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house Bill H.R. 1587

Should It Be Okay to Jailbreak Your Gadgets?

Argument in favor

If you pay for a piece of technology, you should be able to use what you bought. It’s a waste of money and resources to limit users to one carrier or a specific interface.

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06/15/2015
Once sold, the phones no longer belong to the phone providers in the same way that crops no longer belong to farmers once they're sold.
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Keventle's Opinion
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05/23/2015
The consumers have BOUGHT the phone, treat it as such.
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BTSundra's Opinion
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09/18/2015
YOU bought it, it should be YOUR device. Getting normal things for free using a jailbreak is not OK, but being confined to one carrier on a wide platform such as Apple is very restricting.
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Argument opposed

The price of a piece of technology is spread over the price of the object itself, the coverage plan and the apps. Allowing some people to modify tech will increase the price of it preventing some people from having any communications tech, let alone use it how they want.

Eddie's Opinion
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11/14/2015
This is solely a market and contractual issue. Government has no need to meddle.
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David's Opinion
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09/13/2015
Part of the price of the phone was discounted by the carrier because it was to be used with the carrier's services. If the user wants to break the lock, he/she for the unused part of the discount first, then the phone could be unlocked.
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Mac's Opinion
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11/17/2015
The Federal government shouldn't be involved in this.
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What is House Bill H.R. 1587?

This bill seeks to allow users of technology more freedom by legalizing breaking through proprietary software.


The Digital Millennium Copyright Right Act laid the groundwork for how copyright laws govern digital material. One of the things it forbids is users modifying copyrighted digital material, whether this means, say, rewriting e-reader versions of The Hunger Games so that its protagonist is named Ted Cruz instead of Katniss Everdeen, or rewriting the code on your Verizon phone so that you can use an AT&T plan with it. This bill would draw a distinction between the two.


Your Hunger Games rewrite would still be illegal—though more original fan fiction falls into something of a legal gray area—but modifying your phone wouldn’t. That’s because the bill makes it legal for the owner of a “mobile communications device” to adapt its software or firmware if it’s just to join a different communications network. It also legalizes the sale of jailbreaking software, and makes it legal to skirt technical measures designed to limit the use of a device, provided that that skirting is not conducting with the purpose of breaking copyright law.

Impact

People with locked technology, and communications providers.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1587

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: This bill is technically bipartisan. It has the support of one Republican and five Democrats. Rep. Lofgren proposed a version of this bill in 2013, but it merely bounced around committees like a hacky sack on the quad.


Of Note: No, we’re not talking about Thin Lizzy’s 1976 album, nor its titular single. Jailbreaking is the process by which people get around the operating systems on their mobile devices. This provides technology users with more ability to control how their device is used. For example, jailbreaking your iPhone can allow you to turn it into a WiFi hotspot, customize your phone and use apps that you can’t find in iTunes’s App Store. But it does come with some drawbacks. Jailbreaking apps aren’t free (well, the good ones aren’t) and, without the overarching operating system that Apple provides, figuring out what the heck is going on can be more difficult.


Media:

Summary by James Helmsworth
(Photo Credit: Flickr user William Hook)

