Do you love your iPhone, but hate the iTunes App Store? Then you might just be one of hundreds of thousands of people who have ‘jailbroken’ their handsets — and that Apple now considers a criminal.
Jailbreaking is the act of removing the restrictions imposed on iPhone users that prevent them from getting applications from anywhere other than the official iTune store. Apple, seeing all that potential revenue slipping through its fingers, has launched a FUD campaign against the practice, as well as running to the courts to try and get the process made illegal, claiming that the practice “[results] in copyright infringement, potential damage to the device and other potential harmful physical effects, adverse effects on the functioning of the device, and breach of contract.”
Apple’s copyright violation claim is based around the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA, and its clause dealing with anti-circumvention, as jailbreaking a phone requires a modified version of Apple’s iPhone bootloader and operating system, conveniently ignoring the precedent in US law that allows reverse-engineering software to increase interoperability with independent software.