Apple has kept a tight grip on the iPhone since its release, repeatedly defending its rules regarding the apps users can run and the ban on modifications as necessary controls to preserve the user experience. But, it now seems, users who wish to skirt Apple’s rules are welcome to do so under the law.
That’s because the Library of Congress, which oversees the Copyright Office and periodically reviews issues under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, has determined that users can modify, or jailbreak, their iPhones and other devices under the fair use protections of that statute. DevX takes a look.
The federal government today announced new exemptions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that will allow for the modification of smartphones, most notably Apple’s iPhone, without the handset maker’s or carrier’s approval.
The ruling, issued by the Library of Congress, means that it’s now legal to “jailbreak” an iPhone and put apps on it that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has not approved and does not endorse. The ruling came from the Library of Congress because it oversees the Copyright Office, which reviews and authorizes exemptions to the DMCA every three years to find fair use exemptions.