- 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: