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  • Help the Electronic Frontier Foundation Keep Jailbreaking Legal



    The Digital Millenium Copyright Act prevents people from circumventing digital rights management and other technological measures used to protect copyrighted material. However, DMCA, just like the much talked about SOPA, has its fair share of loopholes and possible abuses companies and governments can levee against consumers.

    Every three years the U.S. Copyright Office holds a “rulemaking” meeting to consider granting exemptions to the DMCA in an effort help prevent harm from being caused to “legitimate non-infringing uses of copyrighted materials.” During the 2009 meeting the EFF won an exemption for jailbreakers and remix artists. During the 2012 meeting the EFF is asking the Copyright Office to continue to protect jailbreaking smartphones, and video game consoles as well as expand the exemption to tablets. If they don’t renew the exemption and expand it, the very basis of the MMi community becomes an illegal activity.

    According to the EFF this is how you can help:

    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.

    Here are some questions you might want to address in your comments:

    • Which jailbreaking exemption are you supporting—smartphones/tablets, video game consoles, or both?
    • What's your background (i.e., are you a developer, hobbyist, academic, independent researcher, user, etc.)?
    • What device do you want to ensure you have the legal authority to jailbreak?
    • Please explain why you want to jailbreak this device. What limitations do you face if you aren't able to jailbreak it? Is there software you couldn't run, computing capabilities you wouldn't have, cool things you couldn’t do, etc.?
    • If you’re a developer, did an online application store or console manufacturer reject your app or game? If so, what reasons did they give?
    • Is there anything else you want to tell the Copyright Office?



    Concrete examples will help show the Copyright Office why they should renew and expand the exemptions for jailbreaking. Send your comments to the Copyright Office athttp://www.copyright.gov/1201/comment-forms/. Where the form says “Comment number(s) of proposed classes of works to which you are responding,” enter a “3” if you’re writing about game consoles or a “5” if you’re writing about smartphones or tablets.

    Comments are due by February 10 at 5 PM Eastern Time. Please send a copy of your comments to [email protected] so that we can see what people are saying. We’ll keep your comments confidential.

    We can't stress enough how important you the members of the MMi are in the process of preserving Jailbreaking. Help the EFF, and help jailbreakers everywhere. Without the necessary exemptions every aspect of the Jailbreak community can be prosecuted and shut down. Don’t let Apple and other manufacturers decide the fate of the jailbreak community.

    Source: EFF
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Help the Electronic Frontier Foundation Keep Jailbreaking Legal started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 45 Comments
    1. SnowLeo's Avatar
      SnowLeo -
      "and expand it to cover tablets" So jailbreaking my ipad 2 was illegal under current law? I hate how everything in the jailbreak community especially here has to be a constant battle with legality. Between piracy issues that we have to deal with and apple issues, it just makes me sick. Its pretty damn obvious piracy of media including music movies and apps is stealing and illegal. But I bought an iphone and I am the owner of it so I deserve the right to use it however I want as long as Im not stealing anything. We deserve the right to customize and extend the capabilities of our phones and tablets beyond what the manufacturer *ahem apple* allows us to do. It should not even come across as a legality issue. Do manufacturers have the right to void our warrenty and say it violates their "policies", sure. They have every right to deny warrenty coverage for modifications that can screw up our device. But you can always restore an iphone and if you choose to jailbreak without acknoleging the small but potential risks than your just being ignorant. The whole situation between sony and geohot was a disgrace. What the hell is putting OtherOS on your system really going to do anyways? Get some hobbyists to want a ps3 more. The hack clearly implemented ANTI piracy features so thats not even an argument. I think that companys like microsoft and palm (hp) and even google to some extent need to be congratulated on not acting like children (apple + sony) and actually encouraging communities like ours to thrive and make cool stuff. I mean look at kinect- it has so much potential to do crazy cool stuff no one would have thought of until some hackers decided to make some crazy hacks and now microsoft is encourging it, opened the source and is making a (way overpriced) kinect for windows.

      Its groups like EFF that I truely admire that seek to protect the internet and promote fairness in a just and righteous manner. The Best part about the EFF is because in situations like these they go for petitions and legal actions rather than returning childish behavior with more childish behavior like Anonymous does by attacking the government and hacking them rather than peaceful and just protest to protect the internet.
    1. kings121's Avatar
      kings121 -
      no JB no iphone for me!!!!! samsung or htc on android
    1. Ambi_Valence's Avatar
      Ambi_Valence -
      I have no problem with Jailbreakers, (I personally am not one), but when you buy an iDevice do you not agree to some software license terms before you part with your money?
      If you don't like it don't buy, but don't buy it and then complain later that it's unfair. If it's illegal fine deal with it. If it is truly that much of an issue people will vote with thier feet/wallets.
      I bet 99% of the people here didn't read the Ts&Cs before signing up.
    1. keenpois0n's Avatar
      keenpois0n -
      I wonder if the jb devs somehow managed to completely get rid of piracy, ie cracked cydia apps and **********, that apple may embrace jailbreaking? because they'd be losing no money to app hosted by dissident. I heard sometime last year, that saurik was going to block sources of illegal activity..it'd be nice to see some help from apple! maybe not direct help, but stop making it harder to hack the devices! an iPhone without a jb to me is something that I'm not gonna buy. it's too plain, too useless
    1. PoEtikly's Avatar
      PoEtikly -
      Quote Originally Posted by *T* View Post
      MMi isn't good anyway. I've been goin to Engadget recently
      Ummmm......what's even funnier is the fact you're reading this article on MMI and not "Engadget".

