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December 2, 2011 // 4:45 pm - Previously the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) reported on the Sony / GeoHot PS3 case, and now they are seeking (PDF) to widen exemptions won in the last DMCA rulemaking to allow for the JailBreaking of smartphones, electronic tablets, and video game consoles including the PlayStation 3 system.

To quote: Copyright Office Should Expand Legal Protections for JailBreakers and Video Artists

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged the U.S. Copyright Office today to renew and expand the critical exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) granted last year in response to EFF's requests to protect the rights of American consumers who modify electronic gadgets and make remix videos.

In the exemption requests filed today, EFF asked the Copyright Office to protect the "jailbreaking" of smartphones, electronic tablets, and video game consoles – liberating them to run operating systems and applications from any source, not just those approved by the manufacturer. EFF also asked for legal protections for artists and critics who use excerpts from DVDs or downloading services to create new, remixed works. These exemptions build on and expand exemptions that EFF won last year for jailbreakers and remix artists.

"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. While this ban was meant to deter copyright infringement, many have misused the law to chill competition, free speech, and fair use. Exemptions are meant to mitigate the harms the law has caused to legitimate, non-infringing uses of copyrighted materials.

"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."

In drafting the requests, EFF had the invaluable assistance of the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Organization for Transformative Works.

The Copyright Office will hold hearings on the proposed DMCA exemptions in the spring of 2012, with a final rulemaking order expected in October 2012.

For the full exemption requests:

For more on DMCA rulemaking:

EFF Seeks to Allow PS3 JailBreaking with Video Game Consoles

EFF Seeks to Allow PS3 JailBreaking with Video Game Consoles

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#43 - inginear - December 4, 2011 // 7:44 am
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pay for every (hacker developed) pkg on the console? please stop smoking crack. in the u.s it is legal for a person to jailbreak their iphone and use it as they see fit. do people with jailbroken iphones buy every single app that they have installed from somewhere other than the app store? heck no!

hacking devices is not just about video games. for the most part it is about adding features and functionality that was either left out due to costs or locked out of the firmware of lower priced devices. (most ti calculators have the same cpu, but software features of 83, 86, 89 are different.)

some "gaming" graphics cards and "workstation" graphics cards have the same chips also, just different firmware for the uber priced workstation cards. however hacking video game consoles may be done more so in the interest of video game pirating.

if hacking devices you own was logically illegal, then modifying your car's intake and exhaust for better gas mileage should also be illegal. after all you are hacking a huge electro-mechanical device in a way the manufacturer did not intend.

if you honestly believe that hacking your personal property is only to create business for a crappy company, then i have some ocean front property in colorado to sell you.

#42 - CJPC - December 4, 2011 // 5:41 am
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Yeah - exemptions to the rules need to be made for those who enjoy tinkering with their own purchases. It's ridiculous that telling others how to expand the usability of their PS3's, tablets, phones, dvd players etc is in such a murky area!

#41 - jesterking1 - December 4, 2011 // 4:32 am
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This is why I give to the EFF! It's highly likely that Sony will be told to knock off the mandatory updates of firmware to play games! That is something that I feel should never have been allowed! I can't wait!

#40 - Kraken - December 3, 2011 // 8:26 pm
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The EFF is my favorite charity. Whenever the government or big corporations trample the rights of digital consumers (as they constantly do nowadays), the EFF is there, fighting for us.

Remember that you can get free games when you help the EFF if you do so by buying a humble bundle:

#39 - patricktrapp81 - December 3, 2011 // 8:22 pm
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can't wait to see how this pans out

#38 - moja - December 3, 2011 // 7:11 pm
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Great discussion guys.

So, I think first that free spirited ones are the ones who developed and sold the first reliable methods. Not to dig into semantics, but I think of a free-spirited person as someone who thinks/acts outside of the regular rules of life. Along those lines, these business people, whether developing the hack themselves or marketing the team behind it, are just as free as the non-profit hackers, and I don't blame them at all.

Sure, it would be nice if teams who engineered devices around hacks could get paid while the rest of the information is freely developed (like past/other scenes), but in all fairness I should be able to do what I want with information/ideas/work that I come up with and make a buck if I so desire. I don't necessarily agree with that decision, but I understand it. These are the fundamentals of the battles going on at the root of all scenes. Sorry to get so philosophical, but you guys brought up some good points.

#37 - CS67700 - December 3, 2011 // 12:29 pm
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It would flourish from everywhere, you would have to pay for every single pkg you install on your console. You really want that ?
I don't think so.

Hacking devices shouldn't be made "legal", because it isn't. The world is messed up man, everything is an excuse to make a few bucks these days. Crappy companies are awaiting for this to happen, and make even more money on this.

Most peoples hack their devices because they can't/don't want to afford brand new video games (its freaking expensive), not because of homebrew (that's gotta be around 1% of the PS3 scene).

So why would i pay to hack my device ? doesn't make sense.

#36 - krawhitham - December 3, 2011 // 9:04 am
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Quote Originally Posted by CS67700 View Post
If it becomes legal, it might become a business for some peoples. CFW with advanced possibilities, or the new and latest FW jailbroken for a few bucks, know what i mean ?

Don't let this crap happen, a scene should be underground. This is how it worked (and it worked well until now) and this is how it should remain.

The PS3 scene is just messed up, its the first scene with so many dramas. I honestly hope trashes like Mathieulh and other fame leechers won't be following to the PS4 scene and so on. They should die with this scene and never appear again.

It already is a business, and if it wasn't we have nothing. The free spirit hackers were not the 1st to release something that allowed home brew or backups. Business people were, and then the free spirit hackers acted like vultures and rip everything and released it for free. Yes they have made great improvements, but when the scene stalled it was once again business side that brought us the JB2 dongle. It is always the business side that makes the 1st strides, people like Math talk a good game but never release anything useful until someone else does and then he tries to take credit for it all.

#35 - HeyManHRU - December 3, 2011 // 9:00 am
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Lol, I can already imagine the retail advertisements. "PS4, only $599 to rent for your entire lifetime".

#34 - Neo Cyrus - December 3, 2011 // 8:52 am
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I just hope that Sony are more clear the next time they release a console. They need to explicitly state that the PS4 is for rent, not actual sale.