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2/13/2009
04:03 PM
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Apple Claims Jailbreaking Is Killing iPhone Business

The EFF's desire to allow the unlocking of cell phones like the iPhone represents an attack on Apple's business model, Apple decries.

The DMCA, Apple says, was put in place as an incentive for people to create valuable intellectual property. As proof that the act has done so, the company recounts the iPhone's success, calling it "stunning." The App Store, Apple observes, "has resulted in a huge success story in the proliferation of copyrighted creative works -- in just seven months, over 15,000 new applications have been made available through the App Store and over 500 million downloads of such works have taken place."

Since Apple filed its comments with the U.S. Copyright Office, the number of apps in the App Store has surpassed 20,000.

The EFF characterizes Apple's response as fear-mongering and empty rhetoric. "One need only transpose Apple's arguments to the world of automobiles to recognize their absurdity," asserts EFF attorney Fred von Lohmann.

"Sure, GM might tell us that, for our own safety, all servicing should be done by an authorized GM dealer using only genuine GM parts. Toyota might say that swapping your engine could reduce the reliability of your car. And Mazda could say that those who throw a supercharger on their Miatas frequently exceed the legal speed limit.

"But we'd never accept this corporate paternalism as a justification for welding every car hood shut and imposing legal liability on car buffs tinkering in their garages. After all, the culture of tinkering (or hacking, if you prefer) is an important part of our innovation economy."

The U.S. Copyright Office is expected to issue its decision in October.

Want to hear more about mobile technology on-demand? InformationWeek is hosting a virtual event on this topic Feb. 18. Find out more (registration required).

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