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In Defense of Jailbreaking

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the fighting-the-good-fight dept.

Hardware Hacking 405

Keith found a nice manifesto saying "There's a trend that's been disturbing me lately. When the topic of modding or jailbreaking comes up — say, in the wake of the iPad announcement, or Sony's restrictive PS3 update — there is an outcry. Who am I to tell Apple what's best for their devices?"

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Apple can kiss my shiny white ass (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895944)

"Who am I to tell Apple what's best for their devices?"

Who are Apple to tell me what I can and can't run? Precicely why I'll be buying a Lenovo Ideapad U1 (have been waiting for a device "like" the iPad for almost as long as my flying car, FINALLY somebody listened to the idea of simply having a detachable screen).

Re:Apple can kiss my shiny white ass (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896164)

Who are you to even be using an iPhone in the first place? The thing is a piece of shit. It can't even multitask yet, and is stuck on AT&T. Just get a fucking droid already and be done with it. I am so sick and tired of hearing about these worthless apple products. If you jailbreak it and it is still worthless, have you really accomplished anything? This would be like making plugins for IE to make it suck less when you could just switch to Firefox or Chrome.

There are much better phones out there. Move on.

Re:Apple can kiss my shiny white ass (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896314)

This would be like making plugins for IE to make it suck less when you could just switch to Firefox... ...and again use many plugins to make it suck less.

Or you could just install Opera [opera.com] and you're good to go.

Re:Apple can kiss my shiny white ass (1, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#31896336)

Who are you to even be using an iPhone in the first place?

Probably someone who bought a smartphone before Android OS phones became common.

Re:Apple can kiss my shiny white ass (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896266)

I call shenanigans. No one's telling you what to run.

As a developer, you are free to upload any app you write to your phone. If you want to sell your app through their store, they have a right to decide what they sell and what they don't. I you can't live with that, move on and develop for a platform that meets your needs.

As a consumer, if you choose to buy a device whose store does not sell the apps you want or need, the choice to buy was yours and yours alone.

Get off your high horse, put your money where your mouth is, and get your damned Ideapad already. Enough of your disingenuous "I'll be buying" BS and let's have more of that "I've already bough this other thing instead and, having used it, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy and hopeful for the future because ...".

As a developer, there is an annual fee. (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#31896368)

As a developer, you are free to upload any app you write to your phone.

As a developer, there is an annual fee. This fee over the estimated 5-year useful life of a device often exceeds the retail price of the device itself. Do you understand the complaints about XNA and iPhone OS now?

Re:As a developer, there is an annual fee. (4, Insightful)

uglyduckling (103926) | about 4 years ago | (#31896542)

No, not really. How much do you think it costs to develop games for the PS3 or XBox 360? Developing professionally for those platforms costs thousands of dollars. PS3 did have the Linux option, now gone, and XBox 360 does have hobbyist options, but if you actually want to release games to the public, you're not talking the retail price of the device, you're talking thousands. I don't see why it's so hard to grasp the iPhone is not, and was never intended to be, a general-purpose computing device. The development model, OS and user experience are designed to bring console-style simplicity and reliability to a smartphone. It works, and everyone is really happy with it, other than a few geeks who just can't grasp that it's not designed to be a really really small laptop. That's why Apple keep such a tight grasp on what goes on the device, how it's programmed etc., so it doesn't descend into a mess. It's also way, way cheaper to develop for than consoles.

Re:As a developer, there is an annual fee. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896620)

If you develop apps and release them on Cydia/Rock, you don't need to pay an annual fee.

Become a Jailbroken iPhone developer.

Re:Apple can kiss my shiny white ass (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896456)

If you knew anything about anything, you'd know the Ideapad isn't out yet.

When it does come out, I sincerely hope they get it right - in any case, far as I've been able to figure out the "pad" part of it'll be running linux so it's a step in the right direction.

But you're right, perhaps"telling me what to run" isn't an accurate statement. But they do have the fucking audacity to "allow" me to run only apps THEY APPROVE of, so they can go fuck themselves.

I think you Apple sheeple would be quite happy if they also olny allowed iPods to play music they authorised too.

Re:Apple can kiss my shiny white ass (1, Offtopic)

MousePotato (124958) | about 4 years ago | (#31896696)

actually, i think you miss the point. If you buy something it should be yours to do whatever you choose to do with. People are purchasing iphones and ps3's, they aren't leasing them. Once you take possession after purchase they shouldn't be able to change they deal... its called bait and switch and is a questionable practice.

full disclosure; i own neither device because of said practices and while the ipad looks like a nice device I'll never own one of those either.

Re:Apple can kiss my shiny white ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896304)

... been enjoying one since 2003 [wikipedia.org] . It's just getting slow now. Detachable keyboard which can also swivel behind the LCD.

Too bad the laptops have a horrible track record of the video crapping out.

Not Apple's... (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | about 4 years ago | (#31896352)

Once you've purchased it, the device isn't Apple's any more, it's yours.

