iPhone Jailbreaking still Legal in US under DMCA Law

With weird irony, considering unlocking of iPhones will be illegal from 2013, the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), has given an exemption to the jailbreaking of Smartphones, allowing users to jailbreak their iPhones legally.

Untitled usa law

This will still void your Apple warranty, but will not land you in a courtroom. A quote taken from the ruling reads :

Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute lawfully obtained software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications with computer programs on the telephone handset.

This means that as long as you are using your jailbreak to “execute lawfully obtained software applications” you have every right to circumvent your device’s security.

Considering that unlocking has been deemed a violation of the carrier’s rights then shouldn’t jailbreaking be deemed a violation of Apple’s? And you can’t escape the fact that Congress has just given hackers working outside of any company the green light but blocked unlocking that is widely done and just as widely accepted. No doubt the carriers are happy but what about the consumers ?

No one is taking anything anyway from this good news, though, news that has been good since the last ruling about Jailbreaking where the it gave the same understanding for those who wish to download and run legitimate third-party applications on their iPhones .

This leniency does not, sadly, stretch to tablet devices as The Librarian:

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. For example, an e-book reading device might be considered a ‘tablet,’ as might a handheld video game device or a laptop computer.

And ruled that:

The record lacked a sufficient basis to develop an appropriate definition for the ‘tablet’ category of devices, a necessary predicate to extending the exemption beyond smartphones.

Unfortunately this is the ruling that Americans are stuck with until 2015 and however good the news is about the legality of jailbreaking if anyone wants to unlock their new iPhone 5 they might want to hurry up.

What is your take on this ? Fair or unfair ? Understandable or out of line ? Comment below to share your views.

Source : Arstechnica

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