Library of Congress: Fair Use Lets You Jailbreak Your iPhone

The Library of Congress dropped a bombshell today in the form of new exemptions from the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions.

The biggest splash of all was for smartphones: The Library approved an exemption proposed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation that allows smartphone owners to modify the handset's software to run unauthorized applications.

The basis for this exemption is also interesting. In order to qualify for an exemption, the underlying activity has to be lawful under the Copyright Act. So the question the Library had to answer in considering this proposed exemption was whether the Copyright Act permits a smartphone owner to modify the handset's software to make it compatible with unauthorized applications.

Apple, for one, contended this software modification creates an unauthorized derivative work. The EFF and other commentators suggested this modification is nonetheless permitted because the handset purchaser owns both the handset and the copy of the software installed on the handset, and therefore has the right to modify it under section 117 of the Copyright Act. The Library concluded the state of the "first sale doctrine" is too confused to conclude this is so. Instead, the Library concluded that modifying the handset software for purposes of interoperability is a fair use of the copyrighted software.

This was not an inconsequential decision. Apple fought hard to avoid it and suggested the integrity of the iPhone ecosystem was threatened by it. But in assessing the fair use issue, the Library rejected Apple's arguments and embraced the right to make private, non-commercial modifications to software in order to add functionality and facilitate interoperability, concluding this practice is "innocuous at worst and beneficial at best." The Library went on to conclude there is no basis for Apple to use copyright law to "protect[] its restrictive business model" and the concerns Apple articulated about the integrity of the iPhone's "ecosystem" are simply not harms that would tilt the fair use analysis Apple's way.

While this decision might not stop Apple from disabling iPhones that have been modified, it could help open the door to lawful distribution of programs that open the iPhone OS to applications not authorized by Apple. I imagine Apple is not going to let this go, and the fight between Apple and the jailbreakers is about to get even more more interesting.

You can read more about the Library's decision here, as well as the recommendations supporting it from the Registrar of Copyrights.


A few things Apple doesn`t like about jailbreaking.
(1). They don`t like people installing software that enhances the capability of their devices, because that takes away from Apples so-called new, exciting and innovated technologically advanced software that they`ll be releasing 2 years after other devices have already had it. You can`t have those feature until Apple see`s fit for you to have it. eg: 3g & 4g.
(2). They don`t want you side loading music and video`s because it might take away from their iTunes revenue.
(3). They don`t want you side loading apps. (Same reason as number 2)
Apple`s magical software and technology came from alot of different sources not just Apple.
Alot of new features that Appple continue to put into the iOS software, came from the jailbreaking community or other hand held device software makers.
The only thing Apple has that is original to them, are the designs of the products they offer.
Steve Jobs was NOT a software genius, he was a great business man. Just like most great business men, he took things from others that didn`t belong to him or his company and claimed them as his own.
He then goes after anyone else that designs anything that remotley resembles or functions like one of Apples products.
People like Jobs and his company, DO NOT innovate. They stifle innovation. They take other people`s ideas or software, patent them and then, lock everyone else out.
Apple needs to wake up, before they go the way of the CRT T.V`s.
If it weren`t for the Jailbreaking community, Apple would`nt have much to offer in their iOS software upgrades.
Most of the new features and enhancements came from the Jailbreaking community.
I beleive Apple keeps Jailbroken devices around and constantly monitors the software that`s available to enhance the ability & functions of iOS.
When they find software that they like, and think it`s time for that particular feature to be added to iOS, they snatch it up, rewrite it so it`s not the same code, and claim it as their own.
So I say again. Without the jailbreaking community, where would Apple be with iOS. My guess is, iPhone software 1.3.
Google knows this, and that`s why they have their Nexus devices.
The only people pushing to keep Android devices locked down, are the selfish money hungry carriers. If it were completely up to Google, they would all be unlocked by default.
A simple fact is, Jailbreaking helps innovation.
You don`t lock down our P.C`s, So leave our hanhelds alone.
These devices belong to us and the software on the device is a copy that`s licensed to us.
In the license it states that, You are not allowed to modify OR distribute their software but, as long as you are keeping this sofeware soley on the device it was purchased with and do not sell or freely distribute the modified version, there shouldn`t be a problem. But then again, This is Apple we`re speaking of.
I paid retail $789.00 (That`s only $11.00 less than I paid for my touch screen P.C)for my iPhone 4 so this crap really gets to me. These guys make plenty off us, and then treat us like children with what we can and can`t do with something we work hard and pay for.
Now cable companies are starting to charge people data fees instead of the usual unlimited. The same type of plan wireless companies now have, a certain amount of $ per gigabyte.
These people are going to continue nickle and diming us to death until we all take a stand agaist this type of unjust legal robbery.
They want to charge us ungodly prices ,then tell us what we`re allowed to do with it. Enough is Enough! We need a way to all fight back together. One person isn`t enough.
I`m sure alot of others feel the same way as I do.

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