Is jailbreaking your iPhone illegal? Not anymore

Jul 26, 2010 - 35 Comments

jailbreak unlock iphone iPhone owners in the USA can now legally jailbreak and unlock their iPhone devices, according to new rules set forth by the US Government. While it’s great to have this legalized, it hardly stopped anyone from jailbreaking or unlocking phones in the past.

Though legalized, it’s worth mentioning that Jailbreaking or using a carrier unlock on an iPhone or iPad still voids your warranty per Apple’s user agreement. If you have a jailbroken device it’s probably wise to do a clean restore before bringing it in for service.

The jailbreaking exemption was part of a handful of exemptions announced Monday, including:

• allow owners of used cell phones to break access controls on their phones in order to switch wireless carriers.
• allow people to break technical protections on video games to investigate or correct security flaws.
• allow college professors, film students, documentary filmmakers and producers of noncommercial videos to break copy-protection measures on DVDs so they can embed clips for educational purposes, criticism or commentary.
• allow computer owners to bypass the need for external security devices called dongles if the dongle no longer works and cannot be replaced.
• allow blind people to break locks on electronic books so that they can use them with read-aloud software and similar aides.

You can read more from Associated Press.

Now, if only buying an iPhone without a contract would come without a carrier lock in the USA too… some day maybe!

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Posted by: Manish Patel in iPad, iPhone, News

35 Comments

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  1. naysayer says:

    I bought the phone, I’ll do what I want with it. I can’t believe this wasn’t legal to begin with, what is Apple thinking fighting something like this? Free the iPhone and it’ll sell more, there’s no need to be hyper control freaks.

  2. David M says:

    This article is misleading. It has never been illegal to jailbreak your iphone. This ruling simply affirms your right to do so.

    • Hodge says:

      Apple has long claimed that jailbreaking is illegal because it breaks their DRM – that was the whole basis of Apple’s defense and why the EFF was so up in arms.

      Whether or not it was actually illegal was a different story and now the US government confirms that it is in fact legal to jailbreak, which is why Apple is annoyed. It is now considered ‘Fair Use.’

  3. Mike W. says:

    WOOHOO! the government finally did something right this time!

  4. [...] Is jailbreaking illegal? – no, not anymore, but it may void your warranty with Apple. If you need to take your iPhone into service and you have a jailbroken device, it’s best for you to restore the iPhone. [...]

  5. [...] a carrier unlock and jailbreaking iPhone is not illegal thanks to a recent ruling by US officials, however using either hack will likely void your warranty [...]

  6. [...] this is highly recommended if you intend on bringing your iPhone to Apple or AT&T for service. Jailbreaking is not illegal but it will generally void your warranty with Apple unless you undo it before [...]

  7. mohamed ibrahim says:

    i bought an iphone 4 ,but theres a problem when i call someone i can hear them clearly but they cant hear me, and the problem is that i jailbreaked my iphone,does this void my warranty

  8. John says:

    Can anyone tell me how to jailbreak my 3rd gen Ipod touch?

    • Jeremy says:

      Greenpoison.com. Download. And run the program, follow the on screen instructions. This program did work with my 8gig 3 gen running iOS 4.1

  9. [...] marks your iPhone in an obvious manner to Apple and this is why it voids your warranty with them. Jailbreaking is not illegal but it is frowned upon by Apple, however the difference between a standard jailbreak and this [...]

  10. RedruM_28 says:

    Anyone who is looking for a way to jailbreak any iOS device instead of commenting on something that has nothing to do with HOW TO JAILBREAK go on YouTube and watch a video tutorial just search for jailbreak (and the model device you have) and (firmware version your running) It makes it so easy you can jailbreak your device while watching someone who knows what their talking about jailbreak the same device and as long as you have paid attention you don’t have to worry about bricking your device or the jailbreak failing and having to try and jailbreak it multiple times.

    I hope I have helped out some people who are new to jailbreaking :)

  11. Casey says:

    If you get Redsn0w Version 0.9.6b4 it will jailbreak the newest iOS. BUT IT HAS TO BE THIS VERSION OF redsn0w!!

  12. [...] rulings have ensured that jailbreaking your iPhone is not illegal, although Apple maintains that it will void your warranty. For this reason if you ever need iPhone [...]

  13. George says:

    Alright i dont want to take any risks so is jailbreaking the ipod touch4g llegal as of march 2011

  14. srslyCONFUSED says:

    heeelp… i would like to jailbreak my ipod touch 4th generation…

    but i have seriously NO clue..

    can someone explain it in english?!

    will it ruin my ipod???

  15. srslyCONFUSED says:

    oh ya… and if i jailbreak it and my ipod, like, dies,

    is there a warranty

  16. ipodwiz says:

    legal or not its ours and we bought it so they cant arrest us and think about how many people have already jailbroken their idevice

  17. Anonamoussss says:

    I hack ALL devices I buy simply because I can and I want to!
    I don’t need any government or company to say I can or can’t do this or that; THAT’S BS!
    No government or company will ever be able to control me and what I do!
    I use my own programming and some of others programming!
    I buy something or own something, it’s mine! I do what I want with it! When I want with it!
    If the government, company, or anyone else ever tries to stop me, they will be met with force!
    It’s me, my life, my stuff, and that’s it!
    But I will give credit where credit is due, and respect others, their stuff, and their things they do, cuz we are all here on our own, so we are all equal!
    And that’s why nobody can dictate my life, and I won’t dictate anyone elses life!

  18. DisDudeIsStoopid says:

    They can arrest you if they want too.

  19. dave says:

    So can you still get bricked if you plug your jailbroken Iphone/Ipod into your pc/mac and update it or are apple not allowed to do that anymore? I want to jailbreak but don’t want to get bricked.

  20. [...] was rumored that jailbreaking an iPhone was illegal. Gasp! Come to find out, in Summer of 2010, the U.S. government confirmed that people are well within their legal rights to jailbreak an iPhone if they are compelled to do so. Just don’t expect any warranty service at the Apple [...]

  21. Zach says:

    I want to jailbreak my iPod touch 4th generation but I don’t know the side effects of it. If it dies is there something I can do that won’t void my apple warranty?

  22. PêÅčHė$ says:

    Clearing things up, is Jailbreaking my iPod Touch 4G llegal as of April 18 2012? Will I be able to update my iPod using iTunes?

  23. Chelsea Dowarfth says:

    Of course jail breaking your ipod is legall, it should have been in the first place! The main reason why is because your ipod/ iphone is YOUR responsibility, not apple’s. But, if you do so and your ipod breaks, your out of luck, Apple won’t replace it. However, if you download illegal merchandise, like a free app or song that was suppossed to be paid for, it IS illegal, its just like stealing

  24. Elijah Question says:

    I want to jail break my iPod Touch 3rd Gen. Will it affect something on my iPod or with my Original App Store? Please tell me.

  25. [...] every 15 seconds, whether intentionally or not. So in this case, the bending of the rules (it is NOT illegal) is for the greater good.The app is free and so is the jailbreak software. If you’re worried [...]

  26. Bob says:

    How do you do a restore

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