back to article Mozilla, Skype join iPhone jailbreak fight

Skype and Mozilla have thrown their weight behind the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in that digital-freedom organization's fight to loosen the Digital Millenium Copyright Act's (DMCA) restrictions on iPhone jailbreaking. In separate filings with the US Copyright Office, VoIP-master Skype and Firefox publisher Mozilla …


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  1. P. Lee

    No mozilla for iphone perhaps

    but I wonder if Mozilla's sugardaddy Google, would like access?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Simple solution for users ...

    Don't buy it. Buy from another vendor.

  3. Donovan Hill

    Don't people get it?

    It Apple only wants "approved" applications on the iPhone, then I say, "DON'T BUY AN IPHONE!" Vote with your frickin' wallets people! I cannot understand why people would buy a product like this KNOWING that the vendor(s) have it locked down. If you want to live in Apple's straighjacket, then fine. If you don't, then get a different phone! Again, VOTE WITH YOUR WALLETS! DON'T BUY THEIR LOCKED PRODUCTS IF YOU WANT IT TO DO MORE THAN THEY WANT YOU TO DO WITH IT!


  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a free market

    The iPhone doesn't have a monopoly. Many smartphones have more capabilities, after all. Let the people who like shiney things buy from Apple, and the rest of us get on with devices that are functional and not locked-down.

  5. Squits

    Isn't this a bit like

    When Micro$oft got 'done' for forcing Internet Explorer on everyone when they bought a version of Windows?

    I suppose Donovan is right though, if you want to do x with mobile phone y and they won't let you, tough shit, buy a different smart phone, but the other 'phones don't do the spangly 'tard things that Apple do.

    The Sony PSP did it the same as Apple, keep releasing new firmwares, stop x working everytime.

  6. sektah


    This isn't end-users filing lawsuits ; this is companies doing so because the iPhone is wildly popular, and they want a piece of the action. If the iPhone were a failure, you can bet these guys wouldn't give a toss.

    The majority of iPhone users already don't give a toss because they either a) don't know or b) don't care.

  7. Steven Knox

    but er

    This isn't even companies filing lawsuits -- it's companies filing opinions with the US Copyright Office.

    More to the point, this isn't just about apps on the phone, it's also about devices on the network. And here in the wonderful US of A, the networks have exclusivity agreements on the good devices. You want a Blackberry? Sure you can get one for any network -- unless you want a touch-screen: then you're stuck with Verizon. Want a Blackberry flip phone? You'd better like T-Mobile, then. If you like the iPhone, you'll love AT&T -- you don't have any choice.

  8. michael

    apples argumemt

    "jailbreaking would sanction "copyright infringement, potential damage to the device and other potential harmful physical effects, adverse effects on the functioning of the device, and breach of contract.""

    ok on a point by point bases

    1.copy right infringement: I would like to see more eve dance of this clam it seams to me that "fercliating copyright infringement" is one of the new stop everything buzz words and is used with out merret

    2. potential damage to the device: so if they have bought it why stop them if they brake it then it is void warentie and they just need to get a new one and you get another sale

    3.other potential harmful physical effects: i assume they mean to the user again they messed with it there fault

    4.adverse effects on the functioning of the device: dito points 3.2.

    5.breach of contract: a matter between the 2 parties to the contract anbd all ready insrined in law dose not need more sporting law

    in short there seams to be a trend over the last years for hardware manufactures to think they still own the hardware after they have sold it to you this needs to be stopped

  9. Eirik Hektoen

    @Bob, Donovan, Andrew, Squits, ...

    The argument "if you don't agree with the lock-down don't buy the phone" is doubly wrong:

    Firstly, you may reasonably choose to buy the phone regardless of your feelings about the lock-down - if in the end you prefer the design, functionality and reliability over the other phones available.

    Secondly, by making excuses for the proponents of the DCMA it actually lets Apple and all the other companies off the hook.

    What's important is not which phone anybody buys, but the principle. The law should not grant manufacturers the right to restrict what you may do with a product you have bought from them. It's that simple.

  10. Nick Pettefar

    Firefox? Mad!

    Why would anyone want that memory-leaking CPU-hogging bloatware on their telephone? Madness!

    Opera or similar is the way to go.

    For my sins I just bought a Nokia E71 - to complement my iPod Touch! The iPhone only has 16GB and is too expensive here in Belgium. The Belgian mobile telephone companies rip you off with dreadful price plans too. The only plus point is that the mobile telephones are unlocked by law.

  11. Gordon Ross Silver badge

    Operator Subsidies

    Virtually eveyone buys a mobile phone with a contract. When bought this way, the operator subsidises the cost of the phone, so I can see why the operator would want to ensure that during this lock-in period you are restricted in what you can do - they sort-of part own the phone (As an analogy, think about a morgage: If you want to do changes to your house, you have to get permission from your morgage company)

    What I think should be mandated by law, though, is that at the end of the contract, the phone should be totally unblocked, so you can do what you want with it.

  12. Scott Mckenzie

    If you're not happy...

    ...don't buy it.

    I bought one and am perfectly happy, i really don't care about the type of browsers available, mobile safari is excellent. If Skype aren't too fussed then i'll use Truphone (who are bringing Skype calling in anyway)

    I never understand these things... there is so much choice in the world that you can buy what you like to suit your needs, the iPhone is a fantastic product (as anyone who's actually *used* one will usually testify) but if you don't agree to it's T's&C's then go elsewhere. There is nothing I want to do on my iPhone that it doesn't do.... 6 other people in the office have since bought one too, and not one has ever complained about the fact it can't do something that they need, or that they feel that if it were a more open phone and they could install other applications (probably mostly shit) then it would enrich their lives. Strangely when many of them were using WM6 devices they never installed anything else on that either.... a lot of people are just happy with what they've got and don't feel the need to needlessly install a plethora of crap on the phone that doesn't really offer anything above what it came with.

