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US Copyright Office: Jailbreaking of Smartphones, legal!

As has been the practice of reviewing certain provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), every three years, the US Copyright office, has come out with its latest set of exemptions. One of the exemption has made jailbreaking of smartphones, legal. Jailbreaking of your phone is freeing it from any limitations imposed by your network carrier. This would mean that you could install any third-party applications onto your phone, or customize your phone in any manner you like. Therefore, as per the current exemptions users of smartphones have been allowed to install unapproved applications or any kind of software onto their phones. More importantly, this exemption permits unlocking of phones so that users can approach any other wireless carriers. There’s a catch, this deal however, lasts only for the next 90 days, i.e., only for those phones that are purchased before January 2013 can be unlocked. Those purchased thereafter, require the permission of their network carries, to unlock their phones!


However, the same exemptions have not been extended to tablets. With respect to DVD’s, however, ripping DVD’s to use small portions in documentaries, or for educational purposes was held to be legal. However, the copyright office held that it was illegal to rip DVD’s for personal use or for jail-breaking gaming consoles for customization.

Contributed by:
Sripriya Padmanabhan

image from: here

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