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Electronic Frontier Foundation Petitioning To Keep Rooting And Jailbreaking Phones and Tablets Legal

In 2010 the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was passed to help stem the ever present problem of copyrighting media in the digital age. The Electronic Frontier Foundation worked hard though to get a few exemptions to this bill, namely protecting remix videos from being taken down and phones being jailbroken; or rooted. Now, these exemptions are up for renewal this year and not only is the EFF asking for help renewing the two exemptions they have now, they want to expand the exemptions to cover rooting tablets and jailbreaking video game consoles as well.

This is quite a big deal, because if these exemptions do not get renewed it would technically be illegal to root your phone allowing any company who wishes to come after you in court. The biggest case of this would be Sony taking legal action against George Hotz, a man who figured out how to jailbreak the Playstation 3 and put it on the internet. The EFF has a full page dedicated to the rooting exemptions needed along with a petition to sign and a place to send comments directly to the U.S. Copyright Office. There are somewhere near 5,000 signatures already, let’s add our names to make sure we can keep hacking our phones as much as we want.

Via:  EFF Website | Petition

  • Jacob Adam

    Am I the only one that can’t find the sign link? It’s really pissing me off, i’m on the page with the petition and signatures but there is literally nowhere to sign, I must be stupid

  • Tyler

    Kellex why aren’t you using the charger that came with your phone???

  • NoahRHPS

    Petition link is down :/

  • TheRobotCow

    This may be targeting iOS more but i say that we sign it. As a technology lover lets sign this $hit and keep rooting and jailbreaking legal. 

  • saly max

    @eed533c6a0029659ffcc3be3ef9f97b8:disqus …$7,375 was my roomate’s sister paycheck last month. she works on the internet and drives a 2012 BMW 6-series coupe. All she did was get lucky and follow the information you can find here … MakeCash2.comONLY

  • metool

    I have noticed the best features a phone can have are made by regular people either the iphone and an Android. Jailbreaking/Rooting has helped build features that users would really use. Like the first iphone there were no apps and by jailbreaking you were able to load custom apps, then later on apple took that idea into play. Being able to do whatever we can with the phones is really helping o/s to become something better then they originally thought of.

  • What a bunch of idiots. We pay enough for these devices we should be able to do whatever the hell we want with them. I can agree to penalize the use of devices for malicious purposes (i.e. terrorism), but everything else should be left to the discretion of the user. It’s not like we have to turn them back. 

    Stop treating us like we are leasing your stuff, they are ours to keep. We might just use our old devices to shove it up their asses. See if they like that.

  • Anonymous

    Petition link doesn’t work

  • Anonymous

    Root is different from Jailbreaking. Jailbreaking allows pirating paid apps for free, android does not. We should not be affected by this.

    • Anonymous

      you’re very misinformed. rooting = jailbreaking = admin access to a device.

      and you could get paid apps for free on android without rooting if you really wanted too, btw.

      • Anonymous

        I understand that that means file share stuff. I mean jailbreak I’d direct access to paid apps.

        • Anonymous

          Huh?  They’re all the same terms basically.  What they do has nothing to do with file sharing or piracy of any kind.  Could it be easier to do stuff like that afterwards?  Sure.  But that’s across the board.

          • Anonymous

            Jailbreak on iPhone allows access to Cydia. Cydia has all the paid apps for free. I feel as though that is the target of this movement, I am saying that we aren’t involved in that.

          • Anonymous

            oh, word.  well yeah, but i wouldn’t want to take back access that rooting or jailbreaking provides just because of what some people choose to do with it afterwards.  and from what i’ve heard, cydia provides some good tools and stuff too.

          • Anonymous

            Again. I agree with you. I am just pointing out the fact that there is more pirating going on on iOS

          • Anonymous

            interesting to know.

          • cydia does not have paid apps for free. you need to add sources to install apps like installous. cydia will even warn you of what your are about to do.

          • Tachry

            Cydia gives you access to apps and tweaks that AREN’T available in iTunes.  Jailbreaking an iPhone doesn’t suddenly give you access to every app in the market for free.  I’m sure some people have found ways to use workarounds to get some apps for free… but it is not automatically included when you jailbreak

  • Umm, the DMCA was passed in 2010? I thought it was passed in 1998.

  • DMCA was passed in 1998 not 2010.

  • Anonymous

    Another great argument for the Nexus line of phones for the hacking community. I can’t see Google ever going after anyone for rooting/ROMing or the like; in fact, they encourage it. I think the same should be said for every phone, since you own it, but this is the wacky state of affairs in our country: you don’t have the right until it’s granted to you. wtf? I’m going to go read the 10th Amendment and cry.

  • Anonymous

    For those of us that buy Google devices: I’m pretty sure we’re safe. Google itself recommends doing these kinds of things to their devices, and surely would not come after you in court battles. iOS users beware though, I’m sure Apple would love to put your head on a pike.

