It Might Soon Be Cool To Jailbreak Your Consoles

It's totally cool to "jailbreak" an iPhone to get around its DRM. Apple may not like that, but the courts say otherwise, so it has to abide. Video game consoles? Less cool. But that could soon change.

The reason the iPhone is exempt is because a few years back the Electronic Frontier Foundation successfully lobbied for its exemption from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It is now asking for the same courtesy to be extended towards other "smartphones, electronic tablets, and video game consoles", which would mean owners of such devices would be free to "run operating systems and applications from any source, not just those approved by the manufacturer".

Jailbreaking of course already happens across all video game consoles, but if the EFF can win an exemption for them from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, then this act won't be undertaken under the threat of lawsuits from the various platform holders, such as those that erupted in the wake of this year's PS3 Jailbreak affair.

Indeed, the fallout from that mess is mentioned repeatedly by the EFF in its case, along with various claims that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo's hardware protection measures are anti-competitive and are not in themselves a means to pirate games. It also gives big shot-outs to awesome sites like WiiBrew.

Could the EFF succeed? Who knows. After its success with the iPhone you can't say it doesn't stand a chance!

If you'd like to read the EFF's full case, you can check it out here.

EFF Seeks to Widen Exemptions Won in Last DMCA Rulemaking [EFF, via Boing Boing]


Comments

    What about things like Xbox Live or PSN? They wouldn't still work would they?

      Most likely, part of the agreement for using their online services would be agreeing not to jailbreak your console. So, users would have to make a tradeoff, either jailbreak, or use the online service. Of course, a jailbroken console community may quickly develop a 3rd party online service, however, it would have to be able to fully spoof the original.

        Yeah that's true.

        I remember when I had the original Xbox, I had it chipped. I thought It was amazing because I could just save games to it, and customise it. I never really cared about Xbox live for video games.

        Saw what I was missing out on when I got a 360 haha, the online component is essential.

          Pirates keep ahead of devs with mods, so a stealth Jailbeak is possible.

    I really cant see this happening, the threat of piracy is too high, there would always be some jerk that has to ruin it for everyone, its sad but its true.

    Correct me if im wrong but isnt jailbreaking your iPhone still illegal but the law says that Apple cant sue you for doing it?

      DMCA exemption means it's legal (in the US). But Apple don't have to provide the functionality or make it easy.

    It's not just the piracy though, like wii softmods, the hacking and cheating killed online multiplayer. No doubt this would be rampant on xbl and psn if jailbreak was freely available

    I'm kind of mixed about this, while I recognise jail-breaks are mostly bad for the industry, I also believe in my rights as a consumer to do whatever I want with equipment I've paid for. Of course, I don't expect Sony or xbox to facilitate this either, so maybe it being recognised a legal won't change the status quo all that much.

    Its worth noting also that it was the homebrew that made the psp worth buying, the homebrew community supported and developed some really great stuff for it, sony sure as hell didn't

    Just also need to remember the PS3 was not even attempted to be hacked, until Sony took away the other OS install option. This showed that there is a good reason to allow people to home brew, as long as you can keep the original OS safe.

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