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Electronic Frontier Foundation Technology Your Rights Online

EFF Asks To Make Jailbreaking Legal For All Devices 278

Posted by samzenpus
from the making-it-free dept.
Diggester writes "Jailbreaking is a way to break off from the limitations imposed by the mobile vendor to download additional applications and themes etc. which aren't available otherwise. It provides root access to the device by use of custom kernels. It is common with the iDevices and has been rendered legal by the efforts of EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) in July 2010. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is now determined to make Jailbreaking legal for all the consumer electric goods. They have asked the US copyright office to declare it legal to jailbreak all the devices like smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles etc. no matter who the vendor is. The aim behind this plead is to change the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which prohibits such an access to the user."
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EFF Asks To Make Jailbreaking Legal For All Devices

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  • by sohmc (595388) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @04:16PM (#38295384) Journal

    I vaguely recall a judge pretty much saying that jailbreaking is not illegal, but may void the warranty. I only remember due to the large number of jokes of how Steve Jobs was just loving it since he now didn't have to support millions of jailbroken phones.

    Legislative action would be nice, but if it's already done, then let's not waste the time.

  • Re:PC analogy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Moryath (553296) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @04:25PM (#38295512)

    I don't give a crap about the warranty.

    At the same time, I bought *HARDWARE*. Sony shouldn't be able to tell me that I can't load custom firmware on it with the ability to run Linux, for example. The PS3 would make a GREAT media center to stream from my TV recording box, save that I can't load a custom firmware package for Linux AND keep the ability to run current games.

    I only wish we could get it a step further and actually make it illegal for companies like the phone companies to do what they've done - sure it's "legal" to root your phone, but they keep trying to make it *impossible* by fucking with the shipped/official firmware.

  • by sohmc (595388) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @04:26PM (#38295524) Journal

    This is a bit of a side question, but it begs to be asked: I've often wondered if there is a rep or senator that actually knows what the difference between "computer" and "CPU" without help from his staff.

    I've actually considered running for office for these types of laws to be passed (REAL net-neutrality, get rid of software patents, etc). The more I get older, the more I'm convinced that most politicians are just mouthpieces of a PR firm that has voting privileges.

  • Recycling (Score:4, Interesting)

    by arthurpaliden (939626) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @04:39PM (#38295702)
    If you cannot do what you like with you hardware then you obviously do not own it. If you do not own it you are not responsible for recycling it. Which means you just have to return all your old devices the store where you got them and it is there problem (cost) to recycle.
  • Re:PC analogy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pclminion (145572) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:20PM (#38296252)

    Sony shouldn't be able to tell me that I can't load custom firmware on it with the ability to run Linux, for example.

    100% agreed.

    I only wish we could get it a step further and actually make it illegal for companies like the phone companies to do what they've done - sure it's "legal" to root your phone, but they keep trying to make it *impossible* by fucking with the shipped/official firmware.

    100% disagreed. Any such law would be immediately leveraged to attack open source, in ways that are unpredictable at the moment. We must never, ever have government dictating technological design.

  • Re:PC analogy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ghjm (8918) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:44PM (#38296498) Homepage

    It needs to be more sophisticated than that.

    For example, in the automotive industry, you DO NOT void your warranty (no matter what the dealer tries to pull on you) by installing a K&N air filter. But you DO void your warranty by reboring the cylinders and putting in oversized pistons. This is all regulated and the manufacturers don't get to just decide you void your warranty if you sneeze inside the car, the way computer industry manufacturers do.

    What we need here is common sense regulatory involvement. Apple needs to be told to quite the ridiculous arms race and just let 0.01% of people run weird software on their hardware - just like GM needed to be told that bolt-on upgrades don't void the powertrain warranty.

  • Re:PC analogy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:46PM (#38296514)

    Nothing about copyright gives them the right to prevent me from modifying their copyrighted products for my personal use. They merely have the ability to keep me from making a copy for commercial purposes.

    The license BS has got to go, it doesn't work for books, movies, music, or anything else really. Software is not some special snowflake in this regard.

  • by intx13 (808988) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:48PM (#38296552) Homepage
    It appears that provision was intended to prevent "tie-in" sales. A Businessperson's Guide to Federal Warranty Law [ftc.gov] gives the example of vacuum cleaner manufacturers requiring branded vacuum cleaner bags to keep the warranty in effect.

    Because the firmware on your phone is not (yet) a monetized product distinct from the phone itself, I suspect requiring a specific vendor's firmware does not fall afoul of the spirit of the law. Also note that the vendor is allowed to void the warranty because of damage caused by incorrect service or modification, which I would assume can be extended to damage caused by buggy third-party firmware.

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