DMCA jailbreak exemption set to expire, EFF asks for your help to get it renewed and expanded
The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) is asking for your help to tell the U.S. Copyright Office that jailbreaking does not violate the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), and its exemption should be continued and expanded.
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.
The Library of Congress added the exception for jailbreak to the DMCA in July of 2010. Specifically:
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.
However, jailbreak was declared as an exclusion from the DMCA, and protection wasn't actually hard coded into the act. That means the declaration could ultimately expire and leave jailbreakers subject to legal penalties.
If you'd like to help ensure this never happens, the EFF has advised you submit your opinion in comment form to the Copyright Office, and even offer a submission template with comment suggestions for your convenience. Comments are due by February 10th at 5PM, so make sure you submit your comments soon!