Handset jailbreaking DMCA exemption to expire later this year unless renewed

Sections: iPhone, iPhone OS, SDK and hacks

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DMCAIf you care about jailbreaking and its future within the U.S., you should be worried about the fact that the exemption which ruled that jailbreaking a handset was not a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) will expire later this year. Back in 2010, that exemption made it clear that jailbreaking a handset such as an iPhone is completely legal in the United States, even though it was strictly limited to “handsets” and did not cover things such as tablets or video game consoles.

If this DMCA exemption is allowed to expire later this year, that will be some seriously bad news for jailbreakers. Corporations such as Apple will be able to go after jailbreakers and developers of jailbreaking tools, who could in turn face monetary penalties and even potential prison time. To prevent this from happening, the exemption that has declared jailbreaking legal must be renewed before it expires.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) hopes to make that renewal a reality, while also extending the exemption to cover tablets and video game consoles, as it arguably already should. The group has created a web page which outlines how you can contact the U.S. Copyright Office and what to include in your message to them. The messages are due soon (February 10th at 5:00 pm EST), so if you want to keep the ability to legally jailbreak your handsets (as well as your tablets and video game consoles, should that extension also be granted) please take the time to let the Copyright Office know.

Via [TUAW]

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