Saurik schreibt Brief an das US Amt für Copyright
Das Apple den iPhone bzw. iPod Touch Jailbreak, als illegal sowie unerwünscht ansieht wissen wir ja bereits seit letzer Woche durch die Stellungnahme gegenüber der EFF.
Nun hat der Cydia Entwickler Saurik / Jay Freeman, einen Brief an das US Amt für Copyright gesendet und versucht so klar zu machen, welche Vorzüge und Notwendigkeit der Jailbreak hat. Ebenso listet er einige Programme auf, die es ohne den Jailbreak nicht geben würde, da sie Funktionen und Möglichkeiten nutzen die Apple bei normalen App Store Apps nicht zu lässt.
Daher auch nochmal ein Hinweis unsererseits:
Apple sieht den Jailbreak hauptsächlich durch gecrackte und „geklaute“ Apps, die damit den App Store und dessen Umsatz gefährden, als illegal an.
Jeder sollte sich aber im klaren sein, das jedes illegal gecrackt und installierte App Store App oder auch Game den Jailbreak weiter in Gefahr bringt.
Programme wie WinterBoard, Mediaplayer, Tweaks, CarrierBundle, Bugfixes, GameBoy Emulatoren, Cycorder, Bluetooth Hacks, Cydia etc. sind vom Jailbreak abhängig und werden dadruch erst möglich. Sind das die gesparten 99 Cent für ein gecrackte App / Game Wert?
Jeder der nicht auf den Jailbreak, dessen Vorzüge und des Features verzichten will, sollte somit auch keine gecrackten Apps laden oder unterstützen.
Hier aber nun der Brief als PDF und in voller Länge:
Commenter: Jay Freeman (saurik)
Organization: SaurikIT, LLC
Phone: (805) 895-7209
Proposed Classes: 5A
Class Disposition: Supporting
Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute lawfully obtained
software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling
interoperability of such applications with computer programs on the telephone handset.
Hello. I am the developer of Cydia, the first application installed onto Apple’s devices after they
have been jailbroken. Cydia acts as an open competitor to the Apple App Store: anyone can put
applications up. These applications are distributed from any number of „repositories“: anyone can
run one, and end users can add them to their copy of Cydia. In this manner, Cydia acts as a web
browser: no one has centralized control over what can and cannot be distributed.
All of this is, itself, based on an existing „industry standard“ known as APT: an „open source“
mechanism for distributing applications that has been in use by computer operating systems such
as Linux for well over a decade. Even Cydia is open source: anyone can get access to its source
code in order to either understand or modify it.
Cydia is now installed on 1.6 million devices worldwide, at least a quarter of which are within the
United States. Please note that this number is not based on download counts or „unique IP
addresses“, both of which drastically overestimate the number of users an application has. This
number is based on a survey of unique device identifiers (a mechanism that Apple encourages
developers to use to track devices) over the last month.
These users are also quite active: 300,000 unique devices check in to Cydia each day, over
650,000 each week. This takes the form of people looking for new packages, new repositories,
and getting upgrades. What these users are coming back for are the hundreds of applications that
are in Cydia, each one of which being of the type Apple denies from their store.
Unfortunately, there is now concern that applications that jailbreak phones, the tools that people
use to install Cydia, may come under attack from Apple under the DMCA. This is /terribly/
unfortunate as there is a thriving market of applications for these „jailbroken“ devices.
Apple isn’t even the only problem. An entire new class of devices is coming onto the market, a
class of devices that I do not feel currently has a good name, but for which I will temporarily call
„integrated computers“. These devices really are computers: they are running the same operating
systems that we find on everything from laptops through desktop computers up to massive
In Apple’s case, this operating system is Darwin, the base of their Mac OS X desktop operating
system. In the case of the new Android phones, this is Linux, an increasingly popular „free
There is nothing intrinsically restricted about these devices, and nothing that requires them to
have restrictions: nothing except the controlling attitudes of the people who are releasing them.
The T-Mobile G1 from HTC, running the touted „open source“ Android, is not able to be changed
by end users using the code that Google is trying to give us.
Back to Apple’s devices, they maintain tight encryption-backed control over what applications
users can install onto their devices. Apple uses this control in order to explicitely act in an anti-
competive manner: denying applications that provide similar functionality to those applications that
Apple distributes with their device as „it may cause user confusion“.
