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iPhone 1.1.3 jailbreak (Windows-only) released; illegal?

iPhone 1.1.3 jailbreak (Windows-only) released; illegal?

As promised, a jailbreak (allowing the installation of unofficial third-party applications) for iPhone 1.1.3 has been released. As of right now, it's Windows-only, requiring the use of a tool called iBrickr. Several respected iPhone developers, however, have called the method's legality into question.

Jonathan Zdziarski, a key iPhone developer and author of the NES.app Nintendo emulator, has posted the following, eerie message to his blog, indicating that -- in the view of some unofficial iPhone development team members -- the below jailbreak is tantamount to software piracy or copyright infringement and should be avoided. Zdziarski says a better, law-abiding jailbreak is on the way:

"January 24, 2008: Dev Team Member Gone Rogue, Unauthorized Release

"NateTrue has recently leaked a v1.1.3 Jailbreak without the Dev-Team's permission, getting himself kicked off the team. Against our wishes, he's included patches which have a strong change of containing copyrighted information, too, which may make his personal release illegal. I'd like to strongly advise against using his system for upgrading, and make it known that the rest of the dev team does not support software piracy or copyright infringement. The method the Dev Team was/is planning on releasing allows you to perform the jailbreak without violating federal law. I would advise waiting for it. "

Nicholas "Drudge" Penree, echoes Zdziarski's comments:

"(Nate True's hack) includes both files belonging to Apple and patches which contain copyrighted information by Apple, making his personal release illegal and unethical. This is directly contrary to the spirit of true hacking and sharing of knowledge.

The instructions from NateTrue's blog require that you start with a 1.1.1 or 1.1.2 jailbroken phone with Installer.app installed (this means you'll need to downgrade to one of these firmware versions first if you already have 1.1.3 and this method will not work with phones that shipped with 1.1.3 out-of-the-box), download, extract, and run a special 1.1.3 edition of iBrickr which will guide you through several steps. You then apply a "1.1.3 soft upgrade" package.

NateTrue says:

"Now you may be wondering how this jailbreak works. Here's a breakdown:

  1. iBrickr grabs the 1.1.3 iPhone firmware image and extracts, decrypts, and decompresses the disk image.
  2. Then it applies a patch, jailbreaking the disk image and activating it, and also installing Installer.app.
  3. It uploads this new modified image to the phone, as 113_upgrade_image.bin.
  4. The "1.1.3 soft upgrade" app flashes the phone with the image and reboots.
  5. You have a perfect, jailbroken, upgraded 1.1.3 phone, with all your settings and music intact!"

More on this story as it develops.

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