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EFF Asks To Make Jailbreaking Legal For All Devices

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the making-it-free dept.

Electronic Frontier Foundation 278

Diggester writes "Jailbreaking is a way to break off from the limitations imposed by the mobile vendor to download additional applications and themes etc. which aren't available otherwise. It provides root access to the device by use of custom kernels. It is common with the iDevices and has been rendered legal by the efforts of EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) in July 2010. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is now determined to make Jailbreaking legal for all the consumer electric goods. They have asked the US copyright office to declare it legal to jailbreak all the devices like smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles etc. no matter who the vendor is. The aim behind this plead is to change the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which prohibits such an access to the user."

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Oblig XKCD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38295298)

Re:Oblig XKCD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38295388)

um.... what? Am I just stupid or is there actually a connection???

Re:Oblig XKCD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38295502)

+1

PC analogy (5, Insightful)

cyachallenge (2521604) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295304)

Imagine if it were illegal to reformat your harddrive on your PC.

Re:PC analogy (5, Insightful)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295414)

Imagine if you could only put Campbell's Soup in your soup bowl, or only put Folgers coffee in your Folgers-branded coffee mug.

If there's no reason for a restriction on what I can do with the hardware I buy, other than restricting consumer choice, there's no reason for the restriction. If I can make something do what it wasn't intended to do, and it's not negatively harming others, why should I be deprived of my right to make it do that thing it wasn't meant to do?

Re:PC analogy (5, Insightful)

sohmc (595388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295464)

This is kind of like the Linus Torvald's view of things.

I think you should allow users to be able to do whatever they want to their devices. But I think that those companies should have the right to void the warranty if they do.

That way, if some dumb user jailbreaks his phone because he thought he could be cool, but royally messed it up, he can't go crying to the manufacturer for coverage.

Re:PC analogy (5, Informative)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295488)

That's in place already. Jailbreaking = insta void.

Re:PC analogy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38295536)

Just like modyfing something with a hammer is. Except hammers are legal in the US, unlike jailbraiking, and both void the warrant.

Re:PC analogy (4, Informative)

compro01 (777531) | more than 2 years ago | (#38296094)

The Magnuson-Moss warranty act makes the legality of that questionable unless they can demonstrate that the jailbreaking caused or substantially contributed to the failure.

I just don't think anyone has bothered taking it to court, as it would really be cheaper just to buy a new phone than sue them over it.

Re:PC analogy (5, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295512)

I don't give a crap about the warranty.

At the same time, I bought *HARDWARE*. Sony shouldn't be able to tell me that I can't load custom firmware on it with the ability to run Linux, for example. The PS3 would make a GREAT media center to stream from my TV recording box, save that I can't load a custom firmware package for Linux AND keep the ability to run current games.

I only wish we could get it a step further and actually make it illegal for companies like the phone companies to do what they've done - sure it's "legal" to root your phone, but they keep trying to make it *impossible* by fucking with the shipped/official firmware.

Re:PC analogy (4, Insightful)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295740)

Thats a kind-of where you're wrong, as much as I hate to admit Sony has a point. If you want to connect the hardware to their networks, they should be allowed to stop you running custom code. Also, although probably not the case now, but perhaps when it was first released they would have sold the hardware at a loss based on the fact that barring any illegal activity, the only way you can use the hardware is to purchase their 99% profit margin games. Phone again fall in to the same category. Buggy firmware could cause big problems to their networks, so restricting the ability to load custom firmware is in their best interests. Restricting what you can do with the official firmware is a different story. Perhaps it would bea good idea for devices designed to connect to providers networks to have two sets of firmware. A locked down layer to control and protect network access and the OS (although this is probably already done. I recall my days with HTC phones 5 years ago having separate radio firmeware bundled in the image that is transferred to the device)

Re:PC analogy (4, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295898)

Thats a kind-of where you're wrong, as much as I hate to admit Sony has a point.

What point might that be?

If you want to connect the hardware to their networks, they should be allowed to stop you running custom code.

I don't give a flying FUCK about their networks. Since the Sony break-in, I've had my box firewalled off from their fucking network, and it's never going near them again.

