Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Library of Congress oks jailbreaking

The New York Times reported on July 26: The Library of Congress, which has the power to define exceptions to an important copyright law [the DMCA], said on Monday [July 26] that it was legal to bypass a phone’s controls on what software it will run to get “lawfully obtained” programs to work.

The EFF had requested an exception to the DMCA to allow the so-called jailbreaking of iPhones and other devices.

The NYT also reported: In addition to this decision, the Library of Congress also granted an exception to artists who remix copy-protected video content for noncommercial work, and renewed its approval for cellphone owners to “unlock” their phones or lift controls that restrict use to one wireless carrier.

For more details, see Statement of the Librarian of Congress Relating to Section 1201 Rulemaking which includes:

As I have noted at the conclusion of past proceedings, it is important to understand the purposes of this rulemaking, as stated in the law, and the role I have in it. This is not a broad evaluation of the successes or failures of the DMCA. The purpose of the proceeding is to determine whether current technologies that control access to copyrighted works are diminishing the ability of individuals to use works in lawful, noninfringing ways. The DMCA does not forbid the act of circumventing copy controls, and therefore this rulemaking proceeding is not about technologies that control copying. Nor is this rulemaking about the ability to make or distribute products or services used for purposes of circumventing access controls, which are governed by a different part of section 1201.


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

Library of Congress Allows iPhone ‘Jailbreaking,’ Turns Aside Apple’s IP Objection


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