All legislation creates new crimes where none existed before. Some of these new crimes are absolutely moronic such as the ones created by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), which made it illegal to circumvent copyright protection. A couple of years ago the Copyright Office made an exemption to the DMCA for jailbreaking devices but the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is warning us that the exemption is about to expire:
The Problem – Smartphones, tablets, and video game consoles are powerful computers with lots of untapped potential. Yet many of these devices are set up to run only software that’s been approved by the manufacturer. Modifying a device to run independent software – known as jailbreaking – is important to programmers, enthusiasts, and users. But jailbreaking creates legal uncertainty. Some device manufacturers claim that jailbreaking violates Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which carries stiff penalties.
The Solution – EFF is asking the U.S. Copyright Office to declare that jailbreaking does not violate the DMCA, and we need your help. In 2010, the Copyright Office said jailbreaking smartphones doesn’t violate the DMCA. This year, we’re asking them to renew that exemption (otherwise it will expire) and expand it to cover tablets. We’re also asking for a new exemption to allow jailbreaking of video game consoles.
Personally I don’t give a shit what Apple or any other company things; if I purchase a device it is mine and I will do with it as I damn well please. On the other hand it would be nice not having the threat of prison looming over my head because I decided to modify my device.