Apple sued over i-Bricks

'Unlawful tying agreement'


Apple's breaking of iPhones that had been hacked is now the subject of a lawsuit, which claims the controversial tactic violates California laws governing antitrust and fair business practices.

The complaint (PDF), which seeks class-action status, was filed Friday in Santa Clara County Superior Court, just a short drive from Apple's Cupertino headquarters. It was filed on behalf of an iPhone buyer alleged to have been harmed when a security update issued late last month caused modified iPhones to lock up.

"On September 27, 2007, Apple punished consumers for exercising their rights to unlock their iPhones," the complaint alleges. "Apple issued a software update that "bricked" or otherwise caused iPhone malfunctions for consumers who unlocked their phones and installed the update."

It claims the restriction undermines an exemption the US Register of Copyrights made to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that specifically allows handset owners to tweak their devices so they work on competing cellular networks. The suit also claims Apple's arrangement with AT&T is an unlawful tying arrangement as defined under California antitrust statutes.

Within hours of the iPhone's debut, hackers were hard at work finding vulnerabilities and figuring out ways to make the device work on networks other than AT&T's and run third-party programs. Both acts are forbidden by Apple. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • It's the flu season – FluBot, that is: Surge of info-stealing Android malware detected

    And a bunch of bank-account-raiding trojans also identified

    FluBot, a family of Android malware, is circulating again via SMS messaging, according to authorities in Finland.

    The Nordic country's National Cyber Security Center (NCSC-FI) lately warned that scam messages written in Finnish are being sent in the hope that recipients will click the included link to a website that requests permission to install an application that's malicious.

    "The messages are written in Finnish," the NCSC-FI explained. "They are written without Scandinavian letters (å, ä and ö) and include, for example, the characters +, /, &, % and @ in illogical places in the text to make it more difficult for telecommunications operators to filter the messages. The theme of the text may be that the recipient has received a voicemail message or a message from their mobile operator."

    Continue reading
  • AsmREPL: Wing your way through x86-64 assembly language

    Assemblers unite

    Ruby developer and internet japester Aaron Patterson has published a REPL for 64-bit x86 assembly language, enabling interactive coding in the lowest-level language of all.

    REPL stands for "read-evaluate-print loop", and REPLs were first seen in Lisp development environments such as Lisp Machines. They allow incremental development: programmers can write code on the fly, entering expressions or blocks of code, having them evaluated – executed – immediately, and the results printed out. This was viable because of the way Lisp blurred the lines between interpreted and compiled languages; these days, they're a standard feature of most scripting languages.

    Patterson has previously offered ground-breaking developer productivity enhancements such as an analogue terminal bell and performance-enhancing firmware for the Stack Overflow keyboard. This only has Ctrl, C, and V keys for extra-easy copy-pasting, but Patterson's firmware removes the tedious need to hold control.

    Continue reading
  • Microsoft adds Buy Now, Pay Later financing option to Edge – and everyone hates it

    There's always Use Another Browser

    As the festive season approaches, Microsoft has decided to add "Buy Now, Pay Later" financing options to its Edge browser in the US.

    The feature turned up in recent weeks, first in beta and canary before it was made available "by default" to all users of Microsoft Edge version 96.

    The Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) option pops up at the browser level (rather than on checkout at an ecommerce site) and permits users to split any purchase between $35 and $1,000 made via Edge into four instalments spread over six weeks.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021