AKA

Unlocking Technology Act of 2015

Official Title

To amend section 1201 of title 17, United States Code, to require the infringement of a copyright for a violation of such section, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedMarch 24th, 2015
    Once sold, the phones no longer belong to the phone providers in the same way that crops no longer belong to farmers once they're sold.
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    This is solely a market and contractual issue. Government has no need to meddle.
    Like (7)
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    The consumers have BOUGHT the phone, treat it as such.
    Like (14)
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    YOU bought it, it should be YOUR device. Getting normal things for free using a jailbreak is not OK, but being confined to one carrier on a wide platform such as Apple is very restricting.
    Like (13)
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    Did I purchase my phone or rent it? I bought it. It is mine. It no longer belongs to Verizon, or AT&T, or any other company that sold it to me. Can a farmer control what you do with the food he produced for your purchase? Can GM or Chrysler mandate how you use your purchased car? If the carriers want to control the phones, they should rent to customers.
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    If you purchased the gadget, then it's yours to break. The great American philosopher Forrest Gump said "Stupid is as stupid does."
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    you paid for them, you should be able to use them as you see fit
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    Is it a wrong action to commit? Well, jailbreaking is an act of demonizing a software that provides security and sufficiency to your device that is extremely essential. So if you are demonizing a software that was constructed by one of the most advanced and innovative technological company on the face of the earth (Apple) to ensure your security from threatening viruses that exploit your privacy and could lead to further negative complications THEN MOST DEFINITELY ITS A FOOLISH AND IGNORANT ACTION ON YOUR BEHALF. You must be aware when you are noticing these abilities. These abilities that you out of thousands of people may uniquely discover and unlock may appear "cool" or "awesome" but you have to look at the big picture, IS IT RIGHT TO DO OR WILL IT BENEFIT MY SECURITY? I will leave that for you to determine. Fortunately, getting to the real question, Should it be "okay" to jailbreak your device? [YES] since you are protected under constitutional matters. Once you own a device in your possession from one of these innovative business incorporating Verizon, ATAT, Sprint, T mobile, etc. it's no longer in their ownership or authority. ITS IN YOUR POSSESSION WHICH IS YOUR KEY TO HAVE THE ABILITY TO CONDUCT ANY ACTION OR ADDITIONAL FEATURE TO YOUR DEVICE SUCH AS (jailbreaking). The matter of congress passing legislation in which jailbreaking your device shall be token as a violation of a "law" IS SIMPLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL! Although, even though you are protected under these rights you should not use these rights as leverage to demonize the security of your phone just because you see something for instance that says, "oh by one click you get free apps and your phone turns into a device that can get any wifi password". This matter is simply a disgrace! You know what, if you have jailbroken your phone I say "good for you( sarcastically)". It's truly a move that illustrates ignorance of you want to have an ability that no one in the world has just because "it looks cool" SHAME ON YOU! You must comprehend how hackers are deceiving the public! Hackers are releasing eye catching things on these devices to fool you into thinking that the jailbreak is unique, and they use all these little cute terms to make it sound so special and innocuous. Guess what, in reality they are exploiting your privacy to receive your personal data to attack you based on your foolish actions for future references. An example of this matter that I have constantly heard is a jailbreak that gives you the ability to have "Cydia" which is basically an app (only accessible for jailbroken devices) that has illegal abilities to receive free apps, etc. You can find out more about this disgraceful matter by glancing at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cydia. Overall, jailbreaking is significantly a deceiving ability that you may think is amazing but in reality will exploit your secure to bite back at you in the future. It's dangerous, disgraceful, insufficient, and threatening. However, is it your right YES. Do I encourage it? Never in a million years I would in approximately more than 3/4 of situations. In fact, if congress were to ratify an executive order that would implement that jailbreaking is illegal they would get my support in a heart beat! And yes I say that vehemently/strong emotion. I beg of you, don't fall for the trick. It's a deceiving virus that may look vibrant and unique but it's just waiting to infect you! Our nations technological entrepreneurs and world wide companies/industries needs to be regulating products that are innovative, that consist of amazing capabilities and advantages for the future but also prioritize the sufficiency of reliable technology that prioritized/ensures your safety and security as well. Lastly, to have more urgent knowledge of how jailbreaking is unbeneficial and threatening for our society take some time to take a slow look here: http://www.bankinfosecurity.com/jailbreaking-ios-devices-risks-to-users-enterprises-a-8515 So i encourage everyone to believe that jailbreaking is unacceptable and a deceiving ideology based on some of the analysis I have conveyed above. In fact, most individuals my age don't quite comprehend how threatening jailbreaking can be and its negative effects it can result in as well. If I could tell the whole world I would. Be cautious/strategic/and intelligent with your technology because there are threats that surrounds us everyday. Please SPREAD THE WORD, WE MUST REJECT A FUTURE FOR JAILBREAKING BECAUSE IT WAITING TO INFECT US ALL. You can do Two things. Completely ignore this opinion and irresponsibly jailbreak your device or take the time to retain how significant it is that you are cautious with your daily technology and realize some of the threats out there. BUT HEY! ITS YOUR RIGHT. IM NOT YOUR PARENT/GUARDIAN OR YOUR SUPERIOR, KNOCK YOURSELF OUT but I'm just informing you the threatening effects just to influence your decision to reject jailbreaking. Thank you for your time.
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    Is it not everyone's right to be STUPID now and then?! I use all Apple products because of their renowned security protections. Apple devices are far less likely to suffer from viruses and other malware. I'll admit that I have been tempted in the past to jailbreak my iPhone, but thank God I was able to resist that temptation! I've heard too many stories from friends about the problems they've had with their computers getting infected and crashing and the loss of some of their data. Yeah, you pay more for an Apple product, but I firmly believe that it's money well spent. I was one of MANY Apple customers who applauded Tim Cook when he stood up to the FBI in the San Bernardino terrorism case. I DON'T WANT THE SECURITY OF MY iPHONE COMPROMISED BY ME, BY THE FBI, OR BY ANYONE ELSE! But like I said, if you want to risk the security of your phone by jailbreaking it, which is utterly STUPID, IMO, I believe you should have that right. Just don't say you weren't warned! And be prepared to accept responsibility for your actions if things go wrong with your device, and the maker says it's not covered by their warranty!
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    I think tech companies should spend more time to make their software "jailbreak resistant" if they truly don't want people to jailbreak, or just be reasonable and let people do what they want with their property. The government needs to stay out of this matter.
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    The Federal government shouldn't be involved in this.
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    If I buy a computer from Dell it has Windows on it already but nothing prevents me from putting a different OS on it and it is perfectly legal to do so. Why should my iPhone or Android be any different?
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    Part of the price of the phone was discounted by the carrier because it was to be used with the carrier's services. If the user wants to break the lock, he/she for the unused part of the discount first, then the phone could be unlocked.
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    It is my device so I should be able to do with it as I want.
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    When you purchase a phone (specifically an iPhone) the phone is yours and what you do with it is your prerogative. Jailbreaking is just installing alternate software. Wether the company that made the phone supports it or not doesn't matter. You purchased the phone and it yours to do whatever you want with.
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    I'm voting yes. Because once purchased, it's your property. You should be able to do with it as you choose. But the bigger issue I see is why is the government wasting time and taxpayer dollars on an insignificant issue such as this. There are far greater problems facing our nation today!
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    If you purchase your phone and pay for it, you should be able to take it to any carrier.
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    I can't believe Congress feels they need to spend time on this with the serious issues facing our country. If you bought it you should be able to do whatever you want to with it including invalidating the warranty.
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    Once the contracted period is up, you should be able to take your phone where you want.
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    as a developer, i know the importance of being able to use devices to their fullest potential. making it legal to jailbreak your devices is essential, because it allows developers and designers to play with the ideas and software built into the devices they own; which in turn makes for better software for everyone. the open source community is the most essential aspect to development and if we want to stay relevant as leaders of technology, we need to nurture the open source community in any way we can.
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