Only 6 days left to help keep jailbreak exemption in DMCA -- act now!

Only 6 days left to help keep jailbreak exemption in DMCA -- act now!

We have only 6 days left to help keep the jailbreaking exemption to the U.S. DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) alive and well, and we need everyone's help to do it. The jailbreaking exemption was granted by the Library of Congress in 2010 but not codified into the law, meaning it's set to expire now, unless the copyright office extends it.

If the jailbreak exemption is not extended, then modifying your iPhone or iPad could be considered a violation of the DMCA, and companies could theoretically sue or press charges against jailbreakers. We think the right to modify our phones for personal use, provided we take personal responsibility for the risks involved, is an important one and deserves protection. The EFF (Electronic Frontier Fund) thinks the same, which is why they're fighting to get the exemption renewed, and are also pushing for tablets and game consoles in general to be included as well. iFixit.org recently spoke to the EFF about where things stand now:

iFixit: Has the Copyright Office made any comments on jailbreaking since the 2010 smartphone exemption? How likely do you think it is that they’ll renew that exemption? Why have exemptions for smartphones but not game consoles and tablets?

EFF: The CO hasn’t made any public comments that we are aware of. We are very hopeful that the smartphone exemption will be renewed, and we think extending it to game consoles and tablets is the logical next step.

bunnie: My understanding is that the CO is fairly conservative about granting such exemptions, so tightly scoping the exemption request increases the chances that the result has real impact. A broad request to exempt large swathes of technology from the DMCA would likely be denied; and such a denial would waste the infrequent window of opportunity to have such requests examined. Therefore, an incremental approach is being taken, allowing the CO to try small changes and become comfortable with them. Note that the request to the CO splits smartphone/tablets and game consoles into separate categories, so that the CO can have the flexibility to reject or accept individual categories.

The interview goes on to discuss the impact the DMCA has had on modifying gaming consoles and the rest of the jailbreak and homebrew communities. Sony, for example, infamously sued well-known iPhone jailbreaker George Hotz, aka Geohot when he jailbroke the Sony Playstation 3.

You can hit the link below to read the whole interview. We also urge you to sign bunnie's petition and leave your own comments if you'd like to see the exception renewed. He plans to take all the signatures and comments to the Copyright office on February 10th at 5pm.

Remember, there are only 6 days left. Whether you jailbreak or not, if the legal right to jailbreak your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad is important to you, act now.

Source: ifixit.org; Petition: jailbreakingisnotacrime.org

Allyson Kazmucha

Help and how to editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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There are 18 comments. Add yours.

Greyscale says:

That's absolutely ridiculous, how can it be illegal to modify the software on your phone? So much for freedom and liberty and all that.

Jay says:

Honestly who cares whether its legal or not...

mtv757 says:

because i paid $200 for this phone and i should be able to do what i want with it..... thats why people care. not everybody is technologically illiterate and satisfied with the dumb ways of apples ios5..........

nursingninja says:

Well I hope that yuo do losee the ability to jailbreak and that you lose everything you love about your phone and are forced to buy another brand.

nothanks says:

i hope they stop the jailbreak

mtv757 says:

i hope the next version of ios removes or changes a feature to where it really upsets you and changes they way you have to use your phone. then we will see who hopes they dont allow jailbreaks to change it to how you like.....

Brandon says:

Yea "no thanks" prob doesn't even have an iPhone

Avenged110 says:

Haha I'll laugh if it gets removed. I don't care either way, I don't plan on jailbreaking.

stewm says:

It seems strange to me that they would make such a stand against 'jailbreaking' phones and games consoles and the like but it is okay to screw about with your computers operating system, yet when it boils down to it they are all computing devices by the definition that they have an input-output, processor, memory and long term storage.

Bilbo says:

"Remember, there are only 6 days left. Whether you jailbreak or not, if the legal right to jailbreak your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad is important to you, act now."
I always was and will jailbreak, root and do other things regardless of any circumstances. so this kind of news are irrelevant to me.

9thwonder says:

not entirely analogous plus there are many things thought that you can buy that come along with limits to which you can modify. You can buy a car but in many places can't tint front windows or put certain noisy exhaust tips on it. You can buy pseudoephed but you can't use i to make meth. You can buy a gun but in many places you can't modify it to make it fully auto or add buy a silencer. You can buy a computer but you can't store kiddie porn on it or use it to do something illegal.

matt says:

i store kiddie porn on my computor... but in all seriousness people paid s**t tons of money for phones, tablets, consoles so why shouldn't they be able to jailbreak it? (for legal purposes)

Bilbo says:

i think they're doing it because jailbreaking allows the possibility of obtaining pirated software... so here comes your SOPA PIPA and whatnot

Harko says:

Mixed feelings on this one.
On the one hand, how dare you tell me what I can do with a device I purchased? If I want to modify it, even in a warranty voiding way, at my own risk, it's my device and my choice.
On the other hand, I can understand the concern if the modification grants me access to things that violate agreements I've entered into about those things. For example, while I wish things were different, I can understand a carrier being concerned that I now have total access to bandwidth that I've already agreed to "rent" and use in a specific way. I don't like it, but it is a reality that must be considered.
So yeah...mixed feelings for me all around. Sigh*

Chris says:

If this is the case, I'm switiching to another phone...Apple you lost me as a customer.

TulioAdriano says:

Signed. This was my message:
When I buy a computer (yes, phones are also computers) I don't agree to being forbidden of using it for any means I wish. Jailbreaking voids the warranty? Fine, I am aware and agree with that, but there can't be anything that forces me to tie a hardware to specific software. Want to make me pay for the iOS, that's fine too, I already pay for Windows so it makes sense. But don't let companies rule over their customer lives.