The Library of Congress, which oversees the Copyright Office, issued a ruling on Monday stating that iPhone owners can legally jailbreak their devices and install unauthorized apps onto their phones. This, however, doesn’t mean that Apple can’t enact roadblocks to frustrate users interested in doing so. In any event, it all seems to be a moot point in light of the fact that Apple has never pursued legal action against jailbreakers. Moreover, jailbreaking an iPhone still works to void the customer warranty. But if that’s how you like to get down, then by all means…
Responding to the development, an Apple PR rep told Cult of Mac.
Apple’s goal has always been to insure that our customers have a great experience with their iPhone and we know that jailbreaking can severely degrade the experience. As we’ve said before, the vast majority of customers do not jailbreak their iPhones as this can violate the warranty and can cause the iPhone to become unstable and not work reliably.
Some of the other exemptions announced on Monday include:
• allow owners of used cell phones to break access controls on their phones in order to switch wireless carriers.
• allow people to break technical protections on video games to investigate or correct security flaws.
• allow college professors, film students, documentary filmmakers and producers of noncommercial videos to break copy-protection measures on DVDs so they can embed clips for educational purposes, criticism or commentary.
• allow computer owners to bypass the need for external security devices called dongles if the dongle no longer works and cannot be replaced.
• allow blind people to break locks on electronic books so that they can use them with read-aloud software and similar aides.
The new rulings came at the behest of the Electronic Frontier Foundation which issued a press release on the matter viewable here.