Apple speaks out against jailbreaking

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Apple speaks out against jailbreaking

Apple is speaking out in the debate over allowing users to 'jail break' mobile phones.

The company issued a filing in response to a campaign lead by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to create a new safe harbor under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for mobile phone users.

The proposed exemption would allow users the ability to remove software installation restrictions on their handsets, a process more commonly known as 'jailbreaking.'

The process was especially popular in the early days of the Apple iPhone when users were not yet given an official option for installing and running third-party software on the device.

Though the company has yet to pursue any legal actions against users or developers for creating and running jailbreaking software, the company has discouraged the procedure.

Apple has long noted that the process will void the iPhone's warranty and that jailbroken phones could be damaged by iPhone software updates.

Now, however, the company appears to be taking a stronger stand on the practice of jailbreaking by lodging an official complaint to the US Patent and Copyright office.

"Apple is opposed to the proposed exemption because it will destroy the technological protection of Apple’s key copyrighted computer programs in the iPhone device itself and of copyrighted content owned by Apple that plays on the iPhone, resulting 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," the company wrote in its official filing," Apple wrote in its complaint.

"The proponents of the exemption have also not satisfied their burden of proof of showing harm to non-infringing uses of the copyrighted works protected by the technological protection measures on the iPhone."

After receiving word of Apple's complaint, the EFF issued a statement of its own, blasting the company for what it called "absurd" arguments and "FUD" techniques.

"Apple casts its lot with the likes of laser printer makers and garage door opener companies who argue that the DMCA entitles them to block interoperability with anything that hasn't been approved in advance," wrote EFF senior attorney Fred von Lohmann.

"But we'd never accept this corporate paternalism as a justification for welding every car hood shut and imposing legal liability on car buffs tinkering in their garages."

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