Whether you are jailbreaking your smartphone, tablet PC or video games console, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) believes you should be protected from any legal hassle brought under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
In a filing today with the U.S. Copyright Office, the EFF defended the "liberation" of electronic devices to run software from any source, not just that approved by the manufacturer.
"The DMCA is supposed to block copyright infringement. But instead it can be misused to threaten creators, innovators, and consumers, discouraging them from making full and fair use of their own property," said EFF Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry.
"Hobbyists and tinkerers who want to modify their phones or video game consoles to run software programs of their choice deserve protection under the law. So do artists and critics who use short excerpts of video content to create new works of commentary and criticism. Copyright law shouldn't be stifling such uses ? it should be encouraging them."
EFF's requests are part of the Copyright Office's rulemaking process, convened every three years to consider exemptions to the DMCA's prohibitions on "circumventing" digital rights management (DRM) and "other technical protection measures" used to protect copyrighted works.
The digital rights group also asked for legal protection for artists and critics that use content from DVDs or downloading services to create new, remixed works to publish. The EFF won some exemptions last year, but now aims to build on that success.
"We were thrilled that EFF won important exemptions to the DMCA in the last rulemaking," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann. "But technology has evolved over the last three years, and so it's important to expand these exemptions to cover the real-world uses of smartphones, tablets, video game consoles, DVDs, and video downloads."
The fill exemptions request made by EFF is available to download as a PDF from: eff.org
Written by: James Delahunty @ 1 Dec 2011 17:57