With this, they have managed to keep Opera (the most popular mobile web browser provider)
from even bothering to attempt to target their system. They have publically shut down Sun from
bringing in Java (which would itself compete with their App Store due to their J2ME technology),
and only after a couple years been willing to sit down and work with Macromedia to bring Flash to
They have denied competing mail applications, competing camera applications, and competing
mapping systems. They also have exerted control over what they feel to be acceptable content,
sometimes vascilating (first denying any application using the word „fart“, and then allowing one in
which rapidly becomes the #1 most popular application in the store).
This has led many developers to „go underground“, distibuting their products using Cydia, and
selling it from their own websites. As an example of some of these applications, I will describe a
few of the programs I have written, and why users want them:
Cycorder – This application allows users to record videos with their iPhone’s camera and transfer
them to a computer. Cycorder is one of the „killer applications“ of jailbroken iPhones, and is used
by a very large percentage of its users. I do not know how many, but even four months ago I
estimated hundreds of thousands.
These videos themselves have become quite widespread, and have even been aired on CNN’s
iReport (where users can contribute videos to get aired on the network) . One user even shot a
music video using it .
Unfortunately, Cycorder (and a few applications like them, such as Qik and Video Recorder 3G)
have been submitted to Apple and then ignored for months. These applications require access to
the camera, which Apple does not allow as part of their official SDK: while applications can let the
user take a picture, it is tightly managed by an interface that Apple has provided.
WinterBoard – An „extension“ for the system that allows users to customize the graphics and
sounds on their device. One feature that almost every cell phone on the market has is the ability
to change the wallpaper, much as one would on a desktop computer. However, this is not
functionality available on the iPhone: „any background you want, as long as it’s black“ (as Henry
Ford may have said).
There are now thousands of „themes“ available: sets of graphics. These themes don’t just change
the wallpaper: they use WinterBoard’s full features in order to theme the entire system, changing
all of the icons, the buttons, and the entire feel. Users install these themes using Cydia and then
activate them using WinterBoard.
Unfortunately, WinterBoard requires access to system files that Apple has protected. For the full
amount of control it provides to the user, it needs to „inject“ or „hook“ into every running
application, in order to change the loaded graphics. This level of functionality is definitely verboten.
Veency – Another extension that allows users to remote control their iPhone using a compter
monitor and keyboard. Veency is very popular among developers giving presentations of their
work, but also has been used by people to make writing text messages easier (using their
computer keyboards). This is of incredible value to the users who use it, although it is not as
popular as other applications in Cydia. It is open source.
Currently, Apple provides no mechanism for recording the screen of the device, which means that
users who want to show off their applications either have to use a simulator (which does not let
them interact with the screen in intuitive manners with multiple fingers), or setup a physical
camera to record their screen and project it onto a wall. Neither of these are usable solutions for
Unfortunately, getting direct access to the display buffer requires access to APIs that Apple does
not allow usage of in the App Store. Also, this requires a „daemon“: a program running in the
background, to accept the incoming screensharing requests. Apple also does not allow
background programs on their devices.
Obviously, though, I am not the only developer who has been working on this device. There are
numerous companies that have managed to make a market selling products for jailbroken
iPhones. Some examples:
SpoofApp – voice changing, call recording
MCleaner – block incoming calls and sms
iBlackList – another call blocking application
Cylay – track iPhone, theft protection
MiVTones – video ringtones for incoming calls
iPhone Modem- laptop/iPhone data tethering
PDANet – another tethering application
To bring a specific example to the forefront, I will focus on Snapture, distributed by Snapture Labs,
LLC. Snapture is an improved Camera application for the iPhone. Snapture is denied from the
App Store for similar reasons to Cycorder. Snapture, however, does not concentrate on videos: it
is about better still photos.
Unlike most point-and-click cameras, the iPhone does not support numerous „standard“ features,
such as timed pictures, color tinting, image rotating and zooming, and photo bracketing. Snapture
provides all of these features, and is sold for $7.99 from their website .
What makes Snapture even more interesting is that they are also providing a hardware
component to go with their product: the SnaptureFlash . This is an attachment for the iPhone
that provides a strong Xenon LED Flash/Light in order to make taking pictures in the dark even
easier. Unfortunately, Apple does not provide access to the hardware connector to App Store
developers: this is a hardware component that could only ever work with jailbroken phones.
I therefore am going to close this (partly because I am running out of time), with a plea to the
copyright office to not ignore the many hundreds of thousands of earnest users: users who are
legally purchasing alternative applications and wishing to use them on their iPhones and iPod
Touches, users who want functionality from their mobile devices that often no one is able to
provide, but which is now possible on these new classes of devices. If only the people who were
distributing these devices were fully open.
Jay Freeman (saurik)