The morals of jailbreaking...

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by tiptopp, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. tiptopp macrumors regular

    tiptopp

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    #1
    Firstly, although I'm not intending to offend anyone or cause an argument, I realise that some people might feel strongly about this, and I apologise in advance for any offence caused...

    I'm a law-abiding person, but have a real dilemma around the morals and economics of the jailbreak community. I personally see jailbreaking as a temporary fix until Apple allows developers to release apps which do some of the basic stuff that I want and can only get through JB'ing - Lockinfo, Backgrounder, SBSettings - nothing too complicated. So I'm very happy that The Dev Team and GeoHot do their work for donations, and presumably quite a lot of personal satisfaction (even if that comes with a deal of hassle from Apple and dissatisfied customers!) , and create the framework that allows people to have the iPhone they deserve.

    What I don't get, though, is the economic and moral position around those developers who create apps which are only available through the JB route, who charge for their work. Do they have to pay a percentage to the likes of Rock and Cydia to be able to sell through those routes? Do they pay the Dev Team and GeoHot for the work involved in making it possible to sell their apps via this route? Or is it a case of 'every developer for him(her)self'?

    This question became more complicated this morning when I was looking at xSellize and a discussion about why Music Controls wouldn't be cracked on that forum because the developer sells it and is involved in cracking other people's apps for xSellize. Morally, how does that work? The message seems to be 'I won't let people steal from you as long as you help me to allow people to steal from others'.

    As I said earlier, I see JB'ing as temporary, so am reluctant to pay for anything which I'm convinced I'll throw away (either for iPhone 4 or for OS 3.X/4.0). So I'm not averse to downloading a cracked JB app (although have paid for one or two as well). I suspect that I justify it by convincing myself that I'm only trying it out, or that the devs are taking advantage of the Dev Team and GeoHot, so deserve it, or that like for like the JB paid apps seem much more expensive than through the App Store, or that the devs are helping crack other people's apps, so deserve it. I wouldn't consider stealing a cracked App Store app, though - but can't really explain why not. I tell you this so you see I'm not on my high horse, or believing that I'm morally different, but that I'm confused...

    Is anyone else confused, or am I spending too much time justifying my own thieving?

    Tiptopp
     
  2. gixxerfool macrumors 6502a

    gixxerfool

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #2
    IMO you're confused. App store apps or JB apps still require time and effort to develop. If the developer of either feels he should be paid for his product than that's the price. You don't walk into a retail store and haggle or steal this is no different. Most ofthe quality apps in Cydia are free so paying for the few that aren't isn't a big deal. I avoid cracked apps for two reasons, 1. I work and earn money as do the developers so I pay for what I want. 2. It could very well have malicious content in it.

    There is no justification for stealing. Now that's not to say I haven't downloaded my share of torrents and the like but in recent years I ended up purchasing what I downloaded. I came to my senses and realized that it's wrong no matter what the product.
     
  3. TeamDNA macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    #3
    well developers are spending time on great apps through cydia that add alot of functionality ..so why wouldnt they wanna get paid..

    and as for the xsellize thing.. screw them... whats funny is they crack cydia store apps.

    and there is another repo that took their debs. and made their own source from xsellizes cracked ones..

    and xsellize bitcches saying they stole our debs. screw sinfuliphonerepo .. they steal other developers apps and distribute them .. but then bitch when people still their debs and distribute them .. so screw xsellize
     
  4. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    #4
    You seem to be confusing jailbreaking and piracy. They are very different and only tangentially related things. There is no ethical dilemma whatsoever in jailbreaking an iPhone; there is, however, in stealing other people's intellectual property. Your thread should be retitled "The morals of application piracy", because that is what you really are talking about.

    As for piracy, I do not see any ethical difference between stealing a jailbreak app sold through the Cydia store and stealing an App Store app. In both cases, you are stealing what took others hundreds or even thousands of hours to create. In both cases you are putting your own selfish desires before the livelihood of another. It's like finding a difference between pirating Windows apps and Mac apps...there's no difference as far as the developer is concerned.

    I will confess, though, that there is a difference in how I respond emotionally to piracy of Cydia apps. I have a much more negative visceral reaction to the idea of stealing apps from jailbreak developers, perhaps because I am so appreciative of their efforts in making my phone a more useful tool and because of the sense of community I feel with other jailbreakers. I also am very conscious of the smaller pool of potential customers, and the consequent increased difficulty of making development pay. I have to say that I can't understand your attitude toward stealing jailbreak apps at all, except as just another typical rationalization of piracy by someone who just doesn't want to give up his pirated apps.
     
