The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) believe this to be the first public statement from Apple about its legal position on “jailbreaking,” – hacking an iPhone to install third-party applications not sold via Apple’s own App Store.
According to Apple, jailbreaking an iPhone breaks the law because the process relies on pirated copies of the bootloader and operating system.
“Infringing reproductions of those works are created each time they are downloaded through Pwnage Tool and loaded onto the iPhone,” said Apple.
Apple also argue that a jailbroken iPhone leads to even more piracy. “In addition, the jailbroken OS enabled pirated copies of Apple copyrighted content and other third-party content such as games and applications to play on the iPhone, resulting in further infringing uses of copyrighted works and diminished incentive to create those works in the first place.”
Yesterday, the EFF IP expert had this to say about Apple’s statement:
“Apple justifies [its position] by claiming that opening the iPhone to independently created applications will compromise safety, security, reliability and swing the doors wide for those who want to run pirated software,” said Lohmann in an EFF blog. “If this sounds like FUD [fear, uncertainty and doubt], that’s because it is.”
Elsewhere, Lohmann called Apple’s take on jailbreaking an “absurdity.”
“One need only transpose Apple’s arguments to the world of automobiles to recognize their absurdity,” Lohmann said. “General Motors might tell us that, for our own safety, all servicing should be done by an authorized GM dealer using only genuine GM parts. But we’d never accept this corporate paternalism as a justification for welding every car hood shut and imposing legal liability on car buffs tinkering in their garages.”
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