Free “as in free speech” or why I don’t by Apple’s products

I read the RudeBaguette‘s article about the silence since the Applidium’s hack and it reminded me the core ideals I care about and what I fight for.

The article

Some folks “hacks” Siri, figured a way to use it in a way Apple hasn’t intended it for and advertised it on their blog. It creates a buzz, some people see potential (use Siri as a remote control, to turn off your car and lock it…).

Then, suddenly, no one talks about it anymore. The blog posts with reverse engineering details disappears. And no press cover anymore.

The article suggests a conspiracy as a conclusion.

Apple’s world

Apple Terms Of Services:
“Apple grants you a personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited license to use the Software as provided to you by Apple as a part of the Service and in accordance with these TOS; provided that you do not (and do not permit anyone else to) copy, modify, create a derivative work of, reverse engineer, decompile, or otherwise attempt to discover the source code (unless expressly permitted or required by law), sell, lease, sublicense, assign, grant a security interest in or otherwise transfer any right in the Software.” (emphasis added)

No reverse engineering? No decompiling? No granting of a security interest? That’s a lot of restriction! Probably too restrictive to make Applidium’s reverse-engineering legal by Apple’s terms.

Legal terms and conspiracy

I’m not a legal expert in any fashion, but Stéphane Distinguin declining to comment, the press stopping to cover Applidium’s hack may just be the effect of Apple applying its terms of services, it’s legal rights. A conspiracy? I don’t see any conspiracy. Just a company claiming its rights.

On the right to do whatever the fuck you want with your own device and softwares

So many free software institutions have been claiming this particular right for years. Idealists? Naive? Maybe. But at least, when you deal with them, you don’t need to agree that you restrict your own rights to do whatever you want with the hardware and software you buy unlike with Apple.

Apple does not allow you to do what you want with what you buy. If you buy an Apple device knowing that on purpose, that’s your choice. If you buy an Apple device and think there is a conspiracy whenever they remind you that you’re not allowed to do what you want with you’re device, you’re just fooling yourself.

Some choices of my own

As it turns out, I don’t buy Apple products. Because I want to be in control of my own life. I want to be able to hack my device to use it as a remote control (I don’t have a TV) or to turn my car off and lock it (I don’t have a car) and not being told by the company who I bought it from that I am not allowed to. I believe in Creative Commons content that people will be able to share for the purpose of education. I believe in projects like Mozilla’s Boot2Gecko with which I’m sure I’m never going to be told that I can’t do what I want. I believe in free software so that I don’t get fucked later on and am never in doubt of a conspiracy of any sort.


4 thoughts on “Free “as in free speech” or why I don’t by Apple’s products

  1. Absolutely 100% agree with this. I find the pentalobe screws in the iPhone a bit excessive.

    HOWEVER and this is really the only case I’ve ever said this, the whole Siri situation is a bit diffent than your ordinary jailbreak story. The proof of concept of porting Siri to other devices is one thing, but once you start talking about ‘releasing’ it, then you’re talking about flat out stealing part of the iPhone 4S code. Not to mention the nightmare it would give Apple’s servers.

    BUT the whole idea of not being able to ‘reverse engineer’ your own device is insane…GRANTED you even are capable of doing so. That’s actually the first time I’ve ever read Apple’s TOS….and am actually kind of suprised at how ridiculous the language is.

    Andddddd also worth mentioning is Apple hiring Comex after he released his pdf exploit.

  2. > a remote control (I don’t have a TV) or to turn my car off and lock it (I don’t have a TV)
    I think you’ve accidentally a substitution here.

    Otherwise, you’ve made a sound argument.

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