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July of 2010 was a proud day for the Jailbreaking Community, as the United States government ruled in favour of making Jailbreaking and Unlocking Mobile devices legal (adding an exemption to the DMCA). The only restriction to this new law, put in place to make Jailbreaking legal, was that it could not be carried out for an intention of breaking copyright laws (IE: for the sole purpose of cracked applications). From this day forward Jailbreakers everywhere have had the peace of mind that Jailbreaking their iOS or even Android device was a legal act.
The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) has now pointed out, however, that the Jailbreaking exemption to the DMCA put in place during 2012 is set to expire this year! Thus, it is time for all supporters of Jailbreaking to take action so we can renew this exemption and add support to make Jailbreaking tablets and even video games consoles legal in the United States.
So how can you take action? Well, as the EFF points out, Copyright Offices 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 would like to help make Jailbreaking legal once again in the United States and add support for tablets and consoles, you need to submit your comments by filling out an online form by clicking here.
The EFF has included some quick questions you may want to address:
- 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?
- Please explain why you want to jailbreak this device. 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?
- Is there anything else you want to tell the Copyright Office?
Note: Where the form says “Comment number(s) of proposed classes of works to which you are responding,” enter a “3” if you’re writing about game consoles or a “5” if you’re writing about smartphones or tablets.
We hope that anyone who Jailbreaks their iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or Android device will take 5-10 minutes out of your day to help preserve something that millions of people enjoy.
Did you help the EFF preserve Jailbreaking? Leave your responses in the comments section below…