Help Keep Rooting And Jailbreaking Legal [PSA]

Another important cause has come to light, one that needs our support just as much as fighting SOPA or any other anti-freedom attack brought by greed. An extremely important and personal part of owning tech, is having the ability to play with it, learn from it, and improve it. Not everyone sees it this way, and some even want to restrict what you can and can not do to these tech products well after you’ve purchased them and taken them home. There are many greedy companies out there that wish to keep users shackled to their products, and claim things like jailbreaking or rooting violates Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is a massive piece of copyright legislation that, among other things, prohibits “circumventing” digital rights management (DRM) and “other technical protection measures” used to control access to copyrighted works, or providing tools to help others do so.

Thankfully, in 2010, the Copyright Office said jailbreaking smartphones doesn’t violate the DMCA, but the problem is, they must reconvene every three years to consider granting these exemptions or they will simply expire. That time is upon us, and the EFF is asking for our help in getting the Copyright Office to renew that exemption, as well as to expand it to cover tablets. The EFF is also asking for a new exemption to allow jailbreaking of video game consoles. In order to have these exemptions granted, the Copyright Office must hear from real people, about real world cases of how jailbreaking or rooting is essential to their work, research, or basic right to do with their device as they please.

The EFF has outlined the steps for getting your comments to the appropriate Office, along with any other information you may or may not need. Comments need to be submitted by February 10th at 5PM EST, so we recommend you get started now. We’ll provide you will all the appropriate links to point you in the right direction, but remember, it’s up to you to keep the fight alive.

Imagine a world where you couldn’t tinker with the things you buy. Half of the world’s inventions would cease to exist had all the brilliant minds been thrown in jail for taking apart their creations or playing with their code. How many of you remember hacking together your first device or mod? How awesome and inspiring was it to explore all of the inner workings, to discover the possibilities, to watch your Frankenstein come alive!?. Don’t let that die, head over to EFF and make your voice heard.