Josh Levy, "Jailbreaking Your iPhone: Now Perfectly Legal"

Jailbreaking Your iPhone: Now Perfectly Legal Josh Levy, The Library of Congress made a big, unexpected decision today, announcing that users who unlock or jailbreak their mobile phones are within the legal clear — they're not violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It's a big win for openness. This decision is a first step toward opening up wireless networks and releasing the stranglehold that companies have on consumers who, until now, were legally restricted from doing whatever they want to their phones. When you buy an iPhone, Android or another smartphone, that phone should be considered yours to use as you see fit — just as it is with a desktop computer. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case. Wireless devices are saddled with restrictions from both software and hardware makers. Apple, HTC, Samsung, Motorola and the rest won't allow you to install unapproved applications (by "jailbreaking" your phone), and they and their wireless carrier partners make it impossible for you to use your phone on a competing network ("unlocking"). Hence, jailbreaking and unlocking, two legally dubious solutions to an anti-consumer problem created by wireless carriers and companies. The Library of Congress' decision takes these activities out of legal limbo, making it possible to modify mobile software and install what you want — and to "unlock" devices to make them work on compatible wireless networks — without breaking the law. This decision is huge for consumers, innovators, developers and anyone else who thinks the devices they buy should be theirs, and not the property of greedy gatekeepers.