DMCA Exemption for Jailbreaking Set to Expire, EFF Needs Your Help

Ryan Whitwam

Back in 2010, the Library of Congress issued a rulemaking statement that exempted jailbreaking, rooting, and otherwise unlocking mobile devices from DMCA anti-circumvention laws. For all intents and purposes, this made these activities completely legal, and stopped Apple from making all those threats against the jailbreak community. In 2012, that exemption is set to expire unless it is renewed, and the EFF wants to make sure that it is.

The DMCA technically states that bypassing any kind of encryption of copy protection is illegal, but the Copyright Office in the Library of Congress periodically reviews things and allows exceptions as it did in 2010. If the ruling is not renewed, jailbreaking and rooting will again become a shady underground activity, and could be suppressed by manufacturers. The EFF is asking people to submit statements in support of the exemption before it’s too late.

In addition to renewing the smartphone/tablet rules, the EFF is seeking to have video game consoles added to the list of exempted devices. We all remember the case against noted modder GeoHot brought by Sony after he successfully jailbroke the PS3. Are you going to go out on a limb and support the DMCA exemption?

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