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FreePress Still Wants It Both Ways

By 27 July 2010 One Comment

Josh Levy over at FreePress is very, very excited today because it has been determined that jailbreaking your iPhone is not a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  This of course in his opinion is a huge win for openness and will of course (I wish he would explain how.) lead to open wireless networks.

Levy says,

“This decision is a first step toward opening up wireless networks and releasing the stranglehold that companies have on consumers who, until now, were legally restricted from doing whatever they want to their phones.

When you buy an iPhone, Android or another smartphone, that phone should be considered yours to use as you see fit — just as it is with a desktop computer.”

I mean these statements are simply asinine.  No one has ever been realistically restricted from doing whatever they wanted to do with their iPhone or any other contract bound device.  What they have been restricted from doing is doing whatever they wanted with their phone and maintaining the warranty in their contract.

Levy and FreePress want everything both ways in everything they report on and this is no different.  The reason Apple doesn’t want you jailbreaking their phone is not because they are scared of you getting freedom, it’s because they know how things work inside the walled garden platform that they have created.  Sometimes that means certain apps may not get approved, or you may not be able to take advantage of the phone in a certain way.  But that garden protects the consumer because if something breaks within that garden you are protected by a warranty.  If you leave that garden Apple and AT&T cannot be responsible for the problems because they don’t control what’s outside of the garden.

But FreePress wants you to get all the potential benefits of jailbreaking without the consequences.  Furthermore, as I’ve already discussed before, if you want the phone without a contract, just buy the non-contract device.  We as consumers can’t complain when we don’t want to pony up the dough for a non-contract device and AT&T is subsidizing the cost of the phone in exchange for putting us in a contract.

And not to continue to burst Levy’s bubble, but we got to see a phone available for multiple carriers without contract available for purchase from Google.  It was called the Nexus One and it was a gigantic bust.

One Comment »

  • Garrett said:

    Your mentions of warranties remind me of the days when automobile manufacturers would void warranties because you would refuse to use their overpriced offerings. Today that practice is outlawed and rightfully so. Careful when you are mixing terms such that you do not confuse hardware warranties with business practices. Mixing the two makes it sound like you are not aware of the difference between hardware, software and business practices.

    Right now the telecom industry has no Carterfone decision and the consumer is paying dearly for it. Hopefully the digital literacy of our legal bodies will improve and we should hopefully get something similar. Until then… this will have to serve to chip away at the chains of bondage that most consumers currently bear.