Also, although probably not the case now, but perhaps when it was first released they would have sold the hardware at a loss based on the fact that barring any illegal activity, the only way you can use the hardware is to purchase their 99% profit margin games.

I fail to see where shitty planning on their part constitutes an obligation on my part to buy ANYTHING from them. I bought a piece of hardware. If they sold it at a loss, and I don't buy "enough" games from them to make up for it, then they don't have enough games worth buying. There is no contractual obligation for me to buy anything else from them.

Phone again fall in to the same category. Buggy firmware could cause big problems to their networks, so restricting the ability to load custom firmware is in their best interests.

And oddly enough, with phones, the FTC already ruled that the benefit to consumers to open the phones OUTWEIGHS the benefit to the phone carriers to "secure their networks" in that sense. So you're already wrong.

Re:PC analogy (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38296326)

don't give a flying FUCK about their networks. Since the Sony break-in...

Security has nothing to do with it. running trainers to cheat on games is more what I was thinking about.

If they sold it at a loss, and I don't buy "enough" games from them to make up for it, then they don't have enough games worth buying

Buying just one game would give them $50 more profit. Its fairly reasonable to expect someone to buy at least one game for a piece of hardware that legally can only be used to play said games.. Even if they don't make a loss, having people buying truck loads of consoles to run their linux clusters means fewer available for "normal" customers. All I'm saying is if this became more prevalent, there would be higher insentives to increase profit margins on hardware, increasing costs for everyone.

Re:PC analogy (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38296024)

so you to be like say Comcast you must a rent a PC (at high prices) say $20 /m for a basic pc going up to a $100+ for a pc with gameing hardware. from comcast to get on line and then it's all locked down and you can only rent apps and games from the comcast store.

Re:PC analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38296248)

No, if I have a device that connects to a network, the connection to the network should be the only thing they control. Any code I run on my device is not their concern if it does not connect to their network.

Re:PC analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38295846)

No, you did not buy just hardware - you bought a complete embedded system, including the software/firmware

You absolutely should be able to modify it, just as you can stick decals on the case, but changing a technical part of the product to something custom should also absolutely invalidate the warranty.

Re:PC analogy (0, Flamebait)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38296052)

See above, where I said, and I quote, "I don't give a crap about the warranty." Typical Sony fanboi troll, reading comprehension below kindergarten level.

Re:PC analogy (3, Interesting)

pclminion (145572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38296252)

Sony shouldn't be able to tell me that I can't load custom firmware on it with the ability to run Linux, for example.

100% agreed.

I only wish we could get it a step further and actually make it illegal for companies like the phone companies to do what they've done - sure it's "legal" to root your phone, but they keep trying to make it *impossible* by fucking with the shipped/official firmware.

100% disagreed. Any such law would be immediately leveraged to attack open source, in ways that are unpredictable at the moment. We must never, ever have government dictating technological design.

Re:PC analogy (4, Insightful)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295554)

Only within reason. Jailbreaking can't be the cause of say, physical manufacturing defects. The warranty should still apply in these cases.

Re:PC analogy (5, Insightful)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295852)

It can be the cause of stressing components past the design limits. If the original firmware limited tx power to 50% due to thermal design and the custom firmware ran it at 100% and components failed, whos fault is it? What if the charging circuit was software controlled and the custom firmware wasn't set correctly for the manufactures design and the battery exploded, killing the cute little lolcat sitting next to it?

Re:PC analogy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38295884)

Then I guess you should've published that documentation. I don't expect you to support me.

I do however, expect you not to actively sabotage me by including subpar components that ruin running it in the way a reasonable person would expect. Unfortunately, that tends to mean "I expect to be able to get 100% output"

And until you publish an API manual saying otherwise, I'm going to assume that you meet the warranty of merchantability and fitness for the purpose sold and advertised.

That means I'm turning it up to 100% and it better not break.

