John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

iPhone Jailbreaking is Illegal. No It’s Not. Who Cares?

We hold these truths to be self evident:

That as long as Apple’s iPhone is locked, there will be those who wish it open. And that as long as this is the case, iPhones will be jailbroken and outfitted with third-party applications not vetted by Apple. And this will remain so regardless of whether or not Apple manages to convince the U.S. Copyright Office that jailbreaking an iPhone is copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. So all this jawing over Apple’s legal stance on iPhone jailbreaking is ultimately for naught.

So the Electronic Frontier Foundation can argue that jailbreaking is protected under fair-use doctrines. And it can urge the Copyright Office to add a jailbreaking exemption to the DMCA on the grounds that “the culture of tinkering (or hacking, if you prefer) is an important part of our innovation economy.” And Apple (AAPL) can insist that such an exemption is “an attack on Apple’s particular business choices with respect to the design of the iPhone mobile computing platform and the strategy for delivering applications software for the iPhone through the iPhone App Store.”

And they can go round and round and round. But their sparring and bloviating will ultimately be meaningless. Because if Apple’s history with iPhone jailbreaks (see stories below) has taught us anything, it’s that they’re essentially unstoppable.