The Library of Congress has seen fit to specifically exempt rooting and jailbreaking (for the iPhone) from the DMCA. This means that it is now 100 percent legal to root to your heart's content without fear of legal action taken against you. Check out the exact wording:

"Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset."

This does not mean that HTC, Motorola, and other manufactures can't (or won't) continue to try to keep their devices locked down; it just means they can't sic the lawyers on you if you do choose to root. 

So, why not head into the Android Central forums and get your hack on? Check out the full legal wording after the break. [Copyright.gov via Engadget, NPR]

Statement of the Librarian of Congress Relating to Section 1201 Rulemaking

Section 1201(a)(1) of the copyright law requires that every three years I am to determine whether there are any classes of works that will be subject to exemptions from the statute's prohibition against circumvention of technology that effectively controls access to a copyrighted work. I make that determination at the conclusion of a rulemaking proceeding conducted by the Register of Copyrights, who makes a recommendation to me. Based on that proceeding and the Register's recommendation, I am to determine whether the prohibition on circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works is causing or is likely to cause adverse effects on the ability of users of any particular classes of copyrighted works to make noninfringing uses of those works. The classes of works that I designated in the previous proceeding expire at the end of the current proceeding unless proponents of a class prove their case once again.

This is the fourth time that I have made such a determination. Today I have designated six classes of works. Persons who circumvent access controls in order to engage in noninfringing uses of works in these six classes will not be subject to the statutory prohibition against circumvention.

As I have noted at the conclusion of past proceedings, it is important to understand the purposes of this rulemaking, as stated in the law, and the role I have in it. This is not a broad evaluation of the successes or failures of the DMCA. The purpose of the proceeding is to determine whether current technologies that control access to copyrighted works are diminishing the ability of individuals to use works in lawful, noninfringing ways. The DMCA does not forbid the act of circumventing copy controls, and therefore this rulemaking proceeding is not about technologies that control copying. Nor is this rulemaking about the ability to make or distribute products or services used for purposes of circumventing access controls, which are governed by a different part of section 1201.

In this rulemaking, the Register of Copyrights received 19 initial submissions proposing 25 classes of works, many of them duplicative in subject matter, which the Register organized into 11 groups and published in a notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comments on the proposed classes. Fifty-six comments were submitted. Thirty-seven witnesses appeared during the four days of public hearings in Washington and in Palo Alto, California. Transcripts of the hearings, copies of all of the comments, and copies of other information received by the Register have been posted on the Copyright Office's website.

The six classes of works are:

(1) Motion pictures on DVDs that are lawfully made and acquired and that are protected by the Content Scrambling System when circumvention is accomplished solely in order to accomplish the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into new works for the purpose of criticism or comment, and where the person engaging in circumvention believes and has reasonable grounds for believing that circumvention is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the use in the following instances:

(i) Educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students;

(ii) Documentary filmmaking;
(iii) Noncommercial videos

(2) Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset.

(3) Computer programs, in the form of firmware or software, that enable used wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when circumvention is initiated by the owner of the copy of the computer program solely in order to connect to a wireless telecommunications network and access to the network is authorized by the operator of the network.

(4) Video games accessible on personal computers and protected by technological protection measures that control access to lawfully obtained works, when circumvention is accomplished solely for the purpose of good faith testing for, investigating, or correcting security flaws or vulnerabilities, if:

(i) The information derived from the security testing is used primarily to promote the security of the owner or operator of a computer, computer system, or computer network; and
(ii) The information derived from the security testing is used or maintained in a manner that does not facilitate copyright infringement or a violation of applicable law.

(5) Computer programs protected by dongles that prevent access due to malfunction or damage and which are obsolete. A dongle shall be considered obsolete if it is no longer manufactured or if a replacement or repair is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace; and

(6) Literary works distributed in ebook format when all existing ebook editions of the work (including digital text editions made available by authorized entities) contain access controls that prevent the enabling either of the book's read-aloud function or of screen readers that render the text into a specialized format.

