The US Library of Congress today issued a set of exemptions to an infamous provision in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), establishing a victory for consumers who like to tinker with devices without running afoul of copyright law. The exemptions were far-reaching, extending from movie and television files used in an educational context for criticism to installing third-party software — in other words jailbreaking — tablets and smart TVs.They will however only last for three years.
The Library of Congress meets around every 36 months to decide new exemptions and re-establish previous exemptions to the DMCA’s 1201 provision. That provision has made it illegal in the past to unlock your smartphone from its carrier or even to share your HBO Go password with a friend. It’s designed to let corporations protect copyrighted material, but it allows them to crackdown on circumventions even when they’re not infringing on those copyrights or trying to access or steal proprietary information.
GO AHEAD, JAILBREAK YOUR TABLET OR SMART TV
The exemptions, though they only last three years, are designed to remedy that. Yet regulators tend to leave out devices, like in 2012 when the group approved jailbreaking for smartphones but not tablets. This year the group got together and established a handful of now well-known exemptions — like the Congress-backed ability to unlock your smartphone from its carrier — and a slew of new ones covering a range of devices.
You can continue to unlock your smartphone and tablet, and the same now goes for Wi-Fi hotspots and wearable devices with cellular connections. As for jailbreaking, you can continue to do so with smartphones and now, for the first time, tablets and smart TVs as well. You’re still not allowed to jailbreak e-readers, handheld gaming devices, or laptops and desktop computers. Video game consoles are also off limits, as the Library of Congress found that, “as in 2012, opponents provided substantial evidence that console jailbreaking is closely tied to video game piracy…”
Read Full Store: The Verge
Phoenix is the Co-Founder of DontComply.com, ComeAndTakeItAmerica.com, and host of the Don't Comply Radio Show.
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