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Apple Claims Unlocking iPhone Violates the DMCA

Apple has filed a response to the U.S. Copyright Office's review of the DMCA exceptions that argues that unlocking the iPhone infringes copyright and violates the DMCA.  The applicability of anti-circumvention legislation to cellphone unlocking was a major issue under Bill C-61.


  1. Canuck Business says:

    so instead a me buying a iphone from apple and doing what i want with it. I won;t buy one and look to someone else.

    YUP more boneheads onthe fly great to see capitalism knows how to make sales these days.

  2. Here’s what I’d like to know….
    If you haven’t actually made a copy of something that was copyrighted in the first place, nor have you enabled people to more easily make a copy of a copyrighted work than they would have been able otherwise, how is copyright or even the DMCA even remotely applicable?

    There is no copyrighted content actually being copied in the process of unlocking an iphone, nor does unlocking the iphone enable people to copy otherwise copy protected content more readibly than they would be able to otherwise. It unlocks functionality of the appliance, not the copyrighted content therein. The most that doing this ought to do is void a warranty. To equate it to criminal behavior is just Apple bawling about people not doing what they wanted.

  3. Jailbreaking, Not Unlocking
    There’s no mention of “unlocking” in that document. There’s a big difference between unlocking and jailbreaking, which is actually what they’re opposed to.

  4. A big difference you say?
    “Jailbreaking” is merely a precise term for the act….but what it actually entails still amounts to unlocking locked down functionality in the firmware.

    Regardless, the DMCA only covers removing copy protection on digitally encrypted copyrighted content. There is no actual copy protection being removed by “jailbreaking” an iPhone, so again, how in the world can the DMCA even apply? Sure, the firmware is copy protected, but it’s the function of the phone, not the copyrighted content itself, that actually gets increased exposure by this action.

  5. the iphone is bunk unless you’ve jailbroken it. without the community you wouldn’t be able to have things such as linux/android on your iphone.

    moreover lets not even get started on the community getting things like copy/paste before apple can roll it out.

  6. you sold out your family
    putting your own product in jail… priceless.

  7. Another company I will not buy anything from. I don’t buy cds anymore, I don’t rent movies anymore, I will not buy a product with DRM nor a product whose company threatens to sue their own supporters.

    Folks when you quit buying their techno-crap and they really feel a fiduciary stranglehold the situation won’t change.

  8. I think what the above poster meant to say is, “Folks [until] you quit buying their techno-crap and they really feel a fiduciary stranglehold the situation won’t change.”

    I agree.

  9. locking golf clubs
    I think politicians might understand an analogy to golf clubs. Hinge the clubs at the handle, insert a GPS chip and then you have to use the clubs at the club you bought or registered the clubs at.
    Clear case of corporate control after ownership transfer.

    What is the difference? Really this locking devices is an attempt to redefine ownership just because the technology exists.
    Either the item is sold or it is leased. If it’s sold you loose control. Should be the end of the story.