EFF Fights For Jailbreaking Legalization In Court
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is set to square off against Apple’s VP of iPod and iPhone product marketing today in a courtroom in Palo Alto, California. They will be attempting to make their case to the Copyright Office that an exception should be made to DCMA law to make the process and act of jailbreaking an iPhone or iPod touch legal.
This marks the first time the office will be hearing the EFF’s pro-jailbreaking argument, and Apple is preparing to do everything they can to make sure they don’t get far. They have hired the well-respected intellectual property lawyer David Hayes from Fenwick & West, and has filed a 27-page legal brief arguing their case. In it, they claim the legalization of jailbreaking would inevitably lead to “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.”
The EFF’s attorney, Fred von Lohmann, countered the argument: “When an iPhone owner jailbreaks her iPhone, no copyrights are infringed,” he said in an e-mail message. “Granting an exemption will not reduce the availability of iPhone firmware or apps—in fact, it’s likely to increase the availability of both, by creating a more competitive, vibrant, consumer-driven marketplace.”
So who’s got the upper hand? It’s much too soon to tell, but there’s no doubt that the EFF’s case has been hurt by the several unofficial competitors to the App Store that have popped up in recent months, and even more so by the increasing trend of App Store app piracy that has been gaining popularity.