  5. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040

    ViViDboarder

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    I just wanted to share, although this has mostly been said so I'll keep it brief...

    Xselize and Sinful and the likes of those forums are much different than here. Piracy isn't really an issue for them while here it is frowned upon. I share the sentiment that if you steal from others you have no right to be upset when someone steals from you.

    As for piracy of Cydia apps... I don't know why people tend not to care. I've heard a lot of people say "It's a Cydia app, I'm not paying for that! Things on Cydia should be free!" and I don't really get it. They all take time to develop. I have a plugin I've released for free in Cydia and that was my choice. I also only get free apps from the App Store AND Cydia (with a few exceptions) but those are my choices as well. When a Dev makes the choice to charge, you have the choice to either pay or not pay. You shouldn't be making the choice FOR the Dev that his/her app ought to be free.

    If Apple did open up their platform and allow iPhone apps such as LockInfo or Backgrounder on their devices (doubtful) the Cydia apps would still work so you wouldn't even lose them.

    As for Dev Team and Saurik being taken advantage of... They made the choice to release their products for free. They have a personal reason to do so. Most likely that they can sell other products. :)
     
  6. fishmd macrumors 68000

    fishmd

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny South Florida
    #6
    Hum...Well, I read this and felt that I wanted to chime in here as well. I agree with what others have stated that you are really asking more about the ethics of stealing certain applications.

    However, I have to take issue with those who still say that there is no problem morally with jailbreaking. I see it as a problem, and yet I choose to do so because I do not agree with the limits that I feel Apple places on their phone. Those of us who make this choice are in fact stealing from Apple! How are we doing that. We are getting applications (albeit very useful ones) outside of the bounds of the iTunes store, thereby stealing from the profits that would be going to Apple when we make purchases instead from Cydia.

    So to those who are deluded enough to still think that there is nothing morally wrong with jailbreaking and then buying the cydia apps, think it through again. It is just as bad a downloading cracked Cydia apps and never paying for them. It is just that you are affecting the little guy more (the developer) rather than the big corporation (Apple) when you download cracked Cydia apps. But pay for that Cydia app, and now you are stealing the percentage of that sale from Apple. ;) So maybe just jailbreak and use cracked Cydia apps and download cracked App store apps too. Its all illegal anyways, why just stop at the jailbreak. :D

    PS. I am a jailbroken user and do pay for all my apps that I keep as I like to reward hard work, not because it is morally right or wrong. :)
     
  7. pcs are junk macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    #7
    If you think that Jailbreak apps are expensive, take a look at iRa Pro.
     
  8. patternmedia macrumors newbie

    patternmedia

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    #8
    Why don't you think about the ethics behind Apples decision in a social context?

    Last time I checked I could install any application on my PC and MAC, be it original, cracked or my own.. pretty much any computer devices has had this ability except in the last few years. Why not iPhone/iTouch?

    Don't accept this as normal, it's not! Jailbreaking will never stop because as thelatinist said:

    You seem to be confusing jailbreaking and piracy.

    If a better device comes out with same functionality and less restrictions, I'd jump.
     
  9. fishmd macrumors 68000

    fishmd

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny South Florida
    #9
    Not totally true. Think of all the gaming devices which are all locked. XBOX, XBOX 360, New PS3 (I know older ones could do Linux), PSP, Wii etc. All are computers that can do a lot of stuff, but are limited as well just like the iPhone. There is jailbreaking for all of these as well, but it is super looked down upon by the companies who make the devices.
     
  10. phynios macrumors member

    phynios

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    #10
    It's ludicrous to suggest that buying something from Cydia is comparable to stealing from Apple. Cydia apps aren't available via Apple's AppStore. If they were approved by Apple, which has happened, it would progress to the AppStore, in which case the dev still gets paid and deservedly so.

    Any AppStore apps that are available via cydia sources are generally pirated. Nobody charges via Cydia for an app that is available from the AppStore, so your argument above is completely irrevelant.
     
  11. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040

    ViViDboarder

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #11
    That's why I don't think there is anything "wrong" with the way Apple is doing things. It's totally in their rights to do so. They are dedicated systems and there are many other options. I just don't think there is anything "ethically wrong" with jailbreaking an iPhone or playing homebrew on my Wii.

