Mobile and iPhone locking v. the DRM
Every three years the US Copyright Office reviews whether there is a need to provide further exceptions to the digital rights management provisions of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. This process will next take place in 2009 and cellular news reports that the US-based Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed a request for an exemption to cover ‘jailbreaking’. Before law and order fans start tut tutting, ‘jailbreaking’ is the process of unlocking iPhones so that they will run software that does not originate from Apple. The EFF has made a similar application to continue an order which allows those who own mobile phones to unlock them so that they work on other networks.
The IPKat thinks that this is quite right and sounds like the sort of practice that would be stopped by competition law if copyright law doesn’t get there first. However, if you make is harder for service providers to ‘hook’ customers by giving them cheap or subsidised handsets, it is likely that the providers will recoup their profits elsewhere – probably by making the handsets reflect something more like their true market value.
EFF press release and documents available here.
The IPKat has learnt from People’s Daily Online that Founder Electronics has sued Procter & Gamble (
The IPKat reckons that this is one to watch. It’s rare that font copyright cases come before the courts.