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Posts Tagged: "jailbreak"

Copyright Office issues DMCA exemptions for automotive software, jailbreaking smart TVs

Automotive software exemptions were only one class of circumvention made allowable by the recent copyright rules which may be exciting for some DIY tech enthusiasts. Jailbreaking, or the process of accessing a device’s operating software to execute software which otherwise could not be run, is now legal in some limited forms for an array of electronic devices. For smartphones and tablets, the Copyright Office favored an exemption for circumvention of operating system software to execute lawfully obtained software applications, or to remove unwanted software from the device. This exemption only applies to “portable all-purpose mobile computing devices” and so only doesn’t extend to specialized devices like e-book readers, vehicle-embedded systems or handheld gaming devices. This rule closely reflects requests made in a petition by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) despite opposition from the Business Software Alliance (BSA) as well as the National Telecommunications & Information Administration’s (NTIA) opinion that the exemption should also extend to e-book readers and other specialized devices.

The Abandonware Conundrum: Can you modify games if publisher shuts down the server?

The EFF wants an exemption for people who want to modify their purchased games in order to bypass access controls when a publisher shuts down the server. Specifically, the EFF would like for any piece of software with server-based functions that are shut down by a publisher or developer to be considered “abandoned” six months later. This means that someone who owns a copy of a game that no longer has an online play component would be able to modify the game to eliminate authentication checks or access controls in the game itself so they can still play online using a third party server. This may also include reverse engineering and making intermediate copies of the game, which goes well beyond the skill set of the casual user.