Jailbreaking or rooting your smartphone is currently "legal" under Digital Millennium Copyright Act, but that exemption is set to expire in 2012. The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) is looking for help and support to keep it that way, and they would like people to contact the US Copyright office and express their opinion. They are offering up a handy set of questions and concerns readers can use in their appeal to the copyright office, and have done as much as they can to streamline the process and make it painless, with direct links and a petition.
The idea behind it all is that once we pay our hard-earned money for our expensive electronic toys, they are ours to do with as we please. As long as safety regulations are met, and we don't do anything to adversely affect our cellular carrier, we should be able to do anything we wish. It's a great idea, and it's a shame that this even requires an exemption in the DMCA.
The DMCA has been used against people who hack game consoles, and used against people trafficking cell phones, but has anyone ever been prosecuted for rooting their smartphone? I've searched the net for a few days, and every time I find something that sounds promising, it ends up being more than just someone jailbreaking their iPad or rooting their Bionic. Yeah, carriers and manufacturers probably hate it, and we can't blame them, but I don't see a case like HTC vs. Jerry Hildenbrand for rooting his Wildfire S getting much traction in a court of law. Unfortunately, we can't trust things will stay this way in a world full of companies like Microsoft and Apple.
It's absolutely ridiculous that we would require some sort of waiver to be allowed to mess up our own hardware. It's even more ridiculous that carriers and device makers have acted in ways to put the fear of prosecution in us so we want an exemption in the first place. It's mine. If you want to tell me what to do with it, you need to pay me for it. Until then, leave me the hell alone and let me enjoy my toys.
Hit the link below, and do your part to make sure the Copyright Office does the right thing.