Users began noticing on Thursday that some uses of the word "jailbreak" have been censored among iTunes Store content. Strangely, however, some instances of the word remained readable.
For example, the album "Jailbreak" by Thin Lizzy, and the album's titular track both remained visible on iTunes. However, other instances of the song "Jailbreak" on compilation albums and soundtracks were been censored to read "J*******k."
Update: As of Thursday afternoon, the issue was addressed, and content on the iTunes Store once again displays the word "jailbreak" without censoring it. The change applies to music and applications.
Earlier, the word was also censored from other artists, such as a song with the same title from the band Gossip on their album "That's Not What I heard," and Sonic Syndicate's song from the album "Eden Fire."
Outside of the song by Thin Lizzy, or AC/DC's own "Jailbreak" song found on its third album (and not available on the iTunes Store), jailbreaking refers to the process of hacking iOS to allowed users to install custom software and tweaks without Apple's permission. Performing a jailbreak on an iPhone, iPad or iPad touch voids Apple's warranty for the devices.
Through jailbreaking, hackers have created their own custom applications which are available from an alternative storefront known as Cydia, similar to Apple's official App Store for iOS. There are many free and paid applications available on Cydia that allow users to install custom tweaks, user interface themes and various other software that does not comply with Apple's iOS developer agreement.
Jailbreaking itself is not illegal, however, the process can be used to pirate software from the App Store, which is against the law. Concern over piracy is one of the main reasons Apple has fought the practice of jailbreaking.
In addition to music content, Apple's censoring of the word "jailbreak" also extends to officially approved software for iOS devices. For example, a two-dimensional platform shooter game in which players must escape from a prison is now listed in iTunes as "J*******k."