Apple’s Jailbroken iPhone Patent Outrage: Really?
March 28th, 2009
Daniel Eran Dilger
Various rumor and gadget websites are finding delicious irony in the fact that a recent patent filing by Apple displays a graphic of a jailbroken phone. Are you kidding me, really?
Nilay Patel of Engadget wrote, “Uh oh, Apple — it looks like even your attorneys are dirty, thieving jailbreakers.” Kelly Hodgkins of the Boy Genius Report wrote “Considering that Apple is trying to use copyright infringement and the DMCA to hinder jailbreaking, it is unusual to see such an image in an official Apple document.”
It Boggles the Mind.
Who exactly is Apple stealing from when it jailbreaks the iPhone itself? Not the jailbreak community, which offers its work for free. So is this a case of Apple stealing from itself? Right.
This is about as ridiculous as the headlines about police charging a teenage girl with child pornography after she published naked pictures of herself.
Is Apple also being hypocritical for using its own logo after it sues others to stop them from using logos that might look like it? It is also ironic or “unusual” to see Apple using the trademark “iPod,” podcasting, and “Podcast Producer” after attempting to stop others from using the name “pod” in their products to protect those same trademarks?
Would it also be devious or immoral or an unfair double-standard for Apple to run its Mac OS X operating system on generic PC hardware internally, as it did during development in the Intel transition? Hello people, Apple can do anything it wants with its own software, trademarks, and licensing, even if it demands other do not do certain things with those bits of intellectual property.
It shouldn’t even be surprising that Apple employees were using jailbreak software within the company when this patent was filed in late 2007, before the official iPhone SDK was released.
Now, if Apple were using Linux in violation of the GPL, or using Microsoft Office without proper licensing, or using cracked Photoshop warez, or using RIAA music without paying the labels, then yes we’d have some ironic hypocrisy given Apple’s willingness to sue over its own rights. But that isn’t happening here, so the cackling from bloggerdom is simply embarrassing to read.
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