Apple had been able to control which applications users of their iPhone have been able to use, but now that will change forever. The Library of Congress has the authority to provide exceptions to the copyright law and it ruled that if the software was legally obtained, any iPhone user could use it. This will have an adverse affect on the folks at Apple who have been able to control what software ran on their phone.

In a recent article it also stated:

The issue has been a heated topic of debate between Apple, which says it has the right to control what goes on an iPhone, and users and developers who want to customize their phones as they see fit. In a legal filing with the United States Copyright Office last year, Apple argued that jailbroken phones infringe on its copyrights by using modified versions of Apple’s operating system.

But iPhone hobbyists say they simply want to have access to certain features and programs on their phones that Apple has limited or restricted. As a result, an underground network of forums and unofficial application stores that walk iPhone owners through the jailbreaking process have flourished online.

In addition to the decision on jailbreaking, the Library of Congress also granted an exception to artists who remix copy-protected video content for noncommercial work, and renewed its approval for cellphone owners to “unlock” their phones or lift controls that restrict use to one particular wireless carrier.

This is a huge win for consumers and will put Apple in its place. No company should have the right to control what software a user wishes to use when the consumer has purchased the phone legally. But there is a downside. What if an app that is not approved by Apple breaks the phone? Who pays to get it fixed?

Comments welcome.

Source – N.Y. Times