All of these classes of works find their origins in classes that I designated at the conclusion of the previous rulemaking proceeding, but some of the classes have changed due to differences in the facts and arguments presented in the current proceeding. For example, in the previous proceeding I designated a class that enable film and media studies professors to engage in the noninfringing activity of making compilations of film clips for classroom instruction. In the current proceeding, the record supported an expansion of that class to enable the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into documentary films and noncommercial videos for the purpose of criticism or comment, when the person engaging in circumvention reasonably believes that it is necessary to fulfill that purpose. I agree with the Register that the record demonstrates that it is sometimes necessary to circumvent access controls on DVDs in order to make these kinds of fair uses of short portions of motion pictures.

 

Reader comments

You can now root your phone without fear of hassle from the man

23 Comments

It still voids your warranty however, right? That is my reason for not rooting, well that and being an android newbie.

That's all well and good, but how does this affect warranties? If it's in the wall of text quote I didn't read it and somebody could be kind enough to dig it out.

Thats very old news the inc should get the update in aug so says Verizon evo looks like dec but who cares just root it and use Froyo now. sure its not 100% yet but the nightly build is very good and stable

I dont talking about news or old new guy! if you read it the spam* article state that HTC Desire will get the update first than DInc original new on twitter (VZW REP) so

only voids your warranty if you are very stupid and tell them. Sprint atat Verizon T mobile workers are pretty much clueless

However, there is no requirement that the warranty remain intact after you root. That is something we will have to press the FTC for.

There is no reason that software or operating systems should automatically invalidate your warranty.

Would you buy a computer if the warranty expired the instant you loaded OpenOffice.org instead of Microsoft Word? If hard drive fails and they found traces of Ubuntu on it are you SOL?

There's no reason for them to keep it under warranty. Look, i root my phones too. But warranty is for problems that are the manufacturer's fault. The minute you root your phone, you have altered the original shipped software, therefore the liability should lie within you since you made the decision to make unsupported software changes. It's pretty logical if you ask me. I don't expect them to fix my mistakes if i screw up my phone, although it would be nice, don't get me wrong.

If you put new components in your car, your dealer isn't going to cover the repairs if there are problems.

Then there needs to be separate hardware and software warranties if there aren't these distinctions already.

If I root my phone and brick it and they want to charge me to flash it back to factory, fine, my fault, you're right.

If I pull it out of my holster and drop it down the stairs, and it stops working, then it shouldn't matter if I hacked it to run iPhone4 OS and replaced every sound with swear words-- I still would expect them to fix the PHYSICAL device.

Item three seems to allow for removal of carrier locks on phones, so you can move your iphone or captivate to another network.

I don't believe this is new, but there it is none the less.

Just restore the factory image before bringing the phone back to the carrier. Unless of course the phone does not work and then hopefully they will not be able to get to a point that shows it is rooted.

"We want to be free! We want to be free to root! We want to be free to root without being hassled by the man. And we wanna get loaded!"

- Peter Fonda "The Wild Angels" (paraphrased...)

New here and I know this is the wrog thread for this question. But does the "UNREVOKED" method truly unlock the EVO 4G....thanks

NEVER IN MY LIFE HAVE I HEARD WARANTYS UNDER THE MANUFACTURER COVER PHISICAL DAMAGE WILL NEVER HAPPEN EVEN IF ITS A "AXIDENT" LOL ANYWAYS it is pretty simple the're saying its ok to go and do something they dont want us to do, of course with concequences to follow(root) because they gave up and DGAF and want us to think everything is cool, but they are gona be all like dont come crying to me wen you have a brick for a phone haha sucker i said you could do it just never said ill cover your f. ups jajaj and buy another one from them because you dint use their product as they intended it ;).....i want to root my droid, dont get me wrong, but i have ->

*patience for FROYO*

if u root and get a problem just flash back to stock. easy as that. reps never know and your good. so root your android! its legal now!