Apple does not seem to get any love from the government and its agencies these days. The company has faced some inquiry into its practices in the past couple of months, and it looks destined for an anti-trust investigation in the future. It is not going to be happy with the latest ruling that OKs iPhone jailbreak solutions either. Apple may have wanted to portray jailbreaking as an illegal activity. That plan is clearly out of the window as federal regulators see “no basis for copyright law to assist Apple in protecting its restrictive business model.”
As expected, the EFF was quite satisfied with this ruling:
The Copyright Office recognizes that the primary purpose of the locks on cell phones is to bind customers to their existing networks, rather than to protect copyrights
Apple may have lost this battle, but it is still going to encourage users to think twice before jailbreaking their phones. After all, iPhone’s warranty expires as soon as someone manages to jailbreak it. That will not keep too many people from going ahead with this anyway.
Apple may be running a closed business model, but things are not as white or black as they seem here. iPhone owners should have the right to jailbreak their phone. They should not however pirate apps that people have worked hard to develop. Apple’s focus needs to be on that problem instead of keeping people from trying some of those Cydia applications.
Wired seems to have dropped the ball here too. Publishing a guide to show people how to jailbreak their phones is not wrong. Trying to show people how to pirate software is. It does seem everything is conspiring against Apple these days. But we are not believers in conspiracy theories. Apple’s closed business model keeps it open to these headaches.