This is HUGE! The US Government looks all set to make the iPhone jailbreaking legal! In simple terms, the iPhone owners will be able to jailbreak and unlock their devices in order to download applications that have not been approved by Apple. The same thing holds good for rooting Android phones as well.
These new exemptions will allow owners to break access controls on all mobile phones purchased in the US, one of only a few exemptions from a federal law that prevents the tampering or the circumvention of technical measures that prevent access to copyrighted works.
This is a landmark decision. Primarily because, Apple has always argued that jailbreaking was illegal under the DMCA, justifying this by claiming that opening the iPhone to third-party and unapproved applications would compromise safety, reliability and security, as well as allowing software to be pirated.
In addition to jailbreaking, other exemptions announced on Monday would:
- allow owners of used cell phones to break access controls on their phones in order to switch wireless carriers [unlock]
- 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.