US government made the jailbreaking of electronic devices legal by federal law back in July 2010. The whole jailbreak community has been enjoying this freedom over the last two years. But according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), we could lose that freedom this year if we don’t act now…
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 Electronic Frontier Foundation is asking for your help to keep jailbreaking legal. The Ruling handed down by the CopyRight office in 2010 which makes jailbreaking legal, is expiring this year. The EFF is looking to renew the exemption to the DMCA that allows for jailbreaking and to add a new exemption to allow jailbreaking of video game consoles. Now they need your assistance.
The Copyright Office needs to hear from people who depend on the ability to jailbreak to write, use, and/or tinker with independent software (from useful apps to essential security fixes) for smartphones, tablets, and game consoles.
If you do not act now, jailbreaking will fall back into a murky semi-illegal state giving device manufacturers the power to pursue legal action against jailbreakers at will. Here’s what you need to do to help EFF kep jailbreaking legal:
The EFF provides this link: Comments Form. Your comments should include:
- Which jailbreaking exemption are you supporting-smartphones/tablets, video game consoles, or both?
- What’s your background (i.e., are you a developer, hobbyist, academic, independent researcher, user, etc.)?
- What device do you want to ensure you have the legal authority to jailbreak?
- What limitations do you face if you aren’t able to jailbreak it? Is there software you couldn’t run, computing capabilities you wouldn’t have, cool things you couldn’t do, etc.?
- If you’re a developer, did an online application store or console manufacturer reject your app or game? If so, what reasons did they give?
Comments should be marked as class “5” and the cutoff for submitting comments is February 10 at 5 PM Eastern Time. Make sure to email a copy of your comment to the EFF at email@example.com to let them know what you’re saying.
If you help the EFF now, it will ensure a vibrant and legal iPhone jailbreak community where you can enjoy freedom with your electronic devices and prevent corporations such as Sony from attacking jailbreak hackers who free our devices.