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jclthei

Do you think individuals should be allowed to Root/Jailbreak?

The US Copyright Office in 2010, stated Jailbreaking iOS devices is legal. Now this exemption is running out. I would like to hear what you think about rooting or jailbreaking. I'm doing some research of my own and want any information, whether you oppose Jailbreaking/Rooting or you're in favor, I want to know. Please be as detailed as possible when replying, so that your comment is not misconstrued.

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21 replies
kineticartist

Yes its MY device Im paying for it outright or by having a 2 year contract and if I want to root it or jailbreak then thats MY business Im not renting the stinkin thing
5 like dislike
jslick

Along what everyone else seems to be saying, I think you should be able to do what ever you want (in terms of modifications) with something you have purchased. However, if you jailbreak you iOS device and then are able to get free apps that you would otherwise need to pay for (I've never had an iPhone; you can do that right?) then that is obviously wrong.

Then again, a more legal perspective (I'm not an expert of law) would be that since a purchase is actually a contract and if one of the terms of the contract is that you cannot modify the software, then you are bound by that. If you do not agree with it then do no proceed with the purchase/contract.
3 like dislike
bare516

@jslick There is an app in Cydia where you can get paid apps for free. And yes, I agree it is obviously wrong.
-1 like dislike
Vinnymac

@bare516, Cydia allows you to add repositories. These repositories may contain apps that let you get "free" apps but are not recommended by Cydia. In fact they specifically state not to add them to your repository list. Cydia is not the problem here. Cydia by default comes with no access to any harmful or illegal applications.

Basically what I am saying is, yes jailbreaking gives you the ability to possibly get apps for free. But that is up to the choice of the user. Cydia does not advertise this, and in a sense is against it.
0 like dislike
bare516

Individuals should be allowed to root/Jailbreak any device. I would agree with @kineticartist that if consumers are paying for their devices, it is up to the consumer whether to make modifications to make their devices more personal to their liking. In all fairness I would also agree that if individuals decide to root or jailbreak their devices, it would cause to void their warranty.

Although, it is absolutely different if these devices are leased. In any lease agreement, it's most likely rooting or jailbreaking is prohibited.
2 like dislike
jclthei

@kineticartist: You're right about you paying for the device by signing a 2-year contract.
@bare516: I like the way you specified that an item on lease would prohibit rooting or jailbreaking because that would open up security issues. Also, by pointing out that consumers should be allowed to make these modifications and void their warranty, is their choice.
2 like dislike
timchoi89

I think people should have the right to do anything they want with their phones whether it's to jailbreak it or smash that phone to pieces. When you buy a phone, you're taking ownership of that phone. Sure companies may do all they can to control the experience you have on your phone, but I don't think there should be a law against jailbraking or rooting.
2 like dislike
Vinnymac

I look at a phone the way I look at a car.

If I was leasing a car, I would never modify it.
If I was purchasing a car, I might get a paint job, better tires, and maybe a better sound system.

It is the same thing with my phone. If I purchased my phone, I want to be able to paint "themes" onto my phone. I want to be able to remove features I will never need. I want control over the product I purchased. Rooting/Jailbreaking gives us the ability to customize and squeeze the value out of our purchases.

When I meet someone with a tricked out mustang, I am really interested in that car, and that persons taste. In a way, that person is defining themselves. Being able to make my phone fit my needs, after spending $+200 at times, is similar. I think it is well within the realm of reason to believe that most people want things to be the way they enjoy them the most.

Now I understand that many people say we own the hardware and not the software. We are purchasing the device. But you can legally modify a car to a variation of things. You could even add a gps system, a laptop or a new engine. If apple is selling me that hardware and it comes with iOS/If samsung is selling me hardware and it comes with android, that would be like a car company telling you, "You cannot change the tires, because we own those, and you are not allowed to improve upon this product".

Lastly, I am saying that if software cannot be modified because we don't own it, then maybe the companies are doing business wrong. They claim we own the hardware alone. But if the problem really was ownership, then sell me a device that lets me also own the software. If these companies actually took action based upon software ownership, then whenever someone purposefully smashed a phone on youtube, would that person not be liable for destroying hardware aswell as software? They keep trying to blur the line between the two, but the fact is, we gave the companies money for both. We reserve the right to change it how we would like.
1 like dislike
pinoyhatdog

I personally haven't made up my mind about this as I'm still weighing both sides of the argument.

Seeing as most (if not all here are pro rooting/jailbreaking/etc.), I'll make a contribution from the other camp (please be gentle with your rebuttals! :P). Basically, I think some comparisons are either antiquated, or don't make sense. For example, people like to say that since I bought a product, I should be able to do whatever I want with it. I agree, but can/should we apply the same logic to software?

Say for example, Photoshop: I buy a copy of Photoshop - but does it give me the right to get into the software's source a make changes at will? There are laws preventing us from doing that - hence differentiating open-source software and proprietary software.

Let's elaborate on this further, say someone purchases a copy of Photoshop, modifies the codebase adding new functionality, removing some, and so forth. Afterwards, that individual then releases the modified Photoshop to the public. Should that be considered legal considering that the Photoshop codebase is (at least I assume it is) proprietary?
0 like dislike
bare516

@pinoyhatdog, from what I gather from your statement, if the individual releases the modified Photoshop to the public, the legal consideration there would be if the individual is making a profit/sales from hacked "proprietary" software.

