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Jail-breaking law change will have limited impact: analysts, companies

The impact of the Copyright Office's cell phone jail-breaking decision probably won't have a big practical effect, analysts say.

For one: breaking open locked devices to download unauthorized applications takes some technical savvy. A separate copyright law prevents a cottage industry of breaking open phones.

"It does not extend to allow businesses to set up services and tools to allow those individuals to crack the access controls, which is prohibited by another section of the DMCA," wrote Rebecca Arbogast, head of tech policy research at Stifel Nicholaus. "So this means that clever, tech-savvy people can take advantage of this, aided by operations that are providing some tools to help them, but large-scale business models to provide a widely available service are unlikely to spring up because they still have liability risk."

To recap, the Library of Congress on Monday announced revisions to the Digital Millennial Copyright Act that allow mobile users to download any application they want onto their phones. The revisions also allow the users to to switch carriers, if their service provider permits them to do so.

Reader will4567 wrote: "You have always been able to jailbreak an iPhone. Just don't expect Apple to support your phone if it doesn't work right. And if they pump out a new software update that you want, you usually have to reset the phone back to the factory default, run the update, then re-jailbreak and reload your apps."

Apple said jailbreaking its phones would void a user's warranty.

And another change in copyright law that would allow mobile phone users to transport their phone from one network to another doesn't mean Verizon users will now be able to get the iPhone on their network. Verizon noted that the Apple is built to operate on the GSM standard, not on the CDMA wireless standard used by Verizon.

By Cecilia Kang  |  July 27, 2010; 10:49 PM ET
Categories:  AT&T , Apple , Early Termination Fees , FCC , FTC , Mobile , T-Mobile , Verizon  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Sen. Kerry to introduce Internet privacy bill, momentum for federal rules builds
Next: Online privacy and building reputations: Q&A with Professor Turow of UPenn


From what I hear, Apple is not going to support your phone if it doesn't work, regardless of whether or not your phone is jailbroken.

Posted by: x59htes | July 28, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I've heard the same about Apple. If any part of it breaks or malfunctions, you replace the entire thing -- much like the iMacs.

I dont know why people want the iPhone anyways. The 4G is brand new and is already inferior to a lot of other phones on the market. Go get anything else; the HTC Evo, for example, is a VERY good choice.

Posted by: Raxion | July 28, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

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