DMCA exceptions: iPhone jailbreakers rejoice!

by techETA Staff on July 26, 2010 · 0 comments

Good news iPhone jailbreakers, the U.S. Government recognizes your right to run what you want on your smartphone.

The Library of Congress — under which the Copyright Office operates — issued exceptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that allows for the selective bypass of digital locks, such as DRM, under certain conditions. One of the biggies is jailbreaking, the practice of modifying a smartphone’s firmware to run “unauthorized” apps. Here’s the ruling, straight from the source:

Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset.

It’s a  big win for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, whose advocacy on the issue has now been rewarded. Now users can jailbreak away without fear of the DMCA. (Not that it stopped legions of geeks before.) Smartphone enthusiasts aren’t the only ones with cause to celebrate. Several new exceptions on “fair use” and DRM are in effect for DVDs, e-books and video game locks like SecuROM and SafeDisc. Ars Technica has a great writeup of what the new rules mean for digital media consumers.

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