Smartphone Users Tell Copyright Office Why We Love Jailbreaking
Just about a month ago, we told you about current efforts by the United States Copyright Office to revisit the topic of jailbreaking as a legal exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. While jailbreaking smartphones got the OK last time around, these exemptions don’t automatically renew, and the case for them must be made over-and-over as they expire. To that end, the Electronic Frontier Foundation was asking smartphone users across the US to submit their own comments about jailbreaking in order to show the Copyright Office just how strongly many of us feel about freedom to use or phones in the manner we see fit. Now that the commentary period has passed, the Office has been posting those comments online, giving us a window into the different reasons we have for supporting jailbreaking.
One doctor writes-in about his need for specialty-use programs for quickly computing radiation dosages. He wants to be free to independently put such software together on modern smartphones for his own use, rather than go through an approval process for what’s essentially a personal app. (the FDA might have something to say in this particular case, but his heart is in the right place when it comes to jailbreaking)
Many of the notes deal specifically with Apple devices, and are largely from users who like iOS plenty, but feel that certain aspects of the system are lacking for their needs. Whether they’re looking for a better notification system, or voice alerts of incoming caller names, they turn to jailbroken software to get the complete experience they’re looking for out of their phones.
Some comments are less than helpful, like one arguing that this is all moot because the author doesn’t think the DMCA prohibits jailbreaking in the first place, but many are well-written and make good points. There are lots of specific examples given, but sometimes the argument just boils down to “I bought this. Of course I would like to be allowed to do whatever I wish with it”.
Links to all the submissions are now up at the Copyright Office’s site, though it’s yet to finish classifying them all by subject matter. Go take a look through a handful yourself if you’re curious to see just what issues concern your fellow smartphone users.