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DMCA revised: “jailbreaking, unlocking and ripping DVDs” deemed fair

The U.S. Government Library of Congress Copyright Office said that “Individuals can now legally bypass DVD encryption, mobile phone carrier locks, and more according to a revision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act,” Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

The law now makes jailbreaking and unlocking of devices, like iPhone, legal in the United States, allowing for unauthorized code and programs like Cydia to be run on the device without warranting criminal prosecution. The change will allow for cell phone owners to legally “unlock” their devices for use with other available carriers.

In addition to jailbreaking, other exemptions includes: » Allow owners of used cell phones to break access controls on their phones in order to switch wireless carriers » Allow people to break technical protections on video games to investigate or correct security flaws » Allow college professors, film students and documentary filmmakers to break copy-protection measures on DVDs so they can embed clips for educational purposes, criticism, commentary and noncommercial videos » Allow computer owners to bypass the need for external security devices called dongles if the dongle no longer works and cannot be replaced.

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