The US Copyright Office has published the latest exceptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and it’s good news for phone jailbreakers and video remixers, who are now legal – well, until 2015, at least.
The terms of DMCA lockdowns are reviewed every three years, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is claiming victory after it successfully petitioned for exemptions in the current round of changes.
In particular, the EFF asked that owners of smartphones, tablets, and games consoles should be allowed to do what they like with the devices they purchase, changing the operating system or software to suit themselves. In a partial victory for those owners, the Copyright Office ruled that smartphones can legally be jailbroken, which is good news for modders. But if you own a fondleslab, you’re out of luck.
“The Register concluded that the record did not support an extension of the exemption to ‘tablet’ devices,” the ruling said. “The Register found significant merit to the opposition’s concerns that this aspect of the proposed class was broad and ill-defined, as a wide range of devices might be considered ‘tablets,’ notwithstanding the significant distinctions among them in terms of the way they operate, their intended purposes, and the nature of the applications they can accommodate.”