Jailbreaking to Become a Criminal Act Again

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.

3 thoughts on “Jailbreaking to Become a Criminal Act Again”

  1. I’m typeing this on a nook color that isn’t running B&N software I would say that I’m in favor of this not being criminal.

    The DCMA should never have been passed its not as bad as SOPA but its wrong for the same reasons.

  2. I am posting from a variant of the same a nook running very custom software that gives me a full android and nook experience, and would be very illegal if the exemption lapses.

  3. It’s funny but I don’t have a single Android device that has its stock firmware on it. Whenever I get an Android device one of the first things I do is see if there is a version of Cyanogenmod available for it and if there is I load it up.

    So far I haven’t jailbroken my iPhone simply because I use it for development and want a stock device to ensure proper compatibility. When I get a new phone I’ll keep the old one around for jailbreaking purposes because there are some awesome apps available for jailbroken iOS.

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