Re:Not Apple's... (1)

Duradin (1261418) | about 4 years ago | (#31896414)

The device is yours but the services are still theirs.

If they don't want out of spec devices using their services and you want to use their services perhaps you shouldn't take your device out of spec.

Re:Not Apple's... (1)

rufty_tufty (888596) | about 4 years ago | (#31896486)

If only they ran an operating system that was standards compliant, then all they would have to do is comply to that standard.
How hard can that be?

DMCA still makes it illegal (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#31895956)

Certainly a worthy moral argument, but thanks to the WIPO copyright Treaty (which everyone, except for a few of us crazies who were warning about it, completely ignored back when it was being debated), such circumvention of technology (specifically if it's designed to access protect copyrighted content) is nonetheless illegal in many WIPO countries, including the U.S.

From the anti-circumvention section of the DMCA [cornell.edu] : "No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title."

And notice the language there. It doesn't say "no company may do this for profit" or "no one can do this for anyone else" (as many mistakenly believe), it says "No person." That means you sitting at home jailbreaking your own cellphone. Now, maybe you could make the case that an iPhone and its OS is not a "work protected under this title" but I think that would be a hard sell.

Re:DMCA still makes it illegal (4, Insightful)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about 4 years ago | (#31896026)

"No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title."

Doesn't sound like it effectively controls anything if it can be so easily bypassed.

Re:DMCA still makes it illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896396)

What's meant by 'effectively' in that context? That it does its job of controlling access *well,* or that it *in effect* controls access?

Re:DMCA still makes it illegal (1)

skine (1524819) | about 4 years ago | (#31896484)

What's meant by 'effectively' in that context?

I'm not sure, but I do know that there are a few lawyers looking to make money from arguing over it.

Re:DMCA still makes it illegal (2, Insightful)

Inf0phreak (627499) | about 4 years ago | (#31896482)

Can we stop with this idiocy? "Effectively controlling" is not the same as "being effective". The Content Scramling System used to encrypt data on DVDs is effectively controlling region coding (et al), but it is not very effective at it. But during normal operation of a (properly licensed blah blah blah) DVD player, it will indeed "effectively control" your access to the data on a disk.

Re:DMCA still makes it illegal (2, Informative)

burris (122191) | about 4 years ago | (#31896562)

Seriously, do you think the word "effectively" means what you think it means in the context of the law that criminalizes bypassing the technological measure, if simply bypassing the technological measure would render the law moot?

That's not how it works. In this context "effectively" means than under normal operation the effect of the measure is to control access to a work.

How about a quote from the summary judgement Apple obtained against Psystar:

As to the second argument, Psystar contends that Apple’s anticircumvention technology was ineffective because the decryption key for circumvention is publicly available on the internet. This argument fails. “The fact that circumvention devices may be widely available does not mean that a technological measure is not, as the DMCA provides, effectively protecting the rights of copyright owners in the ordinary course of its operation.” Sony Computer Entm’t Am., Inc. v. Divineo, Inc., 457 F. Supp. 2d 957, 965 (N.D. Cal. 2006). Generally, measures based on encryption “effectively control” access to copyrighted works. Here, when the decryption key was not employed, the encryption effectively worked to prevent access to Mac OS X. And that is all that is required. See Universal City Studios v. Reimerdes, 111 F. Supp. 2d 294, 318 (S.D.N.Y. 2000) (noting that when a decryption program was not employed, the encryption worked to control access to the protected work).

Re:DMCA still makes it illegal (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896084)

So one Might use jailbreaking to violate copyright, therefore he must be restricted from doing it.
By the same logic, government might cut off your internet at any moment, restrict you to your house. Kill you because you Might be a terrorist who wants to kill the President or whatever.

Can a government enforcing rules that criminalize the WHOLE of the population be called "democracy"?

Re:DMCA still makes it illegal (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 4 years ago | (#31896174)

When you start lumping all individuals together it's starting to sound like Katamari Democracy.

Re:DMCA still makes it illegal (1)

DansnBear (586007) | about 4 years ago | (#31896218)

Damn It, i just spit out my drink. . . to bad i used all my mod points already. . . someone mod this up!!!

Re:DMCA still makes it illegal (2, Interesting)

mbone (558574) | about 4 years ago | (#31896094)

I am not a lawyer, but I have read the DMCA, and it (this section) applies to copyrighted "works", which devices are not generally considered to be. So, no, I don't think that this is relevant. Can you show case law to the contrary ?

Re:DMCA still makes it illegal (3, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#31896194)

From what I've heard of it, jailbreaking is not aimed at the device itself, but at its software. While you might have a point if jailbreaking involved completely wiping the Apple OS from the phone and putting your own OS on it, IIRC it's actually aimed at modding the existing Apple software, which would certainly be considered a copyrighted work. If I am wrong here, I welcome correction.

