Published by LawTechie - July 26, 2010 - LawTechie

The US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) at §§ 1201-1203 makes it illegal to circumvent technological protection measures in software or technology which protects underlying intellectual property. Today the Library of Congress has ruled that this prohibition does not apply to iPhone “jailbreaking.”

“Jailbreaking” is a term which describes the process of hacking a phone’s operating system in order to disable its security measures which otherwise prevent users from installing unauthorized applications. Prior to the FCC’s ruling, jailbreaking was a clear violation of the above statutes because it required the jailbreakers to hack the security measures of an operating system which necessarily contained underlying intellectual property (e.g., the operating system code).

This is likely to expand the market for 3rd party and user generated apps.

LawTechie is a blog focusing on trends in tech and digital media. Areas covered include intellectual property, cyberlaw, venture capital, transactions and litigation as they relate to the emerging sectors. The blog is edited by the firm's partner Tim Bukher with contributions from the firm's experts in their respective areas of law.

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