    Stealing... I see an ethics issue.
    Playing with something not the way it was intended... No problems whatsoever.
     
  12. gixxerfool macrumors 6502a

    gixxerfool

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #12

    Let's not forget that these are apps not available through apple as of right now. I would be willing I bet that apple has denied these or similar apps down for whatever reason. I've read from many users that they would leave JB'ing if certain things were offered through the app store or stock OS. Apple has had three years.
     
  13. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040

    ViViDboarder

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #13
    Good point.

    If I record my own music that any member of the RIAA doesn't want to sign and decide to sell it on my own website or give it away am I stealing from them? No. They didn't want it and they have no right to the music I've produced.

    As far as the App Store and Cydia goes... Most Cydia devs would likely RATHER release their apps in the App Store because they get the advantage of easier downloading as well as a larger target market. Any dev would be silly to not try to sell their App in the App Store first. The only exceptions would be apps that would not be allowed in the App Store or apps that a developer wants to give away for free and doesn't feel like paying $100/year just to give the public free apps.

    In BOTH these cases it can't be argued that Apple has lost a potential sale because there never was a potential sale through Apple.

    The App Store seems like a gray area because we haven't really seen much like it before so these questions come up.
     
  14. luckyblue macrumors regular

    luckyblue

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    #14
    +1

    When I go to Cydia, i don't even waste my time going to the sections area. I go straight to the store, because I want to support them and at the same time I know I'm getting a quality app that won't mess up my phone.
     
  15. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040

    ViViDboarder

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #15
    What about all of us developers that release apps for free and only get paid in the satisfaction of seeing our download counts go up? *tear*

    I have no problem supporting a developer but if someone is releasing another app that does the same thing for free... I'm going to try the free one. If it sucks and the paid one is worth it and has a better experience? I'm going to buy the paid one.
     
  16. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    #16
    No, no, no. Jailbreaking is not illegal. I don't know where you get this idea, but it is 100% false. You are also conflating jailbreaking, buying apps from Cydia, and stealing applications from both Cydia and Apple, and then painting all of these very different activities with the same brush. Of these activities, only the last two are illegal or of questionable morality. The former are not.

    As for your other arguments, I'm not really sure that there is enough sense in them to respond to; indeed, they are chock full of illogic. It is patently false that buying an application from a source other than one's phone's manufacturer is stealing. The apps I buy from Cydia do not belong to Apple and are not Apple's to sell; those apps belong to the developers, each of whom has the right to distribute his application however he chooses. Would you argue that I am stealing from my local Volkswagen dealer if I buy my windshield wipers from Autozone instead? Of course not.
     
  17. bripab007 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    #17
    QFT!!!

    In other news, are a bunch of people mistaking the "iPhone Hacks" forum for the "iPhone Cracks" forum or something? It seems that, as of late, I've seen a veritable ton of idiots coming in here and asking about cracked software.
     
  18. dhlizard macrumors G4

    dhlizard

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    Location:
    The Jailbreak Community
    #18
    Stealing a developer's work product is theft, it's electronic shoplifting. :eek:
     
  19. pcs are junk macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    #19
    Stealing applications is illegal, yes, but its expected...most hackers like to use their tools for free.
     
  20. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    #20
    What the hell are you talking about? What difference does it make if everyone else is doing it? It's still wrong.
     
  21. dhlizard macrumors G4

    dhlizard

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    Location:
    The Jailbreak Community
    #21
    Expected for who ?

    Look, you have posted many times, almost to the point of bragging, that you steal apps and would keep a phone that was not yours.

    Most of us have not sunk to your lower moral state.

    Don't speak for me ! You can continue speaking on your own behalf, you have certainly not held anything back up to this point.
     
  22. Knowlege Bomb macrumors 601

    Knowlege Bomb

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    #22
    I can see where the line may seem blurred to some.

    It's born of the same confusion that's being seen in this thread. People come into MR and see a hacks thread and immediately associate it with piracy.
    I think if the forum name were changed to "Jailbreaking and Modding" or something similar we would get far fewer of those requests.
     
  23. Tensakun macrumors 6502

    Tensakun

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Location:
    Akashi, Japan
    #23
    It's yer phone...

    Look, you pay a LOT for an iPhone, certainly you do in Japan. My take is that it's yours, and whether you want to use it as a target for archery practice or throw it against a wall or dip in coffee or use apps that Apple doesn't "approve," that's your choice. As long as what you do doesn't hurt anyone else (please guys, don't drop it from a highway overpass), who gives a rodent's posterior?