Re:DMCA still makes it illegal (5, Interesting)

novium (1680776) | about 4 years ago | (#31896206)

It's murky, but I know that EFF was asking for an exemption from the DMCA for jailbreaking phones. They are also sort of worried that they won't be able to do the same for the iPad until 2011. If you search for 'DMCA exemption jailbreaking' , you can choose your source.

Re:DMCA still makes it illegal (2, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 4 years ago | (#31896288)

I'm pretty sure the law applies to this the same way it does to game consoles. People have been arrested for modding consoles, although I think iyt's generally been when it was done commercially.

Re:DMCA still makes it illegal (5, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about 4 years ago | (#31896216)

One can also use a pencil and paper to infringe on copyright, using nothing more than their own intellect as a means to circumvent the copy protection.

Taken entirely literally, without exempting private use, the anti-circumvention provision of the DMCA makes it a criminal act to be intelligent enough to do this.

Re:DMCA still makes it illegal (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#31896400)

It's a awful and ill-conceived law, no doubt about it. Unfortunately, many laws are like that. This law was pushed through a Congress with way more concern about the media companies that supported it than with whether or not it made for good law.

Re:DMCA still makes it illegal (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about 4 years ago | (#31896262)

Please identify the specific work referred to (in the iP*d context), and the technological measure that limits access to it. This is non-obvious.

DMCA doesn't merely say "no reverse engineering." It's pretty specific. It's still wide enough for a shitload of abuse, but it doesn't just magically apply in every situation where people want it to. If you're going to say it applies here, then fill in the blanks.

Re:DMCA still makes it illegal (2, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#31896436)

The Apple OS would be considered a copyrighted work. And, from what I understand, jailbreaking involves breaking technological measures aimed at preventing users from modding this OS.

Re:DMCA still makes it illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896568)

IIRC, the DMCA itself has a clause that in order to ensure compatibility it allows you to 'jailbreak' the device. Such is what makes linux on the DS legal and what puts libdvdcss in murky waters (on one hand it blatantly breaks the encryption of DVDs, on the other hand it does it to support playback in an OS that wouldn't be able to play the DVD at all).

you're the one who bought the product (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895962)

that means it's YOURS now. end of story.

Re:you're the one who bought the product (5, Insightful)

purpledinoz (573045) | about 4 years ago | (#31896032)

And since you bought it, it's your fault for supporting a platform that's ruled with an iron fist.

Re:you're the one who bought the product (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 4 years ago | (#31896444)

if it's ruled with an iron fist, why are there so many jailbroken devices out there?

If it's an iron fist, obviously that fist is rather rusted over.

if only that were the end (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about 4 years ago | (#31896296)

I agree that if you bought it you own it. ANd would you agree that if you break it or want service it's okay for apple not to supply it? And if something bricks it, it's not apple's problem?

THe trouble with computing devices is that the grey area of "normal use" is so broad it's hard to know where to draw a reasonable line. For example, if I buy a water resistant timex watch and I wear it in the shower and it gets wet inside. was directed water under pressure normal use for a water resistant watch. Should I have done the reasonable precaution of avoiding the bathing with it? it's a grey area. Imight see it as normal and timex might not but one can see it both ways quite easily.

with a software/hardware device if you mod it with hardware clearly this was not normal use. But what if you modded the firmware when it said not too. That's probably your fault too. and finally what if you ran software that they said you should not? it gets morally grey but legally it's pretty clear you violated the warantee (don't like it? dont' buy it).

But y'know what is going to happen if you brick it after jail breaking? are you going to man-up and say oh well. Or are going to go lie to apple and say "it just broke". Or are you going to blog about all the apple's that are bricking for "no reason" and spoil their reputation?

I'd bet that people that jail break and brick make more than their share of service requests and cause more than their share of replacements.

SO I assert it's rarely the end.

Re:if only that were the end (1)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | about 4 years ago | (#31896470)

So you're saying that if Apple had an open platform, less devices would be bricked from unauthorized firmwares, and therefore would save a lot of money on illegal service claims?

Re:if only that were the end (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896646)

So you're saying the price of beans in mexico is related to how much you cry over the sand between your toes?

When you buy it... (3, Insightful)

Chris Tucker (302549) | about 4 years ago | (#31895970)

...it becomes YOUR device.

Re:When you buy it... (3, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 4 years ago | (#31896036)

I agree wholeheartedly. However, the flip side is that Apple ought not have to support the device short of hardware failures.

Face it... people buy Apple because it works out of the box without having to configure anything. People who buy Apple products are generally okay with being limited on capabilities.

Re:When you buy it... (2, Informative)

flitty (981864) | about 4 years ago | (#31896332)

The Article clearly states that any modding you do should not affect anybody else. Jailbreaking your iPad/phone shouldn't negatively affect other users, and apple should be able to lock you out of their ecosystem when you jailbreak your device. It's a value proposition. You can keep your nice walled garden, or you can take it out into the wasteland with all the issues and freedoms.