Re:PC analogy (1)

JustSomeProgrammer (1881750) | more than 2 years ago | (#38296096)

Let's put it another way. A system is rated at a thermal level of X. Someone has found out you can usually safely run at 110% - 130% of X. You install firmware that advertises "BEST SPEEDS POSSIBLE!" that runs at a thermal level of 130% (best speeds possible). But your system is actually only ok at 108% of X because you got subpar system but you are still over the speced rating.

Also just to throw it out there, why should I support code I don't know anything about. If your system isn't running in a known configuration, I can't guarantee you have compete success with it.

Re:PC analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38296210)

Then I guess you should've published that documentation. I don't expect you to support me.

I do however, expect you not to actively sabotage me by including subpar components that ruin running it in the way a reasonable person would expect. Unfortunately, that tends to mean "I expect to be able to get 100% output"

And until you publish an API manual saying otherwise, I'm going to assume that you meet the warranty of merchantability and fitness for the purpose sold and advertised.

That means I'm turning it up to 100% and it better not break.

Ah arrogance and stupidity in one convenient package. How considerate of you.

Just because one component can be run at some capacity, does not imply other components can handle that component running at that capacity. You're talking about a whole system of which firmware is one part of many.

Expecting that the company which sold you the device to replace it if it fails due to your meddling with the firmware is rather like expecting a car company to cover damage done to your suspension by replacing the wheels with squares.

I fully support your right to modify your hardware, but I don't see why other customers should bare the cost of destroyed hardware (the expected cost of warranty claims is reflected in the price of a product) because you screwed something up.

what about putting in bigger HDD's / any SATA disk (3, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38296056)

at least the ps3 took any laptop sata HDD.
But the xbox locked into high cost MS hdd's that can be hacked around but you get banned for hacking?

Magnuson-Moss warranty act already says this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38295916)

Its why you can use generic toner in most laser printers.

Re:PC analogy (5, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295768)

Imagine if you change your own spark plugs and two weeks later the rear passenger wheel falls off. The manufacturer should have to show that what you did caused the problem, just like they have to with any other product. Now granted, if I try to overclock the processor to 2x its normal rate and melt the damn thing that's my own fault, but if I unlock WiFi tethering and get a row of dead pixels on my screen the two are almost certainly unrelated.

Re:PC analogy (5, Insightful)

ecorona (953223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295498)

Because they want to charge you for the privilege. Remember, corporations are machines built to make money and that is all. They will fight anything that reduces the amount of money they can make no matter how completely idiotic and absurd it is. Politicians have already sided with corporations, democrats and republicans alike. Here's hoping judges are not as easily bought off and will have some common sense.

Re:PC analogy (1)

chargersfan420 (1487195) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295504)

I don't agree with my position, but to play Devil's advocate here...

it's not negatively harming others

In the case of geohot and the PS3 hacking, Sony might argue that it is harming their business. Because corporations are people, after all.

Re:PC analogy (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38295712)

In the case of geohot and the PS3, I say Fuck Sony. They played bait-and-switch with console features, after they falsely advertised "Linux" and only delivered a stripped down version without full hardware access.

What harmed their business is the fact that they're a bunch of fucking soulless, criminal asshats who pulled those two things, then let their customers' personal information into the wild. Fuck them.

Re:PC analogy (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295776)

That was entertaining, kind of like "damning with faint praise". What you're saying is that you're harming me because you won't give me money for nothing.

What's worse, considering the OtherOS nonsense, it's like my selling you a car, removing the tires, then claiming you harmed me because you replaced the tires.

Re:PC analogy (2)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295910)

And not using Brawndo is harmful to sports drink manufacturers.

Re:PC analogy (2)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38296346)

And using it is harmful to the agriculture sector.

Re:PC analogy (4, Insightful)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295604)

Because lots of people with more influence and money than you have spent decades convincing the government that allowing you freedom of mixing&matching your coffee and mug brands could potentially cause a direct reduction on their maximum possible profits. You see, they've furthermore convinced said government that this potential reduction constitutes you harming them. Since you just inferred you agree that people shouldn't be allowed to harm others while using their consumer goods in an unintended fashion they've invalidated your argument in favor of allowing this type of behavior using an extension of your very own reasoning. Sucks huh?

