Hurray for the EFF, The LOC and DRM Exemptions!

Hurray for the EFF, The LOC and DRM Exemptions!

We reported months ago that the group The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF )acts as the champions of tech users. Its recent goals include going to battle for us against the evil arch enemies of fair use. Well the EFF
prevailed this time when it petitioned the Copyright Office and the Library of congress on our behalf.

Today, in a historical move, the Library of Congress released a statement that floored us all but I will bet it especially hit Apple.

SInce 1998, The Digital Millenium Copyright Act  has made it illegal for us to crack the DRM placed on most all of our digitized media . It has a stipulation that it be reviewed every three years but has changed little over the past twelve. In the past very limited exemptions have been made but today, the 6 exemptions added are monumental. Here they are in a nutshell:

1.We can now rip your own, legally owned DVDs. Now everyone (not just film and media studies majors!) has the right to break DRM for the purposes of “short” use in both “documentary filmmaking” and original “noncommercial videos.” For now we still can’t appropriate the whole film. As long as we aren’t charging money for it or profiting off it, it’s considered noncommercial.

2. We may now jailbreak our iphones-legally! Sorry Apple. How did this get through? Well, you see, computer code is classified as a literary work under copyright law, and, as the Library of Congress pointed out, jailbroken firmware alters “fewer than 50 bytes of code out of more than 8 million bytes, or approximately 1/160,000 of the copyrighted work as a whole,” So Apple, your claims of infringement of copyright law are a fail.

3. Sorry, again Apple and AT&T. We can now legally unlock our phones to be used on another network. (Even though Apple will still keep putting blocking software on your iPhones against jailbreakers).

4. When we get a little curious(and who doesn’t from time to time), we now have the right to crack video or computer game DRM (such as SecuROM) for the purposes of research or “investigation.”

5. We are now able to bypass software protected by a hardware dongle that is either broken or no longer manufactured.

6. We can crack the DRM on encrypted eBooks to have the text read aloud, even if this function is explicitly prohibited by copy protection.

So Hurray for the decisions made today by the Library of Congress. In two more years they will meet again to review DRM restrictions and perhaps give us more and better exemptions in the future.

Let us know what you think about this breakthrough!


  1. Tweets that mention Hurray for the EFF, The LOC and DRM Exemptions! | Tech Talk -- - [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jamie, Cosmic Networks. Cosmic Networks said: Hurray for the EFF, The LOC…

Leave a Reply

Right Now on the Forums

Latest Tweets

Latest Videos