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In 2010, the U.S. Copyright Office said jailbreaking (or rooting) your smartphone did not violate Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). It was now legal to use your phone the way YOU wanted and it was not long that I eventually dove into the world of rooting. But now that exemption is about to expire and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is asking us to help them get the exemption renewed.

Why Root/Jailbreak?

The process of rooting gives you the ability to add, change or delete any file on your smartphone, removing any software restrictions the manufacturer may have placed on it. Developers are able to create some amazing custom ROMs for almost any type of smartphone and most do this for free. These ROMs give your smartphone features that are unavailable from the manufacturer and it keeps older phones from becoming obsolete (after the first year).

With rooting there is some risk involved, but if you do the research, it can be worth the effort. I decided to root my Spint EVO 4G because I kept getting low disk space messages. Sprint didn’t allow users to remove their apps (bloatware) and it was keeping me from installing apps I wanted to use. After a month of getting the notifications, I decided to take control of MY phone and root.

How You Can Help

The EFF has created the page below for those of us who want to see the exemption renewed and extended to to include tablets and video game consoles. You can submit your comments directly to the Copyright Office via their website and are encouraged to sign the petition here.

Jailbreaking Is Not A Crime: Tell the Copyright Office to Free Your Devices!

The comments to the Copyright Office are due by February 10 at 5 PM Eastern Time, so time is of the essence. Let me know in the comments below how rooting/jailbreaking has worked for you.

(via Good and EVO)

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About The Author

Avatar of Theo Johnson

I'm a full-time IT application developer, family guy, tech enthusiast, amateur photog and advocate of all things Google. I enjoy showing others how techology can be used to add to their quality of life. You can find me on Twitter @tjohnson3, Google or at the Dallas South News.

2 Responses

  1. Ro Atkinson

    The decisions that America takes affect the whole world. I am not a jailbreaker myself but as I use the Apple iPhone I benefit from many features in the iPhone’s operating system that were only incorporated by Apple after jailbreakers had originally designed them. The freedom to jailbreak phones and other devices allows a huge base of programmers to innovate, think of new ideas and even gauge public opinion of them on a scale that would be impossible for one company to do. That is how the future is created and that should be what we aim to achieve with the way we design our legislation.

    • Avatar of Theo Johnson
      Theo Johnson

      Well said Ro. All I really want from my phone is the ability to make calls and use it to its fullest potential. If my phone can run faster than 1Ghz, then I want the option to make it run faster. There might be a risk, but it should be my choice in the end. There are some talented developers out there doing some good work and I’d like to see them continue.