      Quote Originally Posted by keenpois0n View Post
      I wonder if the jb devs somehow managed to completely get rid of piracy, ie cracked cydia apps and ins****ous, that apple may embrace jailbreaking? because they'd be losing no money to app hosted by dissident. I heard sometime last year, that saurik was going to block sources of illegal activity..it'd be nice to see some help from apple! maybe not direct help, but stop making it harder to hack the devices! an iPhone without a jb to me is something that I'm not gonna buy. it's too plain, too useless
      I agree completely. I'd like to see Saurik do that as well. It would def give us more of a chance and possible have apple not work so damn hard to make these Devs work so damn hard to find a jb.
    1. AUZambo's Avatar
      AUZambo -
      Quote Originally Posted by *T* View Post
      MMi isn't good anyway. I've been goin to Engadget recently
      Ha ha...this reminds me of the last time Facebook did a complete overhaul of the user interface. People logged into Facebook to tell all their friends that they hate Facebook!
    1. The6uest's Avatar
      The6uest -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ambi_Valence View Post
      I have no problem with Jailbreakers, (I personally am not one), but when you buy an iDevice do you not agree to some software license terms before you part with your money?
      If you don't like it don't buy, but don't buy it and then complain later that it's unfair. If it's illegal fine deal with it. If it is truly that much of an issue people will vote with thier feet/wallets.
      I bet 99% of the people here didn't read the Ts&Cs before signing up.
      If you read it, then show me where it says I can't JB my iPhone. They can't tell me what I can't put on MY phone as long as I'm not stealing anything. I mainly JB for the tweaks and theming which Apple should already have.
    1. AUZambo's Avatar
      AUZambo -
      Quote Originally Posted by The6uest View Post
      If you read it, then show me where it says I can't JB my iPhone. They can't tell me what I can't put on MY phone as long as I'm not stealing anything. I mainly JB for the tweaks and theming which Apple should already have.
      I'm not reading all 63 pages of it, but there very well could be a section in there where you agree not to tamper with the underlying codes of the device...which is exactly what jailbreaking does.

      I agree that JBing a device should not be illegal, but apple is known for being proprietary so it wouldn't surprise me at all if there's something in the user agreement about it.
    1. Turb02's Avatar
      Turb02 -
      Quote Originally Posted by keenpois0n View Post
      I wonder if the jb devs somehow managed to completely get rid of piracy, ie cracked cydia apps and ins****ous, that apple may embrace jailbreaking? because they'd be losing no money to app hosted by dissident. I heard sometime last year, that saurik was going to block sources of illegal activity..it'd be nice to see some help from apple! maybe not direct help, but stop making it harder to hack the devices! an iPhone without a jb to me is something that I'm not gonna buy. it's too plain, too useless
      Unfortunately with all the tools that Cydia does allow: SSH, terminal, iFile, etc... these apps that provide the cracked app capability can be side loaded. Unless there are restrictions put in place by Saurik and the JB devs to not allow access to certain areas of the idevice's files system, it wont stop the pirates from pirating.
    1. vantheman169's Avatar
      vantheman169 -
      Quote Originally Posted by *T* View Post
      MMi isn't good anyway. I've been goin to Engadget recently
      I have seen all the comments towards this post, and I could not pass it up. GTFO if you don't like it here, we don't need useless comments like yours.
    1. P99's Avatar
      P99 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ambi_Valence View Post
      I have no problem with Jailbreakers, (I personally am not one), but when you buy an iDevice do you not agree to some software license terms before you part with your money?
      If you don't like it don't buy, but don't buy it and then complain later that it's unfair. If it's illegal fine deal with it. If it is truly that much of an issue people will vote with thier feet/wallets.
      I bet 99% of the people here didn't read the Ts&Cs before signing up.
      Ambi,
      I'm not quite sure where you bought your iDevice, but I've purchased 3 iPhones and have never agreed to anything before I "parted with my money." Matter of fact, when you set up an iDevice for the first time, you still DO NOT agree to anything. Maybe you're thinking about iTunes, but in the iDevice case, you are terribly wrong. I can see where you could possibly be coming from because the factory iPhone and like iDevices are great. However, once an iDevice is jailbroken, it can be used to it's fullest potential, not a small portion a.k.a sandbox.

      In other words, it it's like giving you a Windows computer but you're stuck with only the desktop and some preloaded applications. You can add on applications but you can't really customize/personalize that computer the way you want. You are also stuck with the security flaws and issues that windows dropped the ball on. And lastly, you can't just go on to the internet and get applications that Windows doesn't approve for their computer.

