Apple’s Garden Has No Walls – Finally!

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.


App developers, rejoice!  The Library of Congress has brought down the walls around Apple’s walled garden.  Developers can a) circumvent Apple’s copyright restrictions to deliver non-Apple-approved apps to the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch; and b) leverage the wireless connectivity provided by those devices.

Who knew the Library of Congress had such awesome power!   It’s news to me.  Follow this link to read the ruling – for the impatient, go immediately to bullets (2) and (3).

Why do we need more apps, with over 225,000 apps on the app store and 5 billion downloads by June 2010?  Judge for yourself: rejected apps range from the silly to the baffling.

Apple seemed bent on making itself the Mayberry of content.  Let porn, gambling and pureplay ads reside on the Internet.  Keep apps on the Apple platform squeaky clean and support Apple’s premium positioning.  Let Android be the place for everyone else’s apps.

Who will benefit?  Clear beneficiaries include:

  • developers impatient with Apple’s review process
  • advertisers seeking a more direct appeal to audiences
  • content creators who want unfettered creativity
  • entrepreneurs pushing the boundaries of what a the combination of high-speed wireless connection, GPS, gyroscope, touch screen and rich media can provide, and
  • of course, porn, gambling and all the other naughty and nasty vices that are publicly condemned and privately enjoyed.

Any guess on how long it will take to get Adobe Flash on the platform?

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One Response to Apple’s Garden Has No Walls – Finally!

  1. Art says:

    My good friend Jonathan Vanasco (@2xlp) quickly referred me to his blog post on this issue: “While I’m very excited about this win for democracy and fairness, I’m not entirely sure that the decisions are anything to be excited about in terms of ‘resolution’ to these issues.”

    “I’m really interested in seeing where this will go. There have been a lot of “ClickWrap” decisions in state and federal courts lately, but they haven’t really create a cohesive body of case law or precedent. Everything is really still up-in-the-air in terms of enforceability and legality.”

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