Re:PC analogy (2)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295686)

Imagine if you could only put Campbell's Soup in your soup bowl, or only put Folgers coffee in your Folgers-branded coffee mug.

If there's no reason for a restriction on what I can do with the hardware I buy, other than restricting consumer choice, there's no reason for the restriction. If I can make something do what it wasn't intended to do, and it's not negatively harming others, why should I be deprived of my right to make it do that thing it wasn't meant to do?

There is a reason and it is a simple one. Apple (and their co conspirators) would make less money.

Re:PC analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38295860)

There is a reason and it is a simple one. Apple (and their co conspirators) would make less money.

Apple (and their co conspirators) think they would make less money.

I'm not letting any Apple or Sony product into my home. If they change their view on who the owner of bought hardware is then perhaps that might change. (Well, they will have to produce tinges that I actually like too but at the moment I'm not even looking at anything with their brand on it.)

Re:PC analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38295788)

Still a bit off.

What if they sold you a soup bowl for less than the cost to make it? They think they can make money in the long run because the bowl artificially limited you to Campbell's soup or they sell you a recurring subscription to soup shipments.

Same thing with coffee.

Subsidies are the real question. It's a digital razor and blade model. If you can break the subsidy model with Jailbreaking, companies will stop subsidizing! Good luck with your $600 smartphone and game console.

Re:PC analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38296182)

Still a bit off.

If you can break the subsidy model with Jailbreaking, companies will stop subsidizing! Good luck with your $600 smartphone and game console.

I would love to see the hardware decoupled from the OS and the service provider. Cheap hardware is just a loss leader anyway. If you could use any device on any network it would be cheaper in the long run. It is exactly the same for printers, you can get a cheap printer and as long as you own it you keep getting shafted on ink, or you can by an expensive (un-subsidized) printer and get cheap ink for the life of the printer. Somehow I doubt that subsidized hardware is cheaper in the long run. If the other model produced larger profits, that is the way it would work now.

Re:PC analogy (4, Insightful)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295804)

If I can make something do what it wasn't intended to do, and it's not negatively harming others, why should I be deprived of my right to make it do that thing it wasn't meant to do?

Short answer - You shouldn't.

A slightly longer answer - In a perfect world, where you couldn't hurt others, you shouldn't.

A longer, but probably more realistic answer - Given that the network operators cannot absolutely secure their network and that rogue applications and third-party OSes have the potential to wreak havoc on their networks and other subscribers, it is in their best interests to keep the same off their network. Because the vendor of the device needs to provide support, a minimal set of software configurations will lower support costs. More importantly, rogue apps having access to the OS level of a device may very well allow the device to operate out of specification, causing interference to other devices (i.e., damage to their users) around them. I know that you are the exception and would never let your device's code have a bug but, frankly, with the level of software assurance anywhere, I sure wouldn't trust you.

So, yeah, most of these systems were designed to keep you from changing things for monetary reasons. But they also keep you from using your programmable RFI generator from f*cking up my access. So I'm not so hot to change that, if you know what I mean.

car analogy (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295866)

with say ford only said you can use BP gas or locked out jiffy lube and other non dealer service centers?

Re:PC analogy (2, Insightful)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295532)

Imagine if it were illegal to reformat your harddrive on your PC.

It's not really a fair comparison. When you buy a hard drive, you are generally buying the actual hard drive. But when you buy software, you aren't usually buying the software, but rather a license to use the software, and the license can include terms which may prohibit modification of the software or using a modified version of the software.

Many of the hardware devices we buy, such as smart phones and video game consoles, contain a good deal of sophisticated software or firmware (which is just software stored in some form of semi-permanent storage, such as flash memory or ROM chips). When you buy such a device, you are buying hardware, as well as a license to use the included software or firmware often under the condition that the software not be modified by the end user. This is where many of the physical good analogies break down.

Re:PC analogy (1)

Radres (776901) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295718)

Slashdot: home of bad car^H^H^H desktop computer analogies?

Re:PC analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38296150)

Slashdot: home of bad car^H^H^H desktop computer analogies?

Home of lying shills more like it.

