It is now legal to break copyrightt-protection in a wide range of instances

New gov’t rules allow unapproved iPhone apps: Owners of the iPhone will be able to break electronic locks on their devices in order to download applications that have not been approved by Apple. The government is making that legal under new rules announced Monday.”

[Via MacSurfer’s Apple]

Owners of the iPhone will be able to legally break electronic locks on their devices in order to download software applications that haven’t been approved by Apple Inc., according to new government rules announced Monday.

[More]

I did not really ever hear of anyone being charged with jailbreaking an iPhone. The story buries the lead. Here are the really important changes that can affect a ton of people:

• allow owners of used cell phones to break access controls on their phones in order to switch wireless carriers.

• allow people to break technical protections on video games to investigate or correct security flaws.

• allow college professors, film students and documentary filmmakers to break copy-protection measures on DVDs so they can embed clips for educational purposes, criticism, commentary and noncommercial videos.

• allow computer owners to bypass the need for external security devices called dongles if the dongle no longer works and cannot be replaced.

Using clips from DVDs that have been cracked is an important, non-enfringing use that we now have. Some interesting videos have been taken down from YouTube simply because the copyright-protection scheme had been broken.

And what about the first one? Does this mean that it would officially be okay to move the iPhone to Verizon? Or to move any phone to any other carrier rather than relying purely on the wireless carriers to provide the phone?

What about breaking security because the hardware no longer exists to play it? Video game simulators often rely on the old code from old games but getting that code has relied on breaking copyright.

I imagine there will be some interesting fallout from these new rules.

One thought on “It is now legal to break copyrightt-protection in a wide range of instances

  1. Allowing profs, students, etc. to break copyright in order to embed their own POV is particularly disheartening. This just looks as if the government is anxious to take down a few more businesses and will destroy the whole idea of copyright in order to do so.

Comments are closed.