This a cause I think we can all get behind. Back in 2010, the Copyright Office in the Library of Congress issued a rulemaking statement exempting smartphones and DVDs from reverse engineering laws under the DMCA. Previously, companies like Apple had used these provisions to threaten criminal prosecution (as well as civil action) against those who "jailbroke" (rooted) devices such as the iPhone (or iPad). The exemption to these penalties put in place by the Copyright Office extended to the "jailbreaking" (or, as we know it in the Android community, rooting) of all smartphones (it also extends to things like bootloader unlocking). Now, that exemption is about to expire, if the rulemaking committee does not renew it. The EFF wants your help, in the form of submitting writings to the Copyright Office explaining why the exemption should not be allowed to expire.

As an Android site, we're all about openness, and think this is a no-brainer. The EFF also wants these reverse engineering "jailbreaking" exemptions expanded to tablets and video game consoles. Since tablets have become natural extensions of the smartphone, the reasoning there is obvious. I wouldn't hold my breath on game consoles, though (Nintendo and Sony vigorously lobby to keep the status quo in place).

Anyway, check out this article over at the EFF to learn more, as well as how to submit your comments to the Copyright Office.

EFF