Re:When you buy it... (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | about 4 years ago | (#31896682)

Jailbreaking your iPad/phone shouldn't negatively affect other users, and apple should be able to lock you out of their ecosystem when you jailbreak your device. It's a value proposition.

Time for a car analogy: I buy a nice New Shiney Applemobile[TM]. I open the hood and see a simple engineering mistake near the air filter, and take out some Duct tape and "fix" it.

After taking my Applemobile[TM] in for scheduled maintenance, an Applemobile tech notices my hack. He makes a note in my service manual, and enters some data into his diagnostics workstation.

When I stop in to pick up my Applemobile, I discover that the steeringwheel, accelerator and break pedals, and gear shifter have been removed. When I ask the Appletech where the purchased functionality went, I am told that Apple should be able to lock me out of their ecosystem because I modified my device!

"Limited?" (1)

Petersko (564140) | about 4 years ago | (#31896378)

"People who buy Apple products are generally okay with being limited on capabilities."

While I'm in favour of jailbreaking and such, I think what you really mean is something other than limited on capabilities. Now if you mean "limited on capabilities" in the sense that the obtaining of apps is restricted to Apple's app store, well... restriction of source is only a restriction on capability if you can't find what you need at that source. If there's something you need to do on an iPhone, there's probably an application that'll do it.

I just got my iPhone, and I've been looking for an excuse to jailbreak it, but... it does everything I want it to do. I thought the inability to multitask (corrected, apparently, in iPhone OS/4) would bug me, but it turns out it's a non-issue.

The only thing I can think of offhand that Apple has restricted the capabilities of is flash, but in all honesty I haven't missed it at all.

OT: MS bashing (1)

mdm42 (244204) | about 4 years ago | (#31896422)

rule number 1 of slashdot: ANY thread can be twisted into a bash of microsoft. no exceptions.

...and should be. no exceptions.

Re:When you buy it... (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | about 4 years ago | (#31896468)

Exactly. Apple is allowed to do what they want to do, and we are allowed to buy what we want to buy. With new Android phones coming out, there will be stiff competition for Apple.

Re:When you buy it... (1)

tophermeyer (1573841) | about 4 years ago | (#31896584)

I agree wholeheartedly. However, the flip side is that Apple ought not have to support the device short of hardware failures.

Face it... people buy Apple because it works out of the box without having to configure anything. People who buy Apple products are generally okay with being limited on capabilities.

I would argue that Apple would no longer need to support hardware failures. If the device comes with a Warranty/EULA/TOS agreement that clearly and explicitly says "jailbreaking not ok" and the user does it anyway, Apple clearly has a leg to stand on that they no longer owe the user that service.

Re:When you buy it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896632)

People who buy Ford sedans are generally okay with being limited on capabilities. That's why it is OK for Ford to refuse to work on your car if you have install unauthorized fuzzy dice. If you can convince Ford to work on it, it is OK for Ford to remove and replace with factory authorized equipment of any and all unauthorized equipment you have installed when you bring it in for an oil change.


Re:When you buy it... (2, Insightful)

dnaumov (453672) | about 4 years ago | (#31896250)

until you realize you DIDN'T BUY THE DEVICE, but instead purchased a license to use a device in accordance to a specific agreement. I really really wish it would be a case of "I paid money for this and goods have exchanged hands so I can do whatever I want with it", but in a lot of countries, this simply doesn't hold true.

Re:When you buy it... (2, Insightful)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about 4 years ago | (#31896274)

Indeed, (and I agree with you), but...when you purchased it, you accepted the T&Cs...

Re:When you buy it... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896282)

That sounds like the First Sale doctrine. When the physical product is first sold, the vendor loses all control over it.

Re:When you buy it... (4, Insightful)

Sloppy (14984) | about 4 years ago | (#31896464)

It becomes your device, but we have overwhelmingly (99%+) voted for (and re-elected many times, confirming again and again) a government that creates laws which say that people are not allowed to do certain things with their own devices. This is with bipartisan support and utter lack of any controversy. Or rather, the only controversy is in internet blog postings. When it comes to the ballot box, though, people are very unified in strongly supporting the idea that government should initiate force to limit what people can do with things that they own.

Think about it: we even still have drug laws, so that "ownership" of our own bodies is itself, is a murky concept. If ownership of yourself doesn't mean anything, how can owning a widget mean anything? We'll value personal dignity long before we take the more radical step of recognizing personal property, and even that first simple step is likely many decades away.

Don't like it? Start voting.

Re:When you buy it... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#31896490)

Except Apple would argue that you bought the device, but not the software on it or the right to access its network.

Re:When you buy it... (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | about 4 years ago | (#31896496)

...it becomes YOUR device.


However, Apple and the carrier still get to tell you how, where and when you can use it on their network(s) or to access their material or content.

Re:When you buy it... (1)

omglolbah (731566) | about 4 years ago | (#31896676)

Of course, it is your device. To do with as you please. As long as you follow the law!

