WoW ! Feds say mobile-phone jailbreaking is OK

All I can say is that it is about time we are ALLOWED to purchase a product and USE it the way we want. However, I will say, that I can understand Apple and others position as far as customer service problems go that might arise from the jailbreaking of an iPhone  or rooting of Android phones. If you are going to (and I have already rooted my HTC Droid Incredible) then you should no longer depend on Apple, HTC, Google,AT&T, Verizon, or whatever vendor you purchased or expect support from. They can only support products that conform to what they developed and sold you. When you jailbreak or root the phone, they have lost control over the software and hardware, thus the support for it, too.

Besides, if you jailbroke or rooted your phone, then you probably went to a forum or website to get the info on how to do it and the guys that “crack” the code are very knowledgeable and in most cases will be more than glad to help you with your “hacked” phone. In other words, there is plenty of support forums out there  with guys who are MORE knowledgeable that the big guys support call centers who are normally reading from a script anyway. So, do your own support if you are having a problem and enjoy your “new” hacked phone with more features and options now and not have to worry about any ridiculous copyright laws.

Below, is an excellent article by Declan McCullagh about the new decision by the U.S. Copyright Office.

 

Jailbreaking your iPhone or other mobile device will no longer violate federal copyright law, the U.S. Copyright Office ruled Monday.

The decision, part of a process that takes place every three years, said that bypassing a manufacturer’s protection mechanisms to allow "handsets to execute software applications" is permissible.

The Copyright Office also allowed bypassing the anticopying technology used in DVDs, but only for "documentary filmmaking," noncommercial videos, and educational uses–a ruling that stopped short of allowing Americans to legally make a backup copy for their own use, in case the original DVD gets damaged. It also doesn’t apply to making backup copies of videogame discs or Blu-Ray discs.

Apple, the maker of the iPhone, had objected to the exemption for jailbreaking phones. A letter that the company sent to the Copyright Office argued that allowing jailbreaking would result "in copyright infringement, potential damage to the device and other potential harmful physical effects, adverse effects on the functioning of the device, and breach of contract."

Apple’s support department already receives "literally millions of reported instances of problems flowing from jailbroken phones," the company said, and legitimizing the practice of jailbreaking would result in more malware being delivered outside of the App Store, other security problems, and even physical damage to the iPhone.

Monday’s announcement certainly counts as a political victory for jailbreaking enthusiasts and critics of the anti-circumvention portions the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, but it may not have much of a practical effect.

Apple has never sued any of its customers on grounds that their jailbreaking violates the DMCA, even though a February 2009 estimate suggested that over 400,000 U.S. iPhone owners have done so. Nor has it filed any breach-of-contract lawsuits claiming that the software license agreement was violated.

Section 2(c) of the Apple iPhone Software License Agreement (PDF) bans any attempt to "modify" the iPhone software or to reverse-engineer it.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, the San Francisco-based civil liberties group, had requested that the Copyright Office expand the number of exceptions in the DMCA, which has been a focus of controversy among programmers, hackers, and security researchers for over a decade. The DMCA broadly restricts, but does not flatly ban, bypassing copy protection technology.

"The Copyright Office and Librarian of Congress have taken three important steps today to mitigate some of the harms caused by the DMCA," Jennifer Granick, EFF’s civil-liberties director, said in a statement Monday. "We are thrilled to have helped free jailbreakers, unlockers, and vidders from this law’s overbroad reach."

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