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What is Jailbreaking and is it legal ??


What is Jailbreaking ?

Jailbreaking is the process by which Apple iOS, is modified to run unsigned code in order to gain access to files that Apple wouldn’t normally let you access.

Jailbreaking adds unofficial application installers to your iOS device, such as Cydia, which let you download many 3rd-party applications,tweaks, and extensions that are unavailable through the App Store. These packages open up endless possibilities to do things on your iOS device that a non-jailbroken iOS device would never be able to do.

You can install extensions that give you instant access to your system settings from anywhere on your iOS device, bypass certain restrictions set in place by Apple and the carriers, and find packages that give you more control over your iOS experience.

Jailbreaking is about freeing your iOS device from Apple’s restrictions to let you install anything you want.

What are the Benefits of Jailbreaking ?

The main reason why you want jailbreak ” is to enable iPhone to install third party applications and tweaks that Apple may not approve in the App Store”.
There are tons of applications that do not meet Apple standards and do things that Apple does not allow / want you to do on your iOS device for various security reasons.

For example, Apple will not allow you to customize your iPhone by changing app icons or the general user interface of your device. Thanks to the jailbreak community, there are several ways to completely change the way your iPhone looks,WinterBoard being the most popular one.

Besides applications, jailbreaking also gives you access to tweaks, mods, and extensions. These not exactly considered applications. They bring subtle improvements to the way your iOS device operates. For instance, Five Icon Switcher is a tweak that lets you have 5 icons in the iPhone app switcher at once, instead of the default 4.

A lot of people jailbreak their iOS device in order to unlock it to work on a different carrier. When you want to unlock your iPhone, the first step is to jailbreak it to then run and run software that will let you have other carriers work on your iPhone.
Another key reason for Jailbreaking is to get lot of Apps free of cost, for which Apple Charge heavily and also install few tweaks which help you in free in-app purchase.

Is Jailbreaking Legal

This is one of the most debated Topic across world specially in US.

Jailbreaking is something that is legal in the Canada and the United States but may not be in other countries, so its legal status is affected by laws regarding circumvention of digital locks, such as laws protecting digital rights management (DRM) mechanisms. Many countries do not have such laws, and some countries have laws including exceptions for jailbreaking.


In 2010, Electronic Frontiers Australia said that it is unclear whether jailbreaking is legal in Australia, and that anti-circumvention laws may apply. These laws were strengthened by the Copyright Amendment Act 2006.


In November 2012, Canada amended its Copyright Act with new provisions prohibiting tampering with digital locks, with exceptions including software interoperability. Jailbreaking a device to run alternative software is a form of circumventing digital locks for the purpose of software interoperability.

There had been several efforts from 2008-2011 to amend the Copyright Act (Bill C-60, Bill C-61, and Bill C-32) to prohibit tampering with digital locks, along with initial proposals for C-11 that were more restrictive, but those bills were set aside. In 2011, Michael Geist, a Canadian copyright scholar, cited iPhone jailbreaking as a non-copyright-related activity that overly-broad Copyright Act amendments could prohibit.


India’s copyright law permits circumventing DRM for non-copyright-infringing purposes. Parliament introduced a bill including this DRM provision in 2010 and passed it in 2012 as Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2012.

India is not a signatory to the WIPO Copyright Treaty that requires laws against DRM circumvention, but being listed on the USSpecial 301 Report “Priority Watch List” applied pressure to develop stricter copyright laws in line with the WIPO treaty.


Jailbreaking might be legal in Singapore if done to provide interoperability and not circumvent copyright, but that has not been tested in court.

United Kingdom

The law Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003 makes circumventing DRM protection measures legal for the purpose of interoperability but not copyright infringement. Jailbreaking may be a form of circumvention covered by that law, but this has not been tested in court. Competition laws may also be relevant.

United States

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act says “no person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under” the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which may apply to jailbreaking; there is an exemption from this law only for jailbreaking mobile phones “at least through 2015.” Note that the exemption is for jailbreaking only, not unlocking (recent phones), and that Apple has announced that jailbreaking “can violate the warranty”. However, in the United States, Apple cannot void an iPhone’s warranty unless it can show that a problem or component failure is linked to the installation or placement of after-market item such as unauthorized applications, because of the Federal Trade Commission’s Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975.

In 2010, in response to a request by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the U.S. Copyright Office explicitly recognized an exemption to the DMCA to permit jailbreaking in order to allow iPhone owners to use their phones with applications that are not available from Apple’s store, and to unlock their iPhones for use with unapproved carriers.