Since the law im the US now prevent owners from doing quite a lot with their own devices... you're fucked.

I hate it, I suspect you hate it just as much... but for now that is the state of things :(

I think you are: (3, Insightful)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 4 years ago | (#31895992)

Who am I to tell Apple what's best for their devices?

The user who paid for the lovemaking device without having to first agree to anything.

It's not their devices (3, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | about 4 years ago | (#31896024)

Who am I to tell Apple what's best for their devices?"

Assuming that you haven't been shoplifting, they are not their devices. They are your (our) devices.

Having said that, if Apple says that doing such-and-such may wreck the machines, you've been warned.

Re:It's not their devices (1)

novium (1680776) | about 4 years ago | (#31896222)

What about when they're the ones releasing updates that 'break' the device? (Perhaps on purpose?)

Re:It's not their devices (3, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | about 4 years ago | (#31896358)

Then don't install them. Bust into the device. Do it. Explore to your heart's content, and seek true happiness. But if something Apple does messes up the device after you did something they told you not to do in the first place, then so be it. Either be a bad-ass who breaks the rules and goes off on your own, or don't. Those of us who live on the edge expect to bleed sometimes.

Or, just buy an open platform like Android to begin with.

Whose device? (1, Redundant)

robbievienna (1771246) | about 4 years ago | (#31896058)

"Who am I to tell Apple what's best for their devices?" How about, "Who is Apple to tell me what is best for my device?" If the act of shelling out $800 for one does not make it mine, I guess I'll just wait for a good Linux tablet.

I bought it (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896062)

"Who am I to tell Apple what's best for their devices?"

It's mine. I bought it. Who are Ford or Honda to tell me what brand of gasoline to buy at the station?

Why jailbreak an ipod touch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896066)

I'm not against jailbreaking but you can't expect a company to care about jailbreaked devices becoming bricks when they release a firmware update. In other words, do it if you think it offers value that outweighs the risk of problems.
Myself, I didn't jailbreak my ipod touch. I don't mind paying small sums for good software, the itunes store allows with simple upgrade maintenance, and there is (at first sight) little jailbreak-only software that I would care about. VLC, if available, but otherwise not really anything. I can wait for OS4 for wallpaper and multitasking.

Duh! (0, Redundant)

kurt555gs (309278) | about 4 years ago | (#31896134)

I is Apple's device BEFORE you pay for it, NOT after.

It belongs to you! What kind of would are we living in that anyone belives some company has anything to say about what you do with what you bought and paid for. Don't give me this EULA made up crap. Think about it!

If Apple wants the control they have, it should be free!

if i paid money for it.... (2, Funny)

Shompol (1690084) | about 4 years ago | (#31896154)

I can

(*) Disclaimer - or i can not buy jailed device in the first place and save myself some trouble.

Re:if i paid money for it.... (3, Funny)

psergiu (67614) | about 4 years ago | (#31896526)

Buy it, use it, break it, fix it,
Trash it, change it, mail - upgrade it,
Charge it, pawn it, zoom it, press it,
Snap it, work it, quick - erase it,
Write it, cut it, paste it, save it,
Load it, check it, quick - rewrite it,
Plug it, play it, burn it, rip it,
Drag and drop it, zip - unzip it,
Lock it, fill it, call it, find it,
View it, code it, jam - unlock it,
Surf it, scroll it, pause it, click it,
Cross it, crack it, switch - update it,
Name it, rate it, tune it, print it,
Scan it, send it, fax - rename it,
Touch it, bring it, Pay it, watch it,
Turn it, leave it, start - format it.
Technologic [youtube.com]

What bugs me (3, Interesting)

VoiceInTheDesert (1613565) | about 4 years ago | (#31896168)

Is that manufacturers are allowed to right EULA's that violate the basic rights of citizens. I'm all for reading the EULA and for receiving consequences upon it's violation, because that's fair. But what I'm confused on is why companies are allowed to write EULA's that specify exactly what can and cannot be done with it period.

Take away service? Ok,that's fair. You don't know what I put on this device, so I can understand if you don't want to support it.
Discontinue updates? I get that, for the same reason as above.
Void warranty? I get that too, since I could easily be an idiot who broke it and that's not your responsibility.

But the one I don't get is why companies are allowed to write EULA's that basically allow them to retain ownership of a device after it's been "purchased." For all legal purposes, this item belongs to the consumer. If it's stolen, it's returned to the consumer, not Apple. Why then, is Apple allowed to make this claim to ownership?

Again, I'm very much in favor of realizing and accepting consequences under the law...but I really think the law is flawed here. The rules for EULA's needs to be visited and rewritten such that purchases of technology amount to more than borrowing your big brother's gameboy.

Re:What bugs me (2, Insightful)

KiwiCanuck (1075767) | about 4 years ago | (#31896370)

They can write whatever they want in the document. However, anything written in the EULA that is contradictory to the Law is not enforceable, and thus can be ignored by the user. Getting the company to acknowledge this is another matter.

