Legality of jailbreaking?

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by anjinha, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #1
    First, let me say I'm not against jailbreaking nor am I arguing if jailbreaking is right or wrong. But I saw a thread about this topic and it got me wondering. So I went to read apple's EULA, the section about permitted uses and restrictions and here's what it says:

    You may not and you agree not to, or to enable others to, copy (except as expressly permitted by this License), decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, attempt to derive the source
    code of, decrypt, modify, or create derivative works of the iPhone Software
    or any services provided by the iPhone Software, or any part thereof (except as and only to the extent any
    foregoing restriction is prohibited by applicable law or to the extent as may be permitted by licensing terms governing use of open-sourced components included with the iPhone Software).
    Any attempt to do so is a violation of the rights of Apple and its licensors of the iPhone Software. If you breach this restriction, you may be subject to prosecution and damages.

    So is it or is it not illegal?
     
  2. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #2
    What do you think?

    Personally I couldn't care less if it is illegal, because the phone is more functional to me with the JB.
     
  3. alchemistmuffin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    #3
    I have been wondering about this too, and Jailbreaking is illegal, according to the EULA.

    Since Jailbreak community needs to decompile the software, they need to break the encryption.

    And, if the encryption breaking is done in the US, then it's breaking the DMCA, and I am starting to worry about the fact that jailbreaking is breaking the DMCA law, since it is decrypting the iPhone encryption.
     
  4. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #4
    Will we be able to kee our iphones when we all go to jail? :D
     
  5. bytethese macrumors 68030

    bytethese

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    Cranford, NJ
    #5
    Um did you read that whole passage? It's a EULA, not a law, therefore NOT illegal. Against Terms Of Service (TOS), maybe. If you jailbreak, YOU did not "decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, attempt to derive the source code of, decrypt, modify, or create derivative works of the iPhone Software" by using pwnage tool or any other JB tool.
     
  6. SFStateStudent macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

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    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco California, USA
    #6
    Just voids the warranty and the opportunity to fix or receive a replacement iPhone. Limits your legal recourse...
     
  7. anjinha thread starter macrumors 604

    anjinha

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    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #7
    English is not my first language so it's harder for me to understand the legal stuff, also because some laws are different here.

    Yes, I know the EULA is not a law. But isn't the iPhone software protected by copyright and therefore it would be illegal to modify it?
    And by jailbreaking aren't we modifying the code?

    Again, I'm not contesting anything, I'm just trying to understand. If I'm not making any sense, by all means tell me that. I just want to understand why.
     
  8. bytethese macrumors 68030

    bytethese

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    Cranford, NJ
    #8
    I would think the dev team are the ones "modifying the code", not you. :) if they in fact even needed to modify Apple's actual code to accept non-signed firmware.
     
  9. notintheleast macrumors 6502

    notintheleast

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    NC
    #9
    Right, but is says you "may not and you agree not to, or to enable others to,"...
     
  10. bytethese macrumors 68030

    bytethese

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    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    Cranford, NJ
    #10
    Are YOU enabling others? Nope, dev team is enabling you. :)

    I know waaay too many lawyers...
     
  11. notintheleast macrumors 6502

    notintheleast

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    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    NC
    #11
    I agree. My phone wasn't able to do much before the Dev Team helped out...:D
     
  12. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #12
    It is indeed copyrighted. And the jailbreak process can indeed result in the modification of copyrighted code.

    And you know what? In the US, that's completely, 100% legal. Unfortunately, years of "public education" by various large media companies has resulted in most people thinking that you can't modify or duplicate someone's content without their approval (or without paying), regardless of for what purpose. As it turns out, that's nowhere close to true; while there are some laws that deprive the consumer of some of his freedoms, there are a whole lot more that grant him various other freedoms.

    In this case, you are indeed allow to modify Apple's copyrighted content for your personal use. You can't distribute the modified versions, and you can't modify it in a way that would be illegal under some other law (so modifying the baseband firmware to turn the iPhone into a short-range cell jammer would be illegal, for example) -- but other than that, stuff like jailbreaking, modifying Safari, etc. is all perfectly fine for you to do.

    It may be against the TOS of the device -- but the terms of service are not the law. Modification may result in you forfeiting your warranty/support contract, but that doesn't mean it's against the law.
     
  13. alchemistmuffin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    #13
    But here's the thing:

    Was the orginal code encrypted with some kind of copy protection so the code cannot be modified?

    If yes, then it obviously jailbreaking the iPhone modifies the encrypted code, therefore, violates the DMCA laws.
     
  14. bytethese macrumors 68030

    bytethese

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    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    Cranford, NJ
    #14
    You should change your name to FUD. :)
     
  15. Diseal3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    #16
    Been doing it since day one, I don't give a ****. It isn't an iphone to me until it's jailbroken. Apparently it's the same case with my 8 year old cuz.
     
  16. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #17
    One of the disk images provided by Apple within the IPSW archive is indeed encrypted. Of course they also give a tool that decompresses and decrypts it (the 'asr' binary in the bootstrap image), so it's not a functional protection mechanism. Furthermore (provided that you have an iPhone), you're an authorized user, thus you're perfectly within your rights using the tool that the provided access mechanism.

    Furthermore, I know of at least two DMCA exceptions that could well apply if you want to play the DMCA game: jailbreaking is necessary for unlocking (which is listed as one of the scenarios for which there is a DMCA exemption) as well as for the purposes of interoperability (for which there is another.) Now the second one might be a little trickier to argue, but the first one seems to pretty clearly cover at least one of the reasons for jailbreaking.
     
  17. Atomicfission92 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    #18
  18. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #19
    Kinda funny, but it does an astoundingly poor job of covering the legality of the process. :/
     
  19. Tokiopop macrumors 68000

    Tokiopop

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Location:
    West Yorkshire, UK
    #20
    It's MyPhone, I can do what I want with it. I don't think jailbreaking is illegal, at least not over here.
     
  20. TheMBC macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    #21
    No. Unlocking also 'alters the software' and that certainly isn't illegal.
    But I'm probably incorrect about the unlock altering software...

    But I am right that it isn't illegal. Now what you do with the jailbreak...
     
  21. Atomicfission92 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    #22
    Pretty sure the video wasn't meant to cover the actual legality of Jailbreaking your iPhone. And frankly I could care less. My phone is alot more functional now because I did jailbreak it.

    I can make it work how I want. And not work around it. Best thing I ever did to it.
     

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