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New Rules for Jailbreaking and DVD Copying

post Saturday November 3, 2012

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The U.S. Copyright Office recently published new rules on regarding the legality of jailbreaking smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles. The guidelines also outline the rules on DVD copying.

It has been ruled that jailbreaking all of the aforementioned devices is now illegal with smartphones being the only exception. Smartphone jailbreaking is ruled to be lawful only for the purpose of enabling interoperability of non-vendor-approved software that is lawfully acquired. It is stated in the document that “one engaged in jailbreaking need only modify the functional aspects of the firmware, which may or may not be subject to copyright protection”.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibits hacking DVDs for watching on different devices and platforms; it is however, legal to copy DVDs for use in documentary films. The regulator body stated that DVD copying is permissible in order to make use of short portions of the motion pictures for the purpose of criticism or comment in the instances of noncommercial videos, documentary films, nonfiction multimedia e-books offering film analysis, and for educational purposes in film studies or other courses requiring close analysis of film and media excerpts.

The regulation “Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies” is effective starting October 28th, 2012.



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