Re:What bugs me (2, Interesting)

SharpFang (651121) | about 4 years ago | (#31896394)

Please note EULAs can specify all kind of bullshit like you disclaim rights to all your property and internal organs, and sign up to be Steve Jobs' sex slave. It doesn't mean they are valid claims, and that anyone is ever able to enforce them. There are consumer right laws that limit the scope of EULA and they are simply invalid wherever they trespass on these consumer rights.

It's the same like you can sue anyone for anything ever, except if what they did is not unlawful, your case will be thrown out of court without a trial.

I bought a second-hand device with OS and software preinstalled. I never agreed to any EULAs. The deal, best to my knowledge, was fair - I have no reason to believe he violated any laws. Maybe, just maybe, the previous owner violated them upon selling the device to me. I don't know - I didn't see any EULA, so I had no opportunity to check. That's yet another exit.

Finally! A Whitelist! (5, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | about 4 years ago | (#31896212)

Putting aside the whole "You should", "You shouldn't" be able to Jailbreak the thing, I think it's interesting that we finally have a whitelisted platform. For years and years, whenever we have a security discussion on Slashdot, someone inevitablely says

"You can never succeed trying to filter out all the bad stuff. You need a whitelist of the good stuff."

But then someone else always says

"But who creates the whitelist?"

And both get modded +5 insightful. In this case, Apple created the Whitelist that all the security people say we need. And applied it to a whole platform. They apparently do code reviews, and enforce proper usage of the API.

Personally, if I had an iPhone, I'd jailbreak it. But I like the idea that I can give one to my Mom, let her get apps off the app store, and not have to de-gunk the malware every 3 months like I do with her PC.

Re:Finally! A Whitelist! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896654)

I think this is the problem with people... they get a false sense that Apple products are "safe". While it's true that an iphone may never have a "virus", the real money is in "spyware". Any "approved" app has full access to your phone... at least in the next version of they'll have to "ask" for permission to get your location... but your information, contact info, etc... all there for any app to mine. Actually many apps already report your "usage" back to big mamma without you knowledge... Apple is not a safe platform just because of the whitelist... in fact, implying that the whitelist makes the platform safe is just plain wrong.


Straw man? (2, Insightful)

snowwrestler (896305) | about 4 years ago | (#31896230)

I have not seen the outcry you're talking about. I think this post is just another angle for people to rail against Apple's policies.

Which is fine, BTW! People are certainly welcome to do so, and to an extent I agree with the outcry. But I object to the implied victimhood here--of a person beset upon by the horde.

Jailbreaking is very likely legal due to the first sale doctrine. But it hasn't been tested mainly because Apple has yet to go after a single customer for jailbreaking a product they own. They won't honor the warranty, but they're not bothering them either. It's the right place for a tech company to be IMO. If I install a new engine management chip in my Civic, Honda won't honor that warranty either.

Re:Straw man? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896404)

I have not seen the outcry you're talking about.

I've never seen it either in regard to Apple products.

On the PS3 it's a different story. The vast majority of hardcore PS3 fans seem extremely angry that the OtherOS was hacked, and perfectly fine with what Sony did. It's disconcerting. As long as there's no danger of their gaming market being damaged by piracy, I think they'll accept most anything that Sony chooses to do.

Re:Straw man? (1)

jjb3rd (1138577) | about 4 years ago | (#31896532)

Mod the parent up. The iPod/iPhone/iPad world is a closed system, just like xbox360 and xbox live...people complain there too about running unauthorized binaries on the xbox, but the ones who do generally do so to play pirated games and/or mod the games, screwing the online experience of those poor bastards who actually shelled out the cash to have the proper experience, not to mention screwing the developers. The closed ecosystem restricts your freedom and costs you more money, but you generally have an easier more predictable experience and that's what people generally want. So complain away, but that's why the Apple ecosystem is kicking everyone's ass.

From the article: (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 4 years ago | (#31896242)

You may not and you agree not to, or to enable others to, copy (except as expressly permitted by this License), decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, attempt to derive the source code of, decrypt, modify, or create derivative works of the iPad Software or any services provided by the iPad Software, or any part thereof
This License is effective until terminated. Your rights under this License will terminate automatically or otherwise cease to be effective without notice from Apple if you fail to comply with any term(s) of this License. Upon the termination of this License, you shall cease all use of the iPad Software

In other words, jailbreaking is a good way to indicate that you want to terminate the licence. After which you are no longer bound to its terms.

Re:From the article: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896376)

Except for the part about "cease all use of the iPad software", which says, quite plainly, should you jailbreak the thing, your license is terminated, and you are no longer allowed to use it. You would have to install your own OS, your own apps, and possibly your own drivers for the hardware, because you are no longer allowed to use theirs.

