Mozilla will be supporting the Electronic Frontier Foundation to push for the legalization of iPhone jailbreaking with the U.S. Copyright Office. Mozilla CEO John Lilly stated that “choice is good for users, and choice shouldn’t be criminalized.” Jailbreaking an iPhone means that the device can accept software that is external from what is offered on iTunes. Apple believes that accepting any external software is a violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA).
“This is not us criticizing Apple,” stated Mozilla CEO John Lilly. “But it’s the principle of the thing. Choice is good for users, and choice shouldn’t be criminalized. The Internet is too important for all of us for that.”
Some of the popular applications available on jailbroken iPhone applications include tethering applications.
Mozilla may have a bias against Apple because developing a browser for the iPhone would require them to use the Webkit rendering engine used for Safari. “Given the choice, would we work on a platform where the sole company controlling it makes us unwelcome, or would we work on a platform, like Linux, where we are welcome? The answer is going to be easy for us,” Lilly stated in an interview with Computerworld.
Even if the U.S. copyright office grants jailbroken iPhones from being legal, Mozilla is still unlikely going to develop a browser for the iPhone. This is the same case with Opera Software ASA. It was reported earlier that Apple blocked Opera’s web browsing application from being added to the iTunes App Store. Other companies supporting the EFF include Skype and Cydia.