Apple likes to maintain tight control over what programs can appear on the iPhone — a task that just became a little bit harder.
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.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit digital rights group, had asked for that exception to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to allow the so-called jailbreaking of iPhones and other devices.
“This is a really important victory for iPhone owners,” said Corynne McSherry, a senior staff lawyer with the foundation. “People who want to tinker with their phones and move outside of the Applesphere now have the ability to legally do that.”