The EFF Seeks To Protect Console Jailbreaking

The EFF Seeks To Protect Console Jailbreaking


About a year ago, a court ruling stated that jailbreaking, hacking, unlocking, rooting, etc. was actually legal on smartphones. These exemptions to anti-hacking laws established in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA, were written right into the DMCA’s wording.

Well, it looks like the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) is looking to extend these exemptions to game consoles as well. A request was filed this week by the EFF on the ground that DRM and other copyright infringement prevention measures are very often misused.

Here’s what EFF Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry had to say about the issue:

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. 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.

In short, the filing says that it is unfair for console manufacturers to restrict hacking or modding that doesn’t infringe on copyright, and that it is similarly unfair for a company to remove functionality in the hopes of defeating copyright infringement (stating the case of the PS3 and Linux).

By Angelo M. D’Argenio

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