Applehad previously filed comments opposing this exemption and indicated that it had considered jailbreaking to be a violation of copyright (and by implication prosecutable under the DMCA). Apple’s request to define copyright law to include jailbreaking as a violation was denied as part of the 2009 DMCA rulemaking. In their ruling, the Library of Congress affirmed on July 26, 2010 that jailbreaking is exempt from DMCA rules with respect to circumventing digital locks. DMCA exemptions must be reviewed and renewed every three years or else they expire.

On October 28, 2012, the US Copyright Office updated their exemption policies. The jailbreaking of smartphones continues to be legal “where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of [lawfully obtained software] applications with computer programs on the telephone handset.” However, the U.S. Copyright office refused to extend this exemption to tablets, such as iPads, arguing that the term “tablets” is broad and ill-defined, and an exemption to this class of devices could have unintended side effects.The Copyright Office also renewed the 2010 exemption for unofficially unlocking phones to use them on unapproved carriers, but restricted this exemption to phones purchased before January 26, 2013.

Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School, argued in 2007 that jailbreaking “Apple’s superphone is legal, ethical, and just plain fun.” Wu cited an explicit exemption issued by the Library of Congress in 2006 for personal unlocking, which notes that locks “are used by wireless carriers to limit the ability of subscribers to switch to other carriers, a business decision that has nothing whatsoever to do with the interests protected by copyright” and thus do not implicate the DMCA.

Wu did not claim that this exemption applies to those who help others unlock a device or “traffic” in software to do so. In 2010 and 2012, the U.S. Copyright Office approved exemptions to the DMCA that allow iPhone users to jailbreak their devices legally. It is still possible Apple may employ technical countermeasures to prevent jailbreaking or prevent jailbroken phones from functioning, but it will not be able to sue users who jailbreak. It is also unclear whether it is legal to traffic in the tools used to make jailbreaking easy.

New Zealand

New Zealand’s copyright law allows the use of technological protection measure (TPM) circumvention methods as long as the use is for legal, non-copyright-infringing purposes. This law was added to the Copyright Act 1994 as part of the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act 2008.

Country Data Source : Wikipedia

Apple View on Jailbreaking

Apple never supports Jailbreaking, but Apple never mentioned even that jailbreaking is illegal.

What Apple mentions is – It may harm your device and void warranty.

Apple strongly cautions against installing any software that hacks iOS. It is also important to note that unauthorized modification of iOS is a violation of the iOS end-user software license agreement and because of this, Apple may deny service for an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch that has installed any unauthorized software.

Apple Article about jailbreaking

Does Jailbreaking Voids Warranty

Yes and No, Both. Most of the time, Warranty is void. But Apple has not taken a clear stand on this. Apple says ” Apple may deny service “.  Apple of course acknowledges the US government’s DMCA exception ruling that makes jailbreak.

What many users do ” Restore the Device to factory settings before taking it to Service Center”. Normally, its not easy to detect whether the device was jailbroken or no.

Will jailbreaking prevent me from updating iOS?

If your iOS device is jailbroken and you decide to update it to the latest version of iOS, doing so will overwrite the jailbreak and restore your device to its factory settings. This might not be a big problem for most people, but it can become an issue for people who rely a lot of jailbreak apps and tweaks.

Every time Apple releases a new iOS update, hackers generally aren’t too far behind with an update for the tools that let you jailbreak. When a new iOS version and accompanying jailbreak are released, the preferred method is to backup your device first, update to the latest iOS version, and jailbreak again using one of the updated tools.

It’s important to note that it sometimes takes a while for hackers to develop a jailbreak following an iOS update, which is why we usually recommend jailbreakers to hold off on updating when a new iOS version is made available.

Can jailbreaking allow me to get App Store applications for free ?

Main question is why you want Apps for free ? Don’t you think the Developers who have put hard work and sweat deserve the money back and more over it’s illegal to get the pirated apps but it’s a clear violation of Copyright Act also.

Cost of Jailbreaking

It’s free of cost. Most of the developers prepare jailbreak for free. What they may look forward is ” Donation ” to continue the research work.

But, yes if go to a local market, they may charge you to jailbreak the device.

Can I still use iTunes and Apple Store

This is the first ever question which comes in mine and the answer is Yes, you can use iTunes and the App Store even after jailbreaking your device.

As a matter of fact, nothing will really change. The only notable change to your iOS device will be that, after jailbreaking, you will have a new application installed on your device called Cydia.

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