A couple years ago, the smartphone user community scored a major victory in the United States when the Copyright Office added jailbreaking phones to the list of anti-circumvention exemptions allowed under the DMCA. While a manufacturer could still use jailbreaking as an excuse to void your warranty, there was no longer any doubt that the owners of phones could now legally modify them is such a manner. Problem is, the exemptions granted under the Act aren’t permanent (though the restrictions sure as heck are), requiring petitions to renew them every three years. It’s just about time to revisit the topic of jailbreaking smartphones, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation wants your help in convincing the Copyright Office not just to renew the provision for smartphones, but extended it to tablets, and possibly even video game systems.
If you think you can intelligently explain why you want full access to the hardware you’ve purchased (and no, pirating apps probably isn’t a good cause to champion), the EFF wants you writing to the Copyright Office. The greater the show of public support, the more likely the exemptions are to be granted. It seems likely that the smartphone, and probably even tablet exemptions will pass, while the game console battle could be a little more difficult. If you care about any of these fights, head on over to the EFF’s website for info on preparing your own personal message in support of jailbreaking.