Jailbreaking exemption law expiring soon
Copyright protection for people who jailbreak their iPhones, as to install unauthorized apps and modify the inner workings of the OS, is set to expire soon. In the face of this, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has started asking for signatures on a new petition to renew this jailbreaking exemption law.
This was introduced three years ago, and is the reason why you don't see any of the high profile legal actions that Apple took against the jailbreaking community. This is protection, an exemption to the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that limits the possible ramifications of the act of jailbreaking to just voiding Apple's warranty.
With this in mind, the EFF have voiced themselves to the jailbreaking community to send all comments in favour of renewal of this policy to the Copyright Office, along with expanding the exemption law to cover tablets and video game consoles.
As former jailbreakers ourselves, we can see both sides to this. The OS is closed, and in the face of Android that may be confining to some, whereas focus on the solidified design and the seamless integration between software and hardware can be appreciated by others.
Whichever way, it shouldn't be a crime to modify a product that you've bought, and with how much money you probably dropped on that iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, a voided warranty is punishment enough.