Re:PC analogy (4, Insightful)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295724)

That's just legalese. This nonsense about "licensing" is just an excuse to prevent people from doing things with stuff they bought.

Re:PC analogy (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295732)

When you buy such a device, you are buying hardware, as well as a license to use the included software or firmware often under the condition that the software not be modified by the end user. This is where many of the physical good analogies break down.

Thus, it should be my RIGHT to install an open source version of software, any software OS or package, that runs on the device.

And it should be CRIMINAL behavior on the part of the asshat corporations, to interfere with this right.

Re:PC analogy (3, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295874)

I gave you money, you gave me a product. If I buy a book, the publisher can't sue for me for crossing out the paragraphs I don't like and writing in the margins and nothing the publisher puts in the front cover of the book will convince me otherwise. What I do with the information contained in the product I purshase is my business, so long as I'm not distributing those changes to other people the makers of the software should have absolutely no standing to say what I do with it.

Re:PC analogy (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38296116)

Isn't that what Windows Secure Boot does on a practical level?

m0d d0wn (-1, Troll)

asshole648 (2526010) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295314)

We are the slashdot trolls, my friend.
And we keep on trolling till the end.
We piss on the slashdot,
We post the goatse [goatse.ru] posts,
No time for lusers (Linux users), 'cause we troll slashdot.

Re:m0d d0wn (0)

Jibekn (1975348) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295338)

lusers != Linux Users.

nice job slashdot editors (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38295360)

protip: an link needs to have an href attribute to work

Re:nice job slashdot editors (3, Insightful)

Tyrannosaur (2485772) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295426)

the depressing part is, this was the 5th comment and the first one to actually try to RTA

Question (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38295364)

Does the US Copyright Office have the authority to make such a declaration? It seems to me like this would require an act of Congress or a declaration by the executive that they won't enforce the DMCA.

I'd have RTFA, but there's no href in that a tag.

Re:Question (3, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295374)

They've already done it for the iPhone.

Re:Question (5, Informative)

Derekloffin (741455) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295408)

They do. They were specifically given the right to add exemptions. I personally feel this is too much to ask though as it almost completely removes the teeth from the law when it comes to hardware copy protection. But, hey, I'm not in charge here.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38296246)

And I think the whole intent of the DMCA is flawed in the first place. The only thing it kinda sorta marginally gave society was the safe harbor provisions. I don't think it should be legal to bar me from copying movies I've purchased onto other devices I own - or removing the unskippable "You wouldn't steal a car" commercials that the pirates who haven't paid for the medium don't watch anyway.

As far as redistribution? There were laws already in place to deal with this.

Finally, unless it's gross redistribution or commercial redistribution I believe it should only be a civil offense along the lines of a speeding ticket. The more you get caught doing it, the higher the penalties go, but the first time or two things aren't very bad - and certainly not the ridiculous amounts MPAA / RIAA / et. all want.

Wasn't this already done? (4, Interesting)

sohmc (595388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295384)

I vaguely recall a judge pretty much saying that jailbreaking is not illegal, but may void the warranty. I only remember due to the large number of jokes of how Steve Jobs was just loving it since he now didn't have to support millions of jailbroken phones.

Legislative action would be nice, but if it's already done, then let's not waste the time.

Re:Wasn't this already done? (4, Informative)

Derekloffin (741455) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295422)

That was specific to mobile devices. This is asking for that right on pretty much every device.

Re:Wasn't this already done? (5, Informative)

Intron (870560) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295516)

In the US it is illegal to require a consumer to only use the vendor's services in order to maintain your warranty (Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act)

Re:Wasn't this already done? (4, Informative)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295530)

This is seeking to legitimize on most consumer devices rather than just phones.

An action that would more than piss off executives at companies like Sony.

Subsidized Devices (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38295432)

The real problem is that devices are Subsidized. If you don't pay for all of the device, should the company be able to lock you in on the device? I think they should. If they can't then it becomes harder for them to make their money back and they will stop subsidizing devices. Once the contract is over, or if you paid full price, then you should be able to do whatever you want.