      A jailbreaker doesn't conform to playing in a sandbox. A jailbreaker escapes that sandbox and plays freely with all their new friends a.k.a developers. And finally, if there wasn't a jailbreak community, Apple wouldn't have "came up" with some of the best features of the past iOS (ex. Notification Center, SB Wallpaper, etc, etc).

      Quote Originally Posted by vantheman169 View Post
      I have seen all the comments towards this post, and I could not pass it up. GTFO if you don't like it here, we don't need useless comments like yours.
      Amen.
    1. Ambi_Valence's Avatar
      Ambi_Valence -
      Quote Originally Posted by The6uest View Post
      If you read it, then show me where it says I can't JB my iPhone. They can't tell me what I can't put on MY phone as long as I'm not stealing anything. I mainly JB for the tweaks and theming which Apple should already have.
      Seriously. That's the best defence you can come up with. Just remember this; You rarely if ever any music or software that you buy and the license agreement will state somewhere I'm sure that you can't bypass restrictions or reverse engineer it. You already know that anyway.
      Remember you may own the hardware that it comes on but you License, not own the software. You can be as ridiculous and pig headed as you like but that's the truth.
      Again, I'm not against it. Do it if you like but can you really claim you've been hard done by if it goes sour?
    1. KraXik's Avatar
      KraXik -
      Hmm, can only help if you live in the US...

      Well good luck!
    1. samuel17's Avatar
      samuel17 -
      dang right i did it! go jailbreak community!
    1. iPod's Avatar
      iPod -
      Haven't we been through this before? They're our devices that we paid for, let us do what we want. Case closed. :P
    1. csglinux's Avatar
      csglinux -
      Many thanks for posting this Phillip!!! Please everybody - contact the US copyright office and let them know why we need to jailbreak!

      BTW, estimates show around 10% of iPhones are jailbroken, but it varies by demographic (some estimates put the US at a little less than 10%, but China's jailbroken iPhone population is apparently around 35%). If Apple completely eliminates jailbreaking (iPhone 5 might be a tough nut to crack) I don't expect Apple will feel the pinch right away because a lot of people will still buy the upgraded hardware expecting that a jailbreak will eventually materialise. However, if the jailbreak doesn't ever happen, Apple is eventually going to lose more market share to Android. It's obvious and Apple knows this. There was a reason why we got an unencrypted fs in the 9A406 5.0.1 update. Deep down inside, Apple would still like to exploit the work of jailbreak developers so that they have something shiny and new to show off in iOS 6.0...
    1. Sasukekun77's Avatar
      Sasukekun77 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ScooterComputer View Post
      Sorry Anthony, you are wrong. During the last DMCA exemption process, Jailbreaking was exempted. Apple filed vociferously against an exemption. Since it -was- exempted, that would necessarily mean that the Librarian of Congress felt that otherwise it would have been a violation of the DMCA's Access Control Mechanism provision, which makes it illegal to bypass an encryption mechanism (which is what jailbreaking does). So, it was illegal, it is currently exempted (so now, legal), but could be reversed. For instance, the previous exemption only applies to phones...not to iPads or iPod Touches. It is a gray legal area, hence the renewed push to extend.

      Personally, I think Exemption Class 10 is another interesting class worthy of our support. It is asking for an exemption for personal "fair use" to bypass DVD and Blu-ray encryption schemes by end users. Right now it is ILLEGAL to rip a DVD, even if you bought it. Not because you don't have fair use rights to the content, legal precedent says you do, but because there is an encryption scheme sitting in your way (CSS, an Access Control Mechanism) that the DMCA forbids you from circumventing (except in cases where exemptions are stipulated--the ones we're talking about). It is also illegal to create and distribute software (like Handbrake) that allows others to circumvent ACMs. I think that supporting Class 10 would send a pretty strong message to the MPAA (RIAA) that content purchasers are NOT "pirates" and should NOT be targeted in DMCA actions. Class 10 might could allow Apple to enable an iTunes Match-type service for DVDs and Blu-rays; at the very least it would allow for iTunes to rip DVDs as it does CDs. It would also make the job of the content owners a bit more difficult, as it could be argued that sites like The Pirate Bay then have a legal foundation for existence: to facilitate the free trading of transcoded, format-shifted content legally between digital-content-owning end-users.
      *Claps* U accepted and beat the challenge..... +10 Brownie points for u sir
    1. jamesgunaca's Avatar
      jamesgunaca -
      Anyone want to draft up some comments we can submit together?
    1. AUZambo's Avatar
      AUZambo -
      Quote Originally Posted by jamesgunaca View Post
      Anyone want to draft up some comments we can submit together?
      I imagine quality is more important than quantity. If they suddenly receive 74 of the same letter they'll probably toss them in the trash.
    1. expl0itfinder's Avatar
      expl0itfinder -
      Quote Originally Posted by AUZambo View Post
      Ha ha...this reminds me of the last time Facebook did a complete overhaul of the user interface. People logged into Facebook to tell all their friends that they hate Facebook!
      +1