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In Ruling on Iphones, Apple Loses a Bit of Its Grip

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The Library of Congress said it was legal for users to bypass the iPhone's software controls.

John G. Mabanglo / European Pressphoto Agency

Apple likes to maintain tight control over what programs can appear on the iPhone—a task that just became a little bit harder.

The Library of Congress, which has the power to define exceptions to an important copyright law, said on Monday that it was legal to bypass a phone’s controls on what software it will run to get "lawfully obtained" programs to work.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit digital rights group, had asked for that exception to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to allow the so-called jailbreaking of iPhones and other devices.

"This is a really important victory for iPhone owners," said Corynne McSherry, a senior staff lawyer with the foundation. "People who want to tinker with their phones and move outside of the Applesphere now have the ability to legally do that."

From The New York Times
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