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

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

  1. wuyanks

    wuyanks DF News Team Premium Member

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

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    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

    searayman Member

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    glad i am officially not breaking the law....
     
  3. kodiak799

    kodiak799 Silver 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

    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

    Martin030908 DF Super Moderator

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

    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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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

    Martin030908 DF 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

    BasilofBakerStreet 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

    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

    BasilofBakerStreet 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

    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

    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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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

    kodiak799 Silver 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

    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

    BasilofBakerStreet 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