    • Anonymous

      hahaha that last sentence is hilarious.  they would.

    • So they would put your head on a fish? That seems kinda silly, but funny. lol

  • Bewara2009

    The question here is, after buying a product do you really own the product? 

    • Anonymous

      What is the matrix?

    • Xfloggingkylex

      You do, but they are saying they can limit which devices go onto their networks.  If you want to buy a phone, root it and use it like an iPod touch I don’t think they will care.  Hook it to their network and suddenly they have a say with what you are allowed to do with it.

      Still lame but I imagine that’s the way they are going with it.

      • Adam Metzner

        What happened to them not being able to limit what devices that are on the 4G spectrum? Or is that coming in the near future when phones will be pure 4G?
        Anyway I think this more about pirating software, so the network over all wont matter. Even if you were just using wifi you could still pirate.

  • Anonymous

    Go to that EFF website and submit your comments to the Copyright Office, too.  We own the devices, they should be handing us admin access and unlocked bootloaders, if we want them or are savvy enough to use them, from the first moment we power them on.  Just like the access you can get in every other desktop or laptop computer.

    Just make sure you write about more than tethering for free.

    • When I buy a phone its mine, the company has no legal ownership over it any more. The company sold it to me so I own itand if I choose to root it, its none of their concern.. 
      For example If I buy a for truck and put a chevy engine in it, It is not harming anyone or the companies that sold me both items.

  • Anyone else having trouble loading the petition site?

    • Anonymous

      I am. They’re probably overloaded because I saw a few other website post this story at the same time. Too many people!

    • Anonymous

      Yea it won’t load for me either…

      • Anonymous

        It’s back up!

        • It’s back down…heh.

    • SOPA at work. :]

  • Jason Purp

    Google basically supports rooting, so I don’t see why they have to mess with your right to root. Honestly, our country is a little ridiculous.

    Nobody even cares about iOS devices, but I still must say, they have a right to do it as well.

    And I’m sure that one of the reasons behind this is piracy, because that’s what the government has been crying about so much lately. Well, rooting your Android phone has nothing to do with piracy. Not even indirectly, while yes, jailbreaking an iOS device does, but again, not directly. It’s like saying that buying a computer means you’re going to pirate music and movies.

    This isn’t Communist Russia. Let people do whatever the hell they want to do with their mobile and gaming devices, so long as they aren’t pirating things or doing any hacking to other people without the people knowing about it (Droid Sheep, WifiKill, etc.).

    I know this comment seems a little “all over the place,” but I just woke up.

    • Josh Groff

      Thanks for wifikill, I’m so glad you told me indirectly. 🙂

      Have you checked out emulators? (for psx and the like, can’t call it piracy if it’s physically impossible to buy anymore?)

      • Jason Purp

        Emulators aren’t illegal either. Neither is downloading ROMs. As long as you’ve purchased the game at some point and never resold it, you have the legal right to make back-ups.

        • Anonymous

          ah thank you! someone that understands the ROM laws. People always assume they’re illegal… 

          Now if you don’t mind, I add my 2¢. 

          Schpiel on Piracy:
          As a computer science major, android developer, and iPhone development consultant (That title sounds fancier than “people ask me for help on implementing their ideas and programs”), the more I create and release (so far all I make is free) the more I dislike piracy. Programs and really anything digital take a lot of effort from many people. Compensating developers, artists, and anyone else is the right thing to do if they ask for it. If you don’t want to pay what they want, don’t use it, don’t listen to it, don’t watch it. Your life was obviously fine before it, so it’ll be fine after.

          Schpiel on Jailbreaking/Rooting:
          This needs to be legal. Do I think phones should come unlocked and rooted? No. Casual users are going to break things way too often and companies need to protect themselves from those kind of people. But, I think all phones and other devices should have some sort of unlock method for people that are capable of using it. I think it should be done at that persons own risk (voiding warranty is probably fair enough), but it should be allowed. If it wasn’t for the root access on my android, I might have gone with an iPhone. The open ideas help bring out the best (and sometimes worst) of any program or OS.

          tl;dr version:
          Piracy is bad. Support content creators. Root is good for those that can use it.

          • Skexone

            give me the option to pay developers directly and ill be more concerned with piracy.

          • Anonymous

            That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard. Most apps you have the option to directly pay the developer. My apps are free on the market with a paypal option. An app with over 2000 downloads, and a 5 star overall rating, how many donations do you think it has? Continuing, why don’t you like that google takes 30%? Is that not fair? I don’t have to go through them, but it is the easiest way to distribute my app. They give me that ability, use their servers, use their money, and in turn I give them 30% of all paid app sales. Free apps stay free.

            That statement is just more skewed than I feel like getting into. Give people what they deserve.   

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, GL with that ;-).