    It's really simple.

    P.S. I don't care about Flash on the mobile device, it means pages load faster. I've never needed to use Copy and Paste and since having my iPhone unlocked to allow me to use my Orange SIM, the one Jailbroken app i've installed is SwirlyMMS to allow MMS... in the 18 months i've had it, i've received 3 and sent none. If i weren't in a contract with Orange i'd have moved to O2 and got a locked 3G one by now.

  13. Mark


    So you don't want a proper bit of GPS software like TomTom? I know I do. It's the one thing I had on my old WM6 phone that I really miss on my iPhone and I can't get it, it is also the one bit of software I hear most people who have iPhone's moaning about the lack of.

    Due to the crap GPS software on the iPhone, I still have my old WM6 mobile lying around so I can use TomTom whenever it's needed, it would certainly enrich my life if I didn't have to drag that and my bluetooth gos unit around with me as well..... (I'm one of those people who was stupid enough to not check out the GPS capabilities of the iPhone before I bought it, I just assumed it would work in the way most GPS devices do......)

    I'll agree that the iPhone is a great product, but the fact I can't put a proper bit of GPS software on it that will guide me around with no interaction is epic fail!! If this will result in me being able to get a copy of TomTom for my iPhone then i'm backing it all the way!!!

  14. Anonymous Coward

    I'm going to have to agree..

    with Steven Knox and a few others, firstly the 'exclusive' deals with operaters does nothing but rip people off and ties them down to a service they may not want or like.

    And as for Apple, why should they have ANY say on a peice of hardware I have bought?

    Ok it may have there OS on it, it may even be filled with there Apps but that its the Users/Customers chose NOT theirs. You are not buying a service from Apple, you just happen to buy a peice of hardware made by Apple.

    Its the same arguement for modding xbox's and the likes, if someone goes out and buys an X-box and then chips it to run linux then thats up to them, its their money their hardware their chose.

    If however they then go out an buy a subscription to the xbox live SERVICE then M$ have every right to tell the customer the conditions of the service including their policies on modded hardware which connects to their network.

    So thats basically it, if I am not buying a service from you either directly or indirectly you have no says what I can and can not do to my own hardware.

    *\. Carrying my leather jacket because the cows say I cant wear it on any day with a 'y' in it.

  15. Scott Mckenzie


    No i don't, i quickly got fed up of the battery drain on the WM6 devices for sat nav, so sold my old WM6 device that i had previously used for £90 and bought the Garmin Nuvi 250 from Amazon for £79 ( - it has a longer battery life, starts up quicker, runs quicker and gives me the flexibility of a separate device. For any use where i don't have the sat nav with me, Google Maps is more than adequate.

    If Garmin made a proper GPS navigation system for the iPhone i'd evaluate it and consider it... but i'm sure it would suffer a similar fate on the battery (which is why it doesn't exist at the moment in my opinion). However I don't like TomTom so would stick with my standalone unit anyway!

    Like i said, for me it's perfect. (FWIW I have a 2G iPhone too so don't even have GPS, but am still more than happy with Google Maps for any use i have for it...)

  16. Wade Burchette

    Several things

    This is NOT at all like Microsoft forcing IE down our throats. If Microsoft would not allow you to install any alternative browser and any non "Microsoft Approved" application, then that would be a valid comparison. But Microsoft doesn't do that. They do try copy everybody else's idea and make it their own (Office, Silverlight, and so on), but they don't stop you from using the competition.

    Another point, I have AT&T wireless. While the service is so-so, then couldn't give a flip what I do with my phone so long as I leave my contract too soon. My last phone included the cable to transfer music and tether the phone to the computer and the software to do all that, and it was in an Cingular box (before they became AT&T again) which means the company pack the phone knowing you could do that. In fact, most cell phone companies are like that, except one. Verizon Wireless cripples their phone so that you cannot transfer music to the phone, unless you pay a big fee to Verizon. I know this because I just saw an ad about how "cool" it would be if you get music on your phone through their network with the Blackberry Storm.

    The point being, it is Apple limiting your choices, not AT&T wireless or any other carrier.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Damned lawyers can't read

    > "allowing jailbreaking would sanction copyright infringement, etc ..."

    They probably have a point with breach of contract and other such things, given their rather bulky T&C, but "sanction copyright infringement"! WTF?

    Modifying something does not constitute breach of copyright, unless you have to ship parts of the original binary as part of the jailbreak (unlikely). Copyright - all in the name - you have to copy something. And if they are trying to claim that having a device which could *possibly* play stolen content is illegal then they can go straight to jail. iPod can play MP3, so they are selling a device which "sacntions copyright". Go to jail Stevie. And perhaps for a long time, coz they in the USA and probably own guns. And guns can kill people, so better lock them up for "sanctioning murder" too.

    Damn I get fed up with all of this legal crap, can we please let the legal profession implode in the same manner as the banking industry. At least no one would complain when the lawyers go bust -

  18. Rex Alfie Lee

    Difference between Apple & M$

    So what is the difference between Apple & M$? M$ is cheaper & doesn't work as well. That's it. I guess you get what you pay for. The more you pay the more limited you are. So why not pay nothing at all for the software & have a much better time.

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