Dear Jailbreaker, Apple Wants to Have a Word with You

After banning the word “jailbreak” from its app store and music library, Apple today reversed course and again permits the term – slang for hacking into a device to download unauthorized content — to appear on iTunes and its App Store.

On Thursday bloggers noticed Apple had censored the word, using the Thin Lizzy album “Jailbreak” as an example. For awhile, the title was listed as “J******k” in Apple’s music library, at least its U.S. version. In other instances, digital content continued to bear the full name Jailbreak.

After banning the word “jailbreak” from its app store and music library, Apple today reversed course and again permits the term – slang for hacking into a device to download unauthorized content — to appear on iTunes and its App Store.

On Thursday bloggers noticed Apple had censored the word, using the Thin Lizzy album “Jailbreak” as an example. For awhile, the title was listed as “J******k” in Apple’s music library, at least its U.S. version. In other instances, digital content continued to bear the full name Jailbreak.

This made some wary of one theory that the word ban was a programming mistake and not intentional. Apple doesn’t allow users to download digital content from third-party marketplaces like Cydia  and Icy. Jailbreaks, which are legal, also can allow iPhone owners to use another telecom service provider and, in general, gain deeper control of the device.

Apple maintains it forces sales of company-approved content through its proprietary stores to enhance security and reduce piracy. And while jailbreaking is legal, it violates the terms of use and voids the warranty on iDevices. The company’s been known to refuse to service a jailbroken device, particularly an iPhone or iPad, or force an update to wipe out the jailbreak settings.

In addition to Thin Lizzy, others bands with once-censored song titles included Gossip and Sonic Syndicated. Also, a “Roy Rogers Show” episode from the 1950s and an episode from MTV’s “The Real World” were stripped of the word.

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Discussion

  • Anonymous on

    lol why don't they call the next jailbreak, "Apple"

  • Jan van Niekerk on

    Today in the office, "Hey, why don't you have an Apple?" Answer, "Because they won't run my software". I discovered that the hard way on the ipod nano with its DRM boor loader, and said never again. They can keep their stuff until it is free to run my software. Their cell phones are only for people who like jail.

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