• General , 27.07.2010

    Recently the Librarian of Congress James Billington loosened the grip on the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA(Digital Millenium Copyright Act), which gives us better freedom over our devices, meaning that we can Jailbreak an iPhone without breaking the law, or back up our Computer Games legally.

    Here are the rules in full.

    The Librarian of Congress has announced the classes of works subject to the exemption from the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. Persons making noninfringing uses of the following six classes of works will not be subject to the prohibition against circumventing access controls (17 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1)) until the conclusion of the next rulemaking.

    (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.

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    Discuss in Forums (4)


  • 4 Comments

    1. xenno
      07-27-2010
      06:26 PM
      1

      I doubt that sony is willing to cover a ps3 or psp with custom firmware, since the warranty clearly says if you modify the software/hardware on those systems in any way your warranty will expire automatically :D

    2. KillerBug
      07-28-2010
      03:11 AM
      2

      Originally Posted by xenno
      I doubt that sony is willing to cover a ps3 or psp with custom firmware, since the warranty clearly says if you modify the software/hardware on those systems in any way your warranty will expire automatically :D
      That is a given, and it applies to jailbroken iPhones as well. This really should apply to the PSP and PS3...so long as the modifications can clearly be shown to provide more useful features (or especially advertised features that are missing). If it is just some hack that does nothing but allow you to play pirated games, that is a whole other story.

      ...But here is the thing: this ruling will be voided as soon as they sign the ACTA into effect, as it will essentially replace the DMCA, and all the DMCA exemptions will get thrown away. While the DMCA was very generalized, and made many perfectly legitimate things illegal, the ACTA takes it to a whole other level. The limits to the ACTA are so vague that technically, every screen with HDCP support will be illegal, and any device capable of playing any form of DRM'd media will also be illegal. Their rules on modifying DRM'd software are so strict that it will be illegal to install windows on a PC...because encrypted files are copied during install. In essence, the goal here is to make everything a criminal act, so that they can freely arrest those who they choose to arrest...it might not be a crime to be black in Utah, but if it is a crime to own a TV, then the cops can arrest all the black people that they want...the federal governments of the world will also love this law, as protesting is usually legal...unless you have an iPod (capable of decrypting DRM'd tracks).

    3. madshaun1984
      07-28-2010
      04:36 AM
      3

      What people seem to be overlooking is the use of the word "security" in the new ruling. It doesn't say you can install cfw for the use of better apps, it says you can install cfw for the use of "security" investigations and "security" improvement.

      (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.
      ^ where does it say in there that it can be used for homebrew or the likes?

    4. KillerBug
      07-28-2010
      06:56 AM
      4

      Since sony will never release protection testing tools, I would say that any such tools would be considered homebrew.

      Also, when someone says "security" the first thing I think of is preventing theft. Given the fact that Sony has stolen OtherOS from millions of paying users, I would consider them a very high security threat...so a CFW that allowed me to play online, but prevented Sony from having access to my system software, would certainly be a security fix.