abstraction Member since:
2008-11-27

It repeats every month u know =)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Gilmore girls
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 28th Jul 2010 14:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Gilmore girls"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I have the entire series digitally on my media centre. I'm watching it for the third time. In like 6 months.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Mon 26th Jul 2010 23:15 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

With the allowing of Jailbreaking does that set a precedence for other devices a well? iPad? recent said mobile phone who said they'll lock down the OS? I wonder whether the scope will be a lot wider than anticipated. Regarding 'demn apps will crash our towas!" as spoken by Steve Jobs, what will they do in response? keep chasing the and locking down the techniques used by jail break? unlock the phone but come up with a more useful way of balancing security and freedom?

Reply Score: 2

Hardly a blow at all
by whartung on Mon 26th Jul 2010 23:20 UTC
whartung
Member since:
2005-07-06

Whether this happened or not wouldn't have matter in the long term. Any pressures Apple made against people would have simply pushed the efforts off shore (or to where they appear to be happening off shore) where the DMCA "doesn't exist".

None of this prevents Apple from doing efforts to frustrate and prevent jailbreaking of their phones. It may now be legal to circumvent those efforts, but that doesn't make the efforts themselves illegals. Whatever drive Apple has to frustrate jailbreakers, that drive remains.

If anything, the FUD of jailbreaking being in a "shadowy underworld" being lifted with potential to make jailbreaking even more mainstream, may push Apples efforts even harder to keep them out.

Just another shot in the war, but the war continues.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hardly a blow at all
by DigitalAxis on Tue 27th Jul 2010 01:54 UTC in reply to "Hardly a blow at all"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

Well, it prevents them from going after people simply for jailbreaking, which is what they can currently threaten.

I'm sure Apple won't stop, but they'll have to change their song from 'jailbreaking is illegal' to 'these people are obviously downloading illegal content/hacking wireless base towers/the mafia'. And probably continue to throw up as many hurdles as they can to make jailbreaking unpalatable.

I suspect this only puts jailbreaking in the same category as bittorrent. The concept itself is not illegal, but what people do with it, might be. Think of the children!

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Hardly a blow at all
by Almafeta on Tue 27th Jul 2010 03:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Hardly a blow at all"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

I'm sure Apple won't stop, but they'll have to change their song from 'jailbreaking is illegal'


I'm pretty sure that they've got an argument to make. The Library of Congress ruled that it's not a crime to steal code for the purposes of modifying a device - as long as the usage is "de minimis". If Apple can successfully argue that no matter the size of the code, regardless of if it's one byte or one gigabyte, that the impact of its use is more than de minimis, then we're back to square one.

Reply Score: 3

If you buy the phone, it's yours
by cmost on Tue 27th Jul 2010 01:06 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

People don't seem to realize that these "phones" are really powerful little computers. Imagine how people would react if Microsoft (or Apple) dictated what software people could install on their PCs? Furthermore, what if they dictated which ISPs people could purchase Internet access from? Obviously, most people wouldn't stand for that and so they shouldn't when it comes to their smartphones either. I recently purchased an unlocked Nexus One (one of the last from Google's store before it shut down.) I LOVE it! While the Android platform still hasn't matured, it's getting there fast. The fact that the OS is Linux and that I can install my own custom ROMs or gain root access easily is satisfying, even if I never plan to do these things myself. Thanks to the thriving hacking community, owners of the original G1 (and similar vintage Android phones) can run the latest 'Froyo' OS update! If Apple were in charge, they's say "sorry Charlie..."

Reply Score: 6

RE: If you buy the phone, it's yours
by dvhh on Wed 28th Jul 2010 07:56 UTC in reply to "If you buy the phone, it's yours"
dvhh Member since:
2006-03-20

and your free to break it the way you want, but that shouldn't be covered by the warranty.

Reply Score: 2

But I won't buy a locked down phone
by aliquis on Tue 27th Jul 2010 02:44 UTC
aliquis
Member since:
2005-07-23

So it won't affect me ...

The day I pay ~ 500-600 $ for a mobile phone it better be open and upgradable ..


If you don't like it / "the license" so to speak don't buy it.

Vote with your wallet.

Reply Score: 4

Market
by ndrw on Tue 27th Jul 2010 03:38 UTC
ndrw
Member since:
2009-06-30

Perhaps the biggest implication of this decision is that it is now legal to sell, publish and advertise tools for jailbreaking and software that incorporates some jailbreaking techniques in order to install itself on the restricted device. Now it is even legal to operate third-party application stores for jail-broken devices.

With some serious money behind we can expect jailbreaking to be quite effective. Of course manufacturers of such restricted devices will fight back piling technical limitations. In a longer term, however, such practices will only piss off the users and make themselves less competitive.

Reply Score: 2

Not that big of a deal!
by AnythingButVista on Tue 27th Jul 2010 13:55 UTC
AnythingButVista
Member since:
2008-08-27

DVD ripping? It's limited to portions, you still aren't allowed to rip the whole thing. Want to rip that DVD movie so you can put it in your smartphone? Still no can do.

Jailbreaking/Rooting? Eveen if Apple/Google/HTC/NameYourManufacturerHere can't sue you for jailbreaking their devices, they are still allow to re-lock their devices or stop providing you support for your jailbroken device.

Phone unlocking? Manufacturers and carriers aren't still required to provide you with the unlocking. You still have to go through (sometimes sleezy) methods to unlock your handset.

So really, how much have things changed?

Reply Score: 2

We won!
by Savior on Tue 27th Jul 2010 21:44 UTC
Savior
Member since:
2006-09-02

Seems like my donation via the Humble Indie Bundle went to the right place ;)

Reply Score: 2

Comment by reconciliation
by vivi on Wed 28th Jul 2010 02:10 UTC
vivi
Member since:
2010-07-28

I were going to buy recently , now hesitate····

Edited 2010-07-28 02:11 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Next...
by fithisux on Wed 28th Jul 2010 13:43 UTC
fithisux
Member since:
2006-01-22

they should make illegal to sell hardware without documentation on how to use it at the hardware level regardless of the Operating system.

Reply Score: 2

Wow
by sinnerman on Sat 31st Jul 2010 16:17 UTC
sinnerman
Member since:
2009-03-30

How original of you, Thom, this is the 3rd ARS Technica article you've reposted in a row, why even bother posting when you only have one source to post from, and I'm sure a majority of OSnews visitors already read ARS.

Reply Score: 1