Apple Cracks Down on iPhone 'Jailbreaking'

CUPERTINO, Calif. -- Apple has revised its iPhone developer agreement to foil unauthorized applications created for use on "jailbroken" devices.

The iPhone "Developer Program License Agreement" sets parameters for apps and any form or jailbreaking -- i.e. altering the device's operation system restrictions -- as well as assisting in jailbreaking, and developing and distributing jailbreak apps for jailbroken phones are clearly not allowed in the revised documentation.

Apple already had banned any apps that violate privacy or intellectual property laws, or allow criminal conduct. But now the company's agreement revisions make it clear jailbreaking will not be tolerated.

What this means for developers and creators of adult-slanted apps for jailbroken phones is yet to be determined, though it appears Apple is reserving the right to take legal action.  The same may well go for distribution and app sites such as Cydia, even if the product is offered for free.

ARS Technica reports that the revised agreement clauses state: "You will not, through use of the Apple Software, services or otherwise, create any Application or other program that would disable, hack or otherwise interfere with the Security Solution, or any security, digital signing, digital rights management, verification or authentication mechanisms implemented in or by the iPhone operating system software, iPod touch operating system software, this Apple Software, any services or other Apple software or technology, or enable others to do so."

The next paragraph continues: "Applications developed using the Apple Software may only be distributed if selected by Apple (in its sole discretion) for distribution via the App Store or for limited distribution on Registered Devices (ad hoc distribution) as contemplated in this Agreement."

Tech sites argue that jailbreaking also allows for access to legimate additional uses of an iPhone, even though any such alterations completely cancel all warranties.

UK news site The Register suggests the revised agreement still won't stop hackers and developers who are intent on jailbreaking iPhones to create and install unauthorized apps. But clearly, Apple has drawn a legal line in the tech sand and is likely to benefit with more business at its official online iTunes App Store.