Editors' note: This is a guest column. See Larry Downes' bio below.
The U.S. Copyright Office on Monday granted an exemption to users who install unapproved applications or switch carriers on their smartphones. That act, when applied to the Apple iPhone, is often referred to as "jailbreaking."
Apple and others have argued that such activities violate provisions of 1998 revisions to federal copyright law known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, specifically provisions that forbid the circumvention of security technologies a copyright holder uses to ensure that its software is not modified without permission.
The Copyright Office … Read more