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New government rules allow unapproved iPhone apps

Mon, 07/26/2010 - 8:10am
Joelle Tessler, AP Technology Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) – Owners of the iPhone will be able to legally break electronic locks on their devices in order to download software applications that haven't been approved by Apple, according to new government rules announced Monday.

The decision to allow the practice commonly known as "jailbreaking" is one of a handful of new exemptions from a 1998 federal law that prohibits people from bypassing technical measures that companies put on their products to prevent unauthorized uses.

The Library of Congress, which oversees the Copyright Office, reviews and authorizes exemptions every three years to ensure that the law does not prevent certain non-infringing use of copyright-protected material.

In addition to jailbreaking, other exemptions announced Monday would:

  • 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 and documentary filmmakers to break copy-protection measures on DVDs so they can embed clips for educational purposes, criticism, commentary and noncommercial videos
  • Allow computer owners to bypass the need for external security devices called dongles if the dongle no longer works and cannot be replaced.

More Broadband Direct 7/26/10:

•  Comcast drops 75 new channels into Calif. communities
•  Verizon climbs on board Clearleap's cloud
•  2Wire sold to Pace for $475M
•  Motorola hosting SDV as a service
•  IBBS scoops up VoIP provider SinglePipe
•  Tektronix bows technical advisory board
•  Online viewers a hard sell
•  CTIA files suit to block SF measure
•  FCC, public safety at odds over broadband plan
•  Where are Comcast, FairPoint in Vermont?
•  Taiwan, Japan to develop broadband technologies
•  Apple shows Droid X suffering from death grip
•  New government rules allow unapproved iPhone apps
•  India unveils prototype of $35 tablet computer
•  Broadband Briefs for July 26, 2010
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