    Corporations like Apple, ATT, Softbank, etc. are quite happy to lump together people who hack their own property and pirates/thieves.
     
  24. fishmd macrumors 68000

    fishmd

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny South Florida
    #24
    The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. The act forbids circumventing encryption technology to copy or modify copyrighted works – in this instance encryption protecting the bootloader connected to the OS operating system itself.

    And yes, currently Apple legal along with the RIAA, Hollywood and a handful of others are arguing this before the Library of Congress. The EFF is actually currently seeking a ruling for an exemption to this law in regards to iPhone jailbreaking, making it possible to have a legal and in fact commercial (then people could charge for it) jailbreak available. However, until and IF this gets passed (and it is unlikely as very few exeptions have been made in the past), we may very well be breaking DMCA act by jailbreaking. And this is a law by the way albiet difficult if not impossible to enforce. So, for anyone to state that jailbreaking is 100% not illegal, is not correct. It has really not yet been determined by the courts, but may in fact be and is right now being considered.
     
  25. tiptopp thread starter macrumors regular

    tiptopp

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    #25
    Thank you (most of you...)

    Thank you all for your input to this.

    I was thinking about my closing sentence on the original post last night, and decided that I would come in this morning and change it to remove the 'theft' emphasis. But with so many interesting and well thought out responses I'm not going to.

    Do I feel differently about this whole area now? Yes, absolutely.

    Some of you have made me think about this differently by being so clear on the moral position, and reminding us of the effort that goes into every app, not just those on the App Store. Of course, some of these apps have been submitted to Apple and have been rejected, sometimes for no reason that the general public would understand as reasonable. Some of you, on the other hand, have done it through your crass and immature attitude, and your warped sense of right and wrong. When you have to work for a living, I can only hope that your colleagues and customers find that you've grown up. At least I could admit to being confused by it.

    I have to say that I'm committed to doing three things. Firstly, I'll never download a cracked app again (although I have to emphasize that I only have two which were gained this way). Secondly, I'm going to either remove or purchase the apps that I've stolen (it hurts me to use this word about myself - I was much too well brought up to be a thief!). Thirdly, I'm going to consider, carefully, the apps that I purchase from Cydia/Rock and try to understand the position of the developer before I make the purchase. For example, the xSellize discussion about Music Controls makes me think that, at the end of the trial period, I won't be purchasing (and I won't often be visiting their site again). However, I love the app, and I'll miss it... I'm not going to commit any slanderous thoughts to writing on this forum, but I believe that it would be wrong to purchase from this developer (whatever PCs are Junk thinks...).

    I sort of understand Apple's position on the control that they like to have over their (our) iPhones. They are so high-profile, they really don't want people to become disillusioned when they realise that the processor and battery aren't that good. It's probably better to have people frustrated at lack of functionality than lack of performance. Fast spots cars often don't come with things like radios or carpets, or other 'heavy' functional items. But they go fast. If they had all of these things and went slowly, people wouldn't buy them. The difference is, though, that where car manufacturers allow you to put whatever you want in your car, Apple don't give you the same rights over your phone.

    I sincerely hope that Apple aren't so stubborn that they refuse to learn from the JB community. My iPhone is currently perfect for me because I can see my calendar, latest email, ToDo list and Tweets on the lock screen, and can run Simplify Music in the background, using Music Controls from any screen that I'm looking at. And I can switch WiFi, Location Services and 3G on and off without having to hop in and out of apps. To my mind, Apple have the opportunity to make a lovely, but slightly frustrating, phone into something so satisfying that you would never replace it. News from OS3.2 and the iPad doesn't necessarily look as though they will be delivering this step change, but my hope is that they're covering up the hardware advances that they've made with iPhone 4 through temporary restrictions in OS3.2. Roll on the Summer and OS4.0!

    Oh, and the fourth thing that I'm going to do (bloody Romans) is to contribute more to these forums, and learn more from (some of) the people who clearly think more deeply about some of this stuff than I have in the past.

    I apologise for the length of this post, but I get frustrated when people start what could be a sensible discussion and then never appear again, even if they learnt something.

    Thanks for your time.

    Tiptopp

    p.s. - when do I stop being a newbie on this forum? How many posts do I need before I lose the 'doesn't really know what he's talking about' tag? (and before anyone replies, I realise that I have to sound as though I know what I'm talking about as well!).
     

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