Apple lobbies against efforts to create DMCA exemption for iPhone jailbreakers

Fri, Feb 13, 2009

Legal, News

ArsTechnica has an interesting article highlighting Apple’s attempts to convince the Copyright Office to not issue an exemption to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act for individuals who jailbreak their iPhone.  On the other side of the coin is the EEF (Electronic Fronteir Foundation) which is “pushing hard” for the exemption.

Every three years, the Copyright Office hosts a rulemaking in which it considers specific exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) rules against circumventing DRM, and the comments are now in for the current round. This year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has pushed hard for an exemption on jailbreaking the Apple iPhone, allowing people to install and run applications of their choice that don’t come from the official App Store. Now, Apple has responded with a ringing defense of DRM and its business practices, siding with groups like the MPAA and RIAA against exemptions.

Apple comments hit back hard at the entire complaint, saying that “Congress did not envision the DMCA exemption process as a forum for economic restructuring of business models… As this submission will demonstrate, the evidence shows that a business model in which handsets can be widely jailbroken with the attendant problems that result would in fact hinder the creation and distribution of creative works for the platform.”

In response, a representative for the EEF countered:

“Sure, GM might tell us that, for our own safety, all servicing should be done by an authorized GM dealer using only genuine GM parts. Toyota might say that swapping your engine could reduce the reliability of your car. And Mazda could say that those who throw a supercharger on their Miatas frequently exceed the legal speed limit.

“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. After all, the culture of tinkering (or hacking, if you prefer) is an important part of our innovation economy.”

The article is definitely worth checking out in its entirety, and it can be found over here.


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