Re:Subsidized Devices (4, Insightful)

tiberus (258517) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295520)

Jail-breaking the device doesn't let you out of the contract. If I buy a phone from AT&T with a 2 year contract and jail-break it, I still have a two year commitment with AT&T for service. I don't believe that has any bearing on the fact that I bought (not leased) the device, regardless of what I paid for it. If they don't want me to break it, provide access to all the features on the device rather than greatly restricting it. Just don't see that phone subsidies (read, we pay to much for our wireless service contracts) are an issue at all.

Re:Subsidized Devices (4, Informative)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295534)

The [mobile] devices are subsidized...by you. The ridiculously high monthly cost of a contract more than covers the cost of the device; astronomical cancellation fees pay for the device if you decide to jump ship. Also, this is about a lot more than just mobile devices.

Re:Subsidized Devices (2)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295544)

The real problem is that devices are Subsidized. If you don't pay for all of the device, should the company be able to lock you in on the device? I think they should.

Why? You're still in a contract with them. In fact, it's even more beneficial to them if you jailbreak - you still have to pay them for their services, but if you go to another carrier as well, they don't have to provide them. Free money.

Make their money back? (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295550)

Horseshit. If someone quits paying for your services and they've jailbroken an associated product, then bill them for the device and add any subsidization costs onto the early termination fees.

Re:Subsidized Devices (4, Insightful)

Intron (870560) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295552)

The real problem is that devices are Subsidized. If you don't pay for all of the device, should the company be able to lock you in on the device? I think they should. If they can't then it becomes harder for them to make their money back and they will stop subsidizing devices. Once the contract is over, or if you paid full price, then you should be able to do whatever you want.

The contract obligates you to maintain service for 1 or 2 years or else pay for the phone. Once you've signed the contract it's your phone. Hint: who's on the hook to repair it if it breaks?

Re:Subsidized Devices (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295834)

Once the contract is over, or if you paid full price, then you should be able to do whatever you want.

Where do I go to pay full price for a PS3?

Consoles (1)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295474)

I'm sure Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo will now be even determined to make sure your console only works with a network connection. At least they'll still be able to ban users from their network for jailbreaking consoles.

(I'm one of the few Slashdotters who's anti-piracy because I think stopping piracy increases the incentive for developers to invest time and money creating software for the platform. No wonder all the huge growth in game-sales over the past ten years has been in consoles, while PC sales have actually declined.)

Re:Consoles (4, Informative)

Darkinspiration (901976) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295694)

Unfortunatly DRM is more about market control and medium control then preventing piracy. It was shown time and time again that all DRM is eventualy broken and will not stop the pirate. It will however stop the used seller, region lock the product and force antiquated distribution pratice. Currently piracy is the convinient excuse. I would think that if piracy would go away tomorrow our media would still contain DRM just in case...

SFLC have a good submission too (5, Informative)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295478)

SFLC's request would be a bigger win. Here's their submission:
https://www.softwarefreedom.org/resources/2011/SFLC-proposed-DMCA-exemption.pdf [softwarefreedom.org]

And their press release gives an introduction:
http://softwarefreedom.org/news/2011/dec/02/proposed-dmca-exemption/ [softwarefreedom.org]

Summary of SFLC's submission (4, Informative)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295634)

They've asked for a DMCA exception for:

Computer programs that enable the installation and execution of lawfully obtained software on a personal computing device, where circumvention is performed by or at the request of the device's owner.

So, for any device you buy, you can install GNU/Linux, or Rockbox, or OpenWRT, or Sugar, OpenMoko, etc.

Their argument is based on recognising the value of the jailbreak-exemption which was granted in 2009, and saying that SFLC's suggested exemtion is what's needed in 2012 and beyond to achieve that same sort of goal.

There's no dense legalese in the document. It's a readable set of arguments with numbers and examples to back them up.

First link is recursive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38295486)

The first link in this story links to... this story.

Car Analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38295506)

Are we allowed to jailbreak automotive computers, like the engine control units that run our cars? You know the ones that monitor and control things like coolant temperature, cruise control, the best spark timing and how long the fuel injector stays open, the amount of oxygen in the exhaust for calculating emissions and fuel economy.

