The latest ruling in the ever complicated Digital Millennium Copyright Act continues to list smartphones as exempt from the rules prohibiting rooting and Jailbraking as it did in 2010. Good news if you’re waiting for the Nexus 4, not so good if you’re waiting for the Nexus 10; tablets are not included in the exceptions. The Library Of Congress listed five categories of exemptions which will go into effect on October 28, 2012 and will be valid for three years.
The Library of Congress found the definition of “tablet” to be too broad. The ruling determined “the record lacked a sufficient basis to develop an appropriate definition for the ‘tablet’ category of devices, a necessary predicate to extending the exemption beyond smartphones.” They cited “an e-book reading device might be considered a ‘tablet,’ as might a handheld video game device or a laptop computer.”
Another troubling element of the ruling concerns unlocking phones. You can unlock any phone you currently own or purchase within 90 days of the October 28th start date of this ruling. Any phone purchased after January 2013 can only be unlocked with the carrier’s permission. Are you starting to regret you didn’t sign the petition we told you about back in January?
If you’re interested in ripping a DVD on to your phone or unrootable tablet, it’s apparently still an act of piracy. The ruling only allows for ripping “in order to make use of short portions of the motion pictures for the purpose of criticism or comment in the following instances: (i) in noncommercial videos; (ii) in documentary films; (iii) in nonfiction multimedia e-books offering film analysis; and (iv) for educational purposes in film studies or other courses requiring close analysis of film and media excerpts, by college and university faculty, college and university students, and kindergarten through twelfth grade educators.” A similar exemption applies for “online distribution services.”
Source: Ars Technica