Bad for longterm business..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896258)

Out of principle, I won't buy a device with this much restriction. It's not designed for the customer, which it should be in my opinion, because the customer is the one paying for it. Instead, it's designed for the company that designed it. The number of devices/products I buy is going down hill pretty fast. I'm the customer, if they don't make what I want, I won't buy it and it's as simple as that. If everyone did this, we would actually get what we want. Unfortunatly, more people than not are becoming desensitized and are happy to own half featured devices at double the price.

Finally, a controlled test (1)

localman57 (1340533) | about 4 years ago | (#31896264)

I think the whole Android / iPhone situation is interesting. Basically, it's put-up or shut-up time for Open Source. With the Droid we finally have not only a platform that can go head-to-head with the big corporations, we also have real marketing and advertising budgets to go with it. Personally, I'd like to see the iPhone remain totally closed and controlled. This represents the greatest chance we have to show the general public why they should care about Free Software and open platforms.

Re:Finally, a controlled test (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 4 years ago | (#31896644)

One of my geek friends is a total oss zealot bought a droid phone for him, the one that was touch screen only like an iphone, and one with a keyboard for his texting like mad wife. They quickly found they couldn't always download the same apps from the market place due to hardware differences of the two phones. And it happened a few times.

All my none geek friends who got one b/c they were with verizon were elated at first, but now are kind of ho-hum and most will tell you if they could have gotten an iPhone on Verizon, they would have.

I can tell already Android is not getting fun to develop for from a professional stand point. We've spent 5x's the amount on test hardware in the past six months than we have in the past 2 years for Apple devices. And we're finding QA testing is taking 3X's the time/expense because we have to test against 1.5,1.6,2.0, and 2.1. There are hardware differences, feature differences, and for an open platform it costs more to develop for. It's been a sticker shock when we quote a price that is 4x's the cost to develop the same app for the iPhone, and that is enough that most of our clients will develop for the iPhone first. And only for Android if the iPhone app proves to be successful.

It is not THEIR device (0, Redundant)

houghi (78078) | about 4 years ago | (#31896284)

The moment I buy it, it becomes MY device. If I want to blend it [youtube.com] , that is MY option. All that I will void is the warranty.

spread the word (5, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | about 4 years ago | (#31896302)

A couple of my coworkers were talking recently about Kindles and iPads. I told them about the DRM. Neither of them knew what DRM stood for, so I had to explain. Neither of them had heard of the infamous incident involving Orwell's 1984 [wikipedia.org] . Neither of them knew about the history of DRM'd media becoming unplayable within 5 years after people buy it, because the company running the DRM dies or abandons the project.

Once people are educated about the issues, then it's up to them. If they buy a locked-down device, that's their decision. They know what they're getting into. We all buy coffee pots and wristwatches without any expectation that we'll be allowed to load arbitrary software into their CPUs. Everybody just has to draw their own individual line between the devices where they care about lockdown and the devices where they don't.

The crunchgear article has some major logical flaws. The author states, "Lastly, I would like to humbly thank Apple, Sony, Microsoft, and all the others, for creating wonderful devices which I plan to enjoy to the fullest extent." In other words, he's bought these locked-down devices, and now he has to find some way to justify buying them, even though he's unhappy with the EULAs. "A popular objection is that one doesn't have to buy the devices that happen to be wrapped up in restrictive systems or deliberately limited. Vote with your wallet, right? [***] Sure, and even when you jailbreak or mod, you are doing just that. You bought the device most suited to your needs." At the point where I inserted the [***] there is a major gap in his logic. He's paid money to these companies. He has voted with his wallet. He's cast his vote in favor of locked-down devices. He didn't buy the device most suited to his needs. He bought a device that was unsuited to his needs, and then modified it in order to suit his needs. He also ignores the very real practical consequences of modding and jailbreaking. The manufacturer is almost certainly never going to give him warranty service, and some of them may actually intentionally or unintentionally brick his device when it phones home for software updates.

Here are a couple of proposals that I'd consider more realistic. Both of these really do involve voting with your wallet. (1) If there are no options that avoid DRM and lockdowns, don't buy. This is my current attitude about the Kindle and iPod. I'll buy one when there is a non-DRM'd library of books available for it that is roughly the same size as Amazon's current catalog. (2) Buy the lesser of two evils. E.g., I believe Android is significantly less locked down than iPhone, so if I were choosing between the two, I'd buy an Android.

Don't buy a jailed device in the first place (1)

slim (1652) | about 4 years ago | (#31896360)

The fact that people want to jailbreak their iPhone says one thing to me -- they shouldn't have bought it.

Think about it, it's a device that's broken out of the box, to the extent that in order to use it for the purpose you bought it for, you have to mend it. And the act of mending it invalidates the warranty!

Why not just buy something that does the job you want it to do in the first place? If Apple don't make such a device, buy one from someone else.

If everyone did this, perhaps market forces would cause Apple to make their platform less restrictive.

Who? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | about 4 years ago | (#31896366)

Who am I?

Before the purchase?
I am the customer... and the customer is always right, amirite?
It is their job to make me satisfied with the sale I am about to commit to.