Re:Car Analogy (2)

Greystripe (1985692) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295570)

That's been done for years in order to fine tune a motor for increased hp/torque/fuel efficiency.

Re:Car Analogy (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38296006)

Yes. You can probably even tinker with your airbag ecu, the ABS one, the traction control one.... however you'd have to be a retard to mess with safety features with no way of testing (unless you buy 100 cars and crash test them...)

You might run in to issues if your car failed to pass emissions testing though

Are there any geeks in Congress? (3, Interesting)

sohmc (595388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295524)

This is a bit of a side question, but it begs to be asked: I've often wondered if there is a rep or senator that actually knows what the difference between "computer" and "CPU" without help from his staff.

I've actually considered running for office for these types of laws to be passed (REAL net-neutrality, get rid of software patents, etc). The more I get older, the more I'm convinced that most politicians are just mouthpieces of a PR firm that has voting privileges.

Re:Are there any geeks in Congress? (2)

pdxer (2520686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295736)

This is a bit of a side question, but it begs to be asked: I've often wondered if there is a rep or senator that actually knows what the difference between "computer" and "CPU" without help from his staff.

No. In fact, there's no one who is even halfway bright.

I've actually considered running for office for these types of laws to be passed (REAL net-neutrality, get rid of software patents, etc).

Unless you can convince large corporate donors, trial lawyers, unions, etc. that this is in their best interest, you haven't a prayer of getting elected, much less enacting any legislation.

If you want to change the way things work, you need to become very rich first. After which, you'll have a vested interest in making sure things don't change. This is true in all democracies.

Re:Are there any geeks in Congress? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38296174)

The vast majoritiy of congressional Democrats are lawyers, and a significant number of congressional Republicans are doctors. There is a very real shortage of experiential variety in congress, so they end up calling in 'experts' half of whom are comedians, but no one in congress can tell the difference.

Jailbreaking consoles (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295546)

I wonder what implications this has for XBox, Wii, PlayStation, etc.

Re:Jailbreaking consoles (1)

slinches (1540051) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295706)

It means nothing except that a company couldn't threaten to get you thrown in a real jail for jailbreaking your devices. They'll still be able to do whatever they want to the hardware and software to prevent you from doing it.

Re:Jailbreaking consoles (3, Informative)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295708)

Honestly, I can't imagine it'll be that huge an implication. Just because it'll be legal doesn't at all mean Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony need to make it easy, nor does it stop them from ruining old jailbreak methods with new firmware, like what they do now, to whatever effectiveness it does.

It just means fewer people get arrested for it. And I don't think I've heard about many arrests in that area lately.

Re:Jailbreaking consoles (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38295780)

I wonder what implications this has for XBox, Wii, PlayStation, etc.

I suspect if you "jailbreak" your console you'll suddenly find yourself unable to play games. They aren't under any obligation to update / support your machine's software / ability to play games if you mess with the software. At which point you have a new DVR...

Warranty (1)

Manos_Of_Fate (1092793) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295558)

I don't know how much difference the legality will make when jailbreaking will continue to void your warranty/ violate the ToS/EULA for whatever you're jailbreaking. I really doubt breaking the law is the reason most people don't mod their Xboxes, for example.

welcome to costco, i love you! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38295586)

next time you're out in public, waddle like a duck while maintaining your focus straight ahead, make no eye contact with anyone whilst you do this, shake your head from side to side every 30 seconds, and quack like a duck, if you must rest, you may only squat down and hold position while you continue to shake your head and quack. bonus points if you can manage a few farts during squats. do not respond to onlookers comments and post your experienze here,.

Recycling (3, Interesting)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295702)

If you cannot do what you like with you hardware then you obviously do not own it. If you do not own it you are not responsible for recycling it. Which means you just have to return all your old devices the store where you got them and it is there problem (cost) to recycle.

All I can say is (2)

Trigun (685027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295738)

good EFF'ing luck with that.

If you can't open it... (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295754)

...you don't own it.

