Big Brother loses one, ‘Jailbreaking’ iPhones legal, not felony

Apple loses bid to criminalize iPhone jailbreaking – Computerworld

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9179694/Apple_loses_bid_to_criminalize_iPhone_jailbreaking

“When one jailbreaks a smartphone in order to make the operating system on that phone interoperable with an independently created application that has not been approved by the maker of the smartphone or the maker of its operating system, the modifications that are made purely for the purpose of such interoperability are fair uses,” Marybeth Peters, Register of Copyrights, wrote in the ruling approved by Billington (download PDF).

UPDATE: Here’s an excellent link of the updates, a bit of history, and a list of the other exemptions. (thanks, Derek).  This is probably the biggest news for most.

You can rip your own DVDs, and nobody will stop you.

First, and arguably most importantly, is an exemption for DVDs you legally own, giving everyone (not just film and media studies majors!) the right to break DRM for the purposes of “short” use in both “documentary filmmaking” and original “noncommercial videos.” The first is rather specific, of course, but the broadness of the latter is impressive—although for now you can’t appropriate the entire film. But as long as you aren’t charging money for it or profiting off it, it’s noncommercial. So go ahead, rip and remix a scene from Inception so that it actually makes sense.

Now, to be sure, most of the informed tech folk already were doing this (and committing a felony each time), but it looks like they are in the clear now.  I don’t know of anybody who was prosecuted for this, but as far as common-sense exemptions go, this was at the top of the list.

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