If you remember not too long ago, the hacker Geohot published a way to root the PS3 & got himself into heaps of legal battles with Sony. In my understanding, donations were taken, but not requiring payment for the "how-to". In my opinion, having repackaged proprietary software, makings sales from it & not a dime to the original developer isn't fair. The stance with Sony vs. Geohot is the the lost of game sales due to the PS hack that, allegedly, would allow pirated games to be played. We see that now with Xbox. Modded Xbox360s are banned from Xbox Live when detected when logged in Xbox Live. It's about motive. The only reason i see to mod a Xbox is to play pirated games. We all know how "piracy" hurts everyone.

Again, I believe it's about motive in regarding why would individuals would choose to root/jailbreak devices.

As your given example of Photoshop, how is it any different than MagicLantern for Canon DSLRs? Yes the Canon firmware is reversed engineered to make existing or non-existing features better, yet the developer for MagicLantern is not receiving payment, but donations from users who support on his further development on the software. I understand the need for intellectual property to be protected, but would it deter sales from buying Canon DSLRs in this example? I believe consumers will continue to buy. I personally use MagicLantern on my Canon T2i for still pictures and video, and in my opinion is far better than the stock Canon firmware. So does this require legal action against the developer of MagicLantern, which isn't on sale, but distributed for free who are interested because it made the device function better?

It's "apples & oranges" when you talk about "proprietary" & open-sourced software. The real problem here is there are people trying to make a buck. You can always find them. There are people selling services to root/jailbreak phones and it's usually sold to people how aren't tech savvy enough to do it themselves
1 like dislike
pinoyhatdog

@bare516:
I agree what you say about making a profit from modified software, however, the point I was trying to drive at was not about making a profit, but rather, the legality to reverse-engineer / tamper / hack / etc. the proprietary software's codebase.
0 like dislike
bare516

@pinoyhatdog:
Reverse-engineering / tampering / hacking /ect is what drives this industry. It's what propels innovation, although the technology isn't new, if you hear what i'm saying. We see it all the time. Example...look at Android. Steve Jobs could have sued the hell out of Google for infringing iOS, but instead goes on a bold statement by saying he'll destroy Android on the market share. Another example is Firefox which is a repackaged Netscape Navigator. Then you have Microsoft going after Linux for infringing off their patents.

In the past ten years in gadgetry and software, this industry is no stranger to the legality to your said point. If you really think about it, its so convoluted.
1 like dislike
pinoyhatdog

Yes, innovation nowadays usually entails reverse-engineering an product, then recreating a much better one - and as long as it results in a new / different product, I guess it's alright (though this would probably fall in the gray area).

However, jailbreaking / rooting isn't that. It's either reverse-engineering something, then recreating the same way, albeit with a few modifications, or hacking through the proprietary codebase, then releasing it again.

Sure, people could do that as a hobby and all, but to consider it completely legal - wouldn't that tantamount to saying that all software should be considered as open source (to a certain extent)? Yes I know I over-exaggerated that part, but there is still some sense there.
0 like dislike
nextgenguy

I feel that this should be allowed because it adds endless possibilities than what your manufacturer gives you. In android phones, they bundle you with poorly made OS and they are also slow. But, this also adds the the possibility of piracy. It can be controlled through better programming by developers. It is possible to add security to the apps and block out those who have used the pirated version.
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trinnyg

A person should be allowed to root a device in order to install / remove software that is not used. what makes Linux popular is the ability to be customized to the users requirements and Both Apple and Android are Linux base ware operating systems What should a person be held into needing to use application A if the person does not have any use for application A and it auto loads on the device every time you use it. Microsoft itself has gotten into legal battles for locking out competitor applications or bundling software so tight to the operating system and both apple iOS and Google Android are doing just that. It was also my understanding that after you ended your contract with a provider that you could transfer your phone to another provider well I have yet to see any provider provide unlock Codes for free once your contract ends. Or even know how to do that.
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devilzkrazy

Yes they shall be. I mean, there has to be something for hackers! :P
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toryjaimez

yes because they paid for their apple stuff and deserve freedom to do anything they want with it.
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skotecha

for the company its obviously wrong because it suffers a great loss as most of the people would prefer to root/jailbreak their devices. But for companies like apple he customers have already paid a huge amount of money for the device and still they charge extra for the apps. Due to this, the people develop such softwares to help people who cant afford those apps.
-2 like dislike
jslick

Aww... the poor consumer can't afford the apps after buying a subsidized device from the carrier. Excuse the sarcasm, but that is a really poor argument. Not being able to afford the apps doesn't justify anything. When you buy a Mercedes or BMW you know your going to have pay a lot for gas and any maintenance going into the purchase. When I can't afford something, I just don't buy it.

Also, I think the developers actually charge for the app and then Apple takes a cut after.

Edit: Wow, I just compared $0.99 apps to maintenance on a BMW. Lol!
1 like dislike
timchoi89

I agree with jslick, that's a very very poor excuse for jailbraking/rooting a phone. If you can't afford it, then don't buy it. The only reason why someone should root or jailbreak is because they want to run their own skins or sideload an app that's not allowed on the market.
0 like dislike
bare516

@timchoi89 Spot on!
0 like dislike