Jailbreaking Declared Legal

Author: BigBoss  //  Category: Jailbreak

It looks like an exception has been added to the DMCA for jailbreaking and installing 3rd party “non-vendor approved” applications on a device like the iPhone. While this is something the community has always deemed as legal, it is now officially called out in a law as legal. More at the Washington Post story.

While I’m no lawyer, I would argue that jailbreaking has always been legal. In short, there was no law that said you could not jailbreak. Laws are drafted as such that they call out only what you cannot do or what you must do. Everything in between is considered legal. For example, there’s no law that says you may go to the store on Tuesdays, and no one is questioning whether or not that’s legal.

Still, it’s nice to be called out as legal.

Modmyi has written a great article on this subject and I encourage everyone to read it.

BigBoss Authors: Mark Bruce & Kory Lee

28 Responses to “Jailbreaking Declared Legal”

  1. mikegdking Says:

    wow I saw the news in a web page and i was i have to go and check what bigboss say about that , im so happe about that, bigboss keep doing u thing man i feel proud of u

  2. Prima Facie Says:

    It was important to get the exception for jailbreaking because it is generally illegal to defeat methods to protect copyrights. For example, it is generally illegal to remove DRM from DVDs even if you don’t actually make illegal copies of the DVDs. So, without the exception, it’s possible that jailbreaking could be viewed in a similar light since it allows people to defeat copyright protections if they so choose.

  3. Mugiwaranoapple Says:

    I wonder what apple’s take on this subject is. And if they’ll continue to make it harder and harder to jailbreak. Or just simply if they’ll stay quiet or take action. Just feels like a small victory to the community.

  4. The6uest Says:

    How ’bout releasing that jailbreak for iPhone 4 then? I’m ready!

  5. BigBoss Says:

    Jailbreaking actually does not defeat copyrights. There are more steps taken to do that and they are not part of the jailbreak.

  6. Matt Says:

    Also what I didn’t see mentioned here

    Is that this legality of jailbreaking also includes in Australia it is not illegal to bypass the carrier lock either.. From what I have read and heard Australian users do not have to authorize an unlock via apple at all deeming jailbreak unlocking legal too

    So we could in fact find 100% unlocked phones on plans in the near future :D

  7. Prima Facie Says:

    The act of jailbreaking itself defeats copyright protections.

    The law in question states in part: “No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.”

    iOS is a protected work, and in order to jailbreak it, the iOS’s protections must be circumvented. There’s no doubt about that.

  8. Pointless Says:

    Ahhh just so all you dumb asses know even if it is deemed LEGAL apple will still void your warranty. So what are we celebrating?

  9. Prima Facie Says:

    Without the exception, Apple could have theoretically sued the members of the Dev Team and and sought an injunction that prohibits them from producing and distributing jailbreak tools. A court order like that would be much more stifling than the threat of a voided warranty.

    IMO, yesterday’s decision was definitely something to celebrate.

  10. The6uest Says:

    Let’s really celebrate by jailbreaking our iPhone 4′s!

  11. Mrfly Says:

    Does anyone know How to jailbreak a iPod touch ios4 2g mc model?? Without downgrading the version

  12. Pointless Says:

    Guess they r playin the waiting game, apple wants to wait till a jailbreak release to launch their 4.1 or white iPhone and comex wants to wait for apple to release 4.1 or the white iPhone. Let’s see who gives in first.

  13. The6uest Says:

    But the previous post says that Comex ISN’T waiting for 4.1!

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Currently impossible. :(

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Apple should just accept the fact that they lost the jailbreak war and release cydia in a firmware update lmao or just tell us how to jailbreak and iPod touch mc model that is running iOS4

  16. Anonymous Says:


  17. Pointless Says:

    The day I believe comex isn’t waiting is the day he release the JB before 4.1 or the white iPhone.

  18. The6uest Says:

    What does the white iPhone4 have to do with it?

  19. cbowerman Says:

    Not sure where to post this but I’m trying to jailbreak my 3g for the first time. It has the 4.0.1 firmware and yet every time I try to use the redsn0w_win_0.9.5b5-5 and the 4.0.1 firmware restore it keeps saying unable to recognize specified IPSW. Can anybody help with this problem? Much appreciated

  20. FAP in DK Says:

    Use the 4.0 restore file in conjunction with Redsn0w. Them Redsn0w should roll smoothly!!

  21. badillo34 Says:


  22. Kyman Says:

    Yea it’s great that it’s legal but jailbreaking still voids your warranty so really it doesn’t matter in the long run. If it was illegal people would still do it just like downloading music so I don’t see a really big pro of it legality.

  23. Kyman Says:

    Doesn’t work tried it always pops up as error veryfing IPW

  24. FAP in DK Says:

    @ Kyman:
    I’ve used iPhone1,2_4.0_8A293_Restore.ipsw and redsn0w_win_0.9.5b5-3 and it “opened” two iPhone 3G’s; one factory unlocked and one unlocked by repo666.ultrasn0w.com.

  25. Chris Says:

    They are not circumventing any type of copy protection. Is not like they are installing iOS unto unlicensed devices. They are simply circumventing a LOCK that interferes with the installation of ADDITIONAL software. No Copyright is being broken!

  26. Arcticmuffin Says:

    I’ve tried this and it doesn’t work on my iPhone.. I don’t know what to do

  27. Bigboss Says:


  28. Prima Facie Says:


    The law does not merely prohibit making unlicensed copies of copyrighted work. Read the law that I quoted above. It prohibits circumventing a lock that prevents access to a copyrighted work. Therefore, a person does not need to actually create unlicensed copies of iOS to be in violation of the law.

    Furthermore, please take the time to understand what exactly was granted by the copyright office. The copyright office granted an EXCEPTION to the copyright law. Why would there be a need for an exception to the copyright law if it was so obvious that the copyright law was not violated?

    Prior to the exception being granted Apple had never sued any jailbreakers for copyright violations, but if it did there was a very strong chance that Apple would have won, and that’s why an exception was sought.

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