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Library of Congress updates DCMA, jailbreaking/rooting is officially 'legal'

Discussion in 'Android News' started by wuyanks, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. wuyanks
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    wuyanks DF News Team Premium Member

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    Library of Congress updates DMCA, jailbreaking/rooting is officially 'legal'

    [​IMG]

    Rooting and Jailbreaking have, for the longest time, found itself in a legal grey area. Proponents maintain the position that since they own their devices, they can alter them as they please. And opponents (usually large corporations) believe their technology would be at risk if users could alter their phones at a "superuser" level. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), the legislation specifically designed to deal with issues such as this, had never addressed the phone "hacking", until now. Today, a slew of DMCA exemptions were added, one of which exempted rooting/jailbreaking from being considered "copyright infringement."

    This DMCA exemption for rooting in no way legally obligates smartphone manufacturers to provide their phones unlocked and rooted. This merely provides an exemption in the DMCA for users to legally root. So, I guess we hammered home the point, that rooting your phone is officially not illegal. I wonder if this in any way will change the policies of the four big US wireless providers, who have always opted for "locked-down" phones and considered rooting against contract terms. Furthermore, it'll be interesting to see how the major smartphone manufacturers respond to the news. Check out the official Press Release here.

    via Engadget
    source Library of Congress DMCA
  2. searayman
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    searayman New Member

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    glad i am officially not breaking the law....
  3. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting, though I never expected VZW or Motorola to go after rooters in the courts.

    But I wonder what the implications are for locked bootloaders now, in particular "bricking" your phone if you attempt to root it.

    Also, wonder if this will change anything as far as the warranty with a rooted phone? I would guess it's still within VZW's right to include it as a violation of the warranty, even if the act itself is not illegal
  4. wuyanks
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    wuyanks DF News Team Premium Member

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    good points. i do believe VZ can still claim rooting as a warranty violation. i guess we'll have to wait and see.
  5. Martin030908
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    Martin030908 Super Moderator

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    its only right... these are OUR devices we paid for
  6. pc747
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    pc747 Administrator Staff Member

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    Man so there goes the stigma, people who jailbroke/root can no longer feel like a rebel.
    Oh well does that mean we can bang on motorola for the encrypted bootloop.

    :pint::pint::pint::pint::pint::pint::pint::pint::beer2:
  7. Martin030908
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    Martin030908 Super Moderator

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    so the encrypted bootloader is hindering our legal right? lol

    a guy can dream can't he?
  8. BasilofBakerStreet
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    BasilofBakerStreet New Member

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    So will cell phone makers with locked bootloaders give out how to unlock it due to this?

    Will cell phone makers be considered breaking the law by locking bootloaders?
  9. wuyanks
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    wuyanks DF News Team Premium Member

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    my interpretation: these changes give the consumer the right to root/jailbreak, nothing more. i.e. Motorola can't take you to court for rooting.
  10. BasilofBakerStreet
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    BasilofBakerStreet New Member

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    I understand that but is the act of hindering someone from being able to root/jailbreak now illegal because they are stoping us from what the DCMA now says is legal.
    On the same note is this retro-active (i.e. Droid X's), or does this mean from today on?
  11. wuyanks
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    wuyanks DF News Team Premium Member

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    nope. the DMCA change gives users "copyright infringement" exemption if they root. nothing more.
  12. pc747
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    pc747 Administrator Staff Member

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    But can I take motorola to court for hindering my right to root my phone since they have locked the bootloader. I feel my right to root is being violated.........well....droid x users rights are being violated (i dnt have a droid x lol).
  13. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    I seriously doubt it. Just because something is legal doesn't mean you have a RIGHT to do it. More directly, it's unlikely to be illegal to prevent you from doing something you have the legal right to do (i.e. dress code in a restaurant).

    Now, if they did a software update that did something screwy to rooters, there might be an issue. But otherwise you buy the product as is so you have no right/claim to capability not represented.
  14. wuyanks
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    wuyanks DF News Team Premium Member

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    that would likely take a Supreme Court interpretation, because the way the DMCA is written now, there is no legal obligation for a smartphone company to provide their phones "unlocked". understand that an exemption is merely giving the public the legal right to root. if you want to take this to the Supreme Court by alll means! i'd love to see their interpretation. until then, IMO Motorola has the legal right to continue selling those locked-down Droids...
  15. BasilofBakerStreet
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    BasilofBakerStreet New Member

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    Oh well for all this legal talk, I'm sure we could talk circles around this but until legal action is taken by anyone it is what it is.... ROOTING IS LEGAL!!!dancedroid
  16. Shmooze
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    Shmooze New Member

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    Tell me I'm not the only one who sees the phallic object in that chain
  17. ivan_411
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    ivan_411 New Member

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    Awww, so you mean I'm not breaking the law anymore?
    Well, atleast I felt like a badass these last couple of weeks that I rooted :D
  18. ChugIt
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    ChugIt New Member

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    It didn't take a clarification by anyone for me to know this anyways. If it ever came down to something happening to my phone(s) from rooting I would have sued THEM (VZW or Motorola or both) for pushing an update or something that bricked my rooted phone. You are allowed to alter, destroy, make a sandwich out of anything you buy. That would be like Chevy suing you for putting a sunroof in your Impala that didn't come with one. I didn't root to feel "cool" or be a "rebel" or anything, I rooted so I could customize my phone to look and feel how I wanted it to. This is absolutely no different than people customizing vehicles, homes or clothing. Were there actually seriously people out there that thought they were breaking the law by rooting their phone? LoL
  19. Larry Mahnken
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    Larry Mahnken New Member

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    I knew that some people would immediately misinterpret this.

    All that it says is that you have the right to hack the phone that you own.

    It does not say that rooting cannot void your warranty. It can. It always will. You have the right to take a baseball bat to your big-screen TV, too. But it still voids your warranty.

    It does not say that manufacturers cannot make it difficult (if not impossible) to root your phone, or install a custom ROM. It will NEVER be interepreted that way.

    What it says is that if you're willing to void your warranty and risk bricking the device, you can do whatever you want with it, so long as you're not doing something otherwise illegal. It's your property. Play away. The manufacturer cannot sue you for doing it.
  20. Larry Mahnken
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    Larry Mahnken New Member

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    Yes. The people who manufactured the device.

    Corporations like control. It helps to increase profits.