Is our minister of Telecommunications a Pirate

The Belgian federal minister of Telecommunications van Quickenborne (Q voor friends and campaigners) has a long history of being the strange table-jumper in our political circles. He placed a webcam in his parliamentary office and as Secretary of State for Administrative Simplification he had a Kafka plan that made thousands of administrative rules and forms disappear.

Now he is at it again. He is - just as several thousand other Iphone users in Belgium - using a cracked Iphone. Normally the Iphone can't be used in Belgium because there is no exclusive closed-in monopolistic blackmailing deal between big brother Apple and a victim telecom company that sees itself obliged to accept the terms and conditions of the Big Master Apple.

But the Belgian Minister has asked someone (I hope he didn't do it himself) to make his Iphone usable. This can only be done by illegal software on the internet that Apple tries to hunt down or tries to outsmart (for a while).

But as our minister of telecommunications does this, how can he protest against crackers that are outsmarting monopolistic firms, making games usable on more platforms, distributing films before they are in our theaters 6 months later (if they are distributed at all) and so on. It is the same logic (and I am not saying that I agree with it, I just try to explain the logic). It doesn't matter what the object of the crack is ( a film, a game, a DVDplayer, pc program or a phone). The logic is that at one side the firms and owners want to protect their business model and at the other side the crackers want to change or circumvent that model themselves. Between it is the public for which both do a battle of the minds and the pockets.

The European Commission said they would investigate the Apple Iphone monopoly but there is no news yet from that front.  For our Minister it wasn't going Quick enough.

answer to comment : illegal because of copyright, trademarks, patents and whatever
that Apple won't sue a minister, that is right, but maybe they will take on some poor simple guy somewhere - or just upgrade their soft and block anyone out - whoever he or she is
Let's hope the European Commission does something else than singling out only Microsoft while leaving all these other small but important monopolies alone. For the user a monopoly is a monopoly, small or big.  

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How is software that mods a telephone's firmware illegal?
As far as I know, I can't be punished by Belgian law if I write an iphone unlocker.
The only legal problem is that when you buy an iphone you enter a contract with apple. they could sue.
Q confirmed this on the radio: "If apple wants to take legal actions against me, that's ok. But I don't think they will".

Posted by: Steve0 | 05/09/2008

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