Jailbreaking may become illegal again!

The fun is about to be legally over. The act of jailbreaking smartphones may become illegal once more. The process was legalized under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) exception which happened in July 2010 by the Copyright Office. This is about to expire.

The exception states that the process of jailbreaking an iOS device or an Android one is legal if and only if it does not infringe copyright laws. Apple wasn't impressed and insisted that jailbreaking any of its devices will result in the warranty getting void for that device. This claim is not just by Apple because there are other companies too which claim that the process of jailbreaking is in violation of the Section 1201 of the DMCA and this violation should result in penalties.

Now when the expiration date of the exception passes, what will happen to people who use jailbroken devices? Jailbreaking, after all, is quite popular and used across a large number of devices to install third-party software. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) states, "Modifying a device to run independent software – known as jailbreaking – is important to programmers, enthusiasts, and users."

The Redmont Pie reports, "The recent download and usage statistics which relate to the new Absinthe jailbreak tool clearly show that jailbreaking is not only still popular, but is a thriving and expanding community. Not only do we need to think about the end users who pay a large premium for the device and should ultimately have the freedom to do whatever they want with it, within the realms of the law, but a growing number of developers actually make their living from the software and tweaks which they sell on Cydia."

Another issue in the current exception is that it does not cover iPads and gaming consoles. This means that jailbreaking the iPad or the XBox 360 is essentially, a crime. Hence the EFF is now calling for a petition and states, "The Copyright Office needs to hear from people who depend on the ability to jailbreak to write, use, and/or tinker with independent software (from useful apps to essential security fixes) for smartphones, tablets, and game consoles. You can submit comments online at this link."

Image courtesy: photobucket
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