Wasn't jailbreaking ALWAYS legal?

Neeliosis

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 30, 2010
240
0
New York, NY
Alright, one dude is being a jerk and arguing with me that jailbreaking was illegal since day one, and don't be biased here, like he's calling me. Just prove it to him that it was always legal. I mean, the most it did was void your warranty. It was never ILLEGAL under government, right?
 

AlanShutko

macrumors 6502a
Jun 2, 2008
707
73
That's a good question. This article describes a recent court case, and the traditional view.

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/07/25/federal-judge-says-y.html
Here's some remarkable news: a judge in a New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Appeals Court has ruled that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's ban on breaking DRM only applies if you break DRM in order to violate copyright law. This is a complete reversal of earlier rulings across the country (and completely opposite to the approach that the US Trade Representative has demanded from America's trading partners). In the traditional view, DRM is absolutely protected, so that no one is allowed to break it except the DRM maker. In other words, a film-maker isn't allowed to take the BluRay DRM off her own movie, a video game programmer can't take the iPad DRM off her own game, and an audiobook author can't take the DRM off his own Audible book.
So, in the traditional view, if something was DRM at all, you couldn't break it without violating the DMCA, unless you were on the list of approved exceptions from the Copyright office. In that view, jailbreaking your phone so you could run non-pirated software would violate the DMCA and be illegal.

With this new ruling, it's only a violation if you break it in order to violate copyright law. If you were jailbreaking to set a background pic, enable multitasking, or run ScummVM, you'd be legal. If you were pirating software, it would not be legal, because that's copyright infringement.
 

diabolic

macrumors 68000
Jun 13, 2007
1,572
1
Austin, Texas
With this new ruling, it's only a violation if you break it in order to violate copyright law. If you were jailbreaking to set a background pic, enable multitasking, or run ScummVM, you'd be legal. If you were pirating software, it would not be legal, because that's copyright infringement.
I'd bet a sizable percentage of those who jailbreak their phones are installing at least some paid apps for free.
 
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