Re:If you can't open it... (1)

grahamsaa (1287732) | more than 2 years ago | (#38296010)

Exactly. Thing is, most people (particularly in the US) don't "own" their phones -- they get them at a subsidized price in exchange for a lengthy contract. If owning a device legally requires you to purchase a service, the device owns you.

Re:If you can't open it... (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38296086)

You already don't own most of your Windows software.

Now they're moving towards the hardware.

See also Window Secure Boot, and the ramifications thereof...

You'll just lose access to online services (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38295792)

Manufacturers won't have to void warranties for jailbroken devices. They can just deny owners access to online services like Xbox LIVE and the App Store because security can't be guaranteed if modded devices are allowed into a walled garden.

 

Re:You'll just lose access to online services (1)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295880)

Manufacturers won't have to void warranties for jailbroken devices. They can just deny owners access to online services like Xbox LIVE and the App Store because security can't be guaranteed if modded devices are allowed into a walled garden.

I am 100% ok with that scenario. I don't think the EFF will manage to get that far, though.

Re:You'll just lose access to online services (1)

JustSomeProgrammer (1881750) | more than 2 years ago | (#38296196)

The problem with this is determining if the device is jailbroken or real. It is possible to jailbreak something and still emulate the original to the point that the system doesn't know it is jailbroken but allowing you to have custom access to the messages so you could you know have a script that automatically locks on anytime a head is within sniper range and automatically fire a shot.

Isn't there a complication for phones? (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295798)

Isn't there a complication for phones? Jailbreaking your PS3 is one thing but a phone device connects to the phone network and falls under FCC jurisdiction in the U.S. Is it possible that jailbreaking may void the FCC license that allows the device to connect to the phone network?

Re:Isn't there a complication for phones? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38296032)

Aside from power and frequency restrictions (which can be limited in hardware), how might you run afoul of FCC regulations?

Re:Isn't there a complication for phones? (4, Informative)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38296198)

Let me tell you a story about an FCC-approved transmitter. It ran on an open frequency at burst data, 12ms at 50mW. The harmonics and power were too high for the FCC. The FCC suggested that I put in a delay of 87ms then a 1ms burst. They would then average out the signal strength over 100ms and use the average power for the transmission for the tests.

I changed the code, it passed the tests, and microchip sends the chips pre-programmed by the reel.

So that's how software can change your FCC compliance.

Cisco (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295868)

will have a fucking heart attack and throw 200,000 into a lobbyist's bag. Crippleware is their bread and butter.

What if windows locked you into IE and app store (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38295942)

What if windows locked you into IE and windows app store only apps? So no open source apps, no steam games, no adult apps or games, no non MS office, no firefox, and so on.

Re:What if windows locked you into IE and app stor (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#38296084)

What if windows locked you into IE and windows app store only apps? So no open source apps, no steam games, no adult apps or games, no non MS office, no firefox, and so on.

I'd be more concerned over the Mac on this front.

Just in time for Windows 8. (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38296030)

Given the whole bios thing, we'll probably need to jailbreak our Dell machines soon enough...

I have no problems with locked systems (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#38296074)

that the manufacturers right and its my right to not have to buy what is locked. I have a huge issue with being called a criminal, pirate, goat fucker or what ever for wanting to modify hardware to make it perform better or do something it wasn't intended to like say the bomb trigger to blow up the White House or Pentagon.

Stop calling use users! (3, Informative)

KGBear (71109) | more than 2 years ago | (#38296224)

In this instance, we are not simply "users." We are owners. We have purchased devices, we have payed for them with our money, either upfront or by signing up for a multi-year contract, after which time the device belongs to the buyer. We are owners, buyers, proprietors, NOT users. We may be users from the point of view of the software licenses that usually come attached to these types of devices, but we should be able to wipe that software and install whatever we please on the OUR devices...

lessee, perhaps? (2)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38296306)

That's rather the whole goal, though, now isn't it... that you don't own your hardware, but lease all of it, with the root level control not in your own hands. It makes life much simpler (and thus profitable) for the producers of said hardware. It also ensures that they can grab whatever data they want, whenever they want, without any control over it by you, the lessee of said device.

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