The Digital Millennium Copyright Act was passed way back in 1998, before subjects such as jailbreaking & modding came on to exist. As part of the DMCA, it has now made certain exemptions that says that smartphone now can be jailbroken but tablets must be kept away from this issue. New rules and regulations as passed were announced earlier today. I personally didn’t understand what DCMA want to explain as if smartphones aren’t gadgets in this each and every gadget is jailbroken then why no tablets ?? This is a major question whose satisfied answer is yet to be given by DCMA.
Still then these new exemptions will come on to effect on October 28 and will be valid for the forthcoming three years. Five types of circumvention are addressed by the exemptions, most of which present the kind of head-scratching stipulations and arbitrariness that make you wonder who is coming up with this stuff. One of the most obvious bits of oddness is the exemption making it legal to unlock smartphones purchased before 2013, but not phones purchased after.
Unlocking smartphones is legal but performing the same on a tablet is not legal. The reason behind it is the definition of “tablet” which is too broad at the current moment. According to the ruling, “…an e-book reading device might be considered a ‘tablet,’ as might a handheld video game device or a laptop computer.” It was ruled that there is insufficient basis for developing a definition for tablets, which is necessary in order to apply the jailbreaking exemption currently given to smartphones.
Next up is the issue of circumventing ebooks, which is permissible for disability access. The exemption concerns “literary works, distributed electronically, that are protected by technological measures which either prevent the enabling of read-aloud functionality or interfere with screen readers or other applications or assistive technologies.” This is an expansion on the 2010 exemption that only permitted circumvention if every available ebook edition contained access controls.
The issue of unlocking just took a step backwards, sadly. The latest exemption removes the previously instituted permission to unlock a phone for use with a new carrier. This change makes it so that only phones originally “acquired from the operator of a wireless telecommunications network or retailer no later than ninety days after the effective date of this exemption” can be unlocked.