Copyright Office issues DMCA exemptions for automotive software, jailbreaking smart TVs

4 12 2015


November 9, 2015

Steve Brachmann

Automotive software exemptions were only one class of circumvention made allowable by the recent copyright rules which may be exciting for some DIY tech enthusiasts. Jailbreaking, or the process of accessing a device’s operating software to execute software which otherwise could not be run, is now legal in some limited forms for an array of electronic devices. For smartphones and tablets, the Copyright Office favored an exemption for circumvention of operating system software to execute lawfully obtained software applications, or to remove unwanted software from the device. This exemption only applies to “portable all-purpose mobile computing devices” and so only doesn’t extend to specialized devices like e-book readers, vehicle-embedded systems or handheld gaming devices. This rule closely reflects requests made in a petition by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) despite opposition from the Business Software Alliance (BSA) as well as the National Telecommunications & Information Administration’s (NTIA) opinion that the exemption should also extend to e-book readers and other specialized devices.


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