And after the purchase?
I am the owner... and who is Apple to tell me what’s best for my devices?
They’re just the manufacturer, and all the more say that the manufacturer gets is to print out nice full-colour manuals, instructional booklets, and quick start guides that I won’t ever read (step 1: open box, remove this instruction sheet from its protective sleeve).

Who am I, indeed!

Apple and Sony are not comparable (2, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 4 years ago | (#31896428)

In Apple's case, jailbreaking is to open up a closed device. Of course, anyone buying an Apple iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad just because you can jailbreak it and do what you want is pretty stupid - there are millions of other devices out there that are perfectly open. Jailbreaking is a bonus to make a nice device even better. But one should not be under any pretenses that it's sanctioned nor available everywhere (e.g., the second run iPhone 3GS require re-jailbreaking every time you reboot it).

In Sony's case, they're removing an advertised feature. In which case, "jailbreaking" is to get back what Sony sold me.

Apple never sold me anything on the basis that it can be jailbroken - the features and restrictions thereof have been known at the time of purchase. I still use them because they're pretty nice devices, and all are jailbroken because I might as well do it and enjoy the nice bonus.

Sony sold me a PS3 on the belief it has a certain set of features, namely, OtherOS. Now they're taking away that feature, so I am entitled to do whatever it takes to get back the same featureset that Sony offered when it sold it to me.

In one case, jailbreaking gets you more stuff. In the other, jailbreaking is to get back stuff you bought. Hell, Apple's rolled out more features for my iPhone than came with it when I bought it. Sony's pretty much ensured launch unit PS3s still command original selling prices on the used market by removing stuff every hardware revision. Heck, even the Xbox360 gained features on newer revisions (HDMI output...).

And yes, while I believe you can do anything you want with hardware, I also don't buy hardware just because someone's already hacked it, but whether or not that device without hacking would be useful to me. If I have two similar devices then the availability of a hack might sway me one way or another, but it's never a checklist item.

its not their device anymore (1)

zeldor (180716) | about 4 years ago | (#31896462)

once you buy it its no longer their device, its your device
and should be able to do with it as you please.
however there are non consumer friendly laws that
got bought that prohibit this concept...

Don't Buy It (3, Insightful)

npsimons (32752) | about 4 years ago | (#31896476)

I'll never get this obsession with buying Apple products - supposedly it's because they "just work", but when you have to void the warranty to get it to do what you want it to do, you're obviously admitting that it doesn't "just work". Why buy it when you can get something that is designed to be open and hackable [nokia.com] ?

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for hacking and modding and sticking it to the man, but since when is forking over your hard earned cash (to the man, no less) for a device that is hack-hostile "sticking it to the man"? Why not instead encourage companies that are encouraging you to be more than a consumer?

Ignorant Article (0, Troll)

davevr (29843) | about 4 years ago | (#31896524)

OK, since the author of the article seems to be totally ignorant of the actual issue, let me help you. This is nothing to do with "customer rights" and everything to do with stealing.

Your iPad/PlayStation/XBOX costs MORE than you are currently paying for it. Apple/Sony/Microsoft is selling it to you more cheaply because they want to make up the difference by selling you software.

So the companies have a few choices. 1) charge much more for the hardware and worry that people will not buy it. 2) undercharge for the hardware and lock people in to a closed app store. 3) sell two different versions - locked and unlocked - and let people choose which one they want.

Some open systems like PCs do #1 while some smartphones do #3. But most content-based products do model #2. When you "jailbreak" your product and use that to exit the app store ecosystem, that is basically saying "I know you want $800 for this, but I only want to pay you $400". We have a word for that. It is called "stealing". If you want to buy a toaster and it costs $20, but you only want to pay $10, you can't just tell WalMart that it is your "customer right".

And all of this talk about companies "forcing" you to do this or that. Wake up! You DO NOT HAVE TO BUY AN IPAD. If you don't like being locked in, don't engage in criminal behavior - just buy something else that is open. Geez people.

- davevr

Re:Ignorant Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896636)

Uhm, no. The iPad most definately does NOT cost more than they are charging for it, a simple teardown and analysis of the hardware has shown that. They lock you in so they can control the market, NOT to 'subsidize cost".

Now, your argument would hold weight for the PS3, except for the fact that they SOLD the device with certain functionality, then REMOVED it, after the sale. If someone sold you a gold ring, that turned out to only be gold plated, that would be considered fraud. How is it they can remove functions from a device you already paid for, and may well have bought for just that feature, and that's not fraud?

Re:Ignorant Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896698)

Doing something with an item you paid your own hard-earned for isn't criminal behavior.

Fool me once... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31896578)

There was a point in time, not too long ago, that I was considering purchasing a second PS3.

It would be cool to experiment with the cell processors running Linux.

However, after the generally despicable behaviour of Sony and the removal of the 'Boot Other OS', there is really no reason to consider a second PS3.

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