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Apple, Cell Carriers Lose Grip On Mobile Phones

Publication Date: 
July 26, 2010
David Louie

Julie Ahrens, associate director of the Fair Use Project, talks to David Louie about the ruling by the Copyright Office and Library of Congress that makes it legal for consumers to "jailbreak" their phones:

Cupertino-based Apple and the nation's mobile phone carriers no longer have an iron-fist grip on your cell phone. A ruling Monday by the Copyright Office and the Library of Congress lets consumers unlock their phones so they are not tied to a particular cell service provider.

At the same time, the ruling allows consumers to "jailbreak" their phones. That allows tech savvy individuals to modify the phone's operating system to enable any application to run on the phone.


The associate director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford Law School, Julie Ahrens, thinks that Apple lawyers now may be thinking of a way to require buyers of iPhones to agree not to modify their phones as a condition of purchase.

"They can market their new apps and generate more ideas and get them out there, and consumers can use them